the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Guest Review: Three Broomsticks & More at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Warning to Disney purists — we’re branching out a bit today! Heather Winfield sent along this amazing review of some food stops in Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Just take one look at that mug of butterbeer and you might be swayed… . Take it away Heather!

Three Broomsticks. Click photo for larger image.

In December, we visited Universal for the first time to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP.) I got in late in the Harry phenomenon, but WWoHP is a must do for any fan. It was amazing. Every detail was perfect! When it was time for lunch, we didn’t want to leave the area, so we decided to eat at WWoHP’s restaurant, Three Broomsticks.

The Three Broomsticks
Like all of Hogsmeade, the outside of the restaurant looks exactly as you picture it from the books & have seen in the movies. There’s also a little sign outside with a partial menu.

Three Broomsticks Menu. Click photo for larger image.

We went at 11am, which seemed like a good time to eat. While there was a small line to order, it wasn’t crowded. When we left, the line was out the door!

While you are waiting in line, they have examples of the food on display. The coolest (in a Harry Potter-ish way) is probably the Great Feast. It feeds 4, and has a bit of everything! Someone at a table next to us had it, and I wanted to take a picture when it came to their table, but I figured that was a bit creepy. At least I got a picture of it when you first walk in.

Three Broomsticks Feast

If you are looking for the typical theme park burgers & fries, this isn’t the place for you. They have chicken, ribs, and turkey legs, which are more of the normal park fare. But then they also have fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, and Cornish pasties.

Three Broomsticks' Main Courses Menu. Click photo for larger image.

It’s basically on par with Disney’s counter service places. When you get to the front of the line, someone there tells you which register to go to. After placing your order at that register, they send you to another line to pick up the food. Then, once you get your food, they seat you.

If you try to sit before ordering, they will kick you out of your seat! Really, we saw this happen twice while eating! This works well since you never have to worry about walking around carrying a tray of food trying to find a place to sit (which happened to us the next day at Disney!). The staff was pleasant and pretty organized (which, sadly, wasn’t the case for most of Universal).

The inside of the restaurant looks like you jumped into the books. So no matter how long you have to wait to be seated, it won’t feel that bad since you’ll be looking around and up at the ceiling!

Inside Three Broomsticks

There were also a few decorations up for Christmas, but if you weren’t looking for them, you’d probably miss them.

Holiday Decor inside Three Broomsticks

Holiday Decor inside Three Broomsticks

Across from where we were seated were, well, three broomsticks!

Brooms inside Three Broomsticks

Onto the food! I had the rotisserie smoked chicken platter. When the plate was placed on our tray, I actually said “that’s huge! I can’t finish that!” The server laughed at me!

It was half a chicken and a full ear of corn. The chicken was really good, and very moist! And, no, I couldn’t finish it! I’m not used to getting corn in the parks, but this was really good, too. It was nice and sweet, and it was fun that the full husk was still attached, so it was easy to eat.

But my favorite thing on the plate was the potatoes. Even though I couldn’t finish the chicken or corn, I was pushing everything around on the plate to make sure I had every last potato! They were just perfect, I would buy just a side of them alone!

Chicken Meal served at Three Broomsticks

My mom got the Cornish pasties with garden salad. She enjoyed this, and said the salad was crisp and the pasties were nice and flaky. The dressing for the salad are the Kens packets you’d find anywhere; this was the only thing that seemed against the theme (they don’t even sell soda anywhere in WWoHP!), so I found that a bit odd.

Cornish Pasties at Three Broomsticks

Of course no trip to WWoHP would be complete without trying butterbeer! Every table had at least one glass of it. I don’t even know how to describe it, except that it’s SO good! It’s like cream soda, but 1000 times better. The yummiest part is the foam — it’s really thick, and after the drink was gone, we both ate it with a spoon!

They sell butterbeer in a souvenir plastic mug or in just a regular cup. Of course I had to get the special mug. You can also use it to get refills anywhere in the park for 80 cents, but only for soda or lemonade, not butterbeer (boo!).

Butterbeer at Three Broomsticks

My mom knows nothing about Harry Potter, but even she had heard of butterbeer and wanted to try it. Butterbeer was her favorite part of WWoHP! Before coming, I had really wanted to try the frozen version. But the day we were there, it was freezing, and with the windchill, it felt like it was in the teens. So, no frozen drinks for me, maybe next time.

Because of the cold, we took our time eating; we were in there for about an hour, but we were never rushed out. The staff was also really helpful, taking plates away, and telling guests the best places to see the parade. When we finally had finished our last drop of butterbeer, I went around to take pictures.

