A few weeks ago we were invited to check out some of the new offerings at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood for the West Coast introduction of Butterbeer Ice Cream, new spell locations, new lunch items in the three broomsticks and high-end replica outfits available at Gladrags Wizardwear.

Not only did we get to try Butterbeer Ice Cream, we got to sample every type of Butterbeer available! Here are my thoughts on all of them (except one):

Frozen: This is the first kind of Butterbeer I ever had and the one that I have gotten the most. On those hot theme park days, Frozen Butterbeer always hits the spot!

Regular: Unfortunately, I have never tried the regular Butterbeer and I probably never will because I’m just not a “regular” kind of guy.

Hot: The best way to describe Hot Butterbeer is if you were to imagine putting a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a hot slice of apple pie and as the ice cream begins to melt you taste warm ice cream when you take a bite of the pie. It’s just like that but an entire cup!

Fudge: A very rich treat with the consistency of fudge and the taste of butterscotch!

Ice Cream: This hard packed ice cream has a chocolate flavor to it with just a hint of Butterbeer taste. It is not the same taste as the soft serve Butterbeer ice cream (that is currently only available at Universal Orlando), but overall I enjoyed it and finished my entire bowl!

Potted Cream: Served in a mini glass pot, it has the consistency of the Mexican desert flan! To my surprise this was my favorite type of Butterbeer!

After the Butterbeer taste-testing we had the chance to obtain an interactive wand so as to visit the many “wand magic” locations throughout the Wizarding World. At these location we could cast a spell and watch something magical unfold before our eyes! This summer they added two new spell location and though I had never tried any of the spells before, I figured I would give it a try. At most of the spell locations there is a “magical” team member who is there to help you get the hand movements down while you say the name of the spell out loud. Even if no one is around to help, each spell location has a mini plaque on the ground that has the spell name and the hand movement to cast the spell. I got the hang of it very quickly and was delighted when I tried the new Alohomora spell, which revealed the fiery breath of a creature hidden behind a secret door!

All that spell-casting made me work up an appetite so I decided to try one of the new lunchtime offerings at The Three Broomsticks. I went with the Cheese Toastie with Chicken which was basically a grilled cheese sandwich with chicken, bacon, and an egg that was sunny-side-up. Even though the crust was a little too toasted for my taste, it was quite a tasty sandwich and the yolk wasn’t even too messy.

I couldn’t leave Hogsmeade Village without stopping by Gladrags Wizardwear to try on one of the screen replica Hogwarts robes. Right off the bat, I was pleased that the witch working there knew I was from House Slytherin! The robe was a nice fit and surprisingly lightweight; it even had an inside wand pocket. I had a feeling that I looked good but I wanted to make sure, so I walked over to Madam Malkin’s Talking Mirror and modeled my new outfit where the mirror assured me that I looked great!

Overall, these are fantastic additions to the already magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, so make sure you go and visit soon so that you too can become a wizard!

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