The Saturday Six is a weekly look at the most interesting, most fun, and sometimes even the most outrageous things within the theme park world that we all love so much. Whether it’s the top six attraction queues, the top six food options at Fast Food Blvd, or even the top six thrill rides at Universal, the Saturday Six will be your personal guide to experiencing the very best Orlando has to offer.
This week’s Saturday Six looks at the Top Six Signature Drinks at Universal. It’s hard to believe now, but signature drinks weren’t a big part of the theme park world until Universal unveiled its game changer, Butterbeer, in 2010. Sure, there have always been specialty drinks, but now a signature drink is almost expected for any new area or big E-Ticket attraction.
#6 – Flaming Moe at Moe’s Tavern
The expansion of Springfield USA in Universal Studios Florida brought with it a whole array of signature drinks, but the only one that can be considered an “experience” is the Flaming Moe. Using a custom made cup, a Flaming Moe is made with a combination of dry ice and orange soda. When served, the drink appears to be boiling hot, bubbling up like a witch’s cauldron and smoke coming off the top. It’s pretty impressive to watch:
The Flaming Moe is available at Moe’s Tavern, but also at Flaming Moe’s within Fast Food Blvd. It’s only at the Flaming Moe’s location within the food court where you can get several other Simpsons-themed signature drinks including: Mt. Swartzwelder Apple Drink (Apple Juice, Granny Smith Apple Syrup, Lemonade & fresh brewed tea), Groovy Grove (Orange juice, Lemonade, Blood Orange Syrup) and Mr. Teeny (Lemonade, Pineapple Juice, and Blue Curacao Syrup). All of these drinks are non-alcoholic.
Over in Islands of Adventure at Seuss Landing we have Moose Juice and Goose Juice. There’s a very elaborate station set up with some fun props that are well themed to the whimsical area, but basically we are looking at Moose Juice being a tangerine flavored slush and Goose Juice being a sour apple flavored slush. Both can hit the spot on a hot Florida day.
Most guests know about the exclusive Pumpkin Juice you can get at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter because of its availability throughout the area and the unique presentation of a bottle with a pumpkin on top. However, not as many people know that you can go into the Three Broomsticks restaurant and order a Pumpkin Fizz.
A Pumpkin Fizz is a carbonated version of Pumpkin Juice and tastes a lot like pumpkin pie soda. You’ll find hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and even a bit of apple cider. Pumpkin Fizz comes straight from the pages of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and – in this author’s view – is much better tasting than Pumpkin Juice (however, the Pumpkin Juice bottles do make great gifts for Potter fans who can’t make it down to Universal.)
Directly next to the Three Broomsticks is the Hog’s Head pub, and here is where you can find the exclusive-to-Universal Hog’s Head Brew. The pub itself is themed perfectly, complete with a working animatronic Hog’s Head directly behind the bar. The Hog’s Head has many beers on draught, including Yeungling, Newcastle, Boddingtons, and Guinness, but the real draw here is the Hog’s Head Brew. An Irish red beer, Hog’s Head Brew doesn’t have the bitter taste that is found in a lot of dark beers.
The Hog’s Head Pub is a fantastic place to get your Butterbeer as well. There’s usually much less of a wait inside the pub compared to any of the Butterbeer carts outside, plus there’s the fact that you inside and out of the sun.
Can’t get enough of that wonderful Duff… The dreams of many Simpsons fans were realized when Duff beer came to Springfield USA. Available in Duff, Duff Lite, and Duff Dry, these beers made by the Florida Beer Company exclusively for Universal will make anyone do their best Homer Simpsons impersonation and shout, “Woo Hoo!”
Duff regular can best be compared to a Yeungling, while Duff Lite is very similar to your basic light beer such as Miller Lite. Duff Dry is a stout beer that’s more in line with a Guinness, but does have a rich coffee taste to it. Both Duff and Duff Lite are available in draught form or in a bottle, while Duff Dry is only available in a bottle. At this time, because the bottles are made of glass, the bartenders will pour the beer from the bottle into a cup, but aluminum bottles that guests can keep should be arriving shortly.
# 1 – Butterbeer
Harry Potter was the boy that lived, and Butterbeer can now be considered the drinks that changed everything. Getting a Butterbeer when you go to Hogsmeade village at the WWOHP is almost a rite of passage for every guest. Whether you prefer the regular version or the frozen variety, an ice cold Butterbeer is the perfect drink for kids or adults. The true highlight of every Butterbeer is the frothy vanilla flavored head that is at the top of the drink, and it complements the sweet butterscotch/shortbread tasting beverage below.
So there you have it. The top six signature drinks at Universal. As fans of these beverages, what we’re looking forward to next is the debut of Energon, the signature drink of Transformers: The Ride-3D. While Energon is already available at Universal Studios Hollywood, it has yet to come to Orlando, but word is going around that it is on the way.
See you next weekend for the latest edition of the Saturday Six!