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Let the Good Times Roll! Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Returns Feb. 5, 2022

by Mommy Frog on January 13, 2022 8 Orlando   Video

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - PinterestEvery spring, Florida's biggest party comes alive during Universal Mardi Gras. Universal Orlando Resort plays host to the hoppin' New Orleans celebration, complete with Cajun food favorites, toadally amazing concerts and entertainment that would make the Big Easy proud. In 2022, the party will return from Feb. 5 to April 24! The best part? The Mardi Gras parade and concerts will be back after we missed them in 2021.

Between gorgeous weather, all-star music, killer food and festive floats ... what more could you ask for? French Quarter Courtyard is chock-full of dancers, jazz bands and delicious food ... beignets, anyone? All of the extra fun is included with regular Universal Orlando park admission!

This fun, action-packed event takes place daily during our personal favorite season in Orlando, so you really can't miss it. Take a peek at our ribbeting guide for Mardi Gras, including treasurable tips to make the most of your visit. Let the good times roll, frog friends!

Universal Mardi Gras Parade 2022

This year's original parade theme is "Planet Mardi Gras" and will feature six brand-new floats that combine Mardi Gras revelry with comets, rockets, martians and more. These out-of-this-world additions will join Universal's traditional lineup of New Orleans-inspired floats and dozens of performers in festive costumes as they wind through the streets of Universal Studios and throw out beads by the handful.

It's important to strategically plot your parade spot. Below is a list of what times the parade will be hoppening on any given night.

Parade starts at 5:15 pm on the following dates:

  • Feb. 25

Parade starts at 6:15 pm on the following dates:

  • Feb. 6–11, 14–17, 22-24, 28
  • March 1

Parade starts at 7:15 pm on the following dates:

  • Feb. 13, 18, 21, 27
  • March 2–4, 7–11

Parade starts at 7:30 pm on the following dates:

  • March 14–17, 21–24, 28–31
  • April 3–7, 9–24

Parade starts at 7:45 pm on the following dates:

  • Feb. 5, 12, 19–20, 26
  • March 5–6, 12–13, 18–20, 25–27

No Parade on the following dates:

  • April 1–2, 8

Those later showings are when you really have to plan ahead!

Universal Studios Mardi Gras Parade - Ride on a Float

If you want to attend the concert at 8:30 p.m., we recommend getting a spot right along the edge of the street in front of Music Plaza Stage for a quick turnaround to snag a concert spot. Our personal fave parade spot is in the New York area in front of The Mummy ride. In years past, there has also been a small area reserved for passholders in front of Mel's Drive-In, and a family viewing area near the Brown Derby Hat Shop in Hollywood. These are great locations, but don't bank on them unless you arrive early ... they typically fill up quickly!

To land a solid parade spot anywhere, try lining up about 30 minutes ahead of time. On weekends, crowds are heavier, so arrive 45 minutes early ... and if you have a larger group or want front-row seating, find your spot at least 60 minutes ahead of the parade start. Front-row seating (or standing) gives you and your tadpoles a better shot at catching beads. This is half the fun for us, so we'd highly recommend looking for a spot! The earlier, the better!

Universal Mardi Gras Concerts 2022

Universal Mardi Gras - The Roots Concert

Universal Mardi Gras always has a super impressive lineup of performers from all different music genres for its concert series. During weekends throughout the celebration, Music Plaza Stage hosts some of radio's finest bands and artists.

