Fat Tuesday may not arrive until March 4, according the the Catholic calendar, but Mardi Gras is already in full effect at Universal Studios Florida. Opening night on February 8 of Universal’s Mardi Gras 2014 celebration included a concert by American Idol star Daughtry, and the premiere of new Jules Verne-themed floats in the 2014 Mardi Gras Parade. Even intermittent rain didn’t diminish the considerable crowds who came out for Mardi Gras 2014‘s damp debut, though slick streets did ground the stiltwalkers.
Derek Burgan will be back in the coming weeks with a couple Mardi Gras-themed “Saturday Six” columns, but until then I wanted to bring you a virtual taste of the festivities.
First, a quick correction to our earlier Complete Guide to Mardi Gras. The original parade route map published on Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Parade page was incorrect (it has since been fixed). The parade actually makes a loop, entering and exiting at Esoteric Gate near the Horror Make-Up Show. Here is the corrected map (click to enlarge; the Mardi Gras Parade route is the red dotted line):
Finally, here’s a photo gallery of some of the French Quarter food and drink available during event nights.
Annual Passholders can get their standard discount on items from the stands between 4 and 6 p.m. on nights the French Quarter is open, and you can add a 12-ounce beer to most entrees for only $3.
I tried the shrimp po boy. The fried shrimp were well seasoned but slightly small, and the remoulade lacked kick. The veggies tasted fresh, but I would have liked a crustier baguette.
Next time I’ll probably stick with the jambalaya or gumbo, which I’ve enjoyed in the past.
The muffuletta sandwich also looks tasty (as long as you like olives).
Red beans and rice and sausage sandwiches round out the creole menu.
Don’t forget: beignets for dessert!
Mardi Gras continues on Saturdays and select other nights through May 31.