For students who had the travel bug all year but never had the chance to travel, an end of the school year vacation is the perfect way to reward yourself after a busy semester. While the school year might have dulled our moods, certainly visiting the “happiest place on earth” may provide some remedy. For myself, one of the highlights of visiting theme parks such as Disneyworld and Universal Studios is the unique food options within the theme parks I can look forward to.
For Harry Potter enthusiasts, butterbeer is an iconic drink in the series that has been blended to perfection at Universal Studios. I remember walking into Hogsmeade and being greeted with vendors selling these chilled beverages. Unlike what the name suggests, there is no alcohol content in these drinks. Only a strong root beer, with buttery and caramel aftertastes predominating. The caramelized topping provides a perfect addition to the Italian soda underneath. While this drink tastes surprisingly familiar, it is not sold anywhere else beside inside Universal Studios.
When chilled drinks no longer cool you down, Universal Studios and Disneyland offer a unique flavor of soft serve known as Dole Whip. The soft serve is made from real pineapple juice and helps theme park fanatics survive the 30-degree heat of tropical Orlando or Los Angeles.
Another favorite at Harry Potter world is the unmistakable chocolate frogs. In the series, these chocolate frogs can leap into the air and escape anyone’s salivating mouth. In the real world, the chocolate is artistically sculpted into the shape of a frog and is packaged in an elegant purple box. Chocolate frogs make a great midday snack during or even souvenir to bring home to your friends and family. However, if you don’t eat them fast enough, rather than hopping away they end up melting in the tropical heat (as mine did).
When I first saw other visitors to Universal Studios holding these in their hands, I was intrigued by the turquoise color and what seemed like tapioca bubbles at the bottom. From afar, it looked strikingly similar to a Taiwanese bubble tea. Unfortunately, the drink itself was not my favorite due to its minty flavor that was reminiscent of toothpaste. However, the “fish eggs” were in fact blueberry flavored bubbles that explode with flavor when munched on.
Given that both Disneyland and Disneyworld are along the United States coast, the seafood is fresh and savory. One of my favorite fast food joints after an exhausting day at Universal Studios is at Bubba Gump. The diner restaurant offers a variety of shrimp menus that took comfort food to the next level. I particularly enjoyed their fried Cajun shrimp that was fully seasoned and lightly battered.