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Universal Orlando sells its millionth Butterbeer: Did you buy one?

By Robert Niles
Published: January 6, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Universal Orlando this morning announced that it had sold its one-millionth Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And to celebrate, Islands of Adventure gave away 1,000 free Butterbeers to morning visitors in the Wizarding World.

A really big Butterbeer toast
Photo courtesy Universal

Now, wait a minute. Universal announced its one-millionth rider on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey several months ago. And the attendance gains at Universal Orlando make clear that several million people have visited the Wizarding World since it opened. So today's announcement seems to confirm that many visitors to the new Harry Potter "theme park" have chosen not to buy a Butterbeer when they visit.

As someone who's consumed, uh, several of those one-million Butterbeers to date, what the heck? This stuff is awesome. It's liquid candy crack.

Okay, then, maybe the folks who chose not to imbibe a Butterbeer were the smart ones. They don't have to live with the addiction that causes me to drool onto my keyboard now when I see photos like this. And don't tell me I can make one at home. I've tried, but it just doesn't taste the same as when I'm sitting in the Hog's Head Pub. (By the way, if you are visiting the Wizarding World, don't queue to buy your Butterbeer at the cart. Slip into the pub for your drink, instead.)

Let's put it to a vote:


Butterbeer discussion - in the comments.

Readers' Opinions

From David Brown on January 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM
In two words - 'Too Sweet'. Definitely another UK/American difference here. The very idea of 'butterbeer' makes me shudder. I mean, Coke is bad enough......... (ducks for cover)
From 75.89.237.237 on January 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM
I currently have no plans to visit Harry Potter land, but if I did..... I did not have any interest in Butter Beer until Robert kept going on and on and now I want to taste it. Robert, are they paying you for these endorsements?!?
From Nick Dakuginow on January 6, 2011 at 1:01 PM
I had both versions, really liked my first Butterbeer which was the liquid one. The frozen one was good too though, but I can definitely see where people can get addicted to them, very good and sweet taste.
From Robert Niles on January 6, 2011 at 1:15 PM
I prefer the liquid to the frozen. And though I crave them, one day's enough for me thankyouverymuch.

And to anonymous, my endorsements are earned. I'm a sucker for butterscotch-type flavors. My Scottish heritage, I guess.

From Caroline Davis on January 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM
I want one now. They were yummy!!! And I'm not a big fan of anything sugary, like Coke.
From 38.101.168.98 on January 6, 2011 at 2:55 PM
I would definitely have one when/if get there.

And, Robert...two words:

Callard and Bowser.

My family has been going to a traditional Scottish/Irish restaurant called the Argyle in Kearny, NJ for four generations. Best fish and (sometimes so-so) chips I've had. But my mom used to ALWAYS stop in their gift shop for C and B butterscotch candies, and she got me hooked.

Tried to go there just before Christmas for some fish and chips. I had a show to attend at 3pm, and hit the Argyle at 1..little did I know they opened at 2. Dammit.

You ever come to Jersey, Robert, let me know..we'll meet there! They even serve haggis during their Robert Burns Celebration once a year...

Anyone doesn't know what haggis is, google it..you won't be disappointed...

From Robert Niles on January 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM
Oooo, trust me, I am *very* familiar with C&B!
From Samantha McCrae on January 6, 2011 at 3:40 PM
An explanation for the numbers of Butterbeers sold being so low could be because (in relation to what I saw when I was there) families were only buying one beer between them?
From Victoria Jurkowski on January 6, 2011 at 4:34 PM
I've had a few friends try it and say it taste like butterscotch syrup in creme soda. Which sounds good but... not as ridiculous as *some* people say. Was this millionth number only the liquid butterbeer or a combination of the liquid and the frozen? If it's only the liquid, it could be that many people in the summer bought the frozen stuff instead.
From Tony Duda on January 6, 2011 at 4:38 PM
I bought a liquid one in the souvenir mug the first time I visited to try it and get the mug. Haven't bought one since in my several visits. Paying ten ($10) dollars for 12 ounces of drink is insane.
From Melissa Donahue on January 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM
My husband and I bought several Butterbeers between the two of us while on vacation this past summer (I preferred frozen over liquid). Knowing that it might be a few years before we get back to IOA, we didn't let the exorbitant price spoil our fun. What I would do for a Butterbeer cart in my home...
From Jack Curley on January 6, 2011 at 4:53 PM
My girlfriend an I went to IOA when we were in Orlando last month. She got a butterbeer, I didn't. She kind of enjoyed it, but couldn't understand how people would want to drink one in the hot, Florida sun (it was cold while we were there). She was glad she tried it, but has no desire to ever have another one. Me, I'm just not a fan of butterscotch.
From Eric Malone on January 6, 2011 at 6:26 PM
I WOULD be happy to get some Butterbeer, but none of us in our group wanted to wait an hour to spend money to get some, so we passed. This comes as no surprise to me. If they had more places to sell Butterbeer and were more efficient about it, they'd have sold a million Butterbeers ages ago. Those carts don't have the same kind of output potential as, say, Forbidden Journey. ;)
From Manny Barron on January 6, 2011 at 9:56 PM
I went to the Wizarding World back in June and I wanted a Butterbeer. I had just waited nine hours for the Forbidden Journey ride so the last thing I wanted to do was to get in another long line for Butterbeer. I kinda regret it, the line looked long but it might have been only 30-40 minutes, sure beats waiting until the next time I go to IOA.

