Butterbeer Just Got A Whole Lot More Inclusive At Universal Hollywood And Orlando

Vegan butterbeer frozen and cold
(Image credit: Universal Parks & Resorts)

If there’s one thing that any fan needs to try when visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood, it’s butterbeer. The drink made famous in the pages of the Harry Potter novels and films is as iconic as flying brooms and magic wands, but there’s one potential problem with butterbeer, the “butter.” Up until now, vegan Harry Potter fans have had to do without because butterbeer included dairy, but there’s now a new option that means all visitors will be able to enjoy it.

Today Universal Parks and Resorts announced that a vegan formulation of butterbeer is now available in both theme park resorts in North America. Both the cold and frozen varieties of butterbeer can be enjoyed in the vegan version. At Universal Orlando, you’ll be able to order the vegan butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, found at Universal's Islands of Adventure, or the Leaky Cauldron, located in Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley. At Universal Studios Hollywood, it will be found at the Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head Pub. It appears that at least for now the carts selling butterbeer outside will only carry the standard variety.

It’s always great to see moves like this made to broaden these experiences to include those that were otherwise left out. We often think about “accessibility” and “inclusion” at theme parks only in terms of attractions. And while that is certainly important, there's a lot more that goes into making experiences inclusive.

We’ve seen Disney make changes to Jungle Cruise and they’re in the middle of replacing Splash Mountain in part to make the parks more welcoming to all guests. We’ve also seen guests be more critical when some theme park attractions are seen as less accessible to some guests.

In the same way that rides need to be designed in such a way that as many people as possible can ride them, other experiences, like food and drink, should be handled the same way.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was one of the first theme park lands specifically focused on a single IP, and part of that immersion is guests being able to eat and drink like the characters in that world. 

A well-designed theme park land that is trying to transport you emotionally to another place needs to engage as many senses as possible, and vegan butterbeer now allows even more people to do just that. Sitting down in the Leaky Cauldron with a butterbeer and a few friends really can make you feel like you’re in the world of Harry Potter as much, if not more, than any theme park attraction, and now you don't have to leave any of your friends out.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.