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  • Thursday, April 2, 2020
The Magic of Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando

The Magic of Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando

Florida’s biggest party is back at Universal Orlando Resort starting February 1, 2020! The park’s annual Mardi Gras celebration takes over Universal Studios nightly through April 2 with a variety of New Orleans-style festivities including live music, delicious Creole cuisine, brilliant entertainment, and more!

The French Quarter Courtyard

Every day after 4:00 PM, Universal Studios’ New York neighborhood is transformed into New Orleans’ legendary French Quarter during the Mardi Gras festivities, complete with authentic food, beverages, and entertainment. The courtyard will feature “N’awlins-style food and spirits” like jambalaya, beignets, and other Cajun flavors. This year’s menu of festive foods can be found at the all-new Carnival Around the Universe tasting tent. You will also be able to sit back and enjoy the sounds of New Orleans with live performances from Louisiana Jazz, Blues, and Zydeco bands.

  • February 1 – February 13: Dirty Bourbon River Show
  • February 14 – March 6: Free Agents Brass Band
  • March 6 – March 21: New Breed Brass Band
  • March 22 – April 2: Naughty Professor Brass Band
Carnival Around the Universe Food Tent

The all-new tasting tent in the French Quarter Courtyard features a variety of new dishes all inspired by carnivals from around the world. New menu items will debut bi-weekly during Mardi Gras, including:

Trinidad & Tobago (February 1 – February 15)

  • Grilled Pineapple Trini Chow (Plant-based): Topped with Kimchi Seasoning and Micro Cilantro
  • Pholourie (Plant-based): Fried Spicy Split Pea Dough with Turmeric, Curry Powder, and a Tamarind Chutney
  • Chickpea Double (Plant-based): Chickpeas served on a Spicy Bara Flatbread with Micro Cilantro and Mango Chutney

Louisiana Creole (February 16 – February 29)

  • Softshell Crab Slider: Crispy Softshell Crab topped with Organic Vegetable Slaw served on a Brioche Roll with Bayou Aioli
  • Cauliflower Dirty Rice (Plant-based): Riced Cauliflower with Gardein Crumbles, Black Eyed Peas, and Cajun Spices
  • Pecan Street: Specialty Cocktail with Pecan Vodka, Caramel, and Apple Cider

Brazilian Carnival (March 1 – March 14)

  • Pao de Quiejo: Traditional Warm Cheese Bread with a Guava Dipping Sauce
  • Sugared Sweet Plantains (Plant-based): Covered in Cinnamon Sugar and served with Banana Poppy Seed Dipping Sauce
  • The Girl from Ipanema: A Specialty Cocktail with Gin, Lime, Orgeat Syrup, Coconut Water, and Pineapple Simple Syrup

Germany (March 15 – April 2)

  • Sauerbraten: Slow Braised Beef, Buttered Spaetzle, and Pickled Red Cabbage topped with savory Wine Sauce
  • Grilled Bratwurst: Served on a Potato Pancake with Whole GRain Mustard, Sour Cream, and Chives
  • Warm Pretzel

Other Festival Foods

“Float Floats” at Schwab’s Pharmacy
  • Mardi Gras Float: Pineapple and Lime Soft Serve with Grape Soda, Blueberry Boba, and a Waffle Cone Flag
  • Shipwreck Float: Pineapple and Chocolate Soft Serve with Pineapple Soda, Cotton Candy, and a Waffle Cone Flag
  • Sunken City of Atlantis Float: Vanilla Soft Serve with Wild Berry Soda, Mango Boba, and a Gummy Shark
Specialty Cocktails & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (Served in Mardi Gras-themed Souvenir Cups)
  • High Seas Twister: Rum, Blood Orange Liqueur, and Watermelon Juice
  • Bourbon Street Punch: Bourbon, Orgeat, Coconut Puree, and Orange Juice
  • Coconut Water (Served in an actual Coconut!)
  • Bayou Bog Water
Universal CityWalk
  • Yeast Doughnut filled with Cinnamon Sugar Bavarian Cream and topped with Vanilla Glaze and Mardi Gras Sprinkles (Available at Voodoo Doughnut)
  • The French Quarter Artisan Milkshake: King Cake, Cream Cheese Crema, and Pastry Cream topped with King Cake and a Beignet (Available at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen)
  • Seasonal Cocktails: The Jester (Available at various food and beverage carts), Voodoo Doctor (Available at Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom), and Masquerade Martini (Available at The Cowfish)

