Refillable cups or freestyle cups at the Universal Orlando Resort are one of the ways to save money on your vacation in Florida. They give you unlimited free refills after an initial purchase. But to get the most out of the purchase, you need to understand the ins and outs of the Coke Freestyle Program at Universal Orlando.
I’ve written this comprehensive (unofficial) guide to Universal Orlando’s refillable cups. There are different styles, choices, and rules. I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to make it a great deal.
Here’s everything you need to know about refillable cups at Universal Orlando and how you can use them to make visiting the theme parks more affordable.
Refillable Cups At Universal Orlando
The Universal Refillable Cups are refillable cups that get you unlimited free refills at Coke Freestyle machines (thus they are also called freestyle cups) throughout the Universal theme parks for the entire day.
You can quench your thirst in over 100 different ways when you purchase a Coke Freestyle cup.
Essentially, refillable cups are for drinks what the refillable popcorn bucket is for flavored popcorn.
Refillable Cups vs Souvenir Cups
Don’t get confused the Coke refillable cup with the souvenir cup at Universal Orlando. The souvenir cups come in a variety of styles. While they are superb mementos of your visit to Orlando, these cups do not include free refills.
They do get you discounted refills at participating locations in the Universal Orlando Resort. A one-time refill in souvenir cups is only one dollar ($0.99 plus tax).
Souvenir cups are refillable at a quick-service restaurant and table-service restaurant. They can also be refilled at a permanent beverage counter in the Universal theme parks. However, the souvenir drinks cups cannot be used at any of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines in the parks.
What Do The Universal Studios Refillable Cups Look Like?
The Refillable Cups at Universal Studios are large plastic cups with a straw and lid. They have an embedded RFID chip at the bottom and come in several designs with the Universal Studios logo.
How Much Do Refillable Cups at Universal Orlando Cost?
The standard refillable cups are $16.99 + tax. Annual pass holders get a discount.
Where Can You Buy A Refillable Cup At Universal Studios Florida?
You can purchase refillable cups at any of the three Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Once you have purchased a cup, you can get unlimited free refills at any Coke Freestyle machine in the parks.
Where Can You Get Your Unlimited Refills at Universal Studios?
You can find a Coke Freestyle station at various locations throughout Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
There are a total of 8 Coca Cola Freestyle Stations in Volcano Bay, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Islands of Adventure, and other locations.
Restaurants with these stations include Louie’s Italian Restaurant, Classic Monsters Café, Mel’s Drive-In, Comic Strip Café, Richter’s Burger Co., Circus McGurkus, The Burger Digs, and Doc Sugrue’s Desert Kebab House.
What Drinks Can You Get in Refillable Cups at Universal Orlando?
You can get all the Coca-Cola flavors at a Coke Freestyle station at Universal Studios, including regular Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Poweraid, Minute Maid, and others.
Flavor enhancers like fruit punch, cherry, lime, lemon, and strawberry are also available.
Plus, you can try exclusive blended drinks that are not available anywhere else!
Can You Use The Same Refillable Cup On More Than One Day?
Yes, you can use the same cup on more than one day. To do this, you will need to pay the reactivation fee. In 2021, the reactivation fee for a freestyle cup at Universal Orlando is $10.99 + tax for each additional day.
When you purchase your coke freestyle cup, it’s good for the entire day until midnight.
Do Refillable Cups Work at Universal Resort Hotels?
If you’re staying onsite at a hotel in the Universal Orlando Resort, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your refillable cup to get a beverage refill at your hotel.
However, there are special refillable cups for resort guests that can be used to get unlimited refills on sodas within the hotel grounds.
Can I Share a Refillable Cup With Friends and Family?
Yes, you sure can share a freestyle cup with friends and family. However, you can only refill your cup once every 10 minutes.
If everyone is sitting down to eat together or gets thirsty at the same time, a one-time refill may not be enough, and it can be a nuisance to wait 10 minutes to fill your cup again.
Is Butterbeer Included in The Universal Studios Refillable Cup?
Unfortunately, your Universal Studios refillable cup does not include butterbeer.
If you can’t get enough of this specialty drink, consider purchasing a butterbeer souvenir cup in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley at $12.99 + tax. This cup cannot be used at the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines though.
Refills of butterbeer are $6.99 + tax (this is not a discount price – it is the same as the cost of the drink in a regular disposable cup). However, you can get discounted refills on generic beverages with your souvenir cup.
Other specialty drinks like Pumpkin Fizz, Pumpkin Juice, and Harry Potter branded beverages are not available at Coke Freestyle stations. Starbucks coffees are also not refillable in a freestyle cup at Universal Studios.
What Happens If My Refillable Cup Gets Damaged?
If your refillable cup is defective or damaged, contact a team member (TM) at a participating location with a Coca-Cola freestyle machine, and they will replace it free of cost.
What Should I Do With My Refillable Cup After My Trip?
I think besides the money saving you make, freestyle cups are a great souvenir of your trip to Universal Studios Florida. Keep in mind that if you reuse it at home, it may not be dishwasher safe, so you’ll have to hand-wash.
If you come back to Orlando in the future, you can reuse your cup by paying a reactivation fee of $10.99 + tax for extra days instead of buying a new refillable cup at $16.99 plus tax.
Are Universal Studios Refillable Cups Value For Money?
This is a very common question I get.
Is it better to get a Universal Studios refillable cup or purchase beverages individually throughout the day?
Well, if you bring your own drinks to Universal Orlando, you obviously make the biggest savings. Soft drinks can be purchased at grocery stores for a fraction of the theme park prices. But you do have to carry them around all day. Plus, they won’t stay ice cold.
If you purchase a refillable cup for $16.99 plus tax, you can fill your cup at almost every quick-service restaurant and sit-down restaurant in the Universal Studios parks
You also get to try out some crazy blended drinks and over 100 drink flavors.
Plus, you can stay hydrated with ice-cold drinks throughout the day. With Florida getting year-round sunshine, the drinks tab can add up pretty quickly if you’re buying on the go.
Now, let’s look at the price of individual drinks at the Universal Orlando Resort. In Starbucks, bottled water, milk-based drinks, and juices are usually $3.00 + tax or more.
Regular soft drinks at Universal Florida retail at $3.39 + tax and large ones at $3.79 + tax.
So, here’s the thing, if you are likely to purchase more than four large fountain drinks in a day, then the freestyle cups at Universal Orlando make sense and generally less expensive.
Pros and Cons
To help you decide whether the refillable cups are worth it or not, here’s a run down of its pros and cons.
- You can stay hydrated without raking up a large bill on beverages
- There are plenty of flavors and blended drinks included
- You save money compared to buying individual drinks
- You can use your cup at mealtimes in restaurants
- The same cup is good at all the Universal Studios theme parks
- Does not include specialty drinks like butterbeer, iced tea, iced coffee, or hot drinks like tea or coffee
- It’s one more thing to carry around the park
- Refills are allowed only once every 10 minutes
In a nutshell, I would say that while buying drinks on the go at Universal Orlando gives you some advantage and freedom, getting a refillable cup can save you hundreds of dollars.
Of course, it all comes down to how many fountain drinks you consume in a day.
Have you ever purchased a refillable cup at Universal Studios? Did you love it or was it meh? Is there any more information that I didn’t cover? Tell me in the comments below!