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Ultimate Guide to Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras 2023

  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 16 January 2023
  • Revised 25 January 2023
Ultimate Guide to Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras 2023
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 16 January 2023
  • Revised 25 January 2023
Ultimate Guide to Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras 2023
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 16 January 2023
  • Revised 25 January 2023

If there’s anywhere you would want to be for Mardi Gras, it’s Universal Orlando. A hoot even on a normal day, Universal’s Mardi Gras festivities skyrocket the fun meter straight off the charts. One of the oldest events at the park, this family-friendly version of the famed Carnival celebration has it all; live music, an epic parade, and a whole lot of scrumptious grub to feast on. Here is just a taster of what 2023 will have in store…

Universal’s Mardi Gras 2023: What We Know

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras will run from February 4th – April 16th, 2023. Once again, the theme park will transform into an explosion of Carnival merriment. Floats, floats, and more floats will cruise down the parade route, and live music, courtesy of the hottest acts in town, will have the party in full force. Another thing we can look forward to is the International Flavours of Carnival. Running daily, this will feature mouth-watering cuisine inspired by Carnivals worldwide. Universal Orlando throws one of the most fun-filled Mardi Gras festivals around, and we can be sure that 2023 will keep the good times rolling.

The Parade

What’s Universal’s Mardi Gras without a no-holds-barred parade? Although exact details have still to be released, we do know that masterfully embellished floats, colourful characters, and plenty of bead throwing can all be expected. Last year’s Planet Mardi Gras theme saw illuminated floats covered in rockets and UFOs, as spacemen on stilts followed behind. And annual pass-holders even have the option of registering as a float rider. This allows you to not only witness the spectacle, but to be a part of it. Lasting two to three hours, you will have a blast tossing colourful beads at spectators while having the best seat in the house.

The Concerts

Grab your dancing shoes and get in line to see some of the biggest names in the biz. Between February and March, legendary artists will perform onstage, from Motown's queen Diana Ross to multi-platinum sensation Seal and R&B superstar Jason Derulo. You can also party through the decades with the 70’s band Styx and raise the roof with the Barenaked Ladies and Sugar Ray. From rap to R&B, EDM and country, the lineup also includes LL Cool J, Khalid, Marshmello, and Lee Brice, among others.

Music forms one of the most prominent features of Mardi Gras events, and Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is certainly no different. Concerts usually begin around 8.30pm on select weekend nights throughout Universal’s Mardi Gras. But be aware, the bigger the name, the bigger the crowd, so you may want to secure a viewing spot at least an hour ahead of time. 

Food and Drink

With New Orleans hosting one of the most famed Mardi Gras celebrations in America, it is very much the inspiration for Universal’s Mardi Gras. Therefore, prepare to transport yourself to the ‘Big Easy’ with a feast of authentic delicacies, such as beignets and crawfish boil. But this year also sees the return of International Flavours of Carnival, meaning your tastebuds can take a trip around the world. Chomp down on Brazilian delights or perhaps your sweet tooth will crave some Belgian Liege waffles. And that’s just the food. There are, of course, refreshments a plenty also. Adults may want to sample one of the many speciality cocktails, while kids are sure to get a kick from the Bayou Bog Water - a lemonade and ginger ale mix, complete with gummy worms.

And what better way to sample Universal Orlando Mardi Gras’ delicious offerings than with a Food and Beverage Card? Costing between $65 - $120 dollars, it allows you to save some extra pennies, and is definitely your best bet if you want to let your inner foodie run wild. 

The Tribute Store

For a few years running, the Tribute Store has been a popular addition to Universal’s Mardi Gras. Starting life as the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store, it has now branched out to include several new themes, including Holidays, Jurassic World, and most recently, Float Factory Warehouse. This immersive experience allowed guests to venture through themed rooms depicting the entire process of Mardi Gras float-making. Pencil sketches and scale models gave visitors behind-the-scenes access to the sheer amount of effort that each and every float entails. But while each Tribute Store has an overall theme, watch out for several ‘Easter eggs’ from other Universal icons. 

The Tribute Store is also your one-stop shop to get your hands on a plethora of Mardi Gras merch. Everything from Mardi Gras bucket hats to Mardi Gras scented candles can be found here, making it the ideal place to take a piece of the occasion home with you. 


Is Universal’s Mardi Gras suitable for young kids?

Absolutely! Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is chock full of dazzling entertainment, including music, performers, and parades, sure to keep the little ones happy. The parades even offer the Little Jester’s Viewing Area for unobstructed views, to be certain they don’t miss a thing. And kids will love the Krewe Crawl too. This scavenger hunt allows them to search the park, map in hand, for unique items (last year it was Mardi Gras masks) in hopes of getting their mitts on a prize. 

Are there safety guidelines for Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023?

Universal is constantly striving to make events as safe as possible. Therefore, in doing so, facemasks are still encouraged in indoor settings. However, they are no longer mandatory. 

How much are the tickets to Universal’s Mardi Gras?

Universal’s Mardi Gras is included with your theme park ticket or annual pass, meaning being a part of the action couldn’t be easier. 

Are you ready to join the party? Take a look at our Universal Orlando Resort 2023 & 2024 Holidays, or give our Travel Specialists a call today.

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