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Mardi Gras 2022 at Universal Orlando – Complete Insider’s Guide

Welcome, party people, to the biggest bash this side of the bayou! You’ve just found the world’s most popular insider’s guide to the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in Orlando.

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.

To learn everything there is to know about Mardi Gras 2022, we strongly recommend that you read this guide from top to bottom.

Skip to: Overview | Concerts | Parade | Food and drinks | Tribute Store | Scavenger Hunt | FAQ

Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida will be held on select nights starting February 5, with festivities concluding on April 24, 2022. The event is included with your theme park ticket or annual pass (though passholder blockout dates apply).

Mardi Gras 2022 – Overview and Explanation

Mardi Gras 2021 performer at Universal Studios Florida
A performer at Mardi Gras 2021

Universal Orlando Resort promises Mardi Gras 2022 to be “louder, wilder, and spicier” than ever.

The annual event runs daily from Saturday, February 5 through Sunday, April 24, although last year’s festivities were extended about a full month later than usual (and a whopping five weeks after 2021’s originally announced end date of Sunday, March 28 – the festivities proved to be so popular, Universal kept extending them). All of the crowd-favorite components of Mardi Gras will return: the colorfully costumed performers and authentic New Orleans bands, the Mardi Gras parade, and even the weekly headliner concerts.

To fill the void – and to double down on an element that has, in recent years, clearly come to be one of the most beloved at Universal’s festivities – the company has greatly expanded its lineup of delicious Cajun cuisine, broadening it to include carnavals from all over the world and locations all over Universal Studios Florida (instead of having it be mostly confined to the French Quarter Courtyard in the New York backlot).

What about admission?

Here’s the best part about the Big Easy party – it’s completely free! As long as you have a ticket to get through the theme-park turnstiles on a Mardi Gras event date, you have access to everything, from the music to the food.

What about the weather?

Concerned about the weather the night you plan on getting some beads? Check out our Orlando weather page to learn more and be fully prepared for your visit.

Mardi Gras 2022 – Concerts

Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras 2014.
A concert at a previous Mardi Gras

Music constitutes such a big part of New Orleans’s Mardi Gras traditions, and it’s no different at Universal Orlando. 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.

Here are the headliners for Mardi Gras 2022:

February
5 – Sugar Ray
12 – Diana Ross
19- Barenaked Ladies
20 – Styx
26 – Jon Pardi

March
5 – LL COOL J feat. DJ Z-Trip
6 – Marshmello
12 – Lee Brice
13 – Becky G
18 – Khalid
19 – Seal
20 – Gavin DeGraw
25 – The Revivalists
26 – Jimmie Allen
27 – Jason Derulo

No announcements have yet been made for concerts in April.

Mardi Gras 2022 – Parade

Parade float at Mardi Gras 2021
Parade float stationed in the park at Mardi Gras 2021

Last year, Universal took something of a page out of its Holiday Experience Featuring Macy’s Balloons, which saw a number of the floats from the traditional Holiday Parade laid out in a soundstage for guests to peruse at a leisurely pace (with the occasional Christmas character still on-hand, as well). For Mardi Gras, the parade floats were situated all throughout the park as opposed to within one (giant) building, and a number of performers, stilt walkers, and dancers likewise made their way around them and helped with distributing Mardi Gras beads.

However, this year we are pleased to say that the parade will return in full force on select nights of Mardi Gras at Universal Studios. The parade will feature music, lights, and – of – course – beads being thrown from six brand-new and six returning authentic floats drafted and created in New Orleans, the heart of Mardi Gras.

The theme for this year’s Mardi Gras parade? “Planet Mardi Gras” – a completely original parade theme that’s inspired six all-new floats. The theme will heavily incorporate rockets, comets, and other far-out motifs in the popular Mardi Gras parade that uses floats designed and made in New Orleans. Entertainers, performers, and music make this a spectacle that can’t be missed. The parade will take place on select dates throughout the Mardi Gras season.

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

  • Feb 6–11, 14–17, 22–25, 28

Parade starts at 7:00 pm on the following dates:

  • Feb 5

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

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

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

  • Mar 14–17, 21–24, 28–31
  • Apr 3–7, 9–24

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

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

No Parade on the following dates:

  • Apr 1–2, 8

Registration to be a float rider in the parades:

A special perk for annual passholders is the option to be a float rider. This exclusive experience is between 2-3 hours in duration, and annual passholders get to throw beads and goad parade spectators from the best seats in the house. To register for this experience, have all passholder IDs ready and register your krewe (you and up to four other passholders) here.

Mardi Gras 2022 – Food and Drinks

It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras if you couldn’t eat, drink, and be merry.

Beignets at Mardi Gras 2021
The food lineup may be greatly expanded, but beignets are still at the heart of the experience

Universal’s annual event features an array of delicious “N’awlins-style food and spirits,” usually including over 70 dishes and drinks from 13 different carnaval countries or cities.

Mardi Gras 2022 Food Booths

USA/New Orleans
This food booth will be located in New York, near Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Featured dishes will include beignets and, of course – boiled crawfish.

Italy
The Italy food booth will be located in New York, near Louie’s and across the way from Revenge of the Mummy.

Southeast Asia, India, & Central America
Enjoy savory flavors from around the world at this food booth. Coconut Curry Shrimp Laksa and Vegan Samosa are just some of the tasty dishes guests can sample here.

Floribbean
The details of this menu have yet to be revealed, but the booth will be located in San Francisco.

Fusion
The details of this menu have yet to be revealed, but the booth will be located near the entrance to London.

Brazil
The details of this menu have yet to be revealed, but the booth will be located in Springfield.

Just as if you were in New Orleans itself, one of the best ways to get a taste of Mardi Gras is through the hotels. Universal Orlando Resort hotels provide a number of specialty menu items during the Mardi Gras season.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

Trattoria del Porto

  • Creamy Polenta Shrimp – Jumbo shrimp, chorizo sausage, Cajun sauce, creamy polenta
  • Masquerade Cannoli – Mixed berry insalada

The Thirsty Fish

  • Magari – Aviation Gin, limoncello, Limone Di Genoa Cider, fresh basil

Splendido Bar & Grill

  • Mojito Lampone – Aviation Gin, limoncello, Limone Di Genoa Cider, fresh basil

Hard Rock Hotel Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

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 Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

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 decor, s’mores, or cookies & cream

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

Andouille Sausage at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

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 Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

Shrimp Po’Boy at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

Galaxy Bowl Restaurant

  • Shrimp Po’Boy – with queso fresco empanada, Cajun aioli
  • Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler Hurricane – 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 Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

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 Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

Beach Break Cafe

  • 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 & The 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’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites Mardi Gras 2022 Offerings

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 & The 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

You can find the complete insider’s guide to Mardi Gras 2020’s exclusive food and drinks here.

Mardi Gras 2022 – Tribute Store

Doctor Samedi peddles his wares in All Hallows Voodoo Boutique

In 2021, for only the second time, Universal applied the Tribute Store template to Mardi Gras! This was not only a reflection of the element’s growing importance across nearly all of Universal Orlando Resort’s annual events, but it also provided another great opportunity for a fully themed, in-depth experience.

For those unfamiliar, Tribute started off life as a part of Halloween Horror Nights 2015, instantly becoming a fan-favorite – and, therefore, a perennial – part of the event (which is Universal’s biggest, and the one that Mardi Gras seems to inch more closely towards with every passing year). Traditionally placed right next to Revenge of the Mummy in the New York backlot, it has grown in size and sophistication over the years; in addition to housing a veritable avalanche of HHN-themed goodies, it has also become something of a themed attraction unto itself, containing lots of scenes or Easter eggs from one attached property or another (three of the rooms in 2020’s Halloween Tribute Store, for example, were devoted to Frankenstein’s Monster, Jack the Clown, and Beetlejuice).

All Hallows Voodoo Boutique in Universal’s Islands of Adventure

During HHN 2021, a small shop opened in The Lost Continent at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. All Hallows Eve Boutique offered a small selection of Halloween Horror Nights merchandise in a sort of mini-Tribute Store setting, and the trend continued with a holiday overlay in December and, now, with the creation of All Hallows Voodoo Boutique. Ironically, this shop is where guests can get a first glimpse into the exclusive Mardi Gras 2022 merchandise and begin the Mardi Gras season, despite the fact that the events all take place at the neighboring park.

The boutique offers a fair amount of merchandise considering its size. Here, guests can stock up on nearly everything you’d need to start your Mardi Gras partying at Universal Orlando Resort. An assortment of beads, tank tops, t-shirts, candles, socks, and more await. Here’s a sneak peek at the merchandise. Further down, you’ll see all the prices listed out as well!

