No matter the time of year, Florida can be a hot and humid place to try to walk around an amusement park.
It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, but do you have to pay for water at Universal Orlando?
Universal Orlando provides free water throughout the park, no need to pay four dollars for a bottle of water. You can find water fountains and bottle refill stations around busy areas of the park. Alternatively, you can ask for water or a cup of ice at any place that serves food or drinks.
In this article we’ll go over all the ways you can get free water at Universal Orlando, what other options are available for you to get a drink, and discuss the things you can and can’t bring with you into the parks.
Where Can You Get Free Water At Universal Orlando?
Trying to buy bottled water for a family can get expensive quickly at a theme park. At around four dollars a bottle, buying a few multiple times a day will quickly dent your wallet.
Thankfully, bottled water and fountain drinks aren’t your only option to stay hydrated.
Under Florida law, public places (including theme parks) must provide drinkable water to guests.
That means no matter where you go inside Universal Orlando, you’ll be able to find a drink for free.
Inside the park, there are tons of restaurants, snack counters, and stalls that offer food and beverages.
Sit-down restaurants will give you free water when you purchase a meal when you request it.
The service counters not only offer free water but frequently pour them in advance to give out when people request it. They will have cups of ice water ready to go during the hotter months.
There are also Freestyle machines inside the park for guests to get their own drinks. If you’re unfamiliar, these machines are drink fountains that allow guests to choose from several soda flavor combinations.
Anywhere you find a Freestyle machine, you can ask for a cup and fill it with ice. The machine doesn’t dispense soda without an activated cup, but your water cup or bottle can be filled with crushed ice.
Even Starbucks counters will give you a free large cup of ice water if you ask.
All of these locations will also fill up your water bottle for free as well.
Universal allows guests to bring in a backpack to carry personal items and up to two liters of water when they enter the park. Glass bottles are not allowed, but metal and plastic bottles are perfectly fine.
Bringing your own water is an excellent way to stay hydrated and save money and you’ll have no problems refilling your water bottle inside the park.
Outside of typical restaurants and snack counters, there are many places to fill up your water bottle or grab a quick sip.
Water fountains and refill stations are numerous inside the park, near bathrooms and the attractions with the most traffic.
If you’re around something like Harry Potter World, expect longer lines to refill your bottles.
Are There Any Options If You Don’t Want Water?
If you’re thirsty for something other than water, you can still save some money inside the park grounds.
Universal Orlando offers two refillable cup options for guests. Once purchased, they stay activated until the park closes in the evening.
Souvenir cups start at $16.99. The cups are huge and are a great souvenir to take home.
Refills for the cup cost $1.49, which is much less than purchasing a new fountain drink each time you get thirsty.
You can also bring souvenir cups back to the park another day and reactivate them for $10.99.
You can also purchase a freestyle cup to use at the Coke Freestyle machines inside the park. These start at $16.99, but purchasing multiple cups can get you a slight discount.
Two cups knock a dollar off the price, while three to six cups bring the price of each one down to $13.99.
These cups can be used at Freestyle Coke machines any time throughout the day.
Refills are free as long as you have your cup and give you a huge range of options to choose from for each drink.
What Else Can You Bring Into Universal Orlando?
Universal allows guests to bring their own water bottles into the parks, but what else is allowed in, and are there any restrictions?
When you enter the park, you’ll be subjected to an X-ray scan and a biometric scan.
The biometric one sounds scary, but it’s just a fingerprint scanner linked to your ticket to prevent multiple uses by different people.
Any of your bags are subject to search by security officials as well, so don’t try to sneak in anything illicit.
The list of restricted items is pretty straightforward and has most of the things you would expect to be on it.
You can’t bring any of these into Universal Orlando:
- Non-prescription or illegal drugs
- Weapons (firearms, blades, explosives) or anything that resembles a weapon (such as a toy gun or prop)
- Suitcases and bags with wheels
- Animals and pets that are not service animals
- Vehicles not needed because of disability (scooters, hoverboards, or drones)
- Anything the park deems offensive such as clothing (at the discretion of park officials)
Universal Orlando does allow a range of food and drinks into the park, which is a great way to save money.
Water bottles (under two liters), snacks that don’t need to be heated, baby food/formula, and anything medically necessary is all acceptable to bring in.
Hard-sided coolers, glass containers, and open containers/alcohol are prohibited.
If you want to avoid paying for food and drinks while inside the parks, you absolutely can.
Pack a small soft cooler or a backpack with snacks or sandwiches and bring a large water bottle to refill throughout the day.
It’s the perfect way to save that money for an extra butterbeer or tasty bite.
Free water can be found throughout Universal Orlando.
There are water fountains and water bottle refill stations everywhere and you can request a cup of ice or water at any service counter with a soda fountain.
You can also bring your own water bottle into the park and have it refilled at no charge.
It’s a great way to save money and stay hydrated while you enjoy the parks.