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2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval Universal Studios Florida

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

Every spring, the fun and excitement of the Big Easy makes its way to Universal Orlando Resort for an authentic celebration that completely transforms Universal Studios Florida into a family-friendly version of the famed New Orleans street party.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida

Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval will run from from February 4, 2023, through April 16, 2023.


The parkwide celebrations will transform Universal Studios Florida into Florida’s biggest party, complete with the return of the parade, the beads, the tribute store, the food, and the big name concerts.


Check out our 2023 guide to this year's Mardi Gras celebrations at Universal Studios Florida.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida, The Parade

Mardi Gras 2023


Universal Orlando Resort's Mardi Gras 2023 kicks off on February 4 and the party continues through April 16, 2023.


Officially known this year as Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval, this years Mardi Gras includes a new concert lineup, a new parade theme including new floats, and a new location for the iconic Tribute Store!


Here's everything you need to know.



Universal Mardi Gras Parade - Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras

This year's MARDI GRAS PARADE returns to the streets of Universal Studios Florida with a brand new theme!


This year's parade theme is Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras and was inspired by "fantastical creatures like dragons, phoenixes, unicorns, and more – with a Mardi Gras twist,"


This year's parade will have six new floats direct from New Orleans, plus the traditional floats return, including the two-story Riverboat and nearly 50-foot King Gator float.


The parade starts and ends from the gates adjacent to Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show.


Here is this year's parade schedule:


February 5 - 9, 12 - 16, February 2 - March 2 6:15 p.m.


February 17, 20 - 24; March 3, March 6 - April 16 7:30 p.m.


February 4, 10 - 11, 18 - 19; March 4 - 5 7:45 p.m. (concert nights)


There is no parade on March 31.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Parade


Mardi Gras Float Riding at Universal Studios Florida

Guests have the opportunity to ride a float in the parade and toss beads to the crowd while you make your way through the streets for an unforgettable time.


You have two ways to do this, the first way is to reserve a spot via the virtual line experience on the parks app, but there is only a limited number of spots are available per night.


The second way will guarantee your spot on a float!


Bag yourself a reserved spot on a parade float and toss beads to the crowd, plus enjoy a 3-course meal from the full menu at one of four participating restaurants at Universal Orlando Resort.


Guests will be able to choose their meals from the full menus at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill or Lombard’s Seafood Grill at Universal Studios Florida, or The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar or NBC Sports Grill & Bar at Universal CityWalk.


The experience costs $84.99 per guest +tax per guest (gratuity included)


Tickets are on sale now via Universal Orlando's website.



Riders have to be at least 18 or accompanied by an adult, be at least 48" tall, and be able to stand for the duration of the parade.


Standard wheelchairs can be accommodated, though requests need to be placed at least 48 hours prior to a float reservation.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida


Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Concerts

Music is a big part of Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras traditions, and at Music Plaza Stage in Universal Studios Florida, guests can attend concerts on select nights during the Mardi Gras season.


These concerts are included with park admission and begin at 8:30.


Headliners For Mardi Gras 2023


Here is this years concert line up so far for Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval



Saturday 4 February


Patti LaBelle

Through timeless songs that have helped cement her place as a music icon, Patti LaBelle's soulful voice is known all over the world.

Patti LaBelle Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023


Friday 10 February


JVKE

Singer, songwriter and producer JVKE has amassed over 700 million streams and over 35 billion views of his music across social media.


JVKE Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023


SATURDAY 11 February


Goo Goo Dolls

With numerous platinum and gold singles combined, the Goo Goo Dolls have had more than a dozen Top 10 radio hits.


Goo Goo Dolls Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023


SATURDAY 18 February


Maren Morris

Maren Morris is one of the leading voices in music today, armed with incredible vocal stylings, honest lyrics and an undeniable presence.


Maren Morris Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023


Sunday 19 February


WILLOW

WILLOW’s album Coping Mechanism was hailed by The New York Times and Rolling Stone as one of the best of 2022 and lead to two spots on SNL.


WILLOW Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023


SATURDAY 25 February


3 Doors Down

3 Doors Down's debut The Better Life became certified seven-times RIAA platinum and was fuelled by the success of juggernaut hit "Kryptonite."


Three Doors Down Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023


SATURDAY 4 March


Sean Paul

One of dancehall's most prolific artists, Sean Paul has been nominated for nine GRAMMYs, his latest in 2022 for Best Reggae Album.


Sean Paul Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023


SUNDAY 5 March


Lauren Daigle

Two-time GRAMMY Award winner and New Orleans native Lauren Daigle brings her Cajun flair to Mardi Gras. Her moving vocals and lyrics have connected with audiences worldwide.


Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023 Lauren Daigle


2023 Mardi Gras Daytime Entertainment

During the daytime hours you can enjoy dancers, stilt-walkers and other street performers during Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida.


Head over to the French Quarter Courtyard in the New York section of the park to see jazz bands performing.


You should also snap a picture or three with the wonderful and incredibly talented Mardi Gras Performers!


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Entertainment


Food Festival - Taste The International Flavors of Carnivals

For foodies, there will be more than 50 kiosks around the park featuring food and cuisine inspired by countries around the world.


Sample dishes include a Crawfish boil, beignets, shrimp ceviche tostada, and black coconut rice pudding with mango, among others.


Dishes can be purchased individually or people can purchase the Food & Beverage Card.


The Universal Orlando Resort Food & Beverage Card


You can purchase the Food & Beverage Card. for $65 – and get $75 in credit, plus a lanyard to use throughout the festival.


