If you follow me along on instagram or twitter then you’ve probably noticed that I recently enjoyed a lovely vacation in Orlando. My family and I went last year and loved it so much that we went back – we couldn’t resist the allure of Hogsmeade and Jurassic Park, plus we heard that Diagon Alley and Gringotts had opened so it really was only a matter of time before we were reunited with Universal’s Orlando theme parks.
This year I noticed three things while at Universal, (1) the parks were at least 2x more crowded than when we went last year, (2) it was way more hot than when we went last year, and (3) omg bottled water is expensive! I think Gilly Water (bottled water available in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade) clocked in at about $4-5. If you multiply that times the size of my family and then multiply that number by the number of times we required water in the hot summer heat then you get = awholelottamoney! Basically, I’d much rather be spending that money on souvenirs, ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s, and cauldron cakes from Honeydukes. I picked up on a few tricks and can now give you the scoop – here’s how to save money on drinks at Universal Orlando:
Stop by the gift shop when you arrive and get this giant cup. Seriously, it’s $6.95, your first fill up is free and subsequent refills are $0.99+tax. You can get refills all over the park and it’s large enough to keep your family’s thirst quenched. Also, you get a pretty neat souvenir.
Free water. No I’m not talking about the water fountains peppered around the park. Those are useful, but they’re not as frequent and easy to locate as the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines located pretty much everywhere. After plopping down $30 in Gilly Water, a park attendant walked over to us and clued us in – the Freestyle machines provide park-goers with free water (and ice!) – huzzah! Thank you kind park employee! If you were like one of us who was languishing for low-carb, no sugar, drink options that were not water, you can also take this opportunity to bring one of those to-go powdered drink packets and make your own drink.
For more tips, check out my 10 Things to Know Before You Go to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure post here!
Do you have any tips or tricks for Universal fun? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!