We cannot believe that it has already been 25 years since Universal Studios Florida brought a taste of New Orleans to Orlando. Recently, the Universal creative team unveiled delicious details for the Mardi Gras 25th anniversary of this epic event.
From king cake and beignets to the bayou boil, taste bud tempting treats take traditional Mardi Gras munchies to a new level. Additionally, other areas of the Universal Orlando resort join in on this feasting festival!
Since 1995, every February, Universal Studios transforms its Orlando theme park into a slice of New Orleans. As the 2020 Mardi Gras party kicks off, new surprises await discovery.
This year, traditional treats join new, rotating, world-wide Carnival tribute foods. Various venues across the Universal Studios Orlando Resort also join in the celebration of 25 years of fun. For those wanting a bit more excitement, dining upgrades add flavor to the fun.
Munchie Marvels For The Mardi Gras 25th Anniversary Celebration:
Bringing the Big Easy to Orlando would not be complete without filling the festival food tents with famous flavors from the region. However, New Orleans isn’t the only place to party before Ash Wednesday.
To celebrate the silver anniversary of their Mardi Gras event, Universal adds new “Carnival Around the World” flavors. Additionally, Schwab’s Pharmacy (Universal Studios Florida) features “Float Floats,” sweet tributes to the event’s parade floats. A host of beverages (adult and non-alcoholic) help wash down these delicious delights. The party also spills out into CitiWalk, where various venues offer more Mardi Gras themed treats.
Mardi Gras Traditional Treats
Of course, a true Mardi Gras celebration would not be complete without the traditional treats of this super soirée. Find these feasting fun favorites, after 4pm, at the French Quarter Courtyard (across from the Mummy ride):
- Cajun Twisted Tater
- Catfish Po’ Boy
- Chicken & Andouille Po’ Boy
- Crab Etouffee
- Gator Bites
- King Cake
- Red Beans & Rice with Shrimp
- Sausage Po’ Boy
- Shrimp & Andouille Po’ Boy
- Shrimp Gumbo
Carnival Around The Universe Adds Diversity:
In addition to the French Quarter Food Court, new world-wide flavors arrive every two weeks at the Carnival Around the Universe. This new, rotating eating experience highlights 4 different Mardi Gras-like celebrations from around the globe.
For the first two weeks, Trinidad and Tobogo tempt the tastebuds with offerings like Chickpea Double (served on spicy bara flatbread with cilantro and mango chutney), Grilled Pineapple Trini-Chow (topped with kimchi seasoning and cilantro) and Pholourie (fried spicy split pea dough with turmeric, curry powder and tamarind chutney).
Weeks 3 & 4 feature food from Louisiana, Creole style. This pair of palate pleasing plates includes a Softshell Crab Slider and a delicious Cauliflower Dirty Rice dish.
During weeks 5 & 6, Brazil brings culinary creations. Pao de Quiejo (cheese bread) includes a guava dipping sauce and cinnamon sugar covered Sweet Plantains enjoy a poppy seed dipping sauce.
Finally, for weeks 7 & 8, German cuisine comes to Mardi Gras. Warm Pretzels join the red wine sauce covered Saurbraten (complete with spaetzle, red cabbage) and Grilled Bratwurst (with potato pancake).
Let The Good Times Roll With These Special Mardi Gras Beverages:
Exciting new elixirs arrive at Universal to help celebrate the event’s milestone 25th year. Enjoy these flavors:
- Baby Cakes (king cake-like vodka drink)
- Blue Voodoo (a strong blue margarita)
- Carnival Lane (a fruit, gin-based beverage)
- High Seas Twister (smooth, rum punch-like adult beverage).
Each arrive in a 20oz souvenir glass. Two more specialty thirst quenchers include the Bourbon Street Punch, which is found at the Bayou Boil (see below) and non-alcoholic Coconut Water (served IN a coconut)-only found the first two weeks of the event (at the Carnival Around the Universe). Of course, non-alcoholic drinks abound as well.
Food and beverage pairings add new depth to dining! These 9oz libations pair with various Mardi Gras treats. Hoodoo Cold Brew (a pecan vodka coffee beverage) works well with beignets. Enjoy Jambalaya with a Cajun Bloody Mary. The smooth vodka-based Pecan Street has limited availability (weeks 3&4) and compliments the Softshell Crab Slider (only found at Carnival Around the Universe). Finally, another limited time offering, Girl from Ipanema (gin & coconut) arrives during weeks 5 & 6 to join Pao de Qioejo at the Carnival Around the Universe.
