Everything You Need To Know About Universal Studios Refillable Cups

Updated: September 2018

We’ve been to the three Universal Studios parks in Orlando, Florida multiple times and are annual pass holders for Universal Studios in Hollywood. So, we know a thing or two when it comes to making the most of your time at the Universal Studios Parks without compromising on the quality of your holiday experience.

One way we’ve found ourselves saving hundreds of dollars over the course of a trip is by using Universal Studios Refillable Cups.

What Are Universal Studios Refillable Cups

Universal Studios Refillable Cups are big heavy duty plastic cups with a lid and a straw. They have Universal Studio’s branding around the cup and an RFID chip in the bottom of the cup (hidden away)

Volcano Bay refillable cup Universal Studios Refillable Cups

The cups can be purchased from any of the three Universal Studios parks in Orlando, Florida as well as the Universal Studios in Hollywood. Once you’ve purchased the cup you’re able to fill it up with a range of more than 100 different drinks from any of the coca-cola freestyle stations scattered across the parks.

How Much Do Universal Studios Refillable Cups Cost

One of the standard Universal Studios cups is $15.99 + tax. This includes one day of refills (running from midnight to midnight). Remember, if you’re an annual pass holder then you’ll get a discount on Universal Studios food, drink and merchandise.

Discounts on Universal Studios Refillable Cups are available for Universal Studios annual pass holders.

Screenshot above is from Universal Studios Hollywood. Where you’ll find a discount of 15% if you’re a gold or platinum annual pass holder. Discounts are not specified online for annual pass holders at the Orlando Universal Studios resort.

Is There Discounts For Multiple Refillable Cups?

Should you choose to buy multiple drinks cups (for multiple members of your party) or purchase a number of days in advance (of which they must be used in calendar order, for example, buy the cup on the Monday for 4 days, the cup will expire on the Thursday at midnight regardless of whether you use it on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday).

Universal Studios Orlando has recently launched a discount on multiple refillable cups. While one cup will set you back $15.99 + tax you can get;

2 cups for $14.99 plus tax
3 – 6 cups for $12.99 plus tax

Thanks to James for this recent update.

As you’re welcome to share the cup between friends and family members, with a refill every 10 minutes. I’d only suggest purchase multiple cups if you don’t want to share with others.

Read More: How To Visit Bates Motel, Universal Studios Hollywood

Character Cups

If you’re looking at buying a memento then you can purchase a character cup. These cups don’t have free refills, although you get your first fill free. Orlando $0.99 + tax, Hollywood $1.49 + tax per refill.

The cost will be $15.99 + tax at the Universal Studios in Orlando or $16.99 + tax at the Universal Studios in Hollywood

Different character refillable cups at Universal Studios Refillable Cups

At the Universal Studios in Orlando, the character refillable cups are $15.99 + tax.

At the Universal Studios in Hollywood Character, Sipper cups are $16.99 + tax

At the Universal Studios in Hollywood Character, Sipper cups are $16.99 + tax

There’s a variety of characters and styles that you can purchase in both parks in Orlando as well as the Universal Studios in Hollywood. All character cups are the same price regardless of the style.

Here are some of the refillable cup designs you can get at Universal Studios

Where Can You Refill The Universal Studios Refillable Cups?

The image below shows all the coca-cola freestyle stations at Universal Studios as well as Islands of Adventure. The cups are available to be refilled at the new Universal water park in Orlando, Volcano Bay as well as Universal Studios in Hollywood. Maps to follow…

Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Map showing sites for Universal Studios Refillable Cups

Orlando – Universal Studios

mao showing sights for Universal Studios Refillable Cups

Can You Use The Same Refillable Cup On A Different Day At A Different Universal Park?

Yes, once you have your cup you’ll simply pay a reactivation fee + tax which will cover the cup being reactivated and used for that entire day (until midnight). As of 2018, this price is currently $8.99 + tax at Univeral Studios in Hollywood and $7.99 + tax in Universal Studios Orlando – This is ideal for annual pass holders or those who repeatedly visit Universal Studios Theme Parks!

Read More: What To Wear To Universal Studios Hollywood

Can You Use The Refillable Cup At A Universal Resort Hotel?

At this time you are unable to use the refillable cups for unlimited drinks if you’re staying on-site at a Universal Studios hotel. Personally, I think this would be a great benefit to those paying the extra for the exclusivity of staying on-site.

However, Universal Studios Orlando has recently launched refillable cups for resort guests that can be used for fountain drinks inside the hotel grounds only. While this is a great addition to the benefits for on-site guests the ability to have only one cup that works both in the parks and in the hotel would be even better.

