Guests to Universal Orlando can now place food orders from their phones for select in-park dining locations, replicating a feature Disney World has offered for more than a year.
Using the feature will require guests to download the official Universal Orlando Resort app, create an account and link a credit or debit card. After making their selections and tapping the “prepare my order” option, guests will be alerted when their food is ready to be picked up.
“After you place your order in the app, you don’t have to go the dining location right away,” Universal Orlando spokesperson Hailey Fitch wrote on the Universal blog. “So if you want to ride your favorite attraction before grabbing your food — you can. The venue will not make your food until you tap ‘Prepare My Order.’”
The new ordering system will not be available to guests using annual passholder discounts, gift cards or the Universal Dining Plan. For the time being, they’ll have to place food orders with a cashier as usual.
Mobile ordering is now available at five in-park restaurants around Universal Orlando: Café 4, the Captain America Diner and The Burger Digs in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Richter’s Burger Co. and Mel’s Drive-In inside Universal Studios Florida. The latter locations will have mobile ordering available during Halloween Horror Nights.
Universal’s service will have some work to do to catch up to Disney’s own mobile ordering system. First tested in 2015 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the service was rolled out with the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in May 2017. It’s now available at more than 20 locations in all four Disney World parks and Disney Springs. Like Universal, Disney guests using its dining plan were initially unable to use mobile ordering, but that functionality was added to the My Disney Experience app in January.