Vote of the week: How do you like your Butterbeer?

November 19, 2010, 7:04 AM · In honor of today's opening of the seventh Harry Potter film, I thought I'd ask a question about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

At first glance, it might seem that there's no question about the Wizarding World. Universal's new Harry Potter land has won, well, universal acclaim. It won our Theme Park Insider Award for Best New Attraction of 2010. It's been sitting atop of Best Themed Ride rankings since it opened. And this week, the themed amusement industry's designers and managers honored it with four Thea Awards at the 2010 IAAPA Attractions Expo.

No question, huh?

Not so fast. There is one question roiling the Wizarding World - one question that divides fans into bitter enemy camps, like Gryffindors battling Slytherins.

How do you like your Butterbeer, regular or frozen?


If you've visited the park, go ahead and respond with your favorite version of Universal's highly addictive drink. If you've not yet visited, take a look at the pros and cons listed below and in the comments, then respond with the version you'll pick first when you do visit.

(And you must visit. If you're a theme park fans - even if you don't care for Harry Potter - you really should see this, to see the ultimate in immersive area theming.)

Why Frozen Butterbeer?
It's colder, and that's a plus on a hot Orlando day.
You have to drink it more slowly, allowing you to savor the flavor longer.
The flavor seems a bit more intensive in the frozen version.

Why Regular Butterbeer?
Authenticity - The gang in Harry Potter didn't drink Butterbeer slushies. You only get the smooth, beer-like mouth feel with the regular version.
It's not frozen - Visiting the Wizarding World is enough of a head rush. Do you really want a brain freeze, too?
Cost - The regular version's a buck cheaper.

So which will it be?

If you're already a Butterbeer fan, explain your choice in the comments, please. And have a wonderful weekend queuing for the Harry Potter movie, the Wizarding World, or whatever else you have planned. Thanks again for reading Theme Park Insider.

Replies (28)

November 19, 2010 at 9:17 AM · Have not been there, haven't had Butterbeer. I am a huge fan of the books and have read them all. Saw some of the movies, but prefer the written word of Ms. Rowling.

From what I've read about Butterbeer as served in Florida, it's similar in taste and texture to cream soda. I like cream soda, but the idea of having it (or soda in general) frozen doesn't really appeal to me. So I voted for regular non-frozen Butterbeer.

November 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM · I'd take a Beverly over a Butterbeer anyday! It's free and comes in small doses, but the taste is a lot better.
November 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM · I too have never tasted it and actually not sure I want to taste it. I don't have a sweet tooth and to be honest the description of it sounds horribly sweet... And as any good UK beer-drinker knows beer is meant to be BITTER! However, tie me down and threaten me with having to ride Its a Small World over and over again unless I choose one or the other and I guess I'd have to go for regular.
But I just know I'm not going to want more than a few sips.....
November 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM · Having a annual pass has allowed me to visit Harry Potter Land about 15 times. I have to tell you the Frozen Butterbeer is a lot better then the regular. The regular is a little too heavy and you get tired of it before it's half way gone. I think the regular reminds me of drinking maple syrup. The frozen is refreshing and unique and at 200 calories not a bad treat!
November 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM · Time to show off my ignorance, Terry:

Beverly? Whazzat?

November 19, 2010 at 11:52 AM · Mike, it is nasty tasting swill from Italy you can get at Epcot's Club Cool for free. Has somewhat of a cult following because it is "cool" to say you like yucky soda.

As for the question at first sip of Butterbeer will be the frozen variety!

November 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM · Having tasted only the non-frozen butterbeer and having not cared for it, I voted frozen
November 19, 2010 at 1:32 PM · I like the Regular Butterbeer. Especially with the Fish& Chips from 3 Broomsticks... Yum!
November 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM · James is right, Mike, it's at Club Cool at epcot. I almost moved my honeymoon to Italy to bring some home with me. Anyone going to Italy sometime soon? I'll pay to have it sent back.
November 19, 2010 at 2:55 PM · Butterbeer is nasty! Unless you're a fan of butterscotch, then you'll probably agree with me. Also, I happen to like "Beverly". Some of you may actually say you like it to be cool, but I'd actually pay money to consume it.
November 19, 2010 at 4:28 PM · FROZEN -- there's no other way. Period. I had both versions this summer, and frozen is the way to go! It is definitely sweeter. About halfway through the drink, the texture (not taste) resembles the consistency of a root beer float.

For those that don't like sweet drinks... try the pear cider!

November 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM · Terry vs. James!!!

Doesn't sound like y'all are on the same page. Sounds like Terry's a BIG fan of what James refers to as "yucky soda!"

I smell a Hell In A Cell match to settle this!

And somebody above referenced butterscotch in describing Butterbeer. I like butterscotch, so this is sounding more appealing by the minute. Maybe I'll win the contest I'm entering EVERY day in the NY Daily News through the 26th of this month. Trip for four to Universal, stay at Hard Rock Hotel. Right now, I have nobody to go with. Any takers???

November 19, 2010 at 9:29 PM · I've only had the regular and only once but it got too warm too fast so the next one will be frozen. And Beverly IS "nasty" and "yucky" and someone will only say they like it so that they can start an argument. Anyway, free soda at any Disney location (Club Cool at Epcot) is unique and everyone should go and fill up as much as they can, just not on Beverly.
November 19, 2010 at 10:14 PM · I've been there and had both a few times and I just love the regular butterbeer. The frozen give me brain freeze and tastes plain to me. I do really like butterbeer, and it's only 3 hours away from me... Has anyone else ever seen any other beverage dispenser thing that puts the cream/head on top? Or is that whole setup custom for Universal? I never asked yet but will they put extra cream/head if you want more?
November 20, 2010 at 5:24 AM · Not gonna fight about Beverly, as everyone is entitled to their opinion. Each to his or her own, as they say.