Performances begin at 8:30 p.m. on each concert night. Concerts take place on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout Universal Mardi Gras. Here's the concert line-up for 2022:

  • Feb. 5: Sugar Ray
  • Feb. 12: Diana Ross
  • Feb. 19: Barenaked Ladies
  • Feb. 20: Styx
  • Feb. 26: Jon Pardi
  • March 5: LL COOL J feat. DJ Z-Trip
  • March 6: Marshmello
  • March 12: Lee Brice
  • March 13: Becky G
  • March 18: Khalid
  • March 19: Seal
  • March 20: Gavin DeGraw
  • March 25: The Revivalists
  • March 26: Jimmie Allen
  • March 27: Jason Derulo

Concert crowds will vary depending on the popularity of the artist and day of the week. For instance, Lily is excited for Becky G and Tad can't wait for Khalid, but "the old frogs" like me and Leap are hoppin' for Diana Ross and Styx. Fridays and Saturdays generally bring in larger crowds than Sundays. If you can, we recommend landing your concert viewing spot about an hour ahead of time for a spot on the grass.

Universal Mardi Gras Food and Drinks at Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Germany Food Booth

New Orleans is known for its hoppin' delicacies, and the Cajun offerings at Universal Mardi Gras are no different. This year, bold flavors will ignite your taste buds with an array of delicious culinary delicacies inspired by various locations around the globe. In the past, food booths opened at 11 a.m. and operated until 30 minutes before the park closed.

Use the official Universal Orlando app to locate the exact food booth locations on a map and study the menus.

Universal Orlando has confirmed that the Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard won't be available this year. However, there will be a specialty "Mardi Gras Food and Beverage" gift card available for purchase at various locations throughout the park during the event. Give the gift of "good times" to a friend or use it for yourself and minimize the time you'd spend fishing for your wallet!

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Dressed Up Trio

Take a look at the menus from Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval:

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Jerk Chicken

  • The Bahamas (near Fear Factor Live stadium)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Jerk Chicken - Jerked marinated chicken, rice & peas, scotch bonnet salsa
      • Jerk Jackfruit - Jerked marinated jack fruit, rice & peas, scotch bonnet salsa
    • Drink Menu:
      • Goombay Smash - Bahamian rum punch
      • Carib Lager - International pilsner
  • Belgium (Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Belgium Liege Waffles - Sweet liege waffles with strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate
      • Brussels Frites with Roasted Garlic Veganaise - Crispy seasoned fries with choice of dipping sauce: garlic mayonnaise, andalouse or joppiesaus
    • Drink Menu:
      • Hoegaarden Witbier - Belgian wheat beer
      • Lindemans Strawberry Lambic - Fruited sweet and sour ale
      • St. Bernardus Abt. 12 - Belgian quadruple, Abbey ale
  • Brazil (across from Classic Monsters Cafe)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Moqueca de Camarao with Rice - Shrimp coconut cream stew, white rice, sweet potato curls
      • Stuffed Coxinha - Crispy pulled chicken tear drop fritters
      • Brigadeiros - Brazilian classic with condensed milk, cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles, toasted peanuts
    • Drink Menu:
      • Pineapple Caipirinha Punch - Cachaça and pineapple flavors
      • Mixed Caipirinha - A blend of pineapple and strawberry caipirinhas
      • Strawberry Caipirinha Punch - Cachaça and strawberry flavors
  • Canada (Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Beef Short Rib Poutine - Crispy fries with short rib, cheese curds, demi-glaze
      • Maple Canadian Doughnut - Fried sweetened dough, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup
      • Nutella Canadian Doughnut - Fried sweetened dough, Nutella, sugar, chopped hazelnuts
    • Drink Menu:
      • Sugar Shack Springtime Punch - A complex Canadian whiskey punch with a base of pear juice
      • Lablatt Blue - International pilsner
  • Colombia (across from Classic Monsters Cafe)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Carnitas Arepas - Cornmeal cake pocket filled with avocado, carnitas, mayonnaise, ketchup, cilantro
    • Drink Menu:
      • Limonada de Coco - Limeade sweetened with coconut cream (nonalcoholic)
      • Coco Loco - Limonada de Coco spiked with rum and tequila
  • Cuba (San Francisco Backlot)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Cuban Sandwich - Roasted pork, Serrano ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles on Cuban bread served with plantain chips
      • Cuban Flan - Baked vanilla custard, dark caramel
    • Drink Menu:
      • Cuba Libre - Choice of Bacardí Light, Bacardí 4 Year or Bacardí 8 Year
  • France (Central Park)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Poached Pear Crème Brulee Crepe - Red wine poached pear, vanilla pastry cream, toasted almonds, caramel, crispy sugar topping
    • Drink Menu:
      • Vidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone Blanc - White wine
      • Vieux Chateau Lamothe Bordeaux Rouge - Red wine
      • Notorious Pink - Slightly sweet rosé wine
      • Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Rouge - Red wine
  • Germany (San Francisco Backlot)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Pork Schnitzel Slider - Fried pork cutlet, spicy mustard, red braised cabbage, gruyere cheese
      • Vegan Bratwurst with Beer Braised Onions - Vegan bratwurst, beer braised onions, spicy mustard, French quarter baguette
      • Bavarian Pretzel - Warm pretzel, spicy mustard cheese sauce
    • Drink Menu:
      • Weihenstephaner Kristalweissbier - Clarified wheat beer
      • Aecht Schlenkerla Marzen Rauchbier - Smoked Märzen Oktoberfest-style lager
      • Weihenstephaner Vitus - Strong wheat, bock hybrid lager
      • T Schmitt Riesling Kabinett, Estate - Sweet white wine

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Italian Rainbow Cookie

  • Italy (New York Backlot)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Italian Rainbow Cookie - Colorful layers of almond cake sandwiched with raspberry jam and coated in chocolate
      • Arancini - Fried risotto, wild mushrooms, truffle, parmesan cheese
      • Cannoli - Italian pastry shell, chocolate chip cannoli cream, chocolate shavings
      • Affogato - Vanilla gelato served with a double shot of espresso
    • Drink Menu:
      • Fantinel - Prosecco
      • Querceto Chianti - Red wine
      • Vietti Moscato d’Asti - Slightly sparkling sweet white wine
      • Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo - Red wine
  • New Orleans (Multiple Locations)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Crawfish Boil - Mix bag of crawfish, shrimp, andouille, red bliss, corn on the cob
      • Muffuletta Sandwich - Mortadella, salami, ham, mozzarella cheese, olive relish on a toasted bun
      • Andouille Twisted Tater - Stuffed Cajun twisted tater, sausage; Add andouille queso for $
      • Jambalaya - Mixed rice with andouille, shrimp, chicken, peppers, tomatoes
      • Beignets - Sweet fried pastry with powdered sugar
      • Twisted Tater - Flavored with Cajun spices
    • Drink Menu: 
      • Abita Purple Haze - Raspberry fruited lager
      • King Cake Milk Punch - A bourbon milk punch using our house-made King Cake syrup
      • Tropical Storm Punch - A traditional Mardi Gras cocktail incorporating rum, orange and passionfruit flavors
  • Puerto Rico (San Francisco Backlot)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Pernil & Mofongo - Roasted pork, smashed plantains, onion mojo
      • Quesito - Guava and cream cheese-filled fried pastry
      • Picadillo Empanada - Picadillo beef filled fried pastry dough
    • Drink Menu:
      • Piña Verde - A twist on the classic piña colada incorporating green chartreuse
  • Spain (Cafe La Bamba)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Paella Mixta - Saffron yellow rice, chorizo, squid, mussels, shrimp
      • Leche Frita - Crispy fried with condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon
      • Charcuterie Plate - A traditional platter of Spanish meats and cheese, olives, grapes, lavash
    • Drink Menu:
      • Pinord “La Dama” Cava - Sparkling wine
      • Hacienda de Arinzano Rosé - Tempranillo-based rosé wine
      • Don Olegurio Albarino - White wine
      • Hazaña “Viñas Viejas” Rioja - Red wine
  • Trinidad and Tobago (New York Backlot)
    • Tasting Menu:
      • Pholourie - Deep fried spicy split pea dough with turmeric, curry powder and a side of tamarind chutney or powdered sugar
      • Pineapple Trini-Chow - Grilled pineapple skewers, spices, micro cilantro
    • Drink Menu:
      • Queen’s Park Swizzle - National cocktail of Trinidad and Tobago; minted dark-rum grog with a light float of Angostura bitters
      • Carib Lager - International pilsner