Unfortunatly, however Universal confirmed that you can only use the refillable cup at the hotel you bought it at. Meaning if you’re planning on going to visit friends or family in another Universal hotel, or fancy dining out at one of the other hotels resturants you won’t be able to take advantage of your cup.

Benefits & Drawbacks Of The Universal Studios Refillable Cup

Benefits

  • An easy way to keep hydrated
  • Plenty of flavours and choices to choose from
  • Affordable
  • Can be used at meal-times inside the Universal Studios restaurants
  • Can be used at all the Universal Studios theme parks

Drawbacks

  • Can’t be used on hot drinks such as hot tea or coffee as well as specialist drinks such as Iced Tea or Iced Cofee.
  • You have to carry the cup around the park with you.
  • Can only be refilled every 10 minutes so if you don’t like your choice then you’ll need to wait 10 minutes before getting something else.

What Drink Flavours Can I Choose From?

Any of the Coca-Cola drinks from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. These include;

Coca-Cola
Diet Coke
Fanta
Minute Maid
Sprite
Poweraid
And more…

Coca Cola Refillable cup machines at Universal Studios Refillable Cups

Each drink can then be enhanced with a flavor such as; Cherry, Fruit Punch, Lemon, Lime, Strawberry.

There’s also exclusively blended drinks available at each of the parks that can’t be tried anywhere else in the world!

Mixed Berry punch at Volcano bay - Universal Studios Refillable Cups

Are you allowed to share the same cup with others in your party?

If you’re happy to share your Universal Studios Refillable cup with others in your party then sure thing! One thing worth noting, however, is that you are only able to fill your cup up once every 10 minutes. So, be sure you’ve got a flavor that suits everyone.

Read More: Universal Studios Hollywood Parking – Everything You Need To Know! (& More!)

Universal Studios Refillable Cups Value For Money

So, how does the cost of a Universal Studios refillable cup compare to simply purchasing beverages as and when you need them throughout the day.

Bringing Your Own Drinks

Well, if you’re bringing your own drinks to the park then you’ll be saving yourself the full amount of $15.99 + tax. But, in our opinion missing out on the fun of weird, fun and crazy combinations of drinks and refreshing ice cold drinks!

Getting Non-Refillable Drinks At Universal Studios

There is no shortage of places to get refreshing drinks at any of the Universal Studios parks. With many of the parks being in the year-round sunshine, keeping hydrated is very important!

In Starbucks (available in every Universal Studios park we’ve been to except from Volcano Bay in Orlando) you’ll find the best variety of waters, juices and milk based drinks. These prices will range from $3.00 + tax upwards.

Starbucks also offers drinks within the Universal Studios parks. However, these are not refillable and can quickly become very expensive.

Starbucks Coffees are not refillable at Universal Studios. So if you prefrer coffee to fizzy drinks then you’ll probably be better off just visiting Starbucks as and when you need some more caffine.

Starbucks provides drinks that you can't get refillable within the Universal Studios parks. These include hot drinks such as tea and coffee as well as speciality drinks including; iced coffee, smoothies...

Fountain based dispensed drinks are available from most of the quick service and sit down restaurants at Universal Studios parks. with regular drinks retailing at $3.39 + tax and large being $3.79 + tax if you’re likely to purchase more than 4 large drinks a day, you’ll find it cheaper to buy a refillable cup.

Lard Lad Donuts inside Simpsons World at Univeral Studios allows you to purchase souvenir sipper cups as well as fountain drinks.

In selected areas, you’ll also find bottled fizzy drinks. On our recent visit to Universal Studios in Hollywood, 20oz Coke products were available for $3.49 + tax. Again, if you’re expecting to purchase more than 4 of these during your one-day visit to Universal Studios then you’ll save yourself money by purchasing the Universal Studios refillable cups. You’ll also have the choice of more than 100+ drink flavours. 

What Should You Do With Your Refillable Cup After Your Trip?

Save It

If like us you return to Orlando, Florida and the Universal Studios Theme Parks a lot, then consider keeping your cup. It’ll save you money when you return to the parks as you’ll only need to pay the $8 + tax to reactivate your cup instead of the cost of the cup which currently stands at $14 + tax.

Sell it on eBay!

If you’re not planning on visiting the parks again in the future then consider selling your cup on eBay to someone else who could benefit from it.

re-sale value of Universal Studios Refillable Cups on eBay.