Besides, the debate about that nasty, yucky Italian soda is a "tale as old as time" anyway. However, I do have one ace in my pocket, since Disney Insiders themselves are not too fond of the bitter beverage either.

On another note, I am sure Warner Bros and Universal are raising their Butterbeers high after Harry Potter 7a grossed $24M post-midnight Thursday night - third best of all time.

Did someone say HP was just a fad?

November 20, 2010 at 5:50 AM · hehe I live in Italy for 6-8 months each year and have never heard of Beverly over here :P
November 20, 2010 at 7:51 AM · I've only had a sip of it when it was mostly frozen mixed with a bit of regular. So I went with the assumption that it was frozen. I thought it tasted good.
November 20, 2010 at 7:59 AM · Makes sense, Daniel. I doubt too many Italians are knocking down doors for another taste of the foul, toxic substance known as Beverly.

UPDATE on HP7a: There are now 65 million more reasons for Universal & WB execs to celebrate with tankards of Butterbeer: the penultimate Potter installment took in an estimated $65 million on Friday, which could lead to upwards of $140 - $150 million for its opening weekend. Talk about magical....

November 20, 2010 at 8:45 AM · My lovely wife had me try Beverly saying it was great as a joke. We didn't talk much for an hour or two! However, the watermelon soda from China is the BOMB!!! I would buy that anytime if we didnt live so close to Epcot!
November 20, 2010 at 8:47 AM · Imagine what the figures for the last movie will be next summer? I'm not sure we can count that high...
November 20, 2010 at 10:34 AM · I can't believe regular is winning. I went nd had a full glass of each. The frozen was a delicious treet and very good, the regular was way to sugary and terribly disgusting as most people who have actually visited found it to be. There is a big difference between the two, leaning heavily toward the frozen butterbeer.
November 20, 2010 at 1:15 PM · I'm literally chuckling at the attention given to Terry's taste buds, because I've eaten meals with 1000s of times, and would like to give my "two cents" on the subject, since I'm the only one present that can provide information that isn't assumptive. Hopefully, any doubt he's legitimately odd is removed (What's an older brother for, right? Ha ha!). This should end any debate on this specific example and allow the discussion of butterbeer to continue unabated.

You can pretty much ignore his opinions on food and drink because he has a freakishly "picky" palate (the only person I know of that is worse is our dad), and the family catered to it (my mom is a Saint, or should be). I have so many examples of this happening with him. Never in my life, have I seen him eat something he doesn't like without coercion, Never. I was with him in that shop, and every single time I glanced over, or was looking for him for some reason, he was getting a little cup of that drink. I couldn't believe he even tried it, much less kept drinking it, and we kept popping into that store whenever we'd walk by, so he could get more. There's no way that happens, not with him, unless he legitimately likes it. None. If he says he likes or doesn't like a food or drink, just disregard it, because his taste buds seem to be misproportioned, skewed towards sour and bitter. He'll probably like Moxie, too, a drink found primarily in New England, and which I was only able to tolerate a sip, because of it's bitterness. Ok? Done? Good. Back to butterbeer. . .

I look forward to trying the butterbeer when we travel that way in about a year and a half, and I'm glad to see there's an article and some comments to help me decide which one to try, though I probably have to have one of each. It sounds like something I am going to enjoy! I like to eat the "park food." Since I'm in charge of planning, we'll make it over there for a day.

November 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM · I tried both last week. I do prefer the frozen. Next time, I'm requesting extra fluff on top.

Why? Not sure. I think the frozen allows you to savor the sweetness of the drink as it melts. Personal preference I guess. I also like something else frozen a few hundred yards away in City Walk - Margarita from Jimmy Buffett's.

November 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM · As far as Beverly... My father is Italian and I've been there numerous times and I haven't seen it, but then again they don't really have fountain drinks or ice, everything is bottled. For soda they have coca-cola and coca-cola light and in restaurants you get a liter glass bottle. The only place I saw where you could get a fountain drink with ice was Mcdonalds. Beverly is probably a bar drink and I know my father used to get this awfully bitter drink so it must be a mixer there for alcoholic drinks. I'd rather have a butterbeer.
November 20, 2010 at 6:53 PM · Being to the Wizarding World on opening day the line to get butter beer was long and we were tired of waiting 9 hours in line so i didnt get a chance to try it. I didnt vote here either but next time i go it will be frozen for me.
November 20, 2010 at 10:13 PM · i in that instead of them having the butterbeer in a harry potter plastic cup theyy should have them in the old style beer cups like they have in harry potter so u can truly experience the harry potter feeling
November 21, 2010 at 11:47 AM · ^^
English, please.
November 24, 2010 at 10:33 AM · I tried the frozen version and even though I have a horrible sweet tooth, this was way too sweet for me and I tossed the cup after drinking about half of it. It tasted like very sweet butterscotch mixed with a tad of something else like cinnamon to me and if the frozen was that yucky, I didn't want to waste my money on the regular version.

From polling my friends, they either really love butterbeer or hate it, no inbetweens at all.

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