The Christmas season is our absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rearview mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation for the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2022, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.
Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on the property. Bonus points are awarded for the atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!
The Drink – Hot Butterbeer
Location – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hot Butterbeer is hands down the best version of Butterbeer available in the Wizarding World. Hot Butterbeer made its debut during the 2014 A Celebration of Harry Potter, and to steal a phrase from Disney, was limited time magic. Muggles who had tasted it talked about how incredible it was, but finding it was harder than tracking down one of Voldemort’s horcruxes. Hot Butterbeer was only available in the mornings, and then completely disappeared into a Gringotts’ bank vault when the Celebration event ended.
Thankfully Hot Butterbeer returned to our world for the holidays of 2014, and made an annual return every winter until the summer of 2021 when it FINALLY was on the menu all year long.
Warm and creamy, similar to hot chocolate, Hot Butterbeer is like drinking a Werther’s Original candy and topped with a foam made of dreams and wishes. It’s perfect.
Let’s check out some of the other versions of Butterbeer available in Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley, starting with classic Butterbeer – the drink which can all but takes credit for making the Universal Orlando Resort what it is today. We all know the Wizarding World was a smash hit when it made its debut at Islands of Adventure in 2010, but as the story goes, sales of Butterbeer were so tremendous that Universal made back its entire Potter investment within six months. It was not uncommon to see 20, 30 minute lines or more of people just waiting to get Butterbeer. This was a drink that people had read about in the Potter books as well as seen in the movies and have always wanted to taste. Universal made Butterbeer real, and in a twist worthy of M Night Shyamalan, it was one of the best drinks you ever had in a theme park. Maybe that’s the immersive theming talking, or maybe it’s the vanilla creamy “head” of the drink which makes every sip wonderful, but classic Butterbeer is the true Chosen One.
The people who enjoy Frozen Butterbeer swear by it. One might immediately think this would be like frozen Coke, basically a slush version of Butterbeer, but it’s better than that. Much better. The texture is smooth and this can be an incredibly satisfying drink on one of those unbearably hot summer Orlando days (which are all the days that end in “Y”.)
Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley is basically the greatest ice cream shop in theme park history. Everyone has their favorite flavor. Apple Crumble. Chocolate Chili. Orange Marmalade. Salted Caramel Blondie. Strawberry and Peanut Butter. But the big draw at Floreans is Butterbeer Ice Cream. The first “new” Butterbeer item that followed the regular and frozen drinks, Butterbeer ice cream was an immediate hit. It has a cool look as the soft serve machine swirls in colorful ribbons of different flavors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good…very good, but it’s in an ice cream shop that offers some incredible flavors worth waiting a long time in line for (a scoop of strawberry & peanut butter would be part of my Last Meal if I ever end up on Death Row, something not out of the question if TouringPlans’ own Joe Matt ever tries to talk me into doing another 25 Drinks of Christmas series.)
25 Drinks of Christmas TouringPlans Brought to Me…
- Day 1 – Duck Duck Razz at THE BOATHOUSE
- Day 2 – Grown-Ups Lemonade at Woody’s Boathouse
- Day 3 – Yub Nub at Oga’s Cantina
- Day 4 – Isla Nubar in Jurassic Park
- Day 5 – Bam’s Barnstormer at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
- Day 6 – Santa’s Cookies & Milkshake at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
- Day 7 – Lost on Safari at Dawa Bar
- Day 8 – SKYLINER SERIES Category 5 at Hurricane Hannah’s
- Day 9 – SKYLINER SERIES Almande Grog at Bar Riva
- Day 10 – SKYLINER SERIES Banana Cabana at Banana Cabana
- Day 11 – SKYLINER SERIES Boubon Breeze at PetalsDay
- Day 12 – Disco H2O at Endless Summer
- Day 13 – Lost Lanes Lager at Splitsville
- Day 14 – Grinch Hot Cocoa at Seuss Landing
- Day 15 – Blue Milk at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- Day 16 – Hawkes’ Grog Ale at Pandora the World of Avatar
- Day 17 – Mai Tai at Strong Water Tavern
- Day 18 – Swizzle Rum Punch at Swizzle Lounge
- Day 19 – Enchanted Orange Dream at Skipper Canteen
- Day 20 – Snow Leopard Salvation at Nomad Lounge
- Day 21 – Old Fashioned at Hollywood Brown Derby
- Day 22 – Classic Milkshake at Shakes Malt Shoppe
- Day 23 – Almost Sangria at Bar 17 Bistro
- Day 24 – Hot Butterbeer in the Wizarding World
See you tomorrow for the next entry into the 25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown, where we are going to head over to the Wizarding World. If you had fun, be sure to check out any of our other fun series including Theme Park Hills to Die On, the adventures of David & Derek (theme park’s Goofus & Gallant,) or the famous (infamous?) Theme Park Turkeys of the Year awards. for your listening pleasure, check out the Parkscope Podcast. Your humble author can also be seen producing typos at an inhuman rate on Twitter: @derekburgan
The 25 Drinks of Christmas series couldn’t be done without an All Star team behind us including world class photographers Michael Carelli, Brandon Glover, Scott Sanders, and Hedghehog’s Corner. The drink listing came from a double-secret blue ribbon panel comprised of SAT SIX Fun Squaders including: Megan Stump, Nitro230,The Man Formerly Known as @DrunkAtDisney, Bethany Vinton, Parkscope Joe and Parkscope Nick. As always, Digital Maestro Scott Walker was the cherry on top of the sundae.
*That is an absolute lie. I still buy an advent calendar every year with chocolates in it, and I also buy an annual box of Christmas Crunch, but we’ll keep that between us.