Universal Studios, Orlando, FLa. – Here we go!! The much anticipated menu for Universals 25th Mardi Gras Celebration is here. Right away we could not be happier with seeing some solid option for Vegans/Plant-Based guest. Besides the amazing musical guest that perform throughout the celebration, the food and the menu have been highly anticipated this year. So, lets see what we got for us Vegans.
New Carnival Around the Universe Tent
When I heard there was going to be a new layout and rotating tent for Mardi Gras this year, I had mixed feelings on what to expect. I mean let’s face it, in years past the Vegan/Plant-Based guests have been left with little to no options when it came to taking part in the festivities. This years food tent will take us on a journey to the “different carnivals globally”. So let’s see what options “us” Vegans have when it comes to celebrating Carnival around the Universe.
Note: This particular food tent will rotate out the countries every two weeks, providing new options for you try on each visit.
Trinidad & Tobago (Week 1 & 2)
Are you ready for this…..Week 1 & 2
ALL ARE PLANT- BASED!
- Grilled Pineapple Trini-Chow topped with kimchi seasoning and cilantro (Plant-Based)
- Pholourie – fried spicy split-pea dough with turmeric, curry powder, and a tamarind chutney (plant-based)
- Chickpea Double (served on spicy bara flatbread with cilantro and mango chutney) *Pictured
Louisiana Creole (Week 3 & 4) Feb. 16-29
Week 3 & 4 Vegan/Plant-based option
- Cauliflower Dirty Rice – riced cauliflower with Gardein crumbles, black-eyed peas, and Cajun spices (plant-based)
Brazilian carnival (week 5 & 6) Mar. 1-14
- Sugared Sweet Plantains – covered in cinnamon and sugar and served with banana poppy seed dipping sauce (plant-based)
Germany (weeks 7 & 8 ) Mar.15-31, Apr. 1, 2
- Warm pretzel – yum!
There is also a full list of 20 oz specialty drinks:
- High Seas Twister (kinda like a rum punch)
- Blue Voodoo (tasty blue margarita)
- Carnival Lane (refreshing gin drink with fruit juices)
- Baby Cakes (vodka drink that tastes like king cake!)
- Bourbon Street Punch (exclusive to the Bayou Boil)
- Coconut Water in a Coconut (non-alcoholic and available only during week 1 & 2 of Carnival Around the Universe)
ALL of these are made with Vegan safe mixes!
The Mardi Gras Float at Schwab’s, yes Schwab’s is open, is plant-based without the waffle cone flag!
- Mardi Gras Float- Pineapple & Lime plant-based soft serve with grape soda, blueberry boba, and just ask for them to hold the waffle cone flag!
Guest can also grab themselves a Twisted Tater- plain, salt & vinegar, season salt & Cajun are all safe for vegan/plant based party goers.
Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard
Wanna save some $$$ while you enjoy some delicious food and drinks? The tasting lanyard allows guests to try out a number of different food and beverage along with special alcoholic and nonalcoholic specialty drinks. With different tiers dependent on how many choices the lanyard is good for:
- Five items – $30 ($6 per item)
- 10 items – $50 ($5 per item)
- 15 items – $60 PASSHOLDER EXCLUSIVE ($4 per item)
Your lanyard can be used for dishes and drinks in the French Quarter tent area, with a special icon located on the various menus. Guest can also use their Mardi Gras Tasting lanyard on other normal snack items throughout Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk during normal park hours:
- soft pretzels
- regular popcorn
- bottles of water
The biggest question I have gotten is “what if I don’t use up all of my credits by the end of the day?” Well, Universal says no worries, come back and use it again…and again… and again until April 2. But even after that, you have options,. You can use your leftover credits on the regular theme-park snacks.
Now what about those that plan on eating and drinking their way through the park every day! No Problem! You can just go and reload your Lanyard!
So where can you grab one of these Tasting Lanyards you ask.
- The French Quarter Courtyard
- Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe
- The Bone Chillin’ drink stand in front of the Cafe
- The Reservation Cart, which is located at the entrance to the theme park.
I know how difficult it is to find options at the park, so we started a group a long long time ago, Universal Orlando Vegans! Here we share what Vegan/Plant-Based options you can find YEAR ROUND!
With Universal celebrating 25 years of Mardi Gras, I am excited to enjoy some of the flavors from around the world. I know the Universal culinary team works hard and will continue to work towards were their goal is one plant-based item per new menu rollout!