One of the catchphrases I started using states “Eat like you mean it!” I have no idea where that came from originally, I think it was a play on a promotional slogan for Universal Orlando but cannot remember. Still, one thing I continue to state about Universal Orlando involves the improvement of their food and beverages over the last eight to nine years. New dining concepts have emerged. Better food and beverage preparation is happening now. Far more made to order food items exist at Universal Orlando. Some of the best theme park resorts food courts reside within Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel.
In what seems like an annual tradition now, Universal Orlando annual passholder appreciation days covers half of August and all of September. In a different article, I covered the general details of this special event for passholders including food/beverage at the on-site resort hotels. Still, I want you to eat like you mean it. I desire for you not to waste time on below average quick service burgers and pizza. For annual passholders (or those who want to become one), Universal Orlando presented some exclusive dining options for passholders during this event. Some of these return from previous passholder seasonal appreciation days. Yet, many serve as brand new menu items for passholders to enjoy. I will list them and point out ones that resemble or, in fact, are same as a previous passholder event.
At Universal Studios Florida theme park, the two full-service dining options represent with passholder exclusive items. At Lombard’s Seafood Grille, a new unique item will be offered. The “Crab Okonomiyaki” will cost $16. This Asian style savory crab comes with a cabbage pancake, hoisin, wasabi mayo, frisee salad, and sriracha drizzles. This sounds like a creative and distinctive menu item. We hope this one offers more value and quality than previous passholder days exclusive menu items at Lombard’s.
To the joy of many passholders, the “Maloney Stack Burger” returns to Finnegan’s Bar and Grille. This half pound burger comes with braised short rib, beer battered onion rings, and ale cheese. Wedge fries come as a side. This burger and fries cost $18.95, before your annual pass discount, if applicable. This menu item returns with a slight price increase. Unless new information arrives, I doubt I will review this one. Yet, if you want to read the review from last year, click here.
Over in Islands of Adventure, we got several new passholder exclusive food items for passholder days. In fact, we got one odd inclusion that still confuses me. Starting at Mythos, Passholders may order “Hummus Kawarma.” This appetizer will feature lemon hummus, spiced ground lamb, toasted pine nuts, charred scallions, and some grilled pita. This menu item costs $15.
If you desire quick service style exclusive passholder food items, we can visit Comic Strip Café and Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-Pendous. At the fairly recently reopened Comic Strip Café, in Toon Lagoon, passholders may buy a “Brisket Grilled Cheese.” This sandwich takes Texas toast then stuffs it with shaved brisket, hickory flavored BBQ sauce, provolone cheese, and cheddar cheese. As you might expect, this comes with fries. This menu item costs $13.49 before applicable passholder discounts. Yet, over at Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-Pendous, the “Willy Wallo Lasso” will be a vegan fettucine alfredo costing $13.
The odd addition for this passholder days exclusive comes from Confisco Grille. They will be serving Dan Dan Noodles. The menu description looks the same as when these were sold during the mini-passholder perks days in May. This spicy Sichuan noodles dish already has a review from May if you want to view that. My surprise involves many guest reports that these noodles have been available to order since the beginning of June. I may be misinformed but that does not sound very exclusive if anyone could order them over the summer. These noodles cost $21.95.
If a passholder decides to visit Volcano Bay water park, an exclusive food item resides there also.
The “Island Chicken Pancit Bowl” found at Whakawaiwai Eats costs $16.99. The menu description reads “sautéed vegetables, noodles and grilled chicken tossed in a sweet and tangy Island sauce.”
The vast majority of the Universal Orlando CityWalk restaurants offer exclusive passholder options. The Mango Ginger Kiss doughnut at Voodoo Doughnut returns from the May event. This doughnut will cost $3.75. A review of this doughnut from the previous appearance may be found here.
The list of other passholder exclusive food items in CityWalk looks like this:
Description: Birria style Grilled Quesadillas with Braised Short ribs, Black Beans, Menonita Cheese and Queso Fresco topped with ranchera sauce and queso, Served with Guacamole & House Rice.
Location: Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food
Price: $17.95 +tax
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Description: Grilled Chicken & Penne Pasta tossed in a Cajun Boursin Cheese Cream Sauce.
Location: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville®
Price: $19.95 +tax
Description: Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan Lemon, Fresh Basil, Chili Oil, Cavatappi pasta
Location: The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
price: $15.95 +tax
Description: Paccheri pasta, Calamari Tubes, Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Tomato Broth.
Location: VIVO Italian Kitchen
price: $24 +tax
Crawfish Etouffee Nachos
Description: Cajun Spiced Fried Tortilla chips, Crawfish Etouffee, Cheddar & Jack cheese, Sour cream, Green Onions.
Location: Pat’ O Brien’s®
Price: $14.95 +tax
Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding
Description: Served with whiskey caramel, maple pecan ice cream.
Location: Bigfire American Fare
Price: $10 +tax
Description: 8 oz Beef Patty, Sweet & Sour Peanut Sauce, Tangy Carrot & Cabbage Slaw, Toasted Brioche Bun.
Location: NBC Sports Grill and Brew
Price: $16.95 +tax
Description: Grilled Beef Loin Kabobs served with beef gravy, island rice and seasonal vegetables.
Location: Bob Marley-A Tribute to Freedom
Price: $21.95 +tax
Mt. Fuji Ro]]
Description: Tempura Shrimp Kani, jalapeno cream cheess and avocado flash fried. Topped with chipotle salmon, Tuna & a Pickled Apple Onion Slaw, with scallions and sesame seeds.
Location: The Cowfish®
price: $20 +tax
If you are a foodie and a passholder to Universal Orlando, then August 15th through September 30th offers you an excellent chance to try new things. As always, eat like you mean it!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.