Universal is back again this year with their fan favorite Mardi Gras and Flavors of Carnaval food festival. I’ve mentioned in the past this is one of my favorite events at Universal and based on the crowds I’ve seen so far this year, many other guests seem to feel the same way.
There are plenty of food booths and great eats again this year, but to be honest we are here today to check out the new Tribute store and a look at the new souvenir medallions.
Something a bit different with this years Tribute Store and from what we are hearing future Tribute stores will be located in this new location. Previously there were back in the New York area of the park beside The Mummy ride. Rumors are that location is being converted into a preview center for their new Epic Universal Theme Park scheduled to opening Summer 2025. Due to the Tribute Store popularity and I’m sure large volume of merchandise sales, they have moved it into the building along Hollywood Boulevard formerly used as the Annual Passholder Lounge.
Inside there are three different themed rooms, but they are much smaller than in the usual location. The decorations and theme of these rooms is still great and a lot of fun to check out. But overall I feel like this is definitely a step down from what we have experienced in the past. I’m sure this just has to do with the location being a much smaller area so they are limited to what they can do with it.
In the last room where they are selling some themed sweet treats, and also where the check-out area is, you will find the updated souvenir medallion machine right next to the exit doors.
The cabinet of the machine has remained unchanged, and looks to be just slightly themed as a storage box. It has a nice Tribute Store marquee across the top, and almost most surprising of all is that the price has not increased. These are still being sold as $5 each or $15 for four designs. Nearby parks SeaWorld and Walt Disney World has started increasing the cost of these medallions so hopefully Universal is puts off that imminent change for awhile. If I had to guess the increase will show up with the new Halloween Horror Nights Set since that is from what I have seen by far the most popular set of medallions Universal releases each year.
The designs in this years set include a Mardi Gras Mask, a pretty dapper looking Crawfish, a Skull and of my favorite King Gator.
The reverse image is the same on all designs and is of the Universal’s Mardi Gras logo and I love that they include the year 2023 on this as well. That way they can’t try to release these again next year, like they did just a few months ago with their Holiday medallions.
Now I guess it’s time to head back into the park and try some of the food booths, and hang around until after dark when the parade takes place so I can try to grab some beads. It’s always a fun time at Universal’s Mardi Gras so be sure to check it out before it ends April 16th. Keep on Collecting!