Café La Bamba brings back the Mimosa Bar! Non-alcoholic, kid-centric creations like Bayou Bog Water and King Cake Slushie join eight enticing magical mimosas.
Find Float-Inspired Mardi Gras Fun At Schwab’s Pharmacy:
Float Floats, found at Schwab’s Pharmacy, pay tribute to the various Mardi Gras parade floats. Satisfy the sweet tooth with these variations (descriptions/images courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort):
Mardi Gras (pineapple and lime soft serve ice cream, grape soda, blueberry boba and waffle cone flag)
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)
Upgrades Add A Delicious Depth To The Mardi Gras Experience:
A trio of enhanced experiences add to the festive feasting fun at Universal Studios Mardi Gras. Sample sized selections, crawfish boils and dessert parties offer a trio of taste bud tempting add-ons.
Bayou Boil Brings Big Easy Eating To A New Level
On select nights, you’ll gather in Battery Park in Universal Studios Florida for a delicious Louisianastyle crawfish boil. Not a seafood fan? Then enjoy chicken and Andouille sausage jambalaya upon request. You’ll have an exclusive view of the parade while enjoying King Cake, beignets, sparkling wine and assorted non-alcoholic beverages. –Universal Orlando Resort
Mardi Gras Feast & Floats Dessert Party
Enjoy sparkling wine and cider or soft drinks while munching on a delicious assortment of specialty desserts. This add-on event takes place at Café La Bamba an hour before parade kick off and offers guests a special viewing areas for both the Mardi Gras Parade and Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration.
For additional details and/or to purchase, visit Universal Orlando’s website.
Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard
Not sure what to try first? Not to worry, Universal Studios Florida has the perfect solution. “Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard lets you enjoy jambalaya, beignets and more in sampling sizes. An exclusive Lanyard for Passholders is also available” (Universal Orlando Resort). Beverages are included!
Note: these can only be purchased within the Universal Studios Florida theme park
CitiWalk Joins Universal Studios Mardi Gras 25th Anniversary Celebrations:
Several locations around CitiWalk let the good times roll with Universal Orlando Mardi Gras themed treats. From the king cake inspired “French Quarter Milkshake” at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen to the cinnamon sugar and Bavarian cream filled Mardi Gras Doughnut at Voodoo Doughnut, there’s plenty of Mardi Gas fun to be found.
Visit the following CitiWalk locations for a taste of the party (list courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort):
- Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
- The French Quarter Milkshake (everything king cake in a glass)
- Voodoo Doughnut
- Mardi Gras Doughnut (filled with cinnamon sugar bavarian cream)
- The Cowfish
- Masquerade Martini (grape vodka with blue curacao and citrus flavors)
- Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom
- Party Gras Drink (vodka and coconut rum with pineapple flavors)
- Voodoo Doctor Drink (classic margarita with a hint of black raspberry)
- Pat O’Brien’s
- Taste of Nola (red beans and rice, crawfish and andouille etouffee and blackened chicken with creole sauce)
- Hot Dog Hall of Fame
- Mardi Gras Muffuletta Platter (footlong hot dog with traditional muffuletta dressing)
- Bread Box
- Roast Beef Po’boy (shaved roast beef and gravy with toppings)
- King Cake Bon (classic Cinnabon dressed up in its Mardi Gras best)
- CityWalk Food & Beverage Carts
- The Jester Drink (apple whiskey with melon flavors)
Let The Good Times Roll – More Mardi Gras 25th Anniversary Magic:
Of course, there is much more than just munchies at the Universal Orlando Mardi Gras anniversary event. Big name concert fun (Gavin Degraw, REO Speedwagon, and more), additional live music, street perormrers, parades (with plenty of beads) and an all new Halloween Horror Nights inspired Mardi Gras Tribute Store round out the fun at Universal Studios Mardi Gras 25th Anniversary party. Concert series only occurs on select nights.
Stay tuned to ITM for more details.
What fantastic favorite food from Mardi Gras are you most looking forward to?
Source and images: Universal Orlando Resort, Melissa Allebach, Michael Gavin