We didn’t have much free time in Orlando but on the one free day that we had, we bought tickets to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure mainly to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We were there as soon as it opened and we and a sea of excited Potter fans raced over to that section of the theme park to avoid the queues. That approach paid off as we were able explore Hogwarts to our hearts’ content that morning and ride all the rides (I, the scaredy cat, skipped the Dragon Challenge!) on a relatively empty stomach.


Hogsmeade was recreated beautifully but it did feel a bit odd to experience a snow covered town when it was hot and sunny out.


We didn’t eat at the Three Broomsticks (we lunched in Mythos at The Lost Continent instead) but we had to sample butterbeer, of course, purchased at one of the street carts. We both opted for the collector’s stein; mine now sits on my desk at work.


I was quite surprised to see that the frothy topping of the butterbeer was dispensed separately to the main body of the drink. My first taste was just of that topping and it tasted like a very sweet vanilla ice cream. That creamy topping combined with the fizzy drink produced masses of froth, similar to that on ice cream floats. The soda itself wasn’t very sweet, balancing that of the froth. Altogether it tasted a bit like cream soda crossed with butterscoth; I loved it.

ETA: I didn’t make it clear but this butterbeer is a non-alcoholic beverage.

We actually flew back to a real snowy London that night, a bit of a shock after sunny Florida. It was a very short trip to Orlando but overall a pleasant one. All my Orlando photos can be seen in this Flickr photoset.