The Sneaky Trick To Get Free Butterbeer At Universal Orlando

At Universal Orlando Resort, the only thing better than Butterbeer is free Butterbeer. It's the non-alcoholic specialty drink exclusive to the Wizarding World and other popular Harry Potter attractions outside Universal. Yet it comes with an even more exclusive air when you're one of the savvy few, sipping it with breakfast, content in the knowledge that you didn't have to pay extra for it.

It's never too early for Butterbeer. Slip into the Three Broomsticks restaurant in Hogsmeade — the Islands of Adventure half of the Wizarding World — and you can choose Butterbeer as your free drink when you order a breakfast set. It's not truly "free," of course, since you're paying $18.99 for the set. However, meals at Three Broomsticks can be bountiful. (They're officially billed as "hearty.") If you opt for the traditional English breakfast, it comes with eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, black pudding, potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and a grilled tomato. When you weigh the $18.99 against that amount of food and the $8.99 price of an individual Butterbeer, the drink certainly feels like a freebie.

This is one of those secrets every Universal Orlando visitor should know. Like a wizard on a stealth broomstick, it's been flying under the radar on social media and travel blogs for years. Scattered YouTubers, Redditors, TikTokers, and Tripadvisor reviewers mention it offhand, but it's not like a newsboy or town crier is out there in Hogsmeade, promoting it with shouts of, "Free Butterbeer!" Maybe that's because it comes with a catch.

Three Broomsticks advantages and disadvantages

Three Broomsticks serves breakfast until 10:30 a.m., but some visitors may be so caught up in the morning rush of rides at Islands of Adventure that they don't even realize it's open before that. Others may order a breakfast plate without it ever occurring to them that they can do Butterbeer for the drink instead of juice, coffee, tea, or milk. It's essentially the Universal equivalent of substituting a milkshake for the soft drink in a McDonald's value meal.

For the shake, you'd have to pay a slight upcharge. The catch with Three Broomsticks is that it casts a "shrinkflation" spell by downsizing your drink. The Butterbeer that comes with your breakfast likely won't be as big as the one you'd get elsewhere. For some wizards, though, it could be just enough to wet your beak and feel satisfied.

When we've ordered Butterbeer separately, from one of the street carts that sell it outside in Hogsmeade, my wife and I have sometimes shared one since she finds the butterscotch flavor too sweet-tasting. Even if you're two people and both want a Butterbeer of your own, the combined price of $17.98 means you'd be paying almost as much for just two drinks as you would for one entire breakfast with the same drink. Those cart lines can also be long, so Three Broomsticks might let you condense your wait time from two lines (for the meal and drink) into one.

At Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida

Some say Hogsmeade is a better pick than Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando. With matching Butterbeer mustaches on our lips, we couldn't agree more at breakfast time. If Islands of Adventure, Hogsmeade, or Three Broomsticks aren't on your itinerary, however, you can try the breakfast Butterbeer trick at the Leaky Cauldron. With a park-to-park ticket, it's a short ride away on the Hogwarts Express, over in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

The same trick has worked for some (though not all) Redditors over there. As of this writing, the Leaky Cauldron's breakfast is the same price — $18.99 — but that comes with a disclaimer. Since we're not in control of Universal, they could always change their prices/policies, or a staff member could simply deny your breakfast Butterbeer request for whatever reason. If a fluke happens where they're out of stock, or you get someone who's new and still untrained in the ways of semi-free Butterbeer, you may not be able to game the system of theme park capitalism this way.

That's not to say paying for Butterbeer like regular old Muggles is always bad. At Three Broomsticks, you can leave with some nice souvenir Butterbeer cups if you go that route. They also have Butterbeer ice cream on the menu. If nothing else, this trick is just worth a try. So, when a Harry Potter fan asks you, "What's your poison?" tell them, "Free breakfast Butterbeer at Three Broomsticks."