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Jambalaya

It was so hard to narrow down what to get last year. Of course, we had to get classic Mardi Gras fare, so we shared the jambalaya and beignets. (Lily wasn't a fan of the crawfish perched on top of the jambalaya.) We also tried the Stuffed Coxinha from Brazil, which is a frogtastic tadpole-friendly option! Leap loved the Jerk Chicken from The Bahamas. It was too spicy for the rest of our sensitive stomachs, but otherwise, it was very flavorful! However, our favorite pick of the day was the Italian Rainbow Cookie.

Universal Mardi Gras Food and Drinks at CityWalk and the Resorts

The Mardi Gras festivities extend beyond the park! CityWalk is joining in on the fun with specially-themed food and drink offerings in a number of venues including Voodoo Doughnut, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen and, of course, Pat O'Brien's. Whether you're staying at a resort as a guest or just stopping in for a delicious meal, you'll also find a variety of tantalizing menu items specially themed for the celebration at every resort on property!

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

  • Trattoria del Portyo
    • Creamy Polenta Shrimp - Jumbo shrimp, chorizo sausage, Cajun sauce, creamy polenta
    • Masquerade Cannoli - Mixed berry insalada
  • The Thirsty Fish
    • Magari (Italian for 'wish') - Aviation Gin, limoncello, Limone Di Genoa Cider, fresh basil
  • Splendido Bar & Grill
    • Mojito Lampone (Italian for 'raspberry') - Aviation Gin, limoncello, Limone Di Genoa Cider, fresh basil

Hard Rock Hotel

  • Velvet Bar
    • Abita Amber Ale Shrimp - Gulf shrimp lightly sautéed in creole garlic butter and Abita Amber Ale, served with sliced French bread
  • The Kitchen
    • N'awlins Po'Boy - A classic, piled high with crispy fried shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, pickle, and creole mayo, served on New Orleans very own Leidenheimer bread
  • beachclub
    • Muffuletta Sliders - Central Grocery’s spicy olive salad topped with mortadella, ham, salami and provolone cheese, all on classic Sicilian sesame slider rolls

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

  • Islands Dining Room
    • King Cake Pancakes - Lemon and powdered sugar glaze, spiced walnuts
  • Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar
    • Orchid - Roku Gin, sweet potato shochu, mint, cucumber, absinthe
  • 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
    • Andouille Sausage & Pulled Chicken - with queso fresco empanada, Cajun aioli
  • Strong Water Tavern
    • Cucumber Hurricane Twist - Light rum, lime juice, Midori, sliced cucumber
  • New Dutch Trading Co
    • Traditional King Cake

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

  • Galaxy Bowl Restaurant
    • Shrimp Po'Boy - with queso fresco empanada, Cajun aioli
    • Laissez Les Boys Temps Rouler Hurricane - “Let The Good Times Roll” – Bacardi Light Rum, Cruzan 12 Year Single Barrel Rum, passionfruit purée, orange juice and grenadine served in a 32-ounce souvenir Galaxy Bowl cup

Universal's Aventura Hotel

  • Bar 17 Bistro
    • Chicken, Andouille & Shrimp Jambalaya
    • Mini King Cake
    • Hurricane - Bacardi Superior Rum, Myers’s Original Dark Rum, passionfruit, tropical juices
    • Sazerac - Rye, Whiskey, absinthe, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters

Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites

  • Beach Break Cafe
    • New Orleans BBQ Shrimp & Dirty Rice
    • Dockside Beignets - Sweet fried pastry with a bourbon caramel sauce and topped with powdered sugar

Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites

  • Dockside Pier 8 Market
    • New Orleans BBQ Shrimp & Dirty Rice
    • Dockside Beignets - Sweet fried pastry with a bourbon caramel sauce and topped with powdered sugar
  • The Oasis Beach Bar & Sunset Lounge
    • 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 Mardi Gras Atmosphere

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Stilt Walkers

There's entertainment all day long to keep tadpoles and grown-up frogs hoppy! From joking jesters to princesses on stilts, there's something fun for everyone. Tad loves goofing off with the jesters, and we all know Lily can't resist greeting royalty! Roaming bands usually play in the New York courtyard area. With blaring trumpets and beating drums, it’s hard not to dance along to the rhythm!