Conclusion

In conclusion, with each drink in the parks usually costing around $3 + tax, then there are some big savings to be had with a Universal Studios refillable cup. It’s also a great way in which Universal is tackling single-use plastics. We love the variety of drinks available and honestly, wouldn’t have a trip to any of the Universal Studios parks without one!

If you love theme parks as much as we do then consider checking out our article on one of the Universal Studios Resort Hotels; Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and if you’re looking to make the most out of your trip to Universal, check out our article of Universal Express Pass.

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42 Comments

  1. Lucy
    July 2, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    Great to know! How many oz does the souvenir cup hold….like the one from Volcano Bay that you picture above hold?

    • Helen
      July 31, 2018 / 5:01 pm

      I’m not sure how much it holds. I couldn’t find out as I think they vary too.

  2. Susan
    July 13, 2018 / 4:20 am

    Can I use a cup purchased at volcano Bay at universal

    • Cora
      Author
      July 14, 2018 / 12:22 pm

      Yeah 🙂

  3. Melissa Mcfarland
    August 11, 2018 / 11:50 am

    Can I use a cup from last year, this year?? Thanks

    • Cora
      Author
      August 11, 2018 / 12:15 pm

      You certainly can. Even if it doesn’t work, Universal will replace it free of charge 😀

  4. Nigel Murgatroyd
    August 17, 2018 / 11:25 am

    Hi, we are very lucky this year and going to Universal Hollywood Studios next week and then Orlando in October. Will the Hollywood cup work in Orlando if i pay the reactivation fee?

    • Cora
      Author
      August 18, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      I have absolutely no idea, sorry. My best suggestion would be to take it anyway and give it a go and see what happens. Hopefully, yes! 😀

  5. D
    August 22, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    Thanks for the tips. Traveling with 3 kids. This will definitely save me $$

    • Cora
      Author
      August 23, 2018 / 6:05 pm

      Our pleasure. We’re visiting with three kids next year for our Wedding so we definitely understand your pain when it comes to costs. 😀

  6. Jackie
    September 9, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    Is there anywhere on Universal’s website to find their policy on this? I tried searching and can’t find anything directly from Universal. We have annual passes, and I didn’t know you could bring the cups back day after day, even for a refill cost. That really would be great. And since you can get the cute collector ones (hello, pink donut) that makes it a fun thing that will actually get used!

    • Cora
      Author
      September 10, 2018 / 9:53 am

      Hi Jackie, fellow Universal annual pass holders here!

      We’ve never seen it in writing on the website or on anything inside the park, instead only experienced it first-hand when returning for our visit.

  7. James
    September 10, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    Just got back from Universal and thought I should offer an update. Cups are now 15.99 + tax. There are now discounts for multiple cups: 2 cups are 14.99 + tax each and 3-6 are 12.99 + tax each. No idea, if there more discounts for 7 or more.
    Reactivation of the cup is 7.99 + tax per day.
    Also, the on-site hotels have their own refillable cups, but they don’t work at the park, and the park cups don’t work at the hotels.

    • Cora
      Author
      September 11, 2018 / 12:53 am

      Hi James,

      Thanks so much for the update. We really appreciate it. Is this in Orlando?

      Thanks again.

      • James
        September 11, 2018 / 2:59 pm

        Yeah. Sorry. Realized after I commented that didn’t say I was at the Orlando parks.

        • Cora
          Author
          September 12, 2018 / 12:43 am

          Thanks, I’ve updated the post and credited you. 😀

  8. Marilyn
    September 12, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    Can you use a resort cup from lets say aventura at another resort lets say cabana bay? Dince they are nearby i might be eating back and forth

    • Cora
      Author
      September 13, 2018 / 3:25 am

      Thanks for a great question. I checked with Universal and sadly you’re only able to use the refillable cup for refills at the hotel you bought it at.

  9. Helius
    September 14, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    do they still have the one time refill for $1.99 plus tax?

    • Cora
      Author
      September 15, 2018 / 2:36 pm

      Sorry, not seen that in around 3-years. 🙁

      • Joy
        September 21, 2018 / 3:38 pm

        We did this last year. They don’t advertise it but still do the refills without reactivating the cups chip. The choice of drinks is less than with the freestyle cup but you still get Coke etc

        • Cora
          Author
          September 21, 2018 / 4:16 pm

          Thanks for the heads up Joy! We had no idea 🙂

    • Janet
      October 2, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      Yes they still offer this when you buy the merchandise cups, like captain America shield cup.
      You buy it and get first cup free then £1.99 for additional refills 😜

  10. Simone
    September 29, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    Are still (non fizzy) drinks available? Thanks

    • Cora
      Author
      September 30, 2018 / 2:43 pm

      Yep! 😀

      • Simone
        September 30, 2018 / 4:45 pm

        Great – thanks

  11. Edwin
    September 29, 2018 / 9:38 pm

    Can you use the character cups as refillable cups?

