The "Harry Potter" books, first written by J.K. Rowling and then adapted into a film series with famous celebrities like Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Tom Felton, and Rupert Grint, are a staple of popular culture. Both the film and book series were extremely successful, earning an estimated $700 million on the films and an estimated $7.7 billion on the book series.
The franchise did so well that a Harry Potter Fan Club was created called Wizarding World: The Official Home of Harry Potter. Wizarding World is a digital network by Pottermore and Warner Bros (WBD) which provides clips, quizzes, and information for fans.
Harry Potter World
Wizarding World can also be found in person at Universal Studios (CMCSA) , and is called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal (also known as Harry Potter World). At Harry Potter World, fans are invited to play games, enjoy rides, explore the Hogwarts castle, watch performances, and purchase merchandise and food, all of which are Harry Potter themed.
Wizarding World is certainly unique. TheStreet's Dan Kline reported that "Wizarding World was an immersive, fully themed land, and it set off a theme park arms race."
Similar to Harry Potter World is Star Wars Land, which is also a realistic universe fans can explore that has recreations of the franchise's many memorable moments. But there is a big difference between how the two operate: Star Wars land at Disney (DIS) offers Coke Products (KO) (and in pretty cool containers too), but Wizarding World only has Harry Potter themed products, such as drinks only mentioned in the series.
Naturally, the most popular drink to order at the mark is the famous Butterbeer.
The Butterbeer Craze
Butterbeer is viewed as a delicacy in the Harry Potter series. It was first developed by chef Steve Jayson, is nonalcoholic, and tastes like a butterscotch soda. Once it debuted at Universal Studios in 2010, it was a hit. Currently, it is served in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands in Orlando, Hollywood, Beijing, and Japan.
For a long time Universal Studios would not even give you a straw with the cold version of Butterbeer because the drink in meant to be experienced in a certain way, with the liquid filtered through the frothy foam at the top. Universal did offer straws for the frozen version, however.
There are also six different adaptations of Butterbeer: cold Butterbeer, frozen Butterbeer, hot Butterbeer, Butterbeer Potted Cream, Butterbeer Fudge, and Butterbeer Ice Cream. It's Butterbeer beyond Butterbeer.
Now, there's a seventh adaptation.
The New Version: Vegan Butterbeer
Universal Studios announced that it will now begin selling Vegan Butterbeer, making it now the seventh type of Butterbeer sold at the Wizarding World.
In the press release, Universal Studios noted: "We are serving Butterbeer without topping to guests who make special dietary requests. This practice is in place at all our parks and allows us to better meet the needs of our guests."
Universal Studios, like other businesses, have been adjusting menus to serve vegan and vegetarian customers as of late. Starbucks (SBUX) offers several non-dairy milk options, and Cracker Barrel (CBRL) recently announced it would offer Impossible Sausage.
Following the announcement, Cracker Barrel's announcement met with backlash, one user on Facebook (META) even saying: "Don't ever try to push that crap in my direction. Stick to the basics that made your franchise a success." However, much of the controversy was made fun of by people on Twitter (TWTR) .
There is clearly a stigma surrounding vegan and vegetarian items being sold at popular restaurant/resort locations. It is unclear whether fans will be upset over the vegan version of Butterbeer, but it will definitely provide more inclusivity to those with dietary restrictions.