Inside Three Broomsticks

There’s also lots of seating outside behind the restaurant, which would be great on a normal, not freezing day. There is a nice view of the castle to enjoy while eating.

View outside of Three Broomsticks

I love this fun sign by the outdoor seating. Typical of the little touches around WWoHP that make it so magical.

Sign outside Three Broomsticks. Click photo for larger image.

Hog’s Head
Attached to Three Broomsticks is Hog’s Head.

Hog's Head sign

From the outside it looks like 2 separate places, but once you are inside, you might not even realize you are walking into a separate bar (my mom didn’t!). It has a very dark feel to it, just like you would expect.

They also sell butterbeer here, along with alcohol, including Hog’s Head Brew. The silver hog’s head on the right is the tap that it comes from!

Inside Hog's Head

The hog’s head actually moves, just like in the movies & books.

Hog at Hog's Head

There are also shrunken heads and this sign behind the bar:

Sign inside Hog's Head. Click photo for larger image.

Honeydukes
After lunch, we braved going into Honeydukes.

Honeydukes Candy Shop

All the stores in WWoHP are really small and hard to move around in, and we were there when the park wasn’t even that crowded!

Inside Honeydukes

I really wanted to take more pictures in the stores, but it was hard with the crowds. A few minutes after we went in, they actually started a queue outside — just to get into the store! The size of the stores are really my only complaint, I know I missed seeing a lot of little things since we didn’t go in all the stores, and got out of them as quickly as we could.

Honeydukes Candy

By the cash register, they had a case with fudge and really cute cauldron cakes, but I couldn’t get near there to get a picture. I did buy a chocolate frog. It’s huge (and priced that way, at $10), and they each come with a card.

Chocolate Frog from Honeydukes

Chocolate Frog from Honeydukes

I wish they were smaller/cheaper so it’d be easier to collect the cards. They are holographic, so the picture is as movable as we can get in the Muggle world. I got a Hufflepuff card.

Chocolate Frog Card -- Hufflepuff!

One thing I really wished I had tried is pumpkin juice. You can buy them in bottles on carts around WWoHP. Someone told me that it tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. And how cute are these bottles?! So, unlike butterbeer, you can buy bottles of pumpkin juice and bring it home.

Pumpkin Juice

Hope you enjoyed a tour through all the food venues in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

19 Comments

  1. Griffin says:

    We went here for one day last year and thought it was really fun! We ate at Three Broomsticks, My wife and I split the sheppard’s pie and salad while our son had the chicken nuggets and fries. I thought the food was very good overall; fresh and filling. We had the butterbeer as well. Tasted like cream soda, but was very good. I could have sworn they did sell soda inside the restaurant, but I could be wrong? As far as those chocolate frogs go, yuck! Think of the cheapest Easter candy you can get, they just don’t taste good. I do like the collectible card that comes in each one though. Overall, we will now be adding one day to Universal for each week we visit Disney :) Thanks for the review, I enjoyed reading it!

  2. Bill says:

    I too, visited the WWoHP in December, and really enjoyed it. The themeing and attention to detail were wonderful- They really raised the bar for the theme park experience here.

    I was less impressed with The Three Broomsticks. Thanks to the rabid HP teen traveling with us, we ate here THREE (!) times! Twice for breakfast, and once for dinner. I thought the food was mediocre at one meal, and downright inedible the other two times. The turkey leg I had must have been sitting around all day- it was tough as leather! I hacked away at it with a knife and fork, but could barely eat any of it. The pancakes I had one day were thin and crunchy on the rim, and uncooked on the inside. To be fair, the teen loved the food (which explains the three visits). He thought the food was great, but I think if you served him a bag of gravel and told him it was “Harry Potter’s Magical Rock Feast”, he would have enjoyed it.

    Honeyduke’s was a fun store, but, as you noted, WAY overpriced, even for a theme park.

    Don’t let this negativity dissuade you from visiting the park, though, it is amazing. Even if you are a “Disney Snob”, you must check it out. I can’t wait to return. I’ll even return to The Three Broomsticks, but I won’t go with high expectations. I suggest you don’t either.

  3. Christina says:

    Excellent review Heather! I’m a huge HP geek and can’t wait to go. I just wish Universal made this part of the park BIGGER. From what I’ve heard of friends who have gone, the waits for some attractions (like the wand shop) are crazy! Not sure when I’ll have the chance to get there, though!

