Harry Potter park serves up 1 millionth Butterbeer

It’s not just a beverage, it’s an experience. That’s the word from Universal Orlando Resort, which said today that the company has sold 1 million Butterbeers in its Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The creamy-smooth concoction is a favorite drink in the Harry Potter books and movies, and it’s also a favorite at the theme park, where guests will wait in ride-sized lines to buy a cup. Last year, a fourth location selling the drink was added to the theme park to alleviate some of the lines.

There’s no alcohol in Butterbeer. It’s a sweet drink, which Universal says tastes of shortbread and butterscotch. I liken it to a cream soda. You can get both cold and frozen versions at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park where the Wizarding World is located.

There are lots of do-it-yourself Butterbeer recipes out there online, but Universal’s is secret. In fact, the company says it has put special security procedures in place to keep it that way.

To celebrate the 1 millionth Butterbeer, Universal passed out 1,000 free ones on the streets of the Wizarding World.

To quell crowds, Universal halts liquor sales at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It’s been almost a month since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened, and folks are still waiting, and waiting, and waiting to see the new attractions at Universal Orlando Resort.

In fact, more than 500,000 people have ridden the Wizarding World’s centerpiece ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. (But rest assured, none of them were obese.)

As the Orlando Sentinel reported, Universal is having to get creative to handle the crowds. One of their more creative moves is halting the sale of liquor in the Hog’s Head tavern at the theme park.

Now you might think that liquor sales were halted to keep the crowds from lingering over another round, but that’s not the case. The prime culprit is butterbeer, the nonalcoholic brew described in the books as tasting “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.”

Apparently, the bartenders at Hog’s Head need to spend more time pouring butterbeer to keep up with the demand, so Universal has taken mixed drinks off the menu.Beer and wine is still for sale, and park officials say the liquor ban is temporary.

I can attest that the butterbeer is wonderful stuff – golden, creamy and smooth, and probably, probably, worth the wait.

Bonus trivia note about drinks inside the Wizarding World: Know what else isn’t for sale? Soda. Sodas are of course sold elsewhere in the Islands of Adventure theme park, but not inside the Harry Potter section.

By the way, it’s still weird to see photos of people dressed for the Florida heat walking around Hogsmeade with its snow-topped roofs. It doesn’t feel funny when I’m there, it just looks funny afterward in the pictures. Just me?

[Photo credit (top): Flickr user Digital Rampage]

[Photo credit (middle): Flickr user gordontarpley]