As someone who spends a few hours a week writing about theme park food, the wait for final announcement of food offerings at Universal Orlando Mardi Gras creates stress. Still, excitement grew as some of the official menus were posted in the park on February 1st. Since Mardi Gras starts Saturday February 5th, 2022, the planner in me desired an earlier announcement. Yet, this is Universal Orlando so scheduled announcements change literally at the last minute. I will describe what we know right now.
Like last year, the food offerings expanded from the usual New York area of Universal Studios Florida to fill other areas. Also, like last year, the food tents reflect cuisine from various cultures, not just New Orleans. We have several returning favorites from last year. The USA/New Orleans food tents located in the New York area will once again offer beignets. In addition, the crawfish boil returns as a combination of crawfish (or crawfish and shrimp), andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn cooked in a Cajun spiced broth. A shrimp boil is also available. These boils cost $11.49. Jambalaya returns with a chicken and andouille sausage version in seasoned sauce cooked with rice. Another returning item in this area is the Tropical Storm Punch. This year the recipe changed slightly to a blend of light and dark rum, passionfruit puree, orange juice, lime juice, and grenadine.
Another returning favorite comes from the Brazil food area located near Café La Bamba. Chicken coxinha shines as the main feature here. These Brazilian treats consist of pulled chicken filling tear drop shaped fritters. These fritters received high marks from guests last year.
The Italy food area revives the arancini from last year. Arancini are Sicilian style cheese balls. Universal’s description for these reads “flashed fried tomato, basil, arancini served with a spicy arribiato sauce.” Another returning item this year is the Goombay Smash, Bahamian classic rum drink located at Floribbean food tent this year.
There exist several new offerings this year. For example, annual passholders get some exclusive items from Louie’s Gelato Window. These passholder exclusives involve a dessert and some alcoholic beverages. In addition, a Mardi Gras Po Boy sandwich, blackened shrimp this time, returned inside the theme parks in New Orleans area for all guests. At the Fusion theme food tent, guests will find an Ube Ice Cream Bubble Waffle. The menu description for these reads: “purple sweet potato ice cream in a matcha green tea bubble waffle topped with toasted coconut, strawberry Pocky Sticks and popping candies.”
Of note, this year’s Mardi Gras food line-up includes more vegan options than in previous years. The Vegan Samosa with Spicy Green Chutney serves as a good example. These filled pastries contain potato, carrot, and peas with the spicy green chutney.
There appears to be a plant-based style food tent near Springfield, USA area. The menu posted February is below with various options that are out of this world fitting Mardi Gras theme.
Also of note, the two food trucks from the holiday food season are still displaying the same menu as before. This causes one to suspect they will sell sausage/peppers and Nashville hot chicken during Mardi Gras. In addition, Universal Orlando posted a cryptic message about twisted taters on February 1st. Logic dictates those are making an appearance this year.
Though the traditional pricing of the lanyard for this event no longer exists, the food options show promise. Even though guests may need to budget slightly differently, Universal will offer a discounted food and beverage card/lanyard. We have listed the full listing of in-park Mardi Gras food/beverage offerings posted so far below. We will update when an “official” announcement happens from Universal Orlando. Also, check back with piratesandprincesses.net for individual food reviews so you can plan your culinary tour of Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando.
Annual Passholder Exclusive
- Spiked Affogato: Vanilla Gelato, Espresso and Kahlua
- Affogato: Vanilla Gelato and Espresso
- Spiked Gelato: Vanilla Gelato, New Amsterdam Vodka, Gran Gala, Orange Fanta
- Conch Fritters with Roasted Pineapple Remoulade: Conch flash fried with a creamy roasted pineapple remoulade $8.99
- Buttermilk Strawberry (or Blueberry) Shortcakes:” Marinated strawberries (or Blueberry compote), basil mascarpone, orange blossom honey of a buttermilk biscuit $4.99
- Goombay Smash: A Bahamian classic dark and coconut rums, Grand Manier, lime, orange pineapple juice, and Coca Lopez Coconut Cream
- Coconut Shrimp Laksa: shrimp, fried tofu, hard-boiled egg, noodles, and spicy curry broth
- Cosmic Mangonada: A classic layered combination of mango juice, Tajin hot sauce, and dried spice blend
- Vegan Samosa with Spicy Green Chutney: Crispy samosa filled with potato, carrot, and peas served with a spicy green chutney
- Ube Ice Cream Bubble Waffle: Purple Sweet Potato ice cream in a matcha green tea bubble waffle topped with toasted coconut, strawberry Pocky Sticks and popping candies. $8.99
- Mardi Gras Bubble Waffle” Ube and matcha swirl soft serve ice cream in a Belgian bubble waffle, topped with Mardi Gras sprinkles and sweet pocky sticks $8.99
- Creole Carb Beignets: Cajun brown sugar dusted beignets, stuffed with creamy crab dip and scallions $9.99
- Carrot Cake Concoction beverage (non-alcoholic): Frozen carrot cake slush topped with purple ube ice cream $5.50
- Salchipapas: Chorizo, crispy french fries, chimichurri, tomato and onion curtido
- Guava Comet Margarita: A complex and tropical drink combining elements of a margarita and a Paloma- El Jimador Blanca Tequila guava, white grapefruit, lime juice, and agave nectar
- Blackened Shrimp Po Boy: Shrimp, lettuce, tomato, Cajun, remoulade, on a hoagie roll.
- Tropical Storm Punch: A classic blend of light and dark rum, passionfruit puree, orange and lime juice, and grenadine.
- Chicken & Andouille Sausage Jambalaya: chicken & andouille sausage in a seasoned sauce cooked with rice
- Crawfish Boil (also Crawfish and Shrimp variety or just shrimp variety): protein choice, andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn cooked in a Cajun spiced broth. $11.49
- Beignets: Crispy beignets with powdered sugar. $5.99
- King Cake: Traditional King Cake with cinnamon swirl icing and colored sanding sugar $12.99
- Mardi Gras Marshmallow Pie: Fresh made marshmallow, graham cracker cookies, chocolate, and Mardi Gras sprinkles $5.49
- Category 5 Punch
- Pina Verde
- Abita Purple Haze: The Classic Louisiana Raspberry Lager.
- Arancini: flashed fried tomato, basil, arancini served with a spicy arribiato sauce.
- Chicken Coxinha: Crispy tear drop filled fritters.
OTHER MENU ITEMS WITHOUT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS CONFIRMED:
Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche: Poached shrimp, marinated radish, blood orange sorbet $8.99
Sweet Corn Johnny Cake: Pulled jerk jackfruit, blood orange sorbet, avocado, and yellow mole sauce $6.99
Papas Bravas: Crispy roasted potatoes, salsa bravas and garlic aioli $7.99
Savory Sopaipilla: Roaster butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, pebre salsa, and cilantro $5.49
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