Mardi Gras Parade

The party travels all through the park with a lively Mardi Gras parade taking place nightly at Universal Studios. You can enjoy a colorful procession of themed floats, dancers, stilt walkers, and street performers as confetti and beads fly through the streets. This year’s parade theme is inspired by “Treasures of the Deep” and will feature six brand new floats that represent various under the sea elements like mystical creatures and Atlantis. The other six floats will include some fan-favorites like King Gator and the Riverboat. For “Little Jesters” parade viewing, head to the Brown Derby Hat Shop for unobstructed viewing.

Parade starts at 6:00 PM on the following dates:

  • February 2 – February 7

Parade starts at 6:15 PM on the following dates:

  • February 9 – February 14
  • February 17 – February 21
  • February 23 – February 28
  • March 1 – March 6

Parade starts at 7:30 PM on the following dates:

  • March 9 – March 12
  • March 16 – March 19
  • March 23 – March 27
  • March 30 – April 2

Parade starts at 7:45 PM on the following dates:

  • February 1
  • February 8
  • February 15 and 16
  • February 22
  • February 29
  • March 7 and 8
  • March 13 – March 15
  • March 20 – March 22
  • March 28 and 29

Concert Lineup

On select nights during Mardi Gras, you can catch live performances at 8:30 PM on the Music Plaza Stage. This year’s lineup includes some of the biggest names in Pop, Rock, Country, and R&B music:

  • Saturday, February 1: The Roots
  • Saturday, February 8: Karol G
  • Saturday, February 15: Bell Biv Devoe
  • Sunday, February 16: +Live+
  • Saturday, February 22: Kool & The Gang
  • Saturday, February 29: TLC
  • Saturday, March 7: REO Speedwagon
  • Sunday, March 8: Dustin Lynch
  • Friday, March 13: Luis Fonsi
  • Saturday, March 14: The All-American Rejects
  • Sunday, March 15: Diana Ross
  • Friday, March 20: Chris Young
  • Saturday, March 21: Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Sunday, March 22: Marshmello
  • Saturday, March 28: Why Don’t We
  • Sunday, March 29: Gavin DeGraw

Special Mardi Gras Add-Ons

For even more Mardi Gras magic, you can upgrade your experience with a variety of ticket upgrades that are available for purchase during the festival.

Tasting Lanyard

Cost: $30 for 5 Samples, $50 for 10 Samples

Indulge in samples of all the delicious Mardi Gras offerings with the purchase of a tasting lanyard. The lanyards allow you to try a smaller portion of the Cajun flavors found in the French Quarter Courtyard. Lanyards can be used on any night during Mardi Gras, so you can come back on another evening if you haven’t used up all of your samples!

Bayou Boil
  • Cost: $59.99 for Adults, $39.99 for Kids
  • Available Dates: February 1, 8, 15, 16, 22, and 29; March 7, 8, 13-15, 20-22, 28, and 29

On select nights during Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando, you can head to Battery Park for an all-you-can-eat Louisiana-style boil with crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, and corn on the cob. The traditional dining experience also features non-seafood options like chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya. After getting your fill of food, you’ll also enjoy premium viewing of the Mardi Gras Parade from Cafe La Bamba complete with sweet treats like King Cake, beignets, sparkling wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Mardi Gras Feast and Floats Dessert Party
  • Cost: $49.99 for Adults, $29.99 for Kids
  • Available Dates: March 9-12, 16-19, 23-27, 30 & 31; April 1 & 2

Also available on select nights is a special viewing package for the park’s evening entertainment, starting with the Mardi Gras Parade. First, get the best view of the parade from Cafe La Bamba. Then you can sit back and relax in Central Park at an exclusive viewing area for Universal’s Cinematic Celebration while indulging in specialty desserts and sparkling wine (or cider).

The best part of this amazing festival? It’s included with regular park admission! Head to Tickets2You.com for discount Universal Orlando tickets and laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll)!

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