  4. Angela says:

    I loooooved the Wizarding world of Harry Potter! We didn’t eat any of the food, but it was a hot August day when we went so we had the cold butter beer and it was so good! And so unique to that little area of the park (kinda like dole whips, except in my opinion WAY better- sorry dole whip fans but it weird me out that there’s not a bit of dairy in them).

    The stores were super neat, and although they were small and got congested easily which was a pain, they didn’t sell “universal orlando” “harry potter” logo stuff, they sold the things that you read about in the books. I know there’s been a lot of complaints about how a lot of the Disney gift stores are getting to be more and more of the same, so if you want to see it properly done, come here! Every store is completely unique and the attention to detail is superb. The candy shop was my favourite one.

    Oh and Griffin, they don’t sell soda in the HP part of the park because they don’t drink soda in any of the Harry Potter books and everything is supposed to be authentic :) If it’s not something a “real” wizard would eat or drink, it’s not supposed to be sold there.

  5. Jeni says:

    Excellent review! I frequent the WWOHP and have had the Shepard’s Pie at Three Broomsticks which was pretty good, but for an excellent Shepard’s Pie go to Finnegan’s at Universal. I also make a stop at Hog’s Head every visit to pick up a cold beer before getting in line for the ride. If you are interested in what the Hog’s Head Brew is like, there is a review on my site. Along with trying Butterbeer, everyone should at least try the Pumpkin Juice – it’s really something unique. I’ve got a recipe for that as well if you want to make it at home.

    I think it’s great that you branched out to ‘that other park’ for a segment and look forward to more!

  6. Alan says:

    For a pub lover the Hog’s Head looks like a must. It looks like a terrific atmosphere and a decent drinks menu.

    I don’t know if AJ wants to expand the DISNEY Food Blog beyond the Disney parks, but I will say in all my visits to Orlando, the two best days I ever spent there, were two afternoons on the bar side of Finnegan’s Irish Pub at the Movie Studios section of Universal. And I mean absolutely the most fun at any of the theme parks and especially from a food and beverage (completely beverage) point of view.

  7. AJ says:

    Griffin — Thanks for the review on the chocolate frog!! It looks so tempting sitting there all big and chocolatey! Also, thanks for the kids’ meal info!

    Bill — Ha! I got a great laugh out of “Harry Potter’s Magical Rock Feast!” That’s kind of like me and Disney food — if it’s Disney, I’ll eat it and be happy ;-) Thanks for the comment!

    Christina — Me too! I was so excited to hear about this opening. I hope I get to actually go there someday…

    Angela — Wow! Great info on the shops selling JUST things from the books! How cool is that?! So, what other drinks do they sell in the restaurants, exactly? Do wizards drink Iced Tea?

    Jeni — Thanks for the review, suggestions, and info!

    Alan — Thanks for the Finnegan’s suggestion! I’ve never been there, and, in truth, I’ve only been to Universal once in all my trips to Orlando. It sounds wonderful!

    GENERAL COMMENT FROM ME:
    As for expanding the blog beyond the Disney parks, I have always covered food stops around the Disney parks now and again (and Hollywood, now that we’ve reviewed the Disney Soda Shop by el Capitan!). I don’t make it a habit, but if it’s something that would interest ME as a reader, I’ll write about it. :-)

    I’ve wanted to go to the WWoHP restaurants personally since they opened, but I haven’t had a chance to get there. Seeing these pictures and reading about the food was really fun for me, so I figured it would be fun for many of my readers as well. Hope you enjoy! We’re back to Disney World and Disneyland this afternoon…

  8. Alan says:

    AJ – In general Finnegan’s is a great place to have a few drinks and has an afternoon Happy Hour. The two special days I am referring to were very unusual circumstances that turned both of these afternoons very special, afternoons that my wife and I will never forget.

  9. AJ says:

    Alan — Those sound like a couple of great stories. Speaking of — Happy Valentine’s Day! :-)

  10. carolyn says:

    Oh wow. I’m a gig HP geek too and loved seeing the pictures and reading the review. You didn’t, by any chance, know if there was any vegetarian stuff on the menu? I’d like to think that there are a few veg-heads in the wizard world? (maybe Luna Lovegood?) :-D Can’t wait to try the Butterbeer… someday! Thank you for the review and the wonderful pictures.

  11. Bill says:

    A.J.- Thanks for the comment. You can get any kind of drink you want, except soda, in Hogsmeade. So, yes, they have iced tea.

    I am a big Disney fan too, but I’m glad I went to UO. The parks are great. The food, however, is not Anyone that dumps on Disney cuisine should head to UO to see how mediocre theme park food can be!

