It’s that time again…Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort! It’s one of my absolute favorite times of year at Universal. The crowds are usually much less than in the summer & during Halloween Horror Nights, but there are awesome Mardi Gras “extras” included with your theme park admission. There are plenty of choices for specialty food & beverage items (available at additional cost). You can’t miss the Mardi Gras parade. I rode on a parade float a couple of years ago, and it was so much fun! I’ll be watching the parade within the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal again!
Here are some of the specialty food items for Mardi Gras:
You’ll be able to enjoy new and returning favorite food items daily in the French Quarter Courtyard located in the New York area in Universal Studios, starting at 4 p.m. from Feb. 9 – April 4. New this year, all food and drink items will be served in tasting sizes. You know what that means – more opportunity to indulge in EVERYTHING
Crab Etoufee — Your classic etouffee dish with rice and crab smothered in a savory sauce.
Fried Catfish Po Boy — Fried catfish po boy with a crisp slaw and hot sauce, served with kettle chips. Also new is the shrimp and andouille sausage po boy and chicken po boy.
Returning this year are the authentic classics you know and love: Gumbo, jambalaya available without shrimp), red beans and rice (available without shrimp) and beignets. You’ll also be able to get Universal’s classic twisted taters but with a new Cajun seasoning twist!
THE BAYOU BOIL —
One of the big new additions to Mardi Gras this year is the Bayou Boil – An Exclusive Mardi Gras Dining Experience. On select nights, you can enjoy the delicious fun of a traditional crawfish boil, chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya (available on request). Then you head over to your exclusive parade viewing area with endless king cake, complimentary sparkling wine and non-alcoholic beverages. This experience can be purchased for $59.99 per adult and $39.99 per child plus tax.
Two of my Modern Travel Professionals business associates Julie & Rob riding the float as the King & Queen of Mardi Gras
There are are a variety of new specialty cocktails you can try in the French Quarter:
Mimosa Bar: Also new to this year is a bar dedicated to Mimosas. You read that right. You’ll get to try unique flavors like never before. Cafe La Bamba now features a Mimosa (and Wine) Bar, which has eight “unique” flavors of mimosas for your Mardi Gras pleasure:
- Raspberry Rosemary
- Pomegranate Choco-Chili
- Caramel Apple
- Coconut Pineapple
- Chambord Kir Royale
- Pineapple Mint
- Frozen Orange Mango
- Frozen Mint Mojito
All of these delectable drinks cost $11 and are available starting at 3:00 pm, when La Bamba opens up to Mardi Gras goers.
Signature Drink: If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option, check out the Bayou Bog Water – complete with gummy worms and fish, blueberry boba beads and a lemonade and ginger ale mix.
Other specialty drinks include:
- Carnival Cocktail — is a mix of Long Island iced tea, raspberry and blueberry vodka, lemonade, and Triple Sec
- Ragin’ Rumbalaya — consists of Don Q coconut rum, melon liquor, blue Curacao, pineapple juice, and Sprite
- Vicious Voodoo (a combo of the two above!)
- And a wide variety of craft beer selections
Also on select nights, you can get a special Mardi Gras and Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration dining experience. Enjoy exclusive viewing areas for both the Mardi Gras parade and Cinematic Celebration nighttime show. Plus, a dessert bar, sparkling wine, sparkling cider and other non-alcoholic beverages before the lagoon show to end the night on a sweet note.
Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard
A great new perk for this year’s event is the Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard. These sampling lanyards give you the option to try your favorite tasting dishes for one price. They can be used on all nights of Mardi Gras, so you can come back and use them again for another night if you have leftovers. Here’s a breakdown on options and pricing:
- 5 items lanyard for $30
- 10 items lanyard for $50
- 15 items lanyard for $60 – Passholder Exclusive!
Beignet Voodoo Doughnut
I may have saved the best for last. This is one item that I will not miss…
You can also swing by Voodoo Doughnut in CityWalk and pick up the new Mardi Gras themed doughnut. The Beignet is a yeast raised doughnut half dipped in vanilla, half dipped in sugar, filled with Bavarian Hickory and topped with Mardi Gras sprinkles. This doughnut is available for a limited time, so make sure you grab one now.
Here is a list of the parade times throughout the event’s run, for your convenience:
The parade starts at 5:15 pm on Feb. 21, Mar. 4
The parade starts at 6:15 pm on Feb. 10-15, 18-20, 22, 24-28, Mar. 1, 5-8
The parade starts at 7:15 pm on Mar. 3
The parade starts at 7:30 pm on Mar. 11-15, 18-22, 25-29, Apr. 1-4
The parade starts at 7:45 pm on Feb. 9, 16, 17, 23, Mar. 2, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31
As a reminder, the Mardi Gras parade is about 20 minutes in length, from beginning to end.
Where is the best place to watch the parade?
The Mardi Gras parade starts at the bottom of the map seen above, right next to the Horror Make-Up Show theater, and then it follows the purple line all the way around Universal Studios Florida, ending back where it began. Most anywhere along the route gives great views, with plenty of opportunities to catch beads!
What is this year’s concert lineup?
Here is the full roster of the musical acts that will be descending upon Universal Studios Florida for Mardi Gras 2019.
- Saturday, February 9: Bush
- Saturday, February 16: Gavin DeGraw
- Sunday, February 17: Dan + Shay
- Saturday, February 23: Macklemore
- Saturday, March 2: Sabrina Carpenter
- Saturday, March 9: Becky G.
- Sunday, March 10: Sean Paul
- Saturday, March 16: Steve Miller Band
- Sunday, March 17: Ziggy Marley
- Saturday, March 23: NF
- Sunday, March 24: Pitbull
- Saturday, March 30: Bazzi
- Sunday, March 31: to be announced
Have you made plans to attend Mardi Gras at Universal? It’s not too late! As you know, you can always contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for your no-obligation quote to the Universal Orlando Resort. Soon, I’ll be able to book packages to Universal Hollywood as well! And, I’m already booking packages for Halloween Horror Nights 2019! I’ll be posting information about that in a future blog.
Stay More Save More Vacation Package
Save up to $150* when you stay 4 nights or longer. With hotel accommodations and admission to all three theme parks included, the longer you stay, the more you save—and get to play.
Vacation Package Includes:
- Hotel Accommodations
- 3-Park Tickets that include admission to Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™
- Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ one hour before the park opens (Valid theme park admission required. Select attractions.)
- Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk™
I hope this has enticed you to think about visiting the Universal Orlando Resort! It’s a fun-filled vacation! Let me tell you how we can add a few days on to your Disney vacation, or let’s plan your vacation solely at Universal…there are plenty of things to see and do to fill an entire vacation’s worth of fun. How about adding a performance of the Blue Man Group one night?