New at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2023

Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras 2023

Universal Orlando’s annual International Flavors of Carnaval celebration has returned to let the good times roll, and we’ve got your Unofficial Guide to everything that’s new at Universal’s Mardi Gras 2023.

Dish of Canadian short rib poutine and souvenir cocktail cup at Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2023 event.
Taste the latest International Flavors of Carnaval with our Unofficial Guide to everything new at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2023 celebration. (Photos/videos by Seth Kubersky)

This year, the Mardi Gras festivities at Universal Orlando kicked off on February 4th, and they’ll continue daily through April 16th, not only inside Universal Studios Florida, but also across the entire resort. Here are five of our favorite additions to the long-running event.

New Costumed Characters

As soon as you enter Universal Studios Florida, you’ll notice that Mardi Gras costumed characters are no longer confined to a single small area, but they can now be found throughout the park, spreading the Big Easy spirit throughout the day.

It won’t be hard to spot the spangled stilt walkers strutting along Hollywood, Production Central, New York, and elsewhere.

Universal’s costuming department has gone all out with these imaginative designs—with some even incorporating lighting effects. And it’s also refreshing to see the diversity in casting among this year’s parade performers.

Be sure to snap your selfies with the Mardi Gras 2023 costumed characters by late afternoon, as they depart to prepare for the parade about an hour prior to step-off.

New International Foods

While you await the evening parade, you’ll want to fuel up for the party with some food and drink from the international sampling booths that have expanded across the entire park. In addition to New Orleans staples like jambalaya and beignets, new booths representing countries around the globe—many developed with input from members of those cultures—have joined Universal’s festival lineup.

These are a few of our favorite new additions to Universal’s 2023 Mardi Gras menus.

Mexican Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas
Fried Green Tomato Po’boy
Japanese Bun Sampler
Indonesian Soft Shell Crab

If you want the best value while eating around the Studios, invest in a Food & Beverage Card. You’ll pay $65 for $75 credit, and any remaining balance will remain valid after the event at most park and CityWalk eateries. Annual passholders pay $120 for $150 credit and get their regular passholder food discount on top of that!

Finally, Universal’s Mardi Gras food booths have broken out of Universal Studios Florida, and for the first time they can now also be found at select spots in Islands of Adventure and CityWalk.

New Mardi Gras Tribute Store

Universal’s seasonal Tribute Stores have become a fan-favorite must-do during the Studios’ annual events, and this walk-through shopping attraction has found a new home just in time for Mardi Gras.

Instead of its former location next to Revenge of the Mummy, the 2023 Mardi Gras Tribute Store is now on Hollywood Boulevard, replacing the former Williams of Hollywood prop shop, Darkroom photo op, and UOAP passholder lounge.

Beginning in an elegant French Quarter hotel ballroom, the 2023 Mardi Gras Tribute Store takes visitors through an atmospheric back alley and into a secret speakeasy. Here, the liquor bottles sport faces of park fans, and the barkeep serves Fat Tuesday-inspired sweets.

Keep an eye open for Easter eggs and inside references throughout this lushly decorated shop.

Experience a full walk-through of the Universal Mardi Gras Tribute Store with this 4K video:

New Mardi Gras 2023 Parade Floats

Feet don’t fail us now because it’s finally time for the main attraction. Universal Studios Florida’s 2023 Mardi Gras parade steps off almost every evening around sunset near the Horror Makeup Show, then takes a clockwise lap around the park’s western half.

Every year Universal debuts six all-new floats featuring a unique theme, and for Mardi Gras 2023 guests are treated to a menagerie of mythological creatures, including dragons, unicorns, and the flame-throwing phoenix.

Enjoy a complete viewing of Universal Orlando’s 2023 Mardi Gras parade with this 4K video:

New Cursed Coconut Club

Once the party winds down inside the Studios, make your way out of the park and wander over to the latest watering-hole wonder at Universal’s CityWalk, the new Cursed Coconut Club.

Like the Dead Coconut Club and Green & Red Coconut Club before it, the Cursed Coconut Club revives the dormant Red Coconut Club with two stories of spooky voodoo-inspired decor and potent specialty cocktails.

The Cursed Coconut Club is among our favorite new elements of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration. Unfortunately, it is only open to the public on select evenings, so check Universal’s app for operating hours before planning an evening around it.

End your vicarious visit to Mardi Gras by exploring the Cursed Coconut Club via our walk-through video:

For more information about Mardi Gras, visit Universal’s event website.

What’s your favorite new attraction at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2023 celebration? Let us know in the comments below!

For all there is to see and do at Universal Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.


  1. Annie Long March 2, 2023Reply

    These are some great pictures, Seth! The unusual costumes–that merman!, the delicious-looking food, the glowing, smoky lights in the parade, the classic New Orleans wrought iron façades. Vey good job enticing us!

  2. Mary Garrett March 3, 2023Reply

    I celebrated my 70th birthday in Orlando in February we were in the parade. Someone took pictures before hand. Any way of seeing them?

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