2022 Mardi Gras Merchandise Items and Prices:

  • Stainless Steel Tumbler – $29.99
  • Hyperoptic Socks – $26.00
  • Floral Masks – $20.00
  • Assortment of Beads – 3 for $15.00 or $6.00 each
  • Light-up Fleur de Lis – $10.00
  • Mardi Gras 2022 Magnet – $9.00
  • “Louder, Wilder, Spicier” Tee – $40.00
  • “Louder, Wilder, Spicier” Hat – $28.00
  • Tie-dye Gator Tee – $40.00
  • Mardi Gras Purple Tank – $35.00
  • Mardi Gras Scented Candle – $20.00
  • Black Gator Float Tee – $30.00
  • Mardi Gras Space Backpack – $28.00

The details of 2022’s Tribute Store have yet to be announced, but come back here for full details when they are! We know that the theme of the store will be to walk guests through the float-building process, but no details beyond that have yet been revealed.

(In the meantime, you can read all about the Tribute Store’s history here.)

Mardi Gras Tribute Store 2021 – photo gallery

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Mardi Gras 2021 – Krewe Crawl

Krewe Crawl - treasure at Mardi Gras 2021
The treasure of the Krewe Crawl at Mardi Gras 2021

It turns out the Tribute Store isn’t the only annual-event item that’s being deployed year-round now.

After starting with the Holiday Tree Hunt in 2019 and then proceeding to the Scarecrow Stalk in ’20, Universal’s scavenger hunt arrived at Mardi Gras 2021. “Gather your krewe,” the brochure read, “and take a walking tour around Universal Studios Florida to experience the rich history of Mardi Gras.” Sure enough, there was a bit of actual historical info to be had at some, at least, of the 12 different locations, along with some rather interesting designs, to boot.

Even better, though, was the “treasure” that guests could nab if they managed to purchase their maps and get them stamped at all of the dozen stops: a string of beads with a very Mardi Gras-looking mask attached to them. (Some members of our team even liked this better than the previous prizes of the previous scavenger hunts.) Guests headed to Silver Screen Collectibles, located in Hollywood, with the completed pamphlet to redeem their prize.

Here were all 12 of the stops on the scavenger trail:

  • Universal Studios Store (Production Central)
  • Super Silly Stuff (Production Central)
  • Shrek’s Ye Olde Souvenir Shoppe (Production Central)
  • Supply Vault (Production Central)
  • Film Vault (New York)
  • Sahara Traders (New York)
  • Rosie’s Irish Shop (New York)
  • Custom Gear (San Francisco)
  • San Francisco Candy Factory (San Francisco)
  • MIB Gear (World Expo)
  • Five & Dime (Hollywood)
  • Silver Screen Collectibles (Hollywood)

Mardi Gras Krewe Crawl 2021 – photo gallery

Mardi Gras 2022 – FAQ

Let the good times roll with these answers to your questions about Universal Studios Florida’s Mardi Gras bash.

Is Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida appropriate for young kids?

The wild and colorful performers at Mardi Gras 2021
The wild and colorful performers at Mardi Gras 2021

In a word, yes. Everything is totally kid-friendly, and we definitely recommend bringing along everyone in the family. Many Mardi Gras “characters” walk the streets, handing out beads and posing for photos. Mixed with the New Orleans party music filling the air, it’s a very festive atmosphere.

I need beads, beads, and more beads, please

Performer throwing beads at Mardi Gras 2021
Performer throwing beads at Mardi Gras 2021

Beads are the central icon of Mardi Gras, and don’t you worry – you’ll be able to collect them ’til your little heart’s content. And, even better, the vast majority of these quintessential items are absolutely free to you.

How do you collect beads? The usual way – by cheering and raising your hands at the parades.

And in case the standard-issue beads just aren’t to your liking, Universal also sells specialty ones (for $3.99+) at the main Universal Studios Florida gift shop, the Mardi Gras Tribute Store, and at two merchandise stands: one across from Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and the other across from Fast & Furious – Supercharged.

Are there any benefits for annual passholders?

Bahamas food tent at Universal's Mardi Gras 2021
Bahamas food tent at Universal’s Mardi Gras 2021

As is usual, annual passholders get discounts on all the merchandise and discounts at the food tents (10% for Preferred and 15% for Premier).

(Need some more info or explanations on what all these various levels of Universal Orlando’s annual passes are? No problem – check out our complete guide to annual passes.)

Do you have a question about the information on this page, would like to provide feedback, or did you spot an inaccuracy? Please let us know by posting in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.

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