Do you want to know what the best snacks to take to Universal Studios are? Here we will cover what we think are the best snacks to take to Universal Studios along with the reasons why you should be bringing your own snacks into the park, where to buy them and how best to store them.
But before we get to that
Can you bring snacks to Universal Studios?
Now before we go into more details about what snacks you should and shouldn’t take to Universal Studios, we thought it would be important to first discuss whether or not you can bring snacks into Universal Studios or if this is against the Universal Studios rules.
Well first the good news, you can in fact bring both food and drink into the Universal Studio parks with you. But there is a but! That but is that there are some rules you need to follow if you do want to bring things into Universal with you.
Food and drink that you can’t bring into Universal Studios include:
- Alcohol, both open and closed and any drinks containing containing alcohol. If you try to do this it will be confiscated by security and you can be refused entry.
- Food in glass containers with the exceptions of baby food and medicine and medical needs.
- A Limited amount of water – up to 2 Litres but don’t worry there are plenty of water fountains to refill water bottles throughout the parks.
- Soft sided insulated bags with dimensions larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep
- Hard sided coolers
- Food that requires reheating
- Picnic accessories such as folding chairs.
For more information about taking food into other theme parks in Florida check out the below posts
- Best Snacks to take to Disney World
Why should I bring my own food into Universal Studios
Now that we have outlined some of the rules regarding food you can bring to Universal we will turn our attention why we think you should bring your own food into Universal Studios.
If you are traveling to Universal Studios on a budget and looking for cheap ways to eat in the parks then bringing your own snacks can really help you save money.
Snacks in the park are vary in price but are much more expensive than their out of park counterparts. Some examples of snack costs in the park are:
- Butterbeer – c. 8USD.
- Big Pink Donut in Simpsons Land – 8USD.
- Caramel Apples – 7USD
- Pumpkin Pasty 6USD
- Cauldron Cake – 11USD
- Water c.5USD
These costs can soon add up and therefore bringing in your own snacks will really help stretch your budget.
As well as saving you money, bringing in your own snacks can also save you a lot of time. We found that the queues at many of the popular snack carts can get very long and can into precious time in the parks.
Also if you are traveling to Universal Studios with toddlers or kids, like I do you may find they suddenly get hungry at the most inconvenient of times i.e. in the middle of the Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure. Therefore we like to have snacks always on hand to prevent anyone from getting hangry.
For more information on traveling to Universal with toddlers check out these posts:
Now there are some healthy snacks available at Universal Studios. There are several fruit carts that are selling precut (the one above was found near the Fast and the Furious ride). However these can be expensive.
Also most of the snacks at Universal Studios while really tasty can be full of sugar. Therefore if you want to have some healthier options with you, you might be better bringing them into the park with you rather than looking around all of the snack kiosks.
And finally while Universal Studios does cater to dietary requirements, particularly at the table service restaurants, if you have a specific dietary requirements you may want to bring your own snacks in with you to be sure you have what you need when you need them. It will also save you the worry when ordering food that your needs will be completely catered for.
Where to buy snacks for Universal Studios Orlando
Now you know the reason you should bring your own snacks you may have questions about where to by snacks for Universal Studios.
Now if you are driving to Universal Studios from home you may be able to bring the snacks with you from home if you are traveling with a cool box etc.
However if you are flying into Universal Studios you may want to know the nearest places to buy snacks. In this section of the guide we will tell you the nearest supermarkets and the brands you can find in Florida where you can buy snacks easily.
Publix is a supermarket chain that is headquartered in Florida and commonly found throughout the South East states (i.e. Virginia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Georgia etc).
There are nearby branches at
- Plaza VEnezia
- The Market Place at Dr Phillips
However neither of these are in walking distance so you will need a car or an Uber or Lyft to take you there.
Unfortunately there is no Walmart in walking distance to Universal Studios however if you have a car at Universal or are able to Uber or Lyft there are Walmarts nearby.
There is a huge Walmart Supercenter at Turkey Lake Rd.
If you want to get other goods swell as snacks and groceries then target is a great choice. The nearest Target is at Millenia Plaza Way but you will need a car to get there.
The variety of snacks you can get here is obviously less than the super centres at both Walmart and Target however you can find good value items here.
The nearest one is on International Drive.
Also another great budget supermarket to buy snacks at is Aldi. There is one located a 15 minutes drive away and is located on S Orange Blossom Trl.
Many of the hotels around Universal Studios will also have a shop with a small selection of beverages and snacks available to purchase. Although these won’t have the largest selection or indeed be the cheapest place to buy snack, you will be at least able to get some things.
How to pack food for Universal Studios
Not this list of snacks works whether you are looking for what to bring to Islands of Adventure or to Universal Studios.
Lunch Box or Tupperware
Although I usually like to pack items that are individually wrapped, for those that are not I like to have a lunch box or Tupperware to store snacks in as this can prevent the food getting crushed and soiling other items in your backpack.
Ice Pack and Insulated Soft Sided bod
Florida is a hot place especially in summer. And the days at Universal Studios can be very long. Therefore you need to make sure you keep your food cool so it doesn’t go bad. One of the best ways of doing this is by carrying an ice pack with you and an insulated soft sided lunch box (so long as it meets the dimensions above).
As well as tupperware and individually packed items I also like to have ziplock bags with me to portion out snacks for my kids.
As I said above the price of water and soda in the parks is around 4-5USD. I therefore recommend bringing in your own water bottle to refill as this will save you lots of money.
Water bottles are available for purchase in the park but these come at a premium so we recommend bringing one from home. And if you want a Harry Potter one for instance there are lots of great and good value ones available on Amazon.
Individually Packed Items
Individually packed items are great for snacks at Universal Studios. This packs it easy to portion out especially if you are traveling in a big group.
Some examples of individually wrapped foods are:
- Fruit Puree Pouches
If you want to monitor who has what snacks at Disneyland, you could use packing cubes. We like to use a different coloured packing cube for each person in our party and put their snacks in their so everyone has the same.
Snacks to Take to Universal Studios that are best avoided
Before we get onto what snacks to bring to Universal Studios, there are a few foods I would not recommend bringing. These are things that are likely to go off in the heat. Items should include:
- Dairy that needs refrigeration
- Fruit – unless eaten very early in the day
- Meat – that needs refrigeration
Best Snacks to Bring Universal Studios
Now you know what not to bring to Disneyland these are the snacks that we recommend bringing:
- Cereal and Cereal Bars – my kids enjoy eating cereal dry so we usually take some dry cheerios or fruit loops with us along with cereal bars.
- Granola Bars
- Donut holes
- Croissants for rope drop
- Fruit – if eaten early
- Fruit Snacks
- Fruit Winders / Fruit Leather / Fruit Ropes
- Fruit Puree Pouches – both of my kids since babies have enjoyed these and us adults too. It is a great ways to take a healthy snack without worrying about fruit going off
- Raisins – when I am packing for my toddler at Universal Studios these are always top of my list.
- Dried Fruit – on top of raisins we take bags of dried fruit
- Crisps / Chips
- Popcorn – popcorn buckets cost around 15USD in the parks. If you want popcorn bringing your own will save a lot of money
- Jerky – my hubby’s top pick
- Rice Cakes
- Non refrigerated yoghurts (but do be sure to keep cool)
- Animal crackers
- Peanut Butter Bites
- Babybel – but keep cold
- Juice Cartons
- Milk cartons that don’t require refrigeration (but do be sure to keep cool)
- Cookies – non chocolate so you don’t have to deal with the melt i.e. oat and raisin.
What are your favorite snacks to take to Universal?