This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Top Six New Snacks in Universal’s Diagon Alley. Last week we went through the best new drinks available in the Wizarding World and today we are going to satisfy our sweet tooth by looking at the top six snacks inside Universal’s new land. All the venues in Diagon Alley, the London Waterfront, and King’s Cross station were eligible. What made the cut from our blue ribbon panel of experts? Let’s count ‘em down…
# 6 – Chocolate Potted Cream (The Leaky Cauldron)
“You may not like him, Minister, but you can’t deny: Dumbledore’s got style.” – Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
In a word, the Chocolate Potted Cream at the Leaky Cauldron has style. Served in a unique glass container that you usually buy candles in, the dense chocolate pudding is quite filling and topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a black cherry. Thanks to the black cherry we’re gonna consider this one the healthy option. ($4.49)
# 5 – Crisps and Caramel Wafers (King’s Cross Station)
“Chocolate. Eat. It will help.” – Professor Lupin, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
A few weeks back we did a SATURDAY SIX on the surprises of the Hogwarts Express attraction and one of our favorite things was Universal outright encouraging the consumption of food and drink on the ride by selling items inside the queue itself. It got us to thinking that maybe other attractions, possibly those with long waits, could also utilize this feature. What if Soarin’ at Epcot had flight stewards who would walk the queue offering airline sized Soarin’ branded snacks? How about a “cigarette girl” from the era of the ’30s and ’40s walking the Tower of Terror queue with Hollywood Tower Hotel candy cigarettes? There are a lot of unique ways to theme this type of upsell to the theme park guest while adding to the experience of the attraction.
Now, the King’s Cross station has a lot healthy options like fruit plates, hummus, and cheeses, but we were drawn to the English themed crisps and chocolate wafers. For the Golden Wonder crisps there are a couple options available, but we went with the “prawn cocktail” because it seems like something that would be impossible to find in America. Probably as hard as it would be to find “pork rinds” over in the UK. The flavor itself in the chips was very strong but seemed a lot more like “ketchup” than “shrimp cocktail.” Still, it was a step up over the usual basic Lays and Doritos available in the rest of the park. The Tunnock’s caramel bar is closer to a Kit Kat except lighter and crunchier. GREAT caramel flavor. (Crisps $2.99, Chocolate Wafer $2.00)
# 4 – Sheppard’s Pie Jacket Potato (London Taxi Hut)
Taking the SATURDAY SIX wayback machine even farther, when we looked at the opening of the London Waterfront area, one of the things we enjoyed were the two “cabman’s shelter” areas that were built. One is used for selling London themed merchandise like t-shirts, while the other one sells grab-and-go food including “jacket” potatoes, otherwise known as baked potatoes. There are several versions of the jacket potatoes, all of which are the best baked potatoes within any Florida theme park. Our favorite was the Sheppard’s Pie Jacket Potato which is loaded with meat, cheese, and vegetables. ($7.99)
# 3 – Scotch Eggs (Leaky Cauldron)
Scotch Eggs may be an acquired taste, but we’ve acquired it. Both Disney and Universal already have some terrific scotch eggs available at Rose & Crown (Epcot) and Finnegan’s Bar and Grill (in Universal Studios Florida) and now we can add the Leaky Cauldron to the list. A boiled egg within a sausage casing, these Scotch Eggs come with a side of Dalkey mustard along with a small apple and beet chutney. ($6.59)
# 2 – Skiving Snackbox (Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes)
“Skiving snackboxes. Sweets that will make you ill. Get out of class whenever you like.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Straight out of the Harry Potter universe comes the Skiving Snackbox, available inside Diagon Alley at Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes. In the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Fred and George Weasley are shown trying to sell other students the Skiving Snackbox. These boxes unfolded to display four different snacks, all guaranteed to cause maladies that would get the students out of class. The four candies included in the box are Fever Fudge, Puking Pastilles, Nosebleed Nougat, and Fainting Fancies. The Skiving Snackboxes have been beautifully recreated in the Wizarding World and don’t worry, you can buy each of the candies separately as well. ($39.95)
# 1 – ICE CREAM (Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour)
There was one consensus with everyone who we talked to when it came to the best snack in Diagon Alley, ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s ice-cream parlour. However, what wasn’t as clear was which ice cream as pretty much everyone had a different favorite. In fact, most people seem to have 5 or more favorite ice creams. It seems almost insane that in a world with so many ice cream choices (Coldstone, Ben & Jerry’s, Friendly’s, etc) Universal was able to create over a dozen new ice cream flavors (mixed between soft serve and hard packed) with all seeming to be a huge hit.
We’ve tried to narrow down the list to the best of the best and here’s what our scientific calculations say you need to try. For hard packed ice cream you gotta taste Sticky Toffee Pudding, Apple Crumble, Earl Grey & Lavender, and the Salted Caramel Blondie. Soft serve choices include Granny Smith and Orange Marmalade, which with the green and orange swirls are also the coolest looking ice creams we have ever seen. And of course there is the one soft serve that every muggle needs to try, Butterbeer ice cream. In Potter terminology, Butterbeer ice-cream is so good that it used the expelliarmus charm on the Dole Whip to take ownership of The Best Snack in a Florida Theme Park.
In fact, if you are definitely going to just get Butterbeer ice cream, skip the queue at Florean Fortescue and walk next door to the Fountain of Fair Fortune. The Fair Fortune bar has all the great signature drinks on ta but they also sell Butterbeer ice cream. Many have been creating their own Butterbeer float by ordering a regular Butterbeer and adding Butterbeer ice cream to it. That concoction has about enough sugar to keep you up for about 24 straight hours, enough time to watch all 8 Harry Potter movies back to back. (all ice creams are $4.99 served in a cup, $5.99 served in a waffle cone.)
So there you have it: the Top Six New Snacks in Universal’s Diagon Alley. See you next weekend for the latest edition of the SATURDAY SIX, where we are going to look at our favorite foods inside Diagon Alley, so get ready to read a rave review over the Banger Pub Style Sandwich from the Leaky Cauldron. If you had fun, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast.
Special thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover for his invaluable assistance in this article. I would also like to thank Meg (one of the founding members of #PotterWatch, her story of which you can listen on episode 3.2 of the Parkscope podcast), @loveleelaura88, @MagisterGermain, @laurenlikesnaps, Downtown Disney Historian @Trygve and Gregory Ryan of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast.