Universal Orlando Resort is gearing up for Mardi Gras with its very own festive celebration that will transport you to New Orleans and beyond. From February 4 through April 16, 2023, the Orlando theme park invites guests to experience what a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans feels like as well as Carnaval parties across the globe. Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval will feature everything from a Mardi Gras parade to cuisine inspired by global Carnaval celebrations, live concerts and more.
Here’s a closer look at what to expect at this year’s party:
MARDI GRAS CONCERT LINEUP
Universal Orlando is sparing no expense when it comes to the lineup of entertainment at this year’s Mardi Gras party. Guests can experience eight live performances by some of the biggest names in music like GRAMMY-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls, GRAMMY-winning Platinum superstar Maren Morris and GRAMMY-winning artist Sean Paul. All Mardi Gras concerts will be held at the Music Plaza stage. Here is the complete lineup of artists:
- February 4: Patti LaBelle
- February 10: JVKE
- February 11: Goo Goo Dolls
- February 18: Maren Morris
- February 19: WILLOW
- February 25: 3 Doors Down
- March 4: Sean Paul
- March 5: Lauren Daigle
MYTHICAL REALMS OF MARDI GRAS PARADE
In addition to the concerts, guests can dance along with high-energy performers during this year’s new parade “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras.” The parade will feature fantastical creatures like dragons, phoenixes, unicorns and more. It all comes together with six new parade floats along with Universal’s traditional lineup of New Orleans-inspired floats including the two-story Riverboat and nearly 50-foot-long King Gator.
TASTE THE INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS OF CARNAVAL
Not only will guests get to experience the flavors of Bourbon Street and beyond, but also a global cuisine from Carnaval celebrations around the world. This year’s menu will feature more than 50 tasting-sized items and beverages inspired by iconic fare from around the world – including Crawfish Boil and mouthwatering Beignets from New Orleans, Shrimp Ceviche Tostada from Mexico, a Mofongo Flight inspired by the Carnaval Ponceño in Puerto Rico, Indonesian Black Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango and much more.
Universal Orlando’s other theme parks are also joining the Mardi Gras and Carnaval food fun by featuring a limited selection of items including Gumbo, Jambalaya, King Cake and more at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and the Muffuletta Long Board Pizza at Universal’s Volcano Bay.
ALL-NEW MARDI GRAS TRIBUTE STORE AND MERCHANDISE
Celebrate the history of jazz in New Orleans at the Mardi Gras Tribute Store located within an all-new space in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida. The space will take guests to l the traditional alleyways of New Orleans and eventually into a speakeasy where the Mardi Gras celebration continues. Here guests can shop a new selection of Mardi Gras merchandise including apparel, accessories, collectibles and even some personalized options. The new retail location will also be home to tasty treats inspired by this year’s celebration.
CONTINUE THE PARTY AT UNIVERSAL CITYWALK AND UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S HOTELS
Continue the party at Universal CityWalk with its own special Mardi Gras celebrations. Select venues will party well into the night like Pat O’Brien’s Mardi Gras After Party. Taking place on select nights from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. the party includes live entertainment and exclusive food and drink offerings; as well as a special Fat Tuesday celebration on February 21 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. featuring a dueling piano and more. Even without visiting a select venue, guests can still enjoy a piece of the festivities at one of the many food kiosks featuring tastes from the Mediterranean, the Islands as well as popular Mardi Gras items.
Meanwhile, Universal Orlando hotels will each offer exclusive Mardi Gras offerings such as Cajun Jambalaya Pasta at Trattoria del Porto in Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, N’awlins Po’ Boy Sliders at Velvet Bar at Hard Rock Hotel, Crawfish Etouffee at Bar 17 Bistro in Universal’s Aventura Hotel and more.