Whether the universe created by author J.K. Rowling, the related films or the enchantingly immersive lands at Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has produced its fair share of pop-culture icons. However, for those visiting the Universal Orlando theme parks, arguably none have had as far-reaching of an influence as the magical realm’s delicious Butterbeer.
Universal Studios’ iteration has been such a hit that, along with the classic Butterbeer drink, it’s even spawned sweet-treat spinoffs like Butterbeer ice cream, fudge and potted cream. In other words, just like you can’t go on a Walt Disney World vacation without meeting Mickey Mouse or travel to SeaWorld without seeing a dolphin or orca show, you can’t visit Universal Orlando and not give one (or more!) of the several kinds of Butterbeer a try.
However, for muggles wanting to follow in the footsteps (er, taste buds?) of The Boy Who Lived, it can be tricky trying to decide which version of Butterbeer at Universal is worth your precious money, time and stomach space. Not to mention, you also need to know where each of these delectable drinks and dishes are available and, of course, how much they all cost. (A Universal Orlando vacation doesn’t come cheap, y’all—especially not for wannabe witches and wizards making their way through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.)
Never fear! With this handy-dandy guide, we’ve done all of the groundwork for you. So, bring your appetite as we dig into everything there is to know about Butterbeer at Universal Orlando, from its bewitching history and flavor to each of the Butterbeer-infused incarnations, including what they taste like, where to find them and how much they cost.
What Is Butterbeer?
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books or movies, chances are you’ve dreamt of sipping on a frothy mug of Butterbeer while strolling through the provincial streets of Hogsmeade or between shopping stops along Diagon Alley. This magical beverage has captured the hearts and taste buds of wizards, witches and muggles alike ever since it leapt from the pages to the silver screen and, eventually, the Universal theme parks, becoming one of the most sought-after treats at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
But what exactly is Butterbeer, and where did it come from? Let’s take a look into its enchanting history.
A Brief History of the Magical Drink
In terms of its first literary appearance in the Harry Potter series, Butterbeer was first mentioned in J.K. Rowling’s third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as a popular beverage among both Hogwarts students and professors during their visits to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade Village. However, its real-world roots actually run much deeper.
When creating her fictional universe, Rowling was inspired by actual aspects of British life through the ages. As a result, the decadent drink is thought to be based on Tudor-era “buttered beere,” which was a boozy concoction made from butter, beer, sugar, warming spices and eggs that was first referenced in 1588 A.D. in The Good Huswife’s Handmaide for the Kitchin.
The magic truly came alive Universal Orlando partnered with J.K. Rowling herself to develop an authentic recipe for their theme parks’ guests, working closely with J.K. Rowling herself, Chef Steven Jayson, Universal’s corporate executive chef, to craft something that would transport guests straight into the realm of Rowling’s creation. When The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Orlando in 2010, fans of The Boy Who Lived finally had an opportunity to taste this legendary drink for themselves. Since then, millions have flocked to Hogsmeade Village at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida just for a taste.
What Does Butterbeer Taste Like?
Butterbeer has been charming muggles ever since its introduction in J.K. Rowling’s beloved series. But just what does this enchanting elixir taste like? According to the author, Butterbeer is meant to taste like “less-sickly butterscotch.” In practice, it’s described as a delightful mix of butterscotch, shortbread, caramel and cream soda.
In addition to its addictive flavor (seriously, you have been warned), one of the highlights of Universal’s Butterbeer drinks, in particular, is the thick layer of heavenly foam that comes on top of each one. Reminiscent of whipped topping or marshmallow fluff, it adds even more richness to this already delectable drink, making for the perfect finishing touch to this bewitching beverage (and also the best foam mustache). One thing is certain: once you take your first sip or bite, you’re sure to be under its spell.
What Kinds of Butterbeer Bevvies & Bites Are Available?
There’s no doubt that Butterbeer’s sweet and velvety flavor profile makes it a must-try for any Harry Potter fan visiting Universal Orlando. Luckily, Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter offers something for everyone, with not only three varieties of Butterbeer beverages but also three different sweet treats featuring the flavor. Sounds tasty, right? Let’s tuck in!
If you’re looking for the original Butterbeer, this is it. Perfect for those hot Central Florida days, Cold Butterbeer is smooth yet slightly carbonated and served chilled. The sweetness level for Cold Butterbeer is up there, but pretty middle of the road when compared to the other two drinks. So, keep that in mind when making your decision.
This is the other regular Butterbeer at Universal Studios to make its debut alongside the rest of The Wizarding World. Ideal for fans who prefer their treats frosty-cold like an enchanted winter day at Hogwarts Castle, Frozen Butterbeer is a slushy version that features all of the delicious flavors found in its warmer counterparts but with an icy twist that will keep you cool during your theme-park adventures. Where the drinks are concerned, Frozen Butterbeer has the upper hand in terms of sweetness.
With a rich and smooth texture similar to hot chocolate and hints of caramel, Hot Butterbeer is (you guessed it) served hot, offering cozy comfort in every steamy sip. Since this is the least sweet of the beverages, Hot Butterbeer isn’t just a great option for during the cooler winter months. It’s also a good choice for those who prefer more subtle sweetness to an over-the-top sugar rush.
Butterbeer Ice Cream
Looking for some chilly refreshment that isn’t quite as sweet as Frozen Butterbeer? Then Butterbeer Ice Cream is for you. One of the more mellow iterations of the flavor, Butterbeer Ice Cream is one of the shining stars of Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour and is perfect for those sweltering Florida days when a cold drink just won’t cut it. Here, you can enjoy a waffle cone of this creamy, dreamy soft-serve ice cream. Or, for hard-packed ice cream with a similar flavor profile to Butterbeer Ice Cream, opt for a dish of Salted Caramel Blondie instead. To bump up the Butterbeer flavor, turn it into a sundae (in a souvenir cup, naturally) with a crown of whipped cream and, if you’re feeling cheeky, a drizzle of caramel syrup.
