Butter Beer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Butterbeer Harry Potter butter beer
Got butterbeer?

Butter Beer

What is it?  What does Butterbeer taste like?

A review of Butterbeer from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

by Laurel Smith, Roadtrip Mom

What is it?
Butterbeer -- It's what wizards drink!  Universal Orlando's "Islands of Adventure" theme park is where you can visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here is where you get to savor a favorite wizard drink! Butterbeer is a favorite treat of Harry and his friends.  It was also a favorite treat of my family during our visit to the Wizarding World. We drank gallons of it during our 2-1/2 day visit to Universal's theme parks.  You can't get it anywhere else, so don't miss it while you're there.

What does Butter Beer taste like?
It is a non-alcoholic butterscotch flavored creme soda drink (like a root beer) with a whipped cream frothy top. It slightly resembles a root beer float.  It has two parts -- soda and whip cream topping.  The soda is basically a regular creme soda, very tasty and not too sweet.  The topping which is added after it is poured, is a butterscotch flavored whipped cream. 

Butterbeer comes frozen or regular. Both were delicious, although we seemed to prefer the regular butterbeer over the frozen treat. 

At first it seems like they only add a small amount of the whipped cream topping, but after a minute or two, the bubbles from your soda float up and inflate your topping, making it up to an inch thick!  Delectable when it is all over your upper lip.

Do Adults like it?
ButterbeerI have to be honest and say that I did not expect to like it as much as I did.  It was much better!  I thought it would be far too sweet tasting, but it was just right. The only really sweet part is the butterscotch whip cream topping which is delicious in small doses (like the way I enjoy frosting on a cake).   The soda part is just the right sweetness, and nothing beats the fun feeling of having that creamy foam all over your upper lip when you drink it.  MMmmmm.  I was delightfully surprised with how much I liked it. 

Our entire family gave it THUMBS UP with no question. We drank it every chance we got.   They also sell it in a cool souvenir cup.

Secret Magical Butterbeer Trick 
We learned this from a staff member at the park who "warned us" not to use a straw.  If you insert a straw into the drink, it will start bubbling up like magic!  The straw causes the carbon dioxide to expand rapidly in the drink.  If you leave the straw in, it will bubble up to the point it may flow over the sides of your cup. Messy, but fun. I didn't believe it would work either, but it really did.  The mess part is exactly why they don't give out straws with the regular butterbeer when they serve this drink. We did get straws with our frozen version, but the frozen butterbeer didn't have the same magical quality as the regular.

Don't Wait in Line at the Cart
When you first enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, on of the first things you see is the big cart in the middle of the street selling butterbeer.  Naturally it has a very long line in front of it.  Instead, go into the Hog's Head Pub using rear entrance from the patio. For some reason, most people don't even notice that entrance. It's just to the right of the Three Broomsticks restaurant. Go into the back patio and enter from the rear. The line at the pub for butterbeer is very short, and there is the added advantage of being able to order a real English beer (Ale) while you're at the pub too.

Wizards also drink Pumpkin Juice
Our family visited Universal during Thanksgiving, so we certainly didn't pass up the opportunity too taste the pumpkin juice as well. While the butterbeer got four thumbs up, the pumpkin juice was 3 to 1 against it.  My son seemed to like it, but the rest of us were not pleased (see photo below).  Pumpkin juice is made mostly of apple juice with some pureed bits of pumpkin in it, along with a little pumpkin spice (cinnamon and nutmeg would be my guess).  You can see the small bits floating around. It definitely had a pumpkin flavor to it, but just didn't seem to go with the apple juice.  Oh well, I guess they can't all be home runs.

Butterbeer vs Pumpkin Juice:
We love Butterbeer
We loved Butterbeer!!
Pumpkin Juice
Pumpkin juice -- not so much

(FYI, my daughter is wearing a paper Pilgrim hat in these photos that we made while waiting to get into the park on Thanksgiving Day)

Recipe for home-made butterbeer
Butterbeer is not hard to make at home if you have the right ingredients. However, there are many recipes to choose from and none of them seem to be exactly what we had at the park. Apparently the best place to drink butter beer is at Hogsmeade.  Here are the top ten butterbeer recipes if you want an easy-to-make version, but none of these seemed to quite do it for us.  I did finally find a recipe for butterbeer on MyBakingdom that is supposedly approved by JK Rowling. It is definitely the closest. 

Before you Go - Get a Guide Book!

You can't possibly get all the good tricks and tips from a few articles online. You need a complete guidebook. I highly recommend the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World & Universal which includes a brand new complete section for the Universal theme parks including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is part of Universal Islands of Adventure.

My favorite part of this book is the touring plans that help you map your route through the park to make the most of it. This book was invaluable to me and my family prior and during our visit to Universal's Theme parks as well as the Disney resorts. 

So go drink butterbeer with the wizards!  Enjoy!  Cheers!!!

And,  before you go, be sure to check out my personal TIPS For visiting Universal Orlando Theme Parks!  We hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.

--Laurel (Road Trip Mom)

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