Next time for sure.

From 92.23.126.157 on January 7, 2011 at 2:55 AM
When my family heads to the Wizarding World in the summer we will probably end up purchasing a butterbeer. As a family of six, we may end up only buying one or two just for the experience and this may be what other families also do. This means that only 33% of my party have technically tried it but 100% have gone on the ride hence the difference in volume of butterbeer sold to the amount of people that have gone on the Forbidden Journey. Just my two cents on it :)
From 135.196.99.180 on January 7, 2011 at 3:42 AM
I'm REALLY tired of people saying that it's $10 for a butterbeer.

The souvenir mug is optional--you can get the same size serving in a disposable cup for about half that price.

From 75.89.237.237 on January 7, 2011 at 1:21 PM
Robert, now that you said Butterscotch..... I REALLY want to taste it. :-)
From Jesse Key on January 7, 2011 at 1:32 PM
I was the annonymous # 2 poster (did not feel like logging in I guess..... ).
Now that you are describing it as tasting like butterscotch it sounds really interesting. I would really like to try it. I have read a lot about it on here, but not really gotten into details about the taste so I was probably just dismissing it as a gimmick drink that came with the new land (I'm not much of a Harry Potter enthusiest so I have not been in a rush to get to IOA, but I do enjoy some butterscotch!).
Does it taste like a liquid worther's original maybe (love those)?
From 71.244.104.67 on January 7, 2011 at 1:48 PM
One mouthful was MORE than enough for me. I threw the rest away (about $4.25 worth). Never again.

Same goes for the Pumpkin Juice and the Fish & Chips. The Pumpkin Juice is awesome for about 3 sips - then it's too much. The Fish & Chips are good but they are SO rich we couldn't finish a platter between two of us.

From Mike Gallagher on January 8, 2011 at 5:17 AM
Anonymous Poster above said "The Fish & Chips are good but they are SO rich we couldn't finish a platter between two of us."

Amateurs. :)

From Mike Gallagher on January 8, 2011 at 5:17 AM
Anonymous Poster above said "The Fish & Chips are good but they are SO rich we couldn't finish a platter between two of us."

Amateurs. :)

From 173.209.107.37 on January 8, 2011 at 2:39 PM
Butterber was awesome. I can taste it as I write this comment.
From 90.220.8.242 on January 8, 2011 at 7:27 PM
It was brilliant. Very sweet, loved the frothy bit on top. But the queues were long. 45 minutes to get a butterbeer. I can understand why it's taken so long to sell so many.
Definitely worth it though.
From Sylvain Comeau on January 9, 2011 at 1:36 PM
I am planning to visit WWOHP, and not drink any butterbeer. Yes, I'm a heretic, but I'm also a cheapo. That stuff must be expensive.
I just read the comments above; 45 minutes?? I wouldn't even wait that long for a lot of rides. Certainly won't wait that long for a drink!
From 216.64.80.82 on January 10, 2011 at 11:59 AM
I tried it at a preview and didn't care for it. I have a horrible sweet tooth but this was way too much even for me. Same thing with the pumpkin juice, it was good for a couple of sips but that was it.

I much preferred the pear nectar, that was sweet but not sickeningly so.

But the treacle puddding..now that was good. I would happily pay for that.

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