    • Cora
      Author
      September 30, 2018 / 2:43 pm

      Yes but the refill isn’t free like the others.

  12. Chrissy Miles
    October 1, 2018 / 1:59 am

    Can the souvenir cup that I purchased in 2016 be reactivated

    • Cora
      Author
      October 3, 2018 / 8:38 am

      Yes 🙂

  13. Lisa
    October 17, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    Hi,
    Can you tell me how the cups are reactivated. I saw a couple on E-Bay I am interested in buying,
    Just not sure how the reactivation process works.

    • Cora
      Author
      October 19, 2018 / 10:29 am

      You’d just go to a member of the team at one of the refill stations and ask for it to be reactivated 😀

      • Lisa
        October 19, 2018 / 10:38 am

        Great, Thanks so much for the info.

  14. Lori
    October 22, 2018 / 2:25 am

    Do you knownif they sell replacement lids and straws? We have the cup but no lid. Thanks!

    • Cora
      Author
      October 22, 2018 / 11:23 am

      We never saw any for sale. I’m not sure if they will replace as it could leave other cups short but you can try for nothing right?

  15. Danielle
    November 15, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    Hi Cora. I am so confused. Can you tell me the differences between the Coca-Cola Freestyle cup and the Souvenir cup?

    • Cora
      Author
      November 16, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      The refillable cup is the best value for money. It’s not a character designed and can be used throughout your visit to Universal Studios to save money on drinks.

      The souvenir cup can’t be used as a coca-cola freestyle cup and instead just comes with one drink – I think you could possibly get it refilled at an additional cost. These are in character 3d designs. Hope this helps 😀

      • Danielle
        November 16, 2018 / 3:01 pm

        Thank you.

        • Kevin Hawley
          December 17, 2018 / 6:22 am

          Universal Orlando has two different refill programs – the character & souvenir “discounted refill” cup program and the “Coke Freestyle” program.

          The character cups (Minions, Simpsons, etc., usually $15-$16 each) and the more plain souvenir cups that you can buy for $9 are part of the old, regular “discounted refill” plan. They aren’t free to refill, but are $1-$1.50 to refill (see the shelf label in the photo of the transformers mug above).

          The Coke Freestyle program uses special RFID cups that cost $12.99 each for the first day. and $5.99 for the second day. Some discounts are available for multiple cups or longer stays.

          The character/souvenir program can be cheaper, too. Let’s say you’re going to visit for two days. With the Coke Freestyle program, that would cost you about $19 for 2 days ($12.99 for the first day + $5.99 for the second day).

          For the same price, you could buy one of the regular refill mugs ($9) and keep refilling it as often as you want for 99 cents (or more – the Transformer photo says $1.49, but most places charge 99 cents). So, you’d have to drink more than 10 sodas in 2 days to make the Freestyle program pay for itself.

          Of course, the Freestyle program has a lot more drink choices, and you could refill it for other people in your group (as long as you’re willing to wait 5-10 minutes between refills).

          Now, Cabana Bay & Aventura have their own refill cups – the THIRD and FOURTH refill programs! Those are more like the “Coke Freestyle” programs in the parks, where you get a cup with an RFID tag in it that’s good for unlimited refills over a certain number of days. Cabana Bay’s program is called “Sonic Fill”; I’m not sure about Aventura’s. Either way, those cups are ONLY refillable at their respective hotels.

          I hope that clears up some confusion. Universal does NOT make it easy to sort these out!

          • Cora
            Author
            December 18, 2018 / 6:06 pm

            Thanks for sharing this Kevin, I had no idea about the fourth refill programs. Hoping to check out the new Aventura in the New Year! 😀

  16. Jen
    December 17, 2018 / 4:03 am

    I got one in September and it’s great! Thinking of going back next September and of course bringing it. Does anyone know if I don’t reactivate it one day, can I ask for just ice water? I mean 9 bucks a day for unlimited drinks is fine. I’d budget for that (likely more cause it could go up) but I’m just curious if I was only feeling like water on a hot day.

    • Cora
      Author
      December 18, 2018 / 6:05 pm

      Hi Jen,

      I don’t know the answer to this one sadly… We’re going back in March so I’ll give it a go for you and see what happens. If I remember correctly from memory, you don’t need the RFID chip to be ‘active’ to be able to press water… but I’d like to be sure on our next visit for you 🙂

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