There are so many things I’m looking forward to experiencing when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens this summer. But one of the things at the top of my list is trying all the amazing food and beverage options that I’ll be able to enjoy throughout the land. I’m a big Harry Potter fan and an even bigger foodie…so the thought of combining food and drink with one of my favorite series is absolutely amazing!
We’ll all have the opportunity to actually step inside places you’ve only seen in the films and read about in the books and actually taste some of the foods and drinks your favorite characters have enjoyed!
First up is the Leaky Cauldron – where I got to take a sneak peek earlier this week. It looks just like it does in the films…all the way down to the huge cauldron that sits in the middle of the restaurant. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious British fare like…
- Bangers and Mash (traditional roasted sausages with creamy mashed potatoes)
- Toad in the Hole (traditional sausage baked into a Yorkshire pudding and served with onion gravy)
- Cottage Pie (a savory combination of meat and vegetables in a potato crust)
- Fisherman’s Pie (salmon, shrimp and cod baked together under a potato crust)
- Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew (served in a bread bowl)
- Ploughman’s (a feast of English cheeses, crusty bread, cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, Branston pickle and a Scotch egg)
- Split Pea Soup
- Banger Pub Style Sandwich
- Fish and Chips
- And more!
And you can finish off your meal with scrumptious desserts like Chocolate Potted Cream, Cranachan and Sticky Toffee Pudding. There will also be breakfast served at the Leaky Cauldron with two new breakfast items, only available at Diagon Alley: an Apple Oatmeal Flan with Yogurt and Fruit and an Egg, Leek and Mushroom Pasty.
There will also be new beverages for you to enjoy in Diagon Alley like:
- Fishy Green Ale (it’s Fishy Green Ale, use your imagination!)
- Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice
- Tongue Tying Lemon Squash
- Peachtree Fizzing Tea
- Wizard’s Brew (draught beer)
- Dragon Scale (draught beer)
- Pumpkin Juice
- Butterbeer (of course!)
Another must-stop during your trip to Diagon Alley will be Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment, a cart located in Horizont Alley, where you can enjoy unique elixirs. Here’s how it works: you select from a variety of elixirs like Draught of Peace, Babbling Beverage, Elixir to Induce Euphoria and Fire Protection Potion, and then add the elixir to Gillywater. By mixing them, you’ll see your drink transform before your eyes and experience a delightful flavor surprise. Too cool!
And of course, to top it all off, you have Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. You may remember Florean Fortescue’s from the first book and film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when Hagrid bought Harry a chocolate and raspberry ice-cream with chopped nuts. You’ll be able to do the same with unique flavors of ice-cream like…
- Granny Smith (pictured)
- Earl Grey and Lavender
- Chocolate Chili
- Clotted Cream
- Apple Crumble
- Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Salted Caramel Blondie
- Chocolate and Raspberry
- Strawberry and Peanut-Butter
- Orange Marmalade
- Butterbeer (that’s right, Butterbeer-flavored ice cream!)
During my time learning about the new food and beverage options in Diagon Alley, I had the opportunity to sit with Ric Florell, the Senior Vice President of Revenue Operations at Universal Orlando Resort, and Executive Chef Steve Jayson to learn all the details. Here’s what they had to say:
Deni: How did you approach developing food or beverage that has only existed in the Harry Potter books and films and people’s imaginations?
Ric: The first thing we did was research. We took a look at the Harry Potter books and the films and determined which foods and beverages we wanted to concoct for our guests. Of course, we had to have the Leaky Cauldron. The tricky part was creating a menu when there was no mention of any of the food items in the books and only one mention in the films to Split Pea Soup. So, we devised a menu with delicious dishes you would find in a British pub.
We also took into consideration what our guests wanted. For example, we received a lot of interest in having a larger beer selection in the Hog’s Head pub in Hogsmeade. We took that feedback and decided to offer more options in the Leaky Cauldron.
Our goal is to give our guests a culinary experience that immerses them in the fun, excitement and wonder of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Deni: Did you work with J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. for the development and creation?
Ric: Yes, we definitely worked closely with our partners to put together the menus and beverages that will be found in Diagon Alley. After we developed our recipes and dishes, we had multiple tastings with Warner Bros.
Deni: Speaking of Butterbeer, it has been so well received along with the rest of the Three Broomsticks menu at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. How have you continued the culinary progression from Hogsmeade into Diagon Alley?
Chef Jayson: We wanted to expand the dining from Hogsmeade into Diagon Alley by re-creating another beloved restaurant found in the Harry Potter books and films that delivers a completely different experience than the Three Broomsticks – yet, has the same magical feel. In the Leaky Cauldron, you actually feel as if you’re walking into a pub with dishes that are true to the British culture. We even imported certain ingredients like English cheeses to add to our dishes.
With Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, you can order flavors of ice-cream that were inspired by flavors associated with England, like Clotted Cream and Earl Grey and Lavender. You will also encounter fun flavors you would expect to only find in the wizarding world like Butterbeer.
Plus, there are a few surprises we’re leaving for our guests to discover. We challenged ourselves to bring the food and drink of Harry Potter’s world to life, and I feel our guests will leave here saying we were successful.
Deni: How does the food and beverage in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley fit into the overall picture of Universal Orlando’s culinary experience?
Ric: When our guests dine with us in our restaurants, we want them to be fully immersed in the theme, so they feel as if they’re in that world. With The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we want our guests to feel as if they’re a part of the adventures that their favorite characters experienced. As they dine in the Leaky Cauldron, we want them to feel the authenticity of British cuisine as well as the magic of being in Diagon Alley.
We’re bringing to life our guests’ favorite stories and giving them a chance to experience them firsthand – and we want our food and beverages to enhance that experience.
Deni: And now for the best question: what are your favorite dishes or drinks coming to Diagon Alley?
Ric: I really love the Bangers and Mash that will be served in the Leaky Cauldron. And I’ll have to say the Ploughman’s, because it’s a plate the whole table can enjoy.
Chef Jayson: For me, I’m especially proud to be a part of the team that created Butterbeer, so that’s definitely a favorite. As for new dishes, I really enjoy our pies. Our classic Shepherd’s Pie is always delicious, and our new Fisherman’s Pie is especially tasty.
What are you looking forward to trying in Diagon Alley this summer? Tell us by commenting below.