REVIEW: CityWalk’s New Best Bar? Trying Every “Back to the Future”, “Jurassic World”, and Classic Cinema Themed Cocktail & Mocktail at Universal’s Great Movie Escape

Whether you need to loosen up before or unwind after your escape room adventure, Universal’s Great Movie Escape in Universal CityWalk Orlando has you covered with two bars inside — one on the first floor near “Back to the Future: OUTATIME” and another on the second floor next to “Jurassic World: Escape.”

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You don’t need to have an escape room reservation to enjoy one of the specialty offerings at the bar. Like the escape rooms, Universal’s Great Movie Escape bars also open at 10:30 a.m.

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Steeped in an art deco style and plenty of movie memorabilia, including costumes and props from its two signature experiences, the bars of Universal’s Great Movie Escape are just as immersive as the theming found throughout each part of this new attraction. The bar on the main level is tucked in a corner and features wheel-chair accessible service, while the second-floor bar allows patrons to overlook the grand lobby or relax in one of its several lounge areas throughout the balcony area.

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Both the Main Level and Upstairs bars feature a menu of the same specialty drinks, wonderfully themed toward the two escape experiences, “Back to the Future” and “Jurassic World”.

There are two mocktails and eight cocktails — but alcohol can be added to the mocktails at a patron’s request.

You can watch us try every drink in the video below as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdTrjWwvXog

Nublar Cooler (non alcoholic) – $9

Fresh lime juice, agave nectar, pineapple juice, jalapeño slices, tonic

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The first of two non-alcoholic cocktail, or “mocktail”, choices is the Nublar Cooler. If you thought all mocktails were sugary and sweet, we invite you try this exotic beverage. Universal has spared no expense on crafting an intriguing menu and it’s exciting to see a more “adult” flavor profile in a mocktail beverage.

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Served in a tall glass, this cooler has a base of fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, and agave nectar before being topped off with tonic and garnished with jalapeño slices. Despite being a cooler, the jalapenos pack a little heat! It isn’t too spicy, but this is definitely a drink geared towards adults. We chose to add vodka to ours, but we all agreed next time we would probably go for tequila and make it more like a spicy margarita. Whether you go for the mocktail or cocktail version, you can’t go wrong.

Hoverboard Highball (non alcoholic) – $9

Prickly Pear syrup, lemon juice, Sprite, lemon bitters, mint

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Though the Hoverboard Highball is listed as the second mocktail option, we decided to give this drink a try with and without alcohol. The straight glass is the regular non-alcoholic version while the glass with waves has alcohol.

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The Hoverboard Highball is certainly one of a few menu options paying nod to the Back to the Future-themed “OUTATIME” escape adventure at Universal’s Great Movie Escape. Prickly pear syrup and lemon juice are combined with Sprite and topped with lemon bitters, a lemon slice, and a sprig of mint for garnish. The prickly pear syrup and its citrus soda counterpart combine to form an almost-neon hue inside this non-alcoholic concoction. The color of the drink, combined with the garnish, is perfectly reminiscent of a Hoverboard. This non-alcoholic drink will appeal to kids and those looking for a sweet and tart drink. Of course, you can add your alcohol of choice to this drink as well. We enjoyed it with vodka, but also agreed we would be returning to try this one with tequila next time. This is another drink that you can’t go wrong with either version.

Grand Banks Swizzle – $14.50

Appleton Reserve, Popcorn Falernum, lime juice, Angostura Bitters

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The Grand Banks Swizzle serves up Appleton Reserve Rum, lime juice, a Popcorn Falernum Syrup, and a splash of Angostura bitters for added island spice. Perhaps its most eye-catching component is the attached cone of toffee nut popcorn clothes-pinned to the rim of this tall glass.

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This impressive drink is a real show-stopper. From the popcorn garnish to the alluring combination of flavors, this was a hit with our entire group.

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The flavor profile seems a bit more adventurous, with a strong and heavy apple flavor matched with a Jelly Belly-like candy popcorn flavor, that actually pairs together perfectly. The sweet and almost savory combination is sure to put you in a grand mood! What could be better than popcorn and a drink before a movie adventure?

Gigawatt Glow – $14

New Amsterdam Vodka, blue curaçao, lime juice, Sprite, Angostura Bitters

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The Gigawatt Glow is a bright-blue cocktail featuring New Amsterdam Vodka, blue curacao, lime juice, Sprite, and a splash of Angostura Bitters for an extra touch of island flavor. It’s a smooth drink with a slight carbonation, almost like an electric lemonade. The nice thing about all of these drinks is that even the sweet ones aren’t sugary. Nothing tastes syrupy or artificial.

