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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 25: Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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The Christmas season is my 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 rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, 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 property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TWENTY FIVE: Butterbeer (all versions) at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando Resort)

Frozen Butterbeer and regular Butterbeer with Hogwarts Castle standing majestically in the background.


The Game Changer.

When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade Village opened in 2010, it was a brand new day at the Universal Orlando Resort. Guests were leaving with bags filled with Potter merchandise, a stark contrast for a resort that sold a ton of Thing 1 & Thing 2 shirts, but little else of note. Harry Potter and the Forbbiden Journey had a queue that guests wanted to spend more time in. Imagine that. In a world where theme parks are spending Millions (if not Billions) on getting guests through queues quicker, guests wanted to stay longer in the elaborate Forbidden Journey queue. As Vizzini would say, “Inconceivable!”

But what no one was prepared for was a little drink called Butterbeer. To say it was popular may be the understatement of the century, as Universal celebrated selling one million Butterbeers just six months after their debut. It is said that Universal made enough money of the sale of Butterbeer in those six months to completely cover the entire cost of the Wizarding World. Since the very first drinks were poured, guests have debated which was better: regular Butterbeer or frozen Butterbeer. The answer? Neither, the Hot Butterbeer is clearly the best. They are all so good they are going to collectively get the # 1 spot and, what the heck, we’re going to add in Butterbeer Ice Cream from Florean Fortescue’s as well!

Hot Butterbeer in Diagon Alley. (photo by Brandon Glover)


Butterbeer Ice Cream at the Fountain of Fair Fortune. (photo by Brandon Glover)
Mmmmmm, Hot Butterbeer…. (photo by Brandon Glover)


Getting a Butterbeer in the Wizarding World is a Must Do for every muggle (or sentient book.)




DAY ONE: Shark Attack at Chez Alcatraz

DAY TWO: Grand Marnier Slush at Epcot

DAY THREE: Flaming Moe at Moe’s Tavern

DAY FOUR: Sunken Treasure on the Disney Cruise Line

DAY FIVE: Mai Tai at Emeri’s Tchoup Chop

DAY SIX: Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

DAY SEVEN: Pumpkin Fizz at the Three Broomsticks

DAY EIGHT: Old Fashioned at Belle Vue Lounge

DAY NINE: PBR in a Paper Bay at Cabana Bay Beach Resort

DAY TEN: Bay Lake Sunset at Top of the World Lounge

DAY ELEVEN: Tongue Tying Lemon Squash at the Leaky Cauldron

DAY TWELVE: Sugar Cane Mojito at Dawa Bar

DAY THIRTEEN: Pint of Guinness at Raglan Road

DAY FOURTEEN: Hog’s Head Brew at the Hog’s Head

DAY FIFTEEN: Burnt Orange at Todd English’s bluezoo

DAY SIXTEEN: Fishy Green Ale at Fountain of Fair Fortune

DAY SEVENTEEN: Balsamic Grand at Palo

DAY EIGHTEEN: Buffalos and Bacon at The Cowfish

DAY NINETEEN: La Fin du Monde at Epcot

DAY TWENTY: Dragon Scale at the Hopping Pot

DAY TWENTY ONE: Maelstrom Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

DAY TWENTY TWO: Carl’s Combo at Rose & Crown

DAY TWENTY THREE: Duff Beer at Duff Brewery

DAY TWENTY FOUR: Lapu Lapu at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

See you tomorrow for the next entry into the 25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown, where we are going to head into Epcot’s World Showcase. If you had fun, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch!  and Saturday Six articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast. Your humble author can also be seen producing typos at an inhuman rate on Twitter: @derekburgan

Interested in theme park drinks? Then do we have a eBook for you! The Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges eGuide by Brian McNichols. Over 250 pages and containing well over 400 photos, this eGuide takes you through EVERY bar and lounge on WDW property (trust me, Brian has the kidneys problems to prove it!) Also included? Recipes for some of your favorite WDW drinks. Ratings, descriptions, and photos for each of the 70+ bars and lounges. Talk about the perfect Christmas present!

Special thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover and Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and Brian Carey.

*That is an absolutely 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.

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6 thoughts on “25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 25: Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • I am fine with ButterBeer being #1, it was the first game changer in themed drinks at the parks. But lets get real the only good version of ButterBeer is Frozen!

    • If the choice is strictly between regular Butterbeer and frozen I am right there with you William.

  • Thank you for an informative and funny series! Your columns are always entertaining and useful.

  • Great series and has given me a few ideas for next year’s trip.
    I’m also a fan of the Turtle Krawl at Old Key West Resort…don’t think it’s available anywhere else


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