Let the Good Times Roll!
It’s that time of year again for one of my favorite events at Universal their Mardi Gras Celebration.
The festivities can be found since the Universal Studios theme park and includes some great food, concerts, a scavenger hunt, decorations, a parade and a brand new set of collectible medallions. But before we get to those new coins let’s take a stroll around the park first.
I’ve visited Universal’s Mardi Gras the last few years and always have a great time. There are decorations all throughout the park, but the heart of the festival for some reason is in the New York section of the park.
Be on the look out for the King and Queen of Mardi Gras. I usually find them riding their marquee float during the parade.
Of course any good festival will have a lot of food trucks and food booths to experience and this was no different.
My recommendation is to go during the week to help avoid some of the crowds. When the food booths first open is usually a great time to jump in short lines and enjoy the hot fresh food.
This year one of the tag lines for the festival was that it was “Spicier” and that was certainly the case. Many times at the theme parks they tend to tone down the spice just due to the wide range of guests tastes. But I can attest that a few of the items this year definitely brought the spice. The Nashville Hot Chicken Mac & Cheese was amazing, and the Blackend Chicken Po-Boy was also a great option. The different varieties of Arepas we tried were very flavorful and one of my favorites was the Pressed Garlic Bread Meatball slider. So many great options, there are almost too many to try in just one visit.
After indulging in some great food it was time to explore the latest version of the Tribute Store. This time around it was themed around a Float Factory. The facades they create for these stores are always so details and really gave me some Horror Nights vibes (soon my precious…soon).
As with the other Tribute Stores we have experience in the past there are multiple rooms each telling a different part of a larger story. Inside this Float Factory each room took us through the process of designing and creating a parade float. Above was the second room we encountered and showed how they start carving in foam the details for the float.
The next room detailed the paint and decoration process for a float. Plus did I mention all the merchandise we’ve encountered. There were scented candles, masks, beads, t-shirts, sweaters, hats, Christmas ornaments and so much more.
The last room which always contains a lot of amazing themed snacks and desserts was also where we found the finished Space Gator float. Now I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see the actual parade floats but I guess that would have been just way too big to fit inside this store. Still the details of the entire float creation process was very unique and definitely interesting to see all the steps involved.
On the way out of the Tribute Store there is one last scene before you head back out into the park and this is where we found the new Collectible Medallions machine.
The cabinet looked to be the exact same machine we have found here recently for the Holiday Tribute Store and last years Halloween Horror Nights. But I’m certainly happy to see they have kept up the trend of releasing new medallions for each of their big events throughout the year. The cost was $5 per Medallion or $15 for all four designs.
Each design has a nice Mardi Gras theme to it including the tag line I mentioned for this year “Louder, Wilder and Spicier”, a Fleur-De-Lis, a classic Mardi Gras mask, and an interesting Voodoo design. The reverse of each coin all had the same Mardi Gras at Universal 2022 design.
I had so much fun again this year at Universal’s Mardi Gras and thankfully there is still plenty of time to go back and experience more food and more fun. The parade is always one of my highlights to watch and if you are lucky enough you may also get to ride on the float and toss those highly sought after beads at all the gusts along the parade route. Then before you jump back in your car you can toss a few of your beads onto the famous Mardi Gras bead tree.
I am so happy to see another set of collectible medallions released and can’t wait to see what’s next. Will this be it until Horror Nights? Who knows, I’m kind of hoping we see something new in-between these two marquee events. Only time will tell, but I’ll make sure and let you know as soon as I find out.