Mardi Gras Drinks at Universal Orlando

While I am sure that it is possible to find good wine in Orlando, Florida, I didn’t have time to go looking on my whirlwind trip to Universal Orlando recently for their Mardi Gras festivities. I was there to 1) learn about gumbo 2) ride the rides and 3) have a good time. Eat like a Girl (Niamh) and I were were covering Mardi Gras (she food, me drinks) and what kind of a Mardi Gras is it without at least some alcohol? I have to admit I didn’t drink anything while in the parks because I knew if I had so much as a beer, I’d be spewing and making a lot of enemies on the rides. But after dark, well, we hit City Walk. City Walk is Universal’s strip of restaurants, bars and clubs lining the path to the park entrances. It’s free of charge to enter City Walk and it even boasts a 20 screen cinema. Since you don’t have to pay to get into City Walk it’s very popular with the locals as a fun night out, as we discovered when we tried to get something to eat on Saturday night. 90 minute wait¬† for a table at 10pm? Where were we? Argentina? We finally opted for Bubba Gump’s as the wait there was only 30 minutes. Bubba Gump’s as you might imagine, is a spin off from the Forrest Gump movie and serves lots of shrimp dishes as well as some mighty smooth margaritas. At this point I was so tired and jet lagged that anything would have been good but that margarita most certainly hit the spot. A proper American sized drink, it came with it’s own full sized shaker so we could serve ourselves. I like my margaritas on the sweet side to play up against the salt on the rim and they have to be on the rocks, no brain freeze for me, please. One thing I love about American bars, they free pour, meaning, they...

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Mardi Gras, Gumbo & Bubbles

I’ve always wanted to go to a Mardi Gras celebration. The beads, the parades, the music, the copious amounts of alcohol consumed. I mean, doesn’t that sound like fun? What if you threw in Mardi Gras at an American theme park? Like say, Universal in Orlando, Florida? It might not be New Orleans but it was a hell of a lot of fun nonetheless. When Eat Like A Girl (Niamh) asked me if I was available for a trip to Florida, I jumped on it like a duck on a June bug. I hadn’t been to a theme park in years and I still don’t like big roller coasters but Universal has so many rides In both it’s parks, (Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios) that are not roller coasters that there’s plenty to do. My favourite had to be The Mummy, although technically it’s a rollercoaster, it’s more like a baby roller coaster with no huge drops. We did however ride on the River Adventure in the Jurassic Park area of the park and that has the sharpest water ride drop, 55 degree angle, plunging 85 feet. Our guide neglected to tell us that but it was so much fun we wanted to ride it again anyway. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was fun and threw you all over the place, although technically it’s not a roller coaster and Spiderman, complete with fire in your face and smoke in your eyes, was another simulator ride I ‘d do again.¬† The only ride I didn’t really care for, but Niamh loved, was The Simpsons. That simulator was way too realistic for me, I thought I was gonna puke.   We were there not only to visit the park but also to sample some authentic Cajun gumbo as Niamh was covering the food side of Mardi Gras for iVillage. For those who are unfamiliar with it, gumbo is of Cajun origins. The Cajuns being the Acadian French who were kicked out of Canada by...

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