MAINSTREAM VS. MAGICAL TREATS
How These Magical Treats from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Compare to Mainstream Options
By Amanda Healy
Harry Potter is a household name, comprising eight movies and seven books, which has expanded into theme parks. Universal Orlando is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade in Island of Adventure.
They have rides, restaurants, and interactive experiences, but one thing they sell that stands out are the magical treats pulled right from the franchise. However,are these items worth the money compared to mainstream options?
One of the most notable items from the Harry Potter franchise is Butterbeer. Many different Butterbeer flavored snacks are found in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, with the iconic drink that Harry, Ron, and Hermione enjoy is served hot, cold, and frozen. The cold Butterbeer has a layer of cream on the top with a sweet butterscotch base, this version being the most authentic to the franchise.
Butterbeer is a delicious drink, but it may be hard to finish if you are not a fan of overly sweet things. When comparing Butterbeer to any other soda or slushy, it stands out with a butterscotch flavor, unlike any other option on the market.
A Butterbeer flavored treat that some think is better than the drink itself is the Butterbeer soft-serve ice cream, served at Florean Fortescue's in Diagon Alley. The butterscotch flavor is not as overpowering compared to the drink itself. Additionally, the inside of the ice cream shop is captivating, enhancing the overall experience. Compared to soft-serve ice cream sold at ice cream parlors, Butterbeer ice cream is delicious, and ideal for those hot theme park days in Florida.
The next iconic magical candy sold at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Chocolate Frogs. In the movies, these frogs can move around, and come with a collectible card with a famous witch or wizard. Even though the Chocolate Frogs at Universal are solid milk chocolate and cannot move, they are the perfect Harry Potter treat. It tastes like regular chocolate, but the packaging and collectible card make you feel like you just bought it off the trolly on the Hogwarts Express.
Another recognizable treat from the films is Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry tries his first flavored bean, and Dumbledoor recounts an unfortunate experience with a vomit-flavored bean. There are delicious flavors, such as tutti-frutti, cherry, and apple, but there are also disgusting flavors, like earwax, soap, and grass. It is an entertaining treat that makes you feel like you are in the movies, but can be scary. Compared to regular Jelly Bellys, the traditional flavors taste the same, but Bertie’s comes with the uncertainty of getting a displeasing taste.
Sold at Honeydukes and on the Hogwarts Express, Jelly Slugs are a sweet treat enjoyed by Wizards. Seven slugs come packaged in themed wrapping, and are varying shades of greens and yellows. The presentation is authentic to the brand, but the product itself was incredibly disappointing. Regular gummy worms are sweet, fun, and chewy. However, these slugs had a very unappealing flavor, waxy consistency, and a bad aftertaste. This magical treat does not compare to the mainstream sweet of gummy worms.
Two treats unlike any mainstream candy are the Exploding Bon Bons and the Fizzing Wizzbees. Exploding Bon Bons are white chocolates filled with a pineapple and orange center, with popping candies. They are peculiar, which follows the Harry Potter brand, but nothing extraordinary. They were tasty, but nothing that leaves you wanting more.
The Fizzing Wizzbees are shaped like bees, and are milk chocolate bites filled with fruity popping candies. The unexpected popping sensation made these candies fun and tasty. It may be hard to eat multiple Wizzbees in a short amount of time, but the chocolate is good quality, and the experience is incredibly unique.
Overall, the wide variety of fascinating food and drink choices are flavorful and entertaining. Eating these treats in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade makes it feel like you are a part of Harry's magical world, a truly whimsical experience.