Can You Bring Food Into Universal Studios?

kids at the Voodoo Doughnut in Universal Orlando

If you’re on a budget, one of the biggest expenses while visiting Universal Studios is food. My family of six loves going to Universal Orlando, and I know that snacks and meals and baby food and drinks throughout the day can make a pretty big dent in my wallet. One of the ways to save money during holidays at Universal Orlando is to bring your own food.

So, can you bring food into Universal Studios? In general, yes, you’re allowed to bring your food and drinks to a Universal theme park. But there are some acceptable items and some restricted items.

In this blog, I will tell you all the rules about bringing food into Universal Orlando Resort. This will help you save time and money and be useful if someone in your group has specific dietary needs. I’ll also tell you the best foods to pack if you don’t want to eat in the restaurants at Universal Studios.

What Are The Rules For Bringing Food Into Universal Studios?

Here’s a list of outside food you can bring and items that are prohibited on a Universal Studios tour. 

Acceptable Items

  • Small snacks (don’t bring anything that requires heating)
  • Medically-indicated nutritional supplements
  • Any food required for medical purposes 
  • Any food for special dietary needs
  • Baby food and baby formula
  • Bottled water (maximum 2 liters in non-glass containers or bring refillable water bottles)
  • Soft-sided coolers or insulated bags (no larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ deep x 6″ high)

Prohibited Items

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Picnic lunches 
  • Food that requires heating or refrigeration
  • Glass containers or glassware
  • Open containers 
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ deep x 6″ high
  • Hard-sided coolers
  • Folding chairs

If you’re thinking about sneaking one of the prohibited items into Universal Studios, I advise you to drop the idea.

Guests are required to go through a security check and bag check with metal detectors before they enter Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and City Walk. 

They will most likely confiscate all prohibited items.

What Snacks Can I Bring To Universal Studios Orlando

I like to let my kids pick their favorite snacks and drop them into a snack bin. Some of the things I like to pack that are favorites with the whole family include:

  • Energy bars
  • Fruits like apples and bananas (anything that doesn’t need to be sliced)
  • Trail mix
  • Hummus cups with carrot or celery sticks
  • Apple sauce cups
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Dried fruit
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Remember, you can’t bring any items that require heating or refrigeration. Don’t forget to bring refillable water bottles and wet wipes!

If you’re wondering if you’re allowed to bring food inside Disney World, read my complete guide here.

Is There A Limit On How Much Food You Can Take Into Universal Studios?

There is no limit on the amount of outside food you can bring to Universal Studios. But I advise you to use common sense. Remember, when you bring food into Universal Studios, you will have to carry it around the entire day. 

So, bring your own food and save money by all means, but be reasonable.

Of course, bring any foods for special dietary needs (like baby food), but limit snacks and drinks to what you are actually going to consume during the day.

Should you decide not to bring food on your trip, check out my list of Universal restaurants that serve healthy meals.

You must also remember that drinks may not be as refreshing after they’ve been sitting in your backpack in the Florida heat all day. Chocolate will melt, and those jelly sandwiches you brought may be crushed beyond recognition.

Can You Bring Drinks Into Universal Studios?

Yes, as long as they are not alcoholic beverages or beverages containing alcohol and as long as they are not in glass containers.

Remember, ice cold water is available free of cost at all quick-service dining locations and some concession stands. This saves you the trouble of carrying heavy bottles, and you get cold water.

You can always bring a refillable water bottle, too.

Are You Allowed To Bring Coolers Into Universal Studios?

No, you are not allowed to bring hard-sided coolers. Soft-sided coolers are permitted, but they must be no bigger than 8.5″ wide x 6″ high x 6″ deep.

Can I Keep Food In A Locker At Universal Orlando?

Yes, you can keep food in a locker. Remember, however, that the lockers are not located near the popular attractions. You will have to walk back to the front of the park to access them. If you’re planning to do it only once or twice, say around lunchtime, then this can work out well.

On the other hand, if you want to access snacks throughout the day, it can be quite a trek from Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the Islands of Adventure entrance, where the locker is located.

That might not leave you enough time to actually enjoy the park, so plan your visit accordingly.

If you decide to bring a fair amount of food into Universal Orlando, I’d recommend using soft-sided insulated bags and hiring a locker to store your food. 

The lockers are available at a charge of $10 per day and are about 12 x 13 x 17 inches in size. There are also lockers at certain attractions that are free, but you can only use them while you go on the different rides.

These free lockers are not available at all the rides.

Can I Bring Outside Food into Universal Volcano Bay?

The Volcano Bay water park is one place where my family tends to get really hungry. 

The outside food rules at Volcano Bay are the same as the other Universal theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure). I would definitely recommend taking at least a few snacks with you if you plan to spend the day at Volcano Bay.

The Takeaway

Even the least expensive snacks at the Universal Orlando Resort start at $3. A light meal for a family of four or five can easily set you back by $30 or more.

You not only save money when you bring your own food to Universal Studios, but you also save time standing in queues at restaurants, which can get pretty busy at mealtimes. 

I’d recommend balancing bringing your own food and eating in the restaurants at the Universal Orlando Resort to maximize your experience. 

Tell me in the comments below which are your favorite snacks to pack for Universal Orlando.

Dustin Baier

Hey, I'm Dustin a Dad of 4 and married to Sweet Pea Chef for over 15 years now :) We got engaged at the Disneyland Hotel way back when and love a vacation at Disney World, Universal Studios, really anywhere with theme parks!

Recent Posts