This week’s SATURDAY SIX covers Our Six Favorite Snacks at Universal’s Mardi Gras. Last week we wrote about the reasons we think Universal’s Mardi Gras Grand Celebration is one of our favorite events on the theme park calendar. Great live music, a terrific parade and a fun party atmosphere combine to make a unique experience at the park, but we here at the Saturday Six look forward to one thing more than anything else….the food! This week we’re going to look at six of our favorite snacks that come out during the party.
Please remember to click on any picture to see the full size version. Also, for a comprehensive run-down of the event and a list of all the upcoming dates, check out Seth Kubersky’s Complete Guide to Mardi Gras 2014. But enough of that jibber jabber, on with the food!
# 6 – Beignets
If you are going to do a New Orleans-style party right, you better have beignets. Topped with enough powdered sugar to put you straight into a diabetic coma, this Mardi Gras offering brings a little bit of deep fried Louisiana love to Orlando. If anyone tells you there is something better than snacking on beignets while watching the Mardi Gras Parade, they’ve clearly been bewitched by Dr. Facilier. ($4.25)
# 5 – VooDoo Juice
The official drink of Universal’s Mardi Gras, VooDoo Juice is a combination of Full Throttle energy drink and Minute Maid orange, pineapple, and cranberry juices that is topped off with rum. It is served in a souvenir glass that lights up from the bottom. There is no shortage of mixed drinks at this event, and once you buy your first souvenir glass at $10, each refill is only $7. Our recommendation? Grab a VooDoo Juice and go hang out by Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl just to listen to all the jokes told before, during, and after the ride.
# 4 – Red Beans and Rice
In the Big Easy, Monday is red beans and rice day, but at Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration every day is red beans and rice day. A filling snack that can have a little kick when you add Tabasco sauce to it, for some reason the price of this dish went up $3 from last year and is now at $8 a serving. Even in the theme park world, that’s a pretty big price hike.
# 3 – Jambalaya
Speaking of filling, the Jambalaya was packed with meat. A traditional Creole dish, jambalaya combines meat, vegetables and rice into a very flavorful experience and makes us wish there was an annual Louisiana booth at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, as well. ($9.00)
# 2 – Shrimp Gumbo
Shrimp Gumbo went up a dollar in price this year, but it continues to be the best value at Mardi Gras. This is a good sized portion of food, and one thing we like about the menu offerings is that many of the dishes come served with bread. Yes, it’s a small thing, but it adds some value to the meal, and we like to dip the bread into some of the dishes to soak up the delicious spices. ($6.00)
# 1 – King Cake
The signature dessert of Mardi Gras, a slice of King Cake is huge and would fit right into our articles on the most outrageous snacks at Universal. A tradition of Mardi Gras, the King Cake slices are cut out of a huge cake and are adorned with the official party colors of green, purple, and gold. If you’re not getting a King Cake at Mardi Gras, you’re not doing it right. ($3.25)
Before we go, we have to hand out some honorable mentions to funnel cake sticks, the po’boy sandwich, and twisted taters. Twisted Taters are one of our favorite snacks of Halloween Horror Nights, as well, and we are currently looking to see who we have to bribe at Universal to wheel that tater fryer over to Duff Gardens and make this snack available year round. A twisted tater and a Duff beer? Woo-hoo!
So there you have it: Our Six Favorite Snacks at Universal’s Mardi Gras. See you next weekend for the latest edition of the Saturday Six, where we will look at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. If you had fun, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles or, for your listening pleasure, check out Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast.