2023 Mardi Gras | Page 3 | Inside Universal Forums

2023 Mardi Gras

  • Signing up for a Premium Membership is a donation to help Inside Universal maintain costs and offers an ad-free experience on the forum. Learn more about it here.
Can anyone actually describe the drinks at Cursed Coconut? The descriptions don't mention the liquor...
My favorite version of anything is a heavily overproduced imitation of a real thing, so I love to go check out Universal's Mardi Gras sometime after real Mardi Gras.

That being said, Universal does not understand boiled crawfish AT ALL.
Random thoughts:

As always, parade nails it. New mythological creature floats are cool, particularly the fire-shooting phoenix. Satyr was an interesting choice I wouldn't have expected but was a lot of fun, definitely felt in the Mardi Gras spirit. Light-up dragon costumes on the performers are some of the coolest I've seen in a park. Performers gave their all even after the parade was stopped 20 minutes mid-route Saturday night for a safety issue.

Lines at food booths were worse than HHN pre-parade, still long after (except Transformers bar, which was empty, go figure).

Cursed Coconut --- on the plus side, it offers a legit craft cocktail menu. No premixed KoolAde & vodka "Voodoo Brew" here. While I didn't catch the live entertainment yet, the background loop was authentic jazz, deep cuts clearly curated by a fan, not more "Feets don't fail me now" party jams. That said, while cheap can work if it's whimsical enough (see Dead Coconut), here it felt like a lot of painted 2-D skeletons and recycled Halloween foliage. The attempt is to recreate a New Orleans grave yard -- I assume to avoid stepping on Pat O's Bourbon Street trade dress --- but it just didn't work for me this go-round.

For the "Welcome to Orlando" file: while a decent opening crowd, nowhere near as many guests or influencers as Dead Coconut. And Saturday night, in February, far more HHN shirts than Universal Mardi Gras shirts in that first wave.

Can anyone actually describe the drinks at Cursed Coconut? The descriptions don't mention the liquor...

I had to ask, wondering if it will be fixed next weekend. Voodoo Bijou (the orangey one) is with New Amsterdam gin. Small but lethal. Sazerac appeared to be a typical Sazerac.
Just coming back from Mardi Gras this weekend and very mixed for family. On one hand parade was good as usual. Loved the theming this year!

The merch was solid though we liked the designs better last year. The new tribute store location really sucks! Very small space and suppose the space just limits what they can do. The big, impressively demonstrated rooms are gone. The first room has potential but the design this year made it feel very much like putting window dressing up to decorate a universal store for the holidays.

The food was also very mixed. On one hand we love the explosion of country options. On other hand the quality and often quantity is just not there for most of the items. I rather they have a little less selection, even charge more, and offer some really nice offerings. Things like the potato pancakes in Germany were very cold. The buns from Japan were cute and interesting but there was so much outer dough to filling ratio that they mostly tasted like not fully cooked dough. Some like the Fried Green Tomato po'boy was very good but the amount of fried green tomatoes was tiny vs. the bread. If you got 2 of the sandwiches and combined filling into one sandwich, that would be a decent amount. Tomatoes can't be that expensive that they couldn't be a bit more liberal on using them. Love that Universal is continuing to try but so far they are just not in the same league as some of the Disney operations for quality. Maybe in one of the coming years they will offer a premium tier line for $15 - $20 per item where one can get a better quantity/quality vs. the basic items.

Park was more crowded than same weekend last year (Super Bowl weekend); particularly Sunday, which we had hoped to be a bit more mellow.
Mardi Gras is back at Universal Orlando, celebrating another year of food, beads, and fun.

  • Like
Reactions: SeventyOne