For real sugar cravings, satisfy your sweet tooth even further by trying some Butterbeer Fudge. The sweetest of all things Butterbeer at Universal, Butterbeer Fudge sandwiches together layers of butterscotch flavor and buttery shortbread for a taste sensation that is bound to leave you taking bite after bite.
Butterbeer Potted Cream
From in-your-face sweetness to more mellow flavors, Butterbeer Potted Cream is perfect for those who prefer the creamy side of Butterbeer to take center stage. Smooth custard at the bottom gets a kiss of butterscotch flavor in the form of a layer of sweet-yet-salty butterscotch syrup on the top. The whole thing comes in an adorable jar, adding a further element of coziness to the dessert.
Where to Find Butterbeer at Universal Orlando Resort
Now that you know what kind of Butterbeer-infused creation you’d like to try during your visit to Harry Potter World, you’re probably wondering where you can find all of them. Fear not, fellow wizards and witches! We’ve got the lowdown on where to find this magical concoction in its various incarnations throughout the park.
Hot, Cold & Frozen Butterbeer Drinks
No matter if you’re visiting Diagon Alley in Universal Studios or Hogsmeade Village in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the classic Butterbeer drinks can be found at several locations within each of the parks. If you like, you can even request yours in a souvenir mug, so you can always remember your very first taste.
Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
Visit the Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune or one of the Butterbeer street carts scattered around Diagon Alley when you want to get your fix in Universal Studios.
Hogsmeade Village in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Head over to Hog’s Head Pub, the Three Broomsticks or Butterbeer street carts located throughout Hogsmeade for your choice of beverage.
Butterbeer Potted Cream, Fudge & Ice Cream
Last but not least, indulge in some delectable Butterbeer Potted Cream, Fudge or Ice Cream. You’ll find these tasty treats at the following spots.
Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
Cap off a meal worthy of Harry Potter at the Leaky Cauldron with some Butterbeer Potted Cream. Or, if you’re craving something sweeter, wander over to the nearby Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop for a decadent piece of Butterbeer Fudge. Alternatively, much like regular Butterbeer at Universal Orlando, soft-serve Butterbeer Ice Cream is a Diagon Alley staple and is on the menu at several dining locations. While Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour is an obvious favorite, it’s also available next door in The Fountain of Fair Fortune, around the corner in the Leaky Cauldron and on the opposite side of Diagon Alley at The Hopping Pot.
Hogsmeade Village in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
For a more delicate take on the classic Wizarding World flavor, Butterbeer Potted Cream and Butterbeer Ice Cream are both available in Universal Studios at the Three Broomsticks. Butterbeer Fudge, meanwhile, can be found just a short walk away at the Honeydukes candy shop.
How Much Does Butterbeer Cost?
Not sure if you have room in your budget for a serving (or three) of Butterbeer at Universal Orlando? Don’t worry—we’ve got all of the pricing details for different types of Butterbeer drinks and treats right here. Just remember that prices are subject to change, so always double-check before making your purchase.
- Cold Butterbeer – $7.99
- Frozen Butterbeer – $7.99
- Hot Butterbeer – $7.99
- Butterbeer Potted Cream – $5.99
- Butterbeer Fudge – $4.95
- Butterbeer Ice Cream – $5.99
Are there still some things you’re wondering about Butterbeer at Universal Orlando? Read on as we tackle all of your pressing questions about this iconic drink and its related desserts.
How many kinds of Butterbeer are at Universal Orlando?
There are currently six different incarnations of Butterbeer at Universal, including:
- Cold Butterbeer
- Frozen Butterbeer
- Hot Butterbeer
- Butterbeer Ice Cream
- Butterbeer Potted Cream
- Butterbeer Fudge
That said, given the popularity of the flavor, don’t be surprised if Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood come out with a new Butterbeer offering sometime in the future.
What is the best Butterbeer at Universal?
Along with weather-related factors (much like hot chocolate, Hot Butterbeer is much more enjoyable during the colder months than when it’s steamy outside), it really comes down to personal preference. Are you more of a dessert person or a drink person? Do you like things to be super sugary (like Butterbeer Fudge) or more subtly sweet (like Butterbeer Potted Cream or Ice Cream)? My personal favorite of them all is the classic Cold Butterbeer because cool enough to be refreshing without giving me a brain freeze with a rich and creamy sweetness that I can’t get enough of.
Is there a vegan Butterbeer available?
Yes! If you’re a plant-based eater looking to try Butterbeer, vegan versions of both the cold and frozen options are available in Diagon Alley at the Leaky Cauldron and in Hogsmeade at the Three Broomsticks.
Is there alcohol in Butterbeer?
Although Butterbeer was described in the books as having a slightly alcoholic content that causes house elves to get a little tipsy, Universal Orlando’s version is alcohol-free. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. For those hoping to try alcoholic Butterbeer, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves at home and make your own.
Is there a Butterbeer recipe?
Oh, so many! Although the exact recipe used for Butterbeer at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is still a mystery, a quick Google search reveals a tantalizing array of recipes that are sure to scratch that Butterbeer itch even if you’re far from the parks. And we aren’t just talking about drinks. Cupcakes, cookies, pancakes, cheesecake—you name it, it’s out there.
Well, Butterbeer fans, that brings our guide to this tasty Universal Orlando beverage to an end. What’s your favorite way to buy Butterbeer at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure? Let us know in the comments! Then, learn how you can magically stretch your travel budget to afford even more Butterbeer at Universal Orlando with our discount Universal tickets.