Universal Orlando Refillable Cups – The Ultimate Guide!
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Universal Studios in Orlando sells refillable cups at all three parks (Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay) that can be used at Coca-Cola Freestyle machines throughout the day.
A refillable cup costs $17.99 plus tax and includes unlimited drinks every ten minutes until the park closes. Universal Studio’s refillable cups can then be reused and reactivated for $10.99 plus tax and once again used for unlimited drinks every ten minutes until the park closes.
Discounts for multiple refillable cups are available if you’re travelling as a family or a group which can help you save money during your trip.
What Are Universal Studios Refillable Cups
Universal Studios Refillable Cups are big heavy-duty plastic cups with a lid. Previously these cups had a straw and a handle, however, the latest design (2022) has removed these features.
The standard refillable cup has Universal Studio’s branding around the outside. However, special events often have their own designs.
Universal Studio’s refillable cups have an RFID chip embedded inside the bottom (which can not be accessed without cutting the cup open).
When you purchase your cup for the first time, the staff member will place the cup on a special machine at check-out and activate the RFID chip.
Then when you go ahead and use the cup at one of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines around the park you’ll be required to place the cup and subsequently the embedded RFID chip on a scanner which will then allow you to select the drink you’d like from the machine.
How Much Do Universal Studios Refillable Cups Cost
The cost of a Universal Studios refillable cup in Orlando varies depending on the number of cups you’re looking to purchase.
For one Universal Studios refillable cup you’ll pay $17.99 plus tax.
However, if you’re looking for two Universal Studios refillable cups you’ll pay $15.99 plus tax (per cup) while for three or more you’ll pay $13.99 plus tax (per cup).
The price you pay when purchasing the cup provides you with the cup itself and drinks at the Coca-Cola Freestyle locations every ten minutes until the park closes.
Eligible Universal Studios Annual Pass holders are also able to use their discount when purchasing and reactivating a refillable cup.
Reusing Universal Studios Refillable Cups
If you would like to use your refillable cup on another day then you’ll need to reactive your cup for an additional $10.99 plus tax.
Reactivation can be done at any of the Coca-Cola Freestyle locations within the park and can be done on any eligible Universal Studios refillable cup.
As such if you have a Universal Studios refillable cup from a previous vacation you will be able to reuse it and reactivate it to save money.
If you forget your refillable cup then you will have to buy a new one at the cost of $17.99 plus tax.
How Long Do Universal Refillable Cups Last?
Once you’ve purchased or reactivated your cup then the RFID chip will be active for the entire day at all participating Coca-Cola Freestyle locations until the park closes.
From there you’ll continue being able to reactive and use your Universal Studios refillable cup inside the parks for as long as the RFID chip works.
I’ve actually taken a cup home with me and brought it back to the parks four years later and reactivated it to use on my vacation without any issues.
What Drinks Can You Get With A Universal Studios Refillable Cup?
Once you’ve purchased your Universal Studios refillable cup you’re able to fill it up with a range of drinks from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines or ICEE drinks from all eligible locations within the parks.
Coca-Cola Freestyle machines provide you with more than 100 different drink combinations from classic Coca-Cola through to cherry Coke Zero.
Universal Studios Souvenir Character Cups
If you’re looking to enhance your style and have a cool souvenir to take home from your trip then you may look at purchasing a Universal Studios souvenir character cup.
These cups are not refillable and do not have the RFID chip inside them that you would find inside the Coca-Cola Freestyle cups.
Instead, these cups currently cost $18 plus tax and include a complimentary refill at any eligible location within the park.
However, after this, any refill of this cup comes at the regular menu price of $4.19 plus tax for Coca-Cola branded fountain sodas or $6.00 plus tax for ICEE drinks.
As such I do not recommend purchasing this cup with the idea of saving money and instead just see it as a super cool and very practical souvenir to take home.
Using Universal Studios Hotel Refillable Cups At The Universal Studios Parks
Sadly you are not able to use the Universal Studios refillable cups purchased inside a Universal Studios hotel inside any of the Universal Studios parks.
This means guests looking to enjoy unlimited refillable drinks at a Universal Studios hotel such as Cabana Bay, Aventura, Endless Summer etc. will have to purchase a refillable cup at the hotel and then separate refillable cup at the parks.
Sadly you’re also unable to use the hotel refillable cups at different hotels.
This means if you purchase your hotel refillable cup at Cabana Bay, then all refills of that cup are only possible at Cabana Bay and not at any of the other on-site Universal Studios hotels.
Can Universal Studios Refillable Cups Be Used For Butterbeer?
Sadly you are unable to use a Universal Studios refillable cup with Butterbeer. Instead, Butterbeer will come in its own specially designed plastic cup.
It’s also worth noting that there are no Coca-Cola Freestyle locations inside either of the Wizarding Worlds (Diagon Alley or Hogsmede). As such I recommend topping up your refillable cup before entering this area of the park.
Are Universal Studios Refillable Cups Worth It?
Over the past decade, we’ve been to Universal Studios as broke students and as more middle-class adults and throughout all those trips we’ve always purchased a Universal Studios refillable cup.
Our decision to purchase a Universal Studios refillable cup even when travelling to Universal Studios on a strict budget is a testament to what fantastic value for money we think the programme is.
At the time of writing a fountain beverage at Universal Studios is $4.19 plus tax while one refillable cup is $17.99 plus tax.
As such if you’re visiting the parks for just one day then you’d need to purchase five or more fountain beverages in order for the refillable cup to be worthwhile.
However, given that the cost of reactivating a cup is cheaper if you’re visiting Universal Studios for three days then the number of drinks you need to break even each day is reduced.
For example, if choose to purchase the cup on day one ($17.99 plus tax) and then reactivate the cup twice, once on day two and again on day three ($10.99 plus tax each time) you’ll have spent a total of $39.97 plus tax.
In which case you’d need to purchase ten or more fountain beverages over the three days in order for the refillable cup to be worthwhile.
As such if you’re only refilling the cup once or twice each day, or alternatively happy to bring in a water bottle and drink water during your trip then this may not be the right option for you.
What Happens If Your Universal Studios Refillable Cup Breaks?
During our most recent trip to Universal Studios Orlando, I noticed that our refillable cup was leaking and some of the beverage was spilling out as I went to drink.
In this case, I took the cup to one of the nearby Coca-Cola refill stations and spoke to a member of staff who was able to replace the cup with a new one without any issues.