Around The UniverseUniversal Orlando Resort

Around the Universe March 2024 – Universal Orlando News & Discounts

Share This!

The Mardi Gras parade keeps rolling as Universal marches into… March. CircuMcGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous reopens, Mel’s is reopening immanently, operational changes at Reigh of Kong, and the latest construction updates in this month’s Around the Universe. Grab that amazing coffee and a beignet from the New Orleans booth, and lets go.

Mardi Gras 2024

The Mardi Gras party continues through March so catch the parade, sample some delicious food, and party with the street entertainment. Our fearless food reviewers (trust us, it’s a hard job) battled the crowds and beads to find our Best Bites at Mardi Gras. Their conclusion: Mexico, Germany, and the Phillippines menus rock.

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2024 Guide

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2024 Best Bites & Menus

Universal’s Mardi Gras food booths operate daily and the parade performs nightly.

And don’t forget about the Mardi Gras concerts! Five shows remain including the incredibly popular Ava Max and icon Queen Latifah! Concerts perform on weekends at the Music Plaza Stage between Minion Mayhem at Race Through New York at 8:00 pm.

2024 Universal Mardi Gras Concert Schedule

  • March 2: DJ Khaled
  • March 9: Ava Max
  • March 10: Queen Latifah
  • March 16: Luis Fonsi
  • March 17: Zedd

Universal’s Mardi Gras is running now daily through April 7, 2024.

Circus McGrukus Cafe Stoo-pendous! Reopens with New Menu

Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous closed in 2023 for a massive overhaul that reimagined the premier Seuss Landing quick-service restaurant with a new menu and a mobile order focus. The refreshed restaurant recently reopened and one of our Universal Foodie Fam made a quick trip to grab some bites and photos.

Circus McGurkus is now a Mobile Order Table Delivery first restaurant like the new Minion Cafe. This means guests can order before they arrive, order at their table, or order and pick up at a Mobile Order window. The interior spaces are now rearranged with more seating and photo opportunities to take the place of the old cashier and pick-up areas.

Oh, and they got a whole new food menu with lots of fun-looking options like Chicken and Biscuits and a spaghetti and meatballs handwich. Yes, a handwich. Do not worry, classic cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and more are available too. Plus there are fun dessert options like a Green Eggs and Ham cheesecake and a caramel popcorn cupcake.

Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendus is now open daily. We will cover the new food options soon so keep an eye on the TouringPlans Blog for more coverage!

Mel’s Drive-In Is Reopening Soon, Too!

Mel’s Drive-In also received a massive refurbishment that stripped the restaurant down to the foundations. The space where guests waited to place their orders is now an open seating area thanks to table delivery Mobile Order. Place an order using the Universal Orlando app before arriving or at the table, confirm your arrival and location, and then wait for delivery. a small cashier area is located to the left of the dining area under the digital menus for guests with cash, gift cards, and mobile app ordering issues.

While the restaurant has not opened we got a preview of the menu signage inside. Expect to find new hot dog, chicken, and hamburger options at this classic car restaurant plus shakes and desserts. Mel’s can open any day now, including today! We will also cover Mel’s Drive-In food and atmosphere soon on the Touring Plans blog.

Reign of Kong Testing Without 3D Glasses

Photograph copyright Universal Orlando.

Universal Orlando is currently operating Skull Island: Reign of Kong without 3D and 3D glasses. This test is scheduled to run through March 9th with guest feedback and operations feedback taken into account. We will keep you informed on any updates in a future Around the Universe article.

Epic Update & DreamWorks Construction

Last month Universal Orlando finally unveiled the new Epic Universe theme park. Comprised of five themed worlds, this new park will open in 2025.

The entrance of the park features a large sculpture that guests walk under to enter Celestial Park, the home to several attractions, restaurants, shops, and bars. Between the gardens and fountains are four portals to other worlds – Super Nintendo World; Dark Universe featuring the Universal Monsters; The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic; and How to Train Your Dragon Isle of Berk.

Epic Universe will open in 2025.

But what about this year? Universal Studios Florida has a few projects up its sleeve such as the redevelopment of KidZone into DreamWorks Land. Opening later this year, DreamWorks Land is the new home for the Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, and Gabby’s Dollhouse characters.

Universal has yet to announce an opening timeframe for DreamWorks Land, but we are expecting it to open in the summer of 2024. A new parade and nighttime show are also planned for this summer, too, and we will share more details as they become available.


Universal Orlando frequently offers discounts on multi-day tickets and hotel stays. These are the latest discounts available to guests:


  • All Guests – Buy Two Day Ticket, Get Two Days Free starting at $330.99 per adult plus tax
  • All Guests – 3-Months Free with an Annual Pass Purchase
  • FL Residents – Buy a One Day, Two Park Ticket and Get a Day Free


  • All Guests – Save 20% on 5-night and longer stays at Sapphire Falls
  • All Guests – 40% off 4-night hotel stays on select dates

Universal Orlando Annual Passholder hotel rates are released in blocks about four to five months before reservation dates. We suggest using the UOAP Rate crawler to monitor UOAP hotel rate availablity.


  • All Guests – 25% off 3-park, 5-night Vacation Packages

For more deals, including discounts on vacation packages, visit the Universal Orlando website.


The following attractions are closed for refurbishment:

  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – February 5 – March 8, 2024
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish – April 27 – May 24, 2024

You May Also Like...

Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *