Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras Festival and More!

Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras Festival and More!

This week in theme park news, Universal Orlando Resort opened their Mardi Gras Festival: Flavors of Carnival.  Disney announced a new opening date for Mickey’s Toontown.  Round-up Rodeo in Hollywood Studios is getting ready to take dining reservations and pricing changes are in affect for travel insurance to Disney Resorts. 

You’ll find all the details here and more, so keep reading!

Mardi Gras decoration
Photo Credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Mardi Gras Festival: Flavors of Carnival at Universal Orlando Resort

Festival of Flavor

Are you ready for beads and beignets? 

Food Kiosks at Universal Mardi Gras Festival
photo credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Universal Orlando Resort began their Mardi Gras Festival Saturday February 4, and I was there for opening weekend.  This year’s celebration runs through Sunday April 16 and features food kiosks from around the globe from countries that celebrate Carnival.  Some of the kitchens include:

  • Belgium
  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
  • Spain
  • Germany

There are a total of 20 national and specialty food and beverage booths at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure theme parks. 

Spain Food Kiosk at Mardi Gras Festival
photo credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Of course, there are quite a few locations where you can pick up some Louisiana favorites such as Po’boys and Beignets. 

The Mardi Gras Parade

In addition to delicious food, the festival includes an elaborate parade nightly inside Universal Studios Florida.  This year’s parade is themed to mythical creatures.  See below for a taste of the gorgeous floats and costumes of the entertainers. 

You too can be part of the parade by joining a virtual queue through the Theme Park app on your phone from inside the park.  Spaces are limited so do it early in the day! You can ride along the route on one of the floats and toss beads to the adoring crowd. 

AND more!

Even the street entertainment at the parks gets in on the celebratory spirit.  Live performers like the Beat Builders and IP characters such as Beetlejuice decorate their sets and themselves in Mardi Gras wear to greet and entertain guests.

All that can put you in the mood to continue the fun into the night.  On select nights, you can catch a big-name concert following the parade at The Music Plaza Stage inside Universal Studios Florida.

You can find the full line up HERE.

The Music Plaza Stage
The Music Plaza Stage
photo credit: @dizndonohues

Mickey’s Toontown Will Re-Open Soon

Disneyland announced that Mickey’s Toontown has a new opening date. Inclement weather in the area this winter forced the refurbishment back a bit.  Now, on March 8, guests of the theme park will once again be able to take a self-guided tour of both Mickey and Minnie’s houses, but…

Mickey's ToonTown in latest theme park news
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

More Fun in This Kid’s Space

The re-imagination of this section of Disneyland Park will include more interactive and inclusive elements that are said to involve sensory stimulation.  Those new features are:

  • A new custom water fountain
  • A “Dreaming Tree” where small ones can crawl around and explore.
  • Goofy’s “How to Play Yard” and house with candy making machine and sound garden.
  • Donald’s Boat that has an interactive splash zone area
  • Grassy Play area for kids to let off some steam or relax.
  • Chip n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster- a kid size coaster fit for the small ones. 
Donald's Boat in Mickey's ToonTown in latest theme park news
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

This area of the park will also include the food service locations: Café Daisy, described as a “side-walk table eatery” and Good Boy! Grocers, a quick service kiosk for grab and go grub. 

In addition, the recently opened Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in El CapiToon Theater as well as the return of Roger Rabbit’s CarTOON Spin will be included attractions in Mickey’s Toontown. 

Round-Up Rodeo Barbecue

Round-up Rodeo in latest theme park news
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

Beginning this week on Tuesday, February 21, dining reservations will become available for the newest table service location at Hollywood Studios.  Round-up Rodeo Barbecue opens March 23, but you can claim you spot at the table ahead of your trip beginning this week.   You’ll find all the details on Toy Story Land’s hottest new spot, including what’s on the menu HERE.

Disney Makes Changes to Their Travel Protection Plan

Planning a trip?  Be aware that changes have been made to the optional travel protection offered with your room/ticket package to Disneyland, Disney World and Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa.  The price increases and changes went into effect February 15.  You can get all the specific details HERE.

New Disney World PhotoPass Options

This week in theme park news, Disney World guests will now have the chance to “smolder” in their park photos!  What does that mean?  At select locations on property, PhotoPass photographers will offer you the option of using “Tangled” themed magic shots or backdrops! 

photopass props in latest theme park news
Photo credit: Disney Destinations

Those include:

  • Animal Kingdom: Discovery Island (just over the entrance bridge).  Get a magic shot with Pascal.
  • Magic Kingdom:  Fantasyland (after dark).  Lantern prop added as an option (weather permitting)
  • Disney Springs: Disney PhotoPass Studio.  Choose a virtual “Tangle” themed backdrop for your photo session.  It includes the option of a frying pan prop too!
Tangle backdrops in latest theme park news
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

You can find more information on Disney’s PhotoPass photographers and the photo package “Memory Maker” HERE

This has been a fun week for theme park news!  If you would like to continue to get the latest updates sign up for our mailing list below and get it delivered directly to your inbox. 

If you are thinking about your next trip, reach out to our friends at DizN Vacations. Their team of experienced and knowledgeable travel advisors will help you book and build your best vacation! You can also submit a free no obligation quote request to start planning your trip right away.

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