    Carolyn- Yes, there are a few vegetarian options.

  12. Josh says:

    AMAZING review of Harry Potterland, Heather!

    I really think this is an upgrade from The Lost Continent theming that they had previously, as Harry Potter is much more widely known to kids and is centered at a wider audience.

    They actually do sell a slight cheaper chocolate frogs that you can buy that are similar to a Crunch bar and it comes with a card as well. I think I saw them at Toys “R” Us last time I was there.

    The Hog’s Head has to be my favorite area out of the whole park due to the lighting and feel that they give to it with the lighting and decoration. The Three Broomsticks just gives me the impression of a Food court by how open it is.

    AJ – I totally agree, you should pursue any reviews that you find interesting. You don’t always have to stick to Disney. ;)

  13. Celia says:

    Great review of WWOHP! As a HP lover and geek I made my way to WWOHP last October. I didn’t get a chance to eat there but of course I at least got the the Butterbeer which was delicious, I have to try the pumpkin juice next trip. The shops are on the smaller side which means on a busy day (like when I went) there is a line to get in. Ollivanders was an especially long wait but totally worth it since I got my wand from the man himself :D Honeydukes was great and Bertiebotts every flavor beans was great and there really are horrible flavored ones.

  14. Watch Me Eat says:

    I actually went here for the first time yesterday! Tried the shepard’s pie. It was okay, but I found the fillings under the potato to be kind of boring. Should have stuck with one of the chicken or rib plates that Universal does so well. Just don’t eat here before you go on the nauseating Forbidden Journey ride…

    I also found it interesting that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter doesn’t sell any outside, non-wizard beverages (like coke products). No wonder there’s always lines for the butterbeer. It’s the only soda you can get there!

  15. Alan says:

    Bill’s comment about the food at Universal is correct as far as the food courts go. Finnegan’s is a table service place with O.K. food ( Irish food as Americans picture it). I always found Lombard’s Grille in the San Fran area to be pretty decent with some interesting dishes.

    But the real places to eat when at those parks is in the City Walk Area. There are some really great place there and a bunch of very good ones. Save your appetites until you get to that area.

  16. Kelly says:

    We just got back from going to the “dark side.” (Quick weekend trip to check out Harry Potter.) Thought it was really well done. We had every intention of eating at Three Broomsticks, but Thursday night I had eaten a bad sushi roll (or at least that’s what I’ve determined that it was) and was sick all day Friday. When we visited on Saturday, my stomach was still pretty sensitive and I was disappointed in the choices at Three Broomsticks. Everything is fried or smoked! Fried foods upset my stomach…I tried chicken fingers for dinner Friday night, it made for a very unpleasant flight! And I’ve never been able to do smoked poultry. They didn’t have many healthy choices…even the salad came with pastries. …we wound up going to Mythos, so don’t feel too bad!

    We did duck into Hog’s Head to get some butterbeer. We got one frozen & one regular. What I had read before hand was that the frozen was better, but I liked the regular better. Both were delicious though! I did get some pumpkin juice, and it really was like drinking liquid pumpkin pie. Good, but very sweet! I love pumpkin, but could only drink about a third.

  17. Kelly says:

    Oh and AJ: you should totally go check out Harry Potter. It’s really well done. The only thing is that it’s really narrow (think the original Disneyland) and the slightest crowd can make it seem REALLY crowded. I mean, it’s not like this past weekend was a terribly crowded, but it just felt like people were everywhere. So my advice would definitely be to go during the “off” season…and get your tickets before you go. We waited 40 minutes just to buy tickets…it was the longest wait of the day!!!!

  18. Greg says:

    I’m going to go off on a little tangent based on a stray comment in this review.

    On our last trip to WDW, I think I walked around with trays full of food looking for a place to sit just about every time we ate at a counter service restaurant. It was horrible! We had 2 young kids and a double stroller. Trying to navigate all the different counters and registers while picking up orders for everyone was an ordeal in and of itself.

    When you were done, you were loaded down with trays of food, kids to wrangle and strollers to manuever in tight spaces. And there would be no empty tables. Plenty of empty chairs, mind you. There were large tables that were half filled. But people apparently wanted to spread out. So we’d walk circles around the restaurant with hungry kids in tow. And never once did a cast member help.

    Total nightmare experience.

  19. John says:

    THANK YOU for this! I would love to go see Harry Potter world, but from what I hear the lines are insane (and that they are expanding it in 2012). I’m going to wait a while for the crowds to die down a bit, then go. I wish Universal had a magical express type shuttle, then I would go!

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *