Let the jazzy tunes fill your ears, the colourful floats delight your eyes, and the smell of tasty Cajun-inspired food wake up your taste-buds - it’s time for Mardi Gras!
The event kicks off Saturday February 1, running on until April 2, and will feature a nightly parade, live concerts and, most importantly, lots of tasty food and drinks. This year marks 25 years of the party, and the new food and drink options celebrate the occasion wonderfully, evoking the spirit of The Big Easy.
NEW Carnival Around the Universe Tent
This is a brand new food tent that will rotate countries every two weeks, taking us on a different journey of the world’s carnivals globally. Here’s a look at what locations will be showcased and when, and what they’ll be offering too.
Trinidad & Tobago (Week 1 & 2)
- Grilled Pineapple Trini-Chow - topped with kimchi seasoning and cilantro
- Pholourie - fried spicy split pea dough with tumeric, curry powder and tamarind chutney
- Chickpea Double - served on spicy bara flatbread with cilantro and mango chutney
Louisiana Creole (Week 3 & 4)
- Soft Shell Crab Slider - soft shell crab with organic veggie slaw and a bayou aioli
- Cauliflower Dirty Rice - rice cauliflower with plant-based protein crumbles, black eyed peas and Cajun spices
Brazil (Week 5 & 6)
- Pao de Quiejo - warm cheese bread served with guava dipping sauce
- Sweet Plantains - covered in cinnamon and sugar served with banana poppy seed dipping sauces
Germany (Week 7 & 8)
- Sauerbraten - slow braised beef with buttered spaetzel, pickled red cabbage and topped with red wine sauce
- Grilled Bratwurst - served on a potato pancake with whole grain mustard, sour cream and chives
- Warm Pretzel
Try and range of new drinks to pair with your food, and even collect a new souvenir cup design as well. Some of these speciality drinks are only available with the purchase of a food item at the location they are served.
Available in the full 20oz speciality drinks:
- High Seas Twister - similar to rum punch
- Blue Voodoo - blue margarita
- Carnival Lane - gin drink with fruit juices
- Baby Cakes - vodka drink that tastes like king cake, a Mardi Gras speciality!
- Bourbon Street Punch - exclusive to the Bayou Boil
- Coconut Water in a Coconut - non-alcoholic and only available during 1&2 of Carnival Around the Universe
Available for food & drinks 9oz pairings ONLY:
- Hoodoo Cold Brew - pecan vodka cold brew
- Cajun Bloody Mary
- Pecan Street - vodka caramel drink available only during week 3 & 4 of Carnival Around the Universe
- Girl from Ipanema - gin coconut drink, only available during week 5 & 6 of Carnival Around the Universe
Inspired by some of the literal floats, which are themed to Treasures of the Deep, these are perfect Instagram treats to help you cool off in the warmer weather.
Shipwreck - pineapple soft serve ice cream, chocolate soft serve, pineapple soda, cotton candy and waffle cone flag
Sunken City of Atlantis - vanilla soft serve, wild berry soda, mango boba and gummy shark
Mardi Gras - pineapple and lime soft serve ice cream, grape soda, blueberry boba nad waffle cone flag
The Mimosa Bar is also returning to Cafe La Bamba, featuring eight different mimosas. The King Cake Slushie and Bayau Bog Water are the non-alcoholic, kid-friendly offerings too.
Mardi Gras Classics
Of course, alongside these new additions, there’s also the return of these classics to The French Quarter Courtyard -
- King Cake
- Shrimp Gumbo
- Red Beans & Rice with Shrimp
- Cajun Twisted Tater
- Gator Bites
- Crab Etouffee
- Shrimp & Andouille Po’Boy
- Sausage Po’ Boy
- Catfish Po’ Boy
- Chicken and Andouille Po’ Boy
Upgrade your Mardi Gras experience and add-on the Bayou Boil experience. Feast on a huge pan piled high with crawfish, shrimp, chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya, potatoes, and corn on the cob. What’s more, if you manage to clear the pan, they’ll bring out more! There’s also endless beignets and king cake waiting nearby for dessert.
The Bayou Boil is hosted in Battery Park by the lagoon with a private dining area and bar. There’s limited capacity, which makes for an intimate setting, and you’ll also dine ‘family style’ with other guests, allowing you to meet other Universal fans. After you’ve finished eating, head over to a private area in front of Cafe La Bamba to watch the parade. Make sure to catch those beads!
Other ways to upgrade your Mardi Gras experience are the Feast & Floats Dessert Party and the Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard. The dessert party allows you VIP viewing to the Mardi Gras parade and Universal’s Cinematic Celebration, and the lanyard allows you the option to enjoy multiple food and drink options throughout Mardi Gras.
The Mardi Gras celebrations continue through to Universal CityWalk, with fun themed food and drinks. Have a look at what you can get your hands on here:
- French Quarter Milkshake - King Cake in a glass (Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen)
- Mardi Gras Doughnut - filled with cinnamon sugar bavarian cream (Voodoo Doughnut)
- Masquerade Martini - grape vodka with blue curacao and citrus flavours (The Cowfish)
- Party Gras Drink - vodka and coconut rum and pineapple flavours (Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom)
- Voodoo Doctor Drink - classic margarita with a hint of black raspberry (Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom)
- Taste of Nola - red beans and rice, crawfish and andouille etouffee and blackened chicken with creole sauce (Pat O’Briens)
- Mardi Gras Muffuletta Platter - footlong hot dog with traditional muffuletta dressing (Hot Dog Hall of Fame)
- Roast Beef Po’boy - shaved roast beef and gravy with toppings (Bread Box)
- King Cake Bon - classic Cinnabon dressed up in its Mardi Gras best (Cinnabon)
- The Jester Drink - apple whiskey with melon flavours (CityWalk Food & Beverage Carts)
The Mardi Gras celebrations take place at Universal Orlando Resort from February 1 - April 2 at Universal Studios Florida. Click here to browse our Universal Orlando attraction tickets now!