Mardi Gras Celebration 2023 at Universal Orlando: Concerts, food festival, parade floats, and tribute store

Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras Celebration is less than a month away — here’s everything we know about the nightly shows, parades and floats, food festivals and other can’t-miss celebrations.

Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavor of Carnival, the official festival runs from February 4th to April 16th, 2023. New this year: a new lineup of shows, a new parade theme, more floats, and more food. Here’s all you need to know.

Mardi Gras Celebration 2023 at Universal Orlando Performer
Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort/handout

Universal Orlando’s 2023 Mardi Gras Concerts

Universal has announced eight Mardi Gras concerts so far. All concerts take place on the Music Plaza stage near the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket Ride and are located in the theme park and are included with regular park admission.

Here are the concerts that have been announced so far:

  • Feb. 4 – Patti LaBelle
  • Feb. 10 – JVKE
  • Feb. 11 – Goo Goo Dolls
  • Feb. 18 – Maren Morris
  • Feb. 19 – Willow Smith
  • Feb. 25 – 3 Doors Down
  • Mar. 4 – Sean Paul
  • Mar. 5 – Lauren Daigle
Mardi Gras Celebration 2023 at Universal Orlando 6
Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Mardi Gras Parade – Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras

Universal said this year’s theme was “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras” and “inspired by fantastic creatures like dragons, phoenixes, unicorns – with a Mardi Gras twist.” This year’s parade will feature six additional floats from the traditional floats, including the two-story Riverboat and approximately 50-foot King Gator float.

Mardi Gras Celebration 2023 at Universal Orlando King Gator Float
Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Here is the parade schedule:

  • 6:15 p.m. | Feb 5-9, 12-16, Feb. 26-Mar. 2
  • 7:30 p.m. | Feb. 17, 20–24; Mar. 3, Mar. 6 – Apr. 16
  • 7:45 p.m. (concert nights) | Feb. 4, 10-11, 18-19; Mar. 4-5

There will be no parade on March 31st.

Is it possible for you to go for a ride on one of the World-famous Mardi Gras floats?

Yes! It is also possible to ride aboard one of the parade floats and toss beads to spectators watching along the route during the Mardi Gras celebration. People interested in riding on a float can secure a reservation to join the Virtual Queue through the Universal Orlando app. According to Universal’s website, however space is very limited.

Riders must be 18 years of age or older, at least 48 inches tall, and able to withstand the duration of the ride. Standard wheelchairs can be accommodated, but requests must be made 48 hours in advance.

Mardi Gras Celebration 2023 at Universal Orlando Food Festival
Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Food festival – Taste the International Flavors of Carnivals

For food lovers, there will be more than 50 booths throughout the park serving food and cuisine influenced by other countries. Among the sample meals are a Crawfish boil, beignets, shrimp ceviche tostada, and black coconut rice pudding with mango.

Additionally, for the first time ever, the other theme parks of Universal Orlando are joining in the celebration by serving a select menu of Mardi Gras food, including the Muffuletta Long Board Pizza at Volcano Bay and Gumbo, Jambalaya, King Cake, and more at Islands of Adventure.

Individuals can purchase meals separately or purchase a $65 food and beverage card and receive $75 in credit and a lanyard to use throughout the event. Individuals who have unused credits from the 2022 event may use them on the 2023 event.

Mardi Gras Celebration 2023 at Universal Orlando Food Festival
Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Here’s what we know about the 2023 Mardis Gras Tribute Store

This year’s Mardi Gras tribute store, according to Universal, will be placed in a new space in Universal Studios’ Hollywood location and will feature “an international jazz celebration that leads to the typical alleyways of New Orleans and ultimately into a speakeasy.” There will be themed souvenirs available for purchase, such as pins, t shirts, and themed glasses.

What we know so far about the Cursed Coconut Club

So far, few clues have been disclosed, although Universal has stated that the Red Coconut Club, Universal’s CityWalk, will be turned into the Cursed Coconut Club during the 2023 Mardi Gras celebration. Universal stated that more information, including operating dates, would be announced soon.

Mardi Gras Celebration 2023 at Universal Orlando
Photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Mardi Gras Event Frequently Asked Questions

What operating procedures will be in place for Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando?

The Mardi Gras guidelines for Universal Orlando will be consistent with the destination’s general health and safety protocols. Visit universalorlando.com/safety for the most up-to-date information about Universal Orlando’s Safety Guidelines.

Will there be any nights when the Mardi Gras parade will not take place?

The Mardi Gras parade will not take place on March 31st due to an early closure of Universal Studios Florida for the Grad Bash special event. On all other event dates, guests can experience the Mardi Gras parade.

FAQs about the Universal Orlando Resort Food & Beverage Card

Is the Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard coming back for the 2023 Mardi Gras?

To taste the delectable pleasures of Mardi Gras 2023, guests will be able to purchase a new exclusive Universal Orlando Resort Food & Beverage Card. The card will be available for purchase at numerous sites and will provide guests with discounts.

Is a lanyard included with the Universal Orlando Resort Food & Beverage Card?

Yes, the Universal Orlando Resort Food & Beverage Card includes a free lanyard and plastic cardholder so guests may quickly access it while celebrating Mardi Gras.

Can I utilize the remaining entitlements to purchase a Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard from a prior event for this year’s Mardi Gras celebration?

Yes, guests will be able to spend the remaining balance on their previously purchased Mardi Gras tasting lanyard at the food and beverage kiosk locations at Mardi Gras 2023.

Can a guest utilize it for several days?

The Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card has no expiration date.

Can a group of individuals share the Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card?

Yes. The Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card is not tied to a single person and can be used by several people.

Does the Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card have an expiration date?

The Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card does not expire, but it is only available from February 4, 2023 to April 16, 2023.

Is it possible to reload the Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card and use it again?

No, you cannot reload the Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Cards.

Is it necessary to utilize the Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card during Mardi Gras 2023?

No, the Universal Orlando Resort Food and Beverage Card has no expiration date and can be used at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk.

Float Rider Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be chances to ride on a Mardi Gras parade float?

Yes. Passholders can register through the Passholder reservation portal. In addition, a limited number of spaces will be available each day for any guest to sign up for using the Virtual Line feature in the Official Universal Orlando App.

I have a Pass, and the reservation tool indicates all slots are taken. Will I be able to ride a float this year?

Passholders should keep checking the reservation tool as places open throughout the event. In addition, a limited number of spaces will be available each day for any guest to sign up for using the Virtual Line feature in the Official Universal Orlando App.

Is there a limit to who can ride a float?

If not accompanied by an adult, float riders must be at least 18 years old. All riders must be at least 48″ tall. Large baggage and strollers are not permitted. With advanced notice, the float can accommodate normal push wheelchairs. Additional restrictions might be found in the section on float riding limits.

Where can I check in for Float Riding?

Animal Actors On Location! is where you can check in.

What float will I be riding on?

On the day of the event, your float will be decided when you obtain your wristband during check-in. However, your float may alter without warning; we will make every effort to keep your party together if possible.

When will the parade begin?

The Mardi Gras parade is being held at Universal Studios Florida, and the time varies based on the date chosen. (Note: For daily parade times, consult the Universal Orlando Resort App.)

Visit https://www.universalorlando.com for more information.

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