Enjoy 50+ Mardi Gras Tasting Menu Items with The Food & Beverage Card.


Annual and Seasonal Passholders also receive special savings with the purchase of an exclusive $150 card for only $120.


People with unused credit from the 2022 festival can use those credits at the 2023 event.


PLUS


For the first time ever, a limited selection of Mardi Gras items, including Gumbo, Jambalaya, and King Cake will be available at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Muffuletta Long Board Pizza will be served at Universal’s Volcano Bay.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Food

2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Food

2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Food

2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Food

2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Food


2023 Mardis Gras Tribute Store

This year's Mardi Gras tribute store will be located in a new space in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios.


The store will feature an international jazz celebration that leads to the traditional alleyways of New Orleans and ultimately into a speakeasy.


There will be a variety of themed merchandise available to buy, including pins, shirts, and themed glasses.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida Tribute Store


The Cursed Coconut Club

The Red Coconut Club, Universal's lounge at CityWalk, will be transformed into the Cursed Coconut Club during the 2023 Mardi Gras celebration.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida


Universal CityWalk Mardi Gras Celebrations

The Mardi Gras festivities extend to CityWalk with specially-themed food and drink offerings in a number of venues.


Pat O’Brien’s will host a Mardi Gras After Party on select nights from 4pm to 1am that includes live entertainment and exclusive food and drink offerings; as well as a special Fat Tuesday celebration on February 21 from 4pm to midnight featuring a dueling piano and more.


Reservations for the festivities at Pat O’Brien’s can be made by calling 407-224-3663.


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida


Universal Orlando Hotels Mardi Gras Food & Drink


Whether you’re staying as a guest or just stopping in for a delicious meal, you’ll find a variety of tantalising menu items specially themed for Mardi Gras.


Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Trattoria del Porto

CAJUN JAMBALAYA PASTA Shrimp, Smoke Sausage, Chicken, Onions, Peppers and Mushroom in a Creole

Sauce with Fettuccine Pasta


MASQUERADE CANNOLI Mixed berry insalada



The Thirsty Fish

BOULEVARDIER Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Campari, Sweet Vermouth



Splendido Bar & Grill

MOJITO LAMPONE (Lampone is Italian for raspberry) Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Chambord, simple syrup, raspberry, mint



Hotel Hard Rock Hotel

The Kitchen

BOURBON STREET BEIGNETS Bourbon Caramel Sauce, Powdered Sugar


FRENCH 75 Hendrick’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, champagne



Velvet Bar

N’AWLINS PO’ BOY SLIDERS Smoked Andouille Sausage, Sautéed Peppers and Onions, Cajun Remoulade, Toasted French bread


FRENCH 75 Hendrick’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, champagne



Beach Club

HURRICANE Papa’s Pilar Rum, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, grenadine, pineapple and orange juice


Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Islands Dining Room

KING CAKE PANCAKES Lemon and powdered sugar glaze, spiced walnuts (breakfast only)



Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar

ORCHID Nikka Gin, St.Germain, Crème de Violet, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Pea Flower Float



Tuk Tuk Market

CHOCOLATE BOMB Choose from: chocolate and caramel with spiced pecan with Mardi Gras purple, green and gold decor, s’mores or cookies & cream


Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Amatista Cookhouse

SHRIMP & ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO POT PIE Vegetables and Okra



Strong Water Tavern

CUCUMBER HURRICANE TWIST Light rum, lime juice, midori, sliced cucumber



New Dutch Trading Co.

TRADITIONAL KING CAKE


Universal's Aventura Hotel

Bar 17 Bistro

CRAWFISH ETOUFFEE Classic dish of crawfish, the holy trinity of onions, celery and bell pepper served over rice


MUFFULETTA SANDWICH Genoa Salami, Mortadella, ham, provolone and swiss cheese, and olive salad



Bar 17 Bistro and Bar Ventura

HURRICANE Bacardi Superior Rum, Myers’s Original Dark Rum, passion fruit, tropical juices


SAZERAC Rye whiskey, absinthe, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters


Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Galaxy Bowl Restaurant

SHRIMP PO’ BOY WITH ZAPPS CHIPS Crispy Cajun fried shrimp piled on a French baguette and topped with a creole inspired creamy remoulade sauce – add $7 for a choice of 16-ounce Abita draft beer or 12-ounce Abita king cake soda (Also available a la carte)


LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER HURRICANE Let the good times roll with Bacardi Light Rum, Cruzan 12yr Single Barrel Rum, passionfruit puree, orange juice and grenadine – served with a 32-ounce souvenir Galaxy Bowl cup


Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites

Beach Break Café

NEW ORLEANS BBQ SHRIMP & DIRTY RICE A classic creole dish. Sautéed shrimp in a rich butter and Worcestershire sauce on a bed of flavourful Cajun spiced rice with andouille sausage



Sand Bar

THE ENDLESS CARNIVAL Castillo Silver Rum, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, a pinch of dried blackberries, pineapple wedge and a green sugar rim


Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites

NEW ORLEANS CAJUN ROASTED CHICKEN & DIRTY RICE A classic creole dish of Cajun spiced oven roasted half chicken on a bed of flavourful Creole rice with andouille sausage topped with spicy sweet candiedbacon


Sunset Lounge, The Oasis Beach Bar and The Wave Maker’s Pool Bar

THE ENDLESS CARNIVAL Castillo Silver Rum, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, a pinch of dried blackberries, pineapple wedge and a green sugar rim


2023 Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios Florida




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