Fall… It is the time of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, decorative gourds, infinity scarves, foliage, and apple picking. Well, I am here to tell you that all of that pales in comparison to the autumn delight that makes a brief appearance in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. You can have your PSL and your apple cider and even your hot cocoa. They are sooooo basic. I want EXTRA. I want magical.
Transplants to Florida often complain that there are no seasons there. Good! Sunny warm weather all year long is the escape the rest of us need. It may not snow, the leaves might stay on the trees where they belong, the golf courses may stay green, but if you pay attention, there are indicators that fall has arrived, and I am not talking about the annual pilgrimage of the “Snow Birds” from up North. There is one particular fall tradition that I look forward to the most each year.
I am talking about Butterbeer. HOT Butterbeer.
Now of course the regular is just fine, though the frozen is much better. (This is indisputable.) I am a huge fan of Butterbeer ice cream. It is amazing. The Butterbeer Potted Cream (that means pudding for you Muggles) is pretty tasty. Avoid the fudge at all costs. The hot Butterbeer, however, is sublime. Unlike the regular Butterbeer which is essentially a soda, the hot Butterbeer is dairy-based. The best description I can come up with is that it is like hot cocoa, but with a butterscotch-caramel flavor instead of chocolate. It is sweet but not too sweet, with a very rich and luscious flavor. It comes with the same thick foam on top as the other kinds do and it slowly melts into the rest of the beverage making it even better.
Hot Butterbeer is a rare treat, because of its seasonal nature. It magically appears in late October or early November and disappears without a trace around the end of February. It can be found in The Leaky Cauldron & The Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley and The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.
I’m not going to lie; it is worth making a special trip just to try it. Truly. Besides, you will get to do all of the other magical things in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, AND experience the EPIC attractions in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Fall in Orlando means it won’t be as hot as in the summer, but still warm enough to enjoy the pool at your resort. It also means that if you choose to wear your Hogwart’s House scarf all day, you won’t nearly pass out like I did. (It was 98˚ in mid-July…) Siriusly though, no true fan can rest until they have had all of the kinds of Butterbeer, especially the hot kind. Except the fudge. I took one for the team there.
Written by Dorothy Holland
Ears of Experience Travel Advisor and Harry Potter Expert