A Mardi Gras scavenger hunt was available in 2021. For $7.95, we got a treasure map to all of the Krewe Crawl spots, where we received a stamp from a team member at each location. Once all stamps were collected, we received a prize from Silver Screen Collectibles — three beaded necklaces (one of them was adorned with a Mardi Gras mask).

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Tribute Store

The incredibly-themed Mardi Gras Tribute Store, located next to the Jimmy Fallon ride, will also return for 2022. Not only can you get fancy beads, masks and event merchandise there, but usually, there are also plenty of photo-ops.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to build a Mardi Gras float? In 2022, frogs can enter the "Float Factory Warehouse," with four highly themed rooms that will feature the creative process — including pencil sketches, scale models, parade decor and an actual, full-size Mardi Gras float!

Check out this video to see what the Tribute Store looked like in 2021.

Universal Mardi Gras is the closest thing you can get to N'awlins ... without having to worry about your tadpoles seeing or hearing anything they shouldn't. The festive floats, atmospheric decor and delicious cuisine really give your little ones a taste of the Big Easy, which is a fun exploration of a different celebration they might not be familiar with. Allow your kiddos to try new foods, interact with performers and catch all the beads they can! (Fun fact: The floats in the Universal Mardi Gras parade are designed by Kern Studios, which has created authentic floats in New Orleans for over 60 years!)

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras - Family with Matching Outfits

Are you ready to put your dancing shoes on and visit Orlando's version of the Big Easy? You're sure to have a blast! Let us know if you have any questions about Universal Mardi Gras in the comments below. 

Related: Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Jan 14, 2022 at 4:24 a.m. Stadia Builder Says...

I don'the see a parade time for February 12, the night of Diana Ross. Is that accurate? And how much extra are concert tickets in addition to park admission?

Reply
Jan 14, 2022 at 8:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stadia!

Good catch! It's been updated on Universal's website and our post now. There will be a parade at 7:45 p.m. on Feb. 12. Concerts are included with the price of admission!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 15, 2022 at 5:13 p.m. Stadia Builder Says...

Hi there Momma Frog,

Daddy Rabbit here. We are planning a visit with a family of five. We have lodging and rental car taken care of. These park tickets are bewildering, any suggestions on how to plan? We think maybe Disney two day pass to start the first weekend then Universal the rest of the week, but my son wants to see Legoland, my wife wants to see SeaWorld and encounter manatees, my daughter wants to go to the beach.

Reply
Jan 18, 2022 at 9:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Daddy Rabbit!

Wow, it sounds like your family wants to do a bit of everything, which would be toadally fun! I have a couple of questions for you: How many days will your trip be? Do you have any priorities that everyone wants to do? Legoland, SeaWorld and a beach day could all be planned as one-day visits. And then depending on how much time you have left, you could split between Disney and Universal, giving more time to the higher priority parks. Let us know if you have any more questions!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 10, 2022 at 7:56 p.m. Scott Davis Says...

If you don't want to do the lanyard, do they sell the samples individually?

Reply
Jan 10, 2022 at 2 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Scott!

Yes, Mardi Gras food and drink items can be purchased a la carte!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 7, 2021 at 8:22 a.m. Brenda Martin Says...

We are coming march 12 -17 22 cant wait

Reply
Dec 7, 2021 at 7:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

So frogciting! We hope you have a hoppin' good time, Brenda!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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