Kicking off this weekend, Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Celebration returns with new and returning Cajun-style cuisine. Fan-favorites like Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Beignets will be joined by all-new dishes inspired by carnivals worldwide.
From February 1st through April 2nd in 2020, guests can enjoy new menu items at The French Quarter Courtyard at Universal Studios Florida, as well as several other locations in Universal CityWalk, including Voodoo Doughnut, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen and more. Check out our full food and drink guide below, and be sure to see our concert lineup for information on this year’s concerts as well.
NEW Carnival Around The Universe Tasting Tent
This all-new tasting tent in the French Quarter Courtyard will feature dishes inspired by carnivals worldwide with new menu items debuting every two weeks throughout the event, including a variety of plant-based options.
Week 1 and 2 (Feb. 1 – Feb. 15) Trinidad & Tobago
• Grilled Pineapple Trini Chow: Topped with kimchi seasoning and micro cilantro (Plant-based)
• Pholourie: Fried spicy split pea dough with turmeric, curry powder and a tamarind chutney (Plant-based)
• Chickpea Double: Chickpeas served on a spicy bara flatbread with micro cilantro and mango chutney (Plant-based)
Week 3 and 4 (Feb. 16 – Feb. 29) Louisiana Creole
• Softshell Crab Slider: Crispy softshell crab topped with organic vegetable slaw and served on a soft brioche roll with bayou aioli
• Cauliflower Dirty Rice: Riced cauliflower with Gardein crumbles, Black eyed peas and Cajun spices (Plant-based)
• Pecan Street: A specialty cocktail with pecan vodka, caramel and apple cider
Week 5 and 6 (March 1 – March 14) Brazilian Carnival
• Pão de Quiejo: Traditional warm cheese bread with a guava dipping sauce
• Sugared Sweet Plantains: Covered in cinnamon and sugar and served with banana poppy seed dipping sauce (Plant-based)
• The Girl from Ipanema: A specialty cocktail featuring gin, lime, orgeat syrup, coconut water and pineapple simple syrup
Week 7 and 8 (March 15 – April 2) Germany
• Sauerbraten: Slow braised beef, buttered Spaetzle, and pickled red cabbage topped with a savory red wine sauce
• Grilled Bratwurst: Served on a potato pancake with whole grain mustard and sour cream and chives
• Warm Pretzel
NEW ‘Float Floats’ at Schwab’s Pharmacy
Inspired by the all-new Mardi Gras parade float theme, Treasures of the Deep, Schwab’s Pharmacy will serve over-the-top ice cream floats to celebrate Florida’s biggest party.
• 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
New Specialty Cocktails and Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Also inspired by this year’s Mardi Gras theme, are new specialty cocktails served in exclusive souvenir cups including High Seas Twister with rum, blood orange liqueur, and watermelon juice, and the Bourbon Street Punch with bourbon, orgeat, coconut puree and orange juice to name a few.
• High Seas Twister (kinda like a rum punch)
• Blue Voodoo (tasty blue margarita)
• Carnival Lane (refreshing gin drink with fruit juices)
• Baby Cakes (vodka drink that tastes like king cake!)
• Bourbon Street Punch (exclusive to the Bayou Boil)
• Coconut Water in a Coconut (non-alcoholic and available only during week 1 & 2 of Carnival Around the Universe)
Plus, also new to this year’s event, are recommended food and drink pairings which can be found on the tasting tent menu boards. For the little jesters in the family, there are a variety of non-alcoholic beverages including the all-new coconut water that is served out of an actual coconut, which is available at The Carnival Around the Universe Tasting Tent during the first two weeks, and the fan-favorite Bayou Bog Water.
• Hoodoo Cold Brew (pecan vodka cold brew – great with beignets)
• Cajun Bloody Mary (pair with Jambalaya)
• Pecan Street (vodka caramel drink available only during week 3 & 4 of Carnival Around the Universe and pairs with the Softshell Crab Slider)
• Girl from Ipanema (gin coconut drink, my personal favorite, available only during week 5 & 6 of Carnival Around the Universe and pairs with the Pao de Quiejo)
Returning Cajun Cuisine Favorites
Fans of the traditional and authentic New Orleans cuisine – don’t fret! Your favorite classic Cajun dishes will return to The French Quarter Courtyard at Universal Studios Florida. And remember that all the Mardi Gras food and drinks are also offered in sampling sizes. Pick up the Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard, so you can enjoy multiple offerings on any of the event nights.
• 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 & Andouille Po’ Boy
Add-on New Orleans Inspired Experiences
As part of the family-friendly version of the renowned Big Easy bash, guests can also purchase festive Mardi Gras add-on experiences for guests craving more.
Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard
Can’t decide on just one dish? The Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard will allow you sample the best of everything, including special sample size versions of jambalaya, beignets and more. An exclusive Lanyard for Passholders is also available. You can even bring your lanyard back for multiple days if you still have some samples left on it too.
Bayou Boil Returns
On select nights (whenever a headliner concert is scheduled,) you can take part in the Bayou Boil, an authentic New Orleans crawfish boil experience. Gather in Battery Park for a feast of crawfish with all the fixins. Not a seafood fan? Then enjoy chicken and Andouille sausage jambalaya upon request. You’ll also get an exclusive parade viewing area, along with King Cake, beignets, sparkling wine and assorted non-alcoholic beverages. The experience is $59.99 for adults and $39.99 for children, plus tax. Passholders save 20% off price. Reserve your spot here.
Bayou Boil Dates:
Feb. 1, 8, 15, 16, 22, 29
March 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29
Feast & Floats Dessert Party
This special add-on offers exclusive views for both the Mardi Gras parade and Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration, along with hors d’oervres specialty desserts, sparkling wine, sparkling cider and non-alcoholic drinks. It is $49.99 for adults and $29.99 for children, plus tax. Passholders save 20% off price. Reserve your spot here.
Dessert Party Dates
March 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31
April 1, 2
New Orleans Flair at Universal CityWalk
New Mardi Gras themed food items will debut at Universal CityWalk at several locations, including Voodoo Doughnut, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen and more.
For the doughnut lovers out there – head over to Voodoo Doughnut and pick up a yeast doughnut filled with cinnamon sugar Bavarian cream and topped with vanilla glaze and sprinkles inspired by the iconic Mardi Gras colors.
Ever wanted to drink an iconic Mardi Gras king cake? The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen will be serving up The French Quarter artisan milkshake that includes king cake, cream cheese crema and pastry cream topped with king cake and a beignet.
Seasonal cocktails throughout Universal CityWalk, including The Jester found at the food and beverage carts, Voodoo Doctor at Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom and Masquerade Martini at The Cowfish.
Additional Mardi Gras inspired menu items can be found at venues across Universal CityWalk
Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration will run from February 1st through April 2nd in 2020. Most food tents and options are available at the French Quarter Courtyard inside of Universal Studios Florida, which opens every day during the event starting at 4:00 PM. See our previous article for complete concert listing and parade schedule and more details on the event!
If you’re looking to book your next trip to Universal Orlando, be sure to request your free vacation quote from our good friend Elizabeth at Destinations in Florida. She can help you book the best deals on tickets, hotel room, and more, and her services are completely free!
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