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The fruity flavor is almost like Gatorade, which is light and refreshing in the Florida heat. This quickly became a favorite of most in our group and will be one we look forward to enjoying again.

Smoke & Mirrors – $15.50

Noble Oak, China China, agave nectar, Bourbon Barrel and Chocolate Bitters

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The Smoke & Mirrors features Noble Oak Bourbon , an orange-based China China bitter and agave nectar and is finished with Bourbon Barrel and Chocolate Bitters.

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This a strong drink with a rich chocolate flavor and a hint of citrus. If you’re looking to kick back with a good bourbon drink, this is the perfect drink to sip on while you sink into the comfortable armchairs in the lobby.

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Raptor Bite

El Jimador Blanco Tequila, mango nectar, triple sec, lime juice, Hella Smoked Chili Bitters, jalapeño

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As the only signature cocktail to offer tequila, the Raptor Bite stands out from the menu. This Universal Great Movie Escape cocktail features El Jimador Blanco Tequila mixed with mango nectar, triple sec, and lime juice. The drink is finished off with a touch of Hella Smoked Chiller Bitters and jalapeño slices for garnish.

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If you’re afraid of spice, this drink is just as dangerous as a raptor. This is much hotter than the Nublar Cooler. The raw jalapeno slices will leave you feeling like you’ve been bitten by a raptor. The tropical mango is the perfect pairing for this spicy beverage, and seems like something you might find if you visited Jurassic World.

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It made us feel the need for a tropical climate and some tortilla chips. This taste was similar to salsa, both sweet and spicy, and you may need a little time to get through the entire drink. If you like wild drinks, the Raptor Bite is for you.

Wake Up Juice – $14.50

Old Overholt Rye, Kahlua, Angostura Bitters

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The Wake Up Juice is a simple drink of Old Overholt Rye, Kahlua, and more Angostura Bitters.

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From the themed name to the expertly mixed drink, this was the first beverage we ordered and it did not disappoint. It was everything we could have hoped for and more. This is a delicious old fashion and appealed to a majority of our group.

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This drink is simple, but it’s a strong one. We absolutely recommend grabbing this one and taking your time to enjoy the ambience.

Silent Era – $14.50

New Amsterdam Vodka, Kahlua, espresso, pistachio syrup

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For those who are a fan of Kahlua, but might prefer something with a little jolt, the Silent Era cocktail is served with New Amsterdam vodka and espresso with a touch of pistachio syrup.

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One of the amazing bar tenders will use a stencil and pistachio spray to add a Universal Great Movie Escape logo to your martini. This adds an extra flair to this fancy cocktail, surely a star of the silent era.

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There needs to be a bit of fine-tuning with the stencil and spray. We ordered about 3 or 4 of these in total during the day, from different bar tenders, and it’s just a flaw with the process and not their actual skill. Having said that, it’s pretty obvious this was one of our top favorite drinks. The escape adventures do begin at 10:30 a.m., so if you need to energize yourself for the experience, this is a fantastic option. We’d like to add there are also bloody marys and mimosas, for those that aren’t fans of coffee. If you require coffee to survive (like myself), this is going to be your favorite drink by far.

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This might not be the Wake Up Juice, but this certainly will wake you up. Don’t sleep on this one. It’s one of our favorites.

Hill Valley Gin & Tonic – $14.50

The Hill Valley Gin and Tonic features New Amsterdam gin, dry cuacao, tonic, and a splash of Angostura bitters

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The Hill Valley Gin and Tonic was the last drink we tried for the night and just failed to impress us after so many phenomenal options. This just missed the mark for us, but if you like a strong gin-forward beverage, this is worth a shot.

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There really wasn’t anything wrong with this drink, we just wouldn’t order it again. We might not have ended as strongly as we started, but this entire menu was amazing.

Universal’s Great Movie Escape is easily the best new addition to CityWalk in a long time and might be our new favorite hangout on property. You do not need to have tickets to the escape rooms to visit the bars, so we encourage you to stop in and check out this impressive menu. From sweet to spicy, there’s something for everyone here. The atmosphere is chill and perfect for good drinks and better conversation. The Team Members were more than inviting and made us feel welcomed from the moment we entered. Do not miss out on visiting Universal’s Great Movie Escape in CityWalk on your next trip to the Universal Orlando Resort.

If these specialty cocktails and mocktails don’t sound like something you’d like to try, Universal’s Great Movie Escape bars offer a selection of red and white wine by the glass or bottle. Three bottled beers and six draft beers, including an Isla Hublar IPA, are also offered at the bars of Universal’s Great Movie Escape.

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