Theme Park Ranger
10:34 AM EDT, July 18, 2013
The latest trend among the funky foods at theme parks is the themed beverage, a drink tailored to a specific area within an attraction. Butterbeer, the frothy beverage of choice among the Harry Potter crowd, set the standard when it debuted at Islands of Adventure in 2010. Here's a look at the latest libations suitable for young and old. Note: Although the parks throw around terms like "tavern" and "beer," all of these drinks are nonalcoholic.
South Pole Chill, SeaWorld Orlando
Where: The drink is one of the many choices in the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines at the South Pole Beverages outlet in the new Antarctica realm.
What they say: It's an "all-new vanilla-infused" beverage produced by Coca-Cola.
What we say: Think sparkly cream soda — or maybe a Sprite without the lemon-lime. With some sips I think "chalky" and with others I think "cupcake icing."
What you'll pay: $2.69, the same price as other Coca-Cola products at the park. It can be purchased in SeaWorld's reusable Cup That Cares for $9.99.
Flaming Moe, Universal Studios
Where: The drink is available at Moe's Tavern and Fast Food Boulevard in the new Springfield section of the park.
What they say: The drink is inspired by one popularized by bartender Moe Szyslak in an early 1990s episode of TV's "The Simpsons." (Its secret ingredient: cough syrup.)
What we say: It makes a great entrance: Smoke billows from the top. The taste is citrus, primarily orange. It probably won't suppress coughs.
What you'll pay: $7.99, including the somewhat sturdy plastic souvenir cup with a Flaming Moe logo.
LeFou's Brew, Magic Kingdom
Where: The beverage is sold at Gaston's Tavern in New Fantasyland. (It's also sold at Disney's California Adventure theme park as Red's Apple Freeze.)
What they say: It's a "no-sugar-added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam." The name is a reference to a character from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."
What we say: Whoa, that's sweet! My Twitter feed was generally less generous, with comments ranging from "nasty" to "syrupy sweet" and "Meh." Bottom line: It ain't butterbeer.
What you'll pay: $4.49 ($9.99 with souvenir stein or goblet).
Butterbeer, Islands of Adventure
Where: Multiple locations at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
What they say: It's a secret recipe, but it's like butterscotch and shortbread cookies. The taste was approved by Potter creator J.K. Rowling.
What we say: Hey, that's a good description. Plus, it created a classic theme-park photo op: the funny, foamy mustache.
What you'll pay: $3.75 for original recipe, $4.75 for the frozen version, like a Slurpee. Buy it in a souvenir mug for $11.75.
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