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Eating in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Potter stories are filled with exotic foodstuffs and impossible beverages that have had readers salivating for years. In bringing to life the Wizarding World, J.K. Rowling was just as involved with the creation of comestibles as she was with the rides. Executive Chef Steven Jayson worked to ensure everything not only looked, smelled, and tasted as Rowling described, but also met her standards for nutrition. And ingredients for everything had to be shipped to Scotland for her personal approval. That’s why you’ll find Butterbeer and pumpkin juice to drink, but no corn syrup-based Coke products.

Speaking of Butterbeer, it’s the most popular drink on everyone’s lips (literally), and every bit as good as you’ve dreamed. It’s a vanilla shortbread cookie flavored soda, with a thick head of butterscotch non-dairy whipped topping. It’s sweet but not overbearingly cloying and almost universally adored. The only debate is “cold” vs. slushie-style “frozen.” We vote for frozen while standing outside in line, then cold with your meal. A disposable cup will cost about $3 cold and $4 frozen. A 16-ounce souvenir vessel is $10 to $11, and can be refilled for the disposable price.

Tip: It’s almost always quicker to get a Butterbeer inside the air-conditioned Hog’s Head Pub or Three Broomsticks restaurant than at the scenic cart in the center of Hogsmeade’s thoroughfare. Three Broomsticks offers a nine-ounce cup for $2, if you just want a sample.

Pumpkin juice ($6) is more of an acquired taste. People either love its Thanksgiving pie spices and pulpy texture, or can’t take more than a sip. Some say it’s better at room temperature. We say the best part is the cute pumpkin-topped bottle. Other unusual drinks available in Three Broomsticks include pumpkin fizz (carbonated pumpkin juice) and non-alcoholic apple or pear cider ($3).

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Universal Orlando 2011

 

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