Every year Universal Orlando Resort welcomes a family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration with music, food, parades, and more. This year’s celebration runs until mid-April at Universal Studios Florida only. There’s lots to see, and one of the best parts is that it’s included in regular park admission! Here’s what you can see at Mardi Gras, and a few tips for visiting.
One of the biggest draws of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is their concert series. Every Saturday during the celebration, and a few Fridays and Sundays, you can catch a different band on the Universal Music Plaza stage. This year features Fall Out Boy, The Fray, Adam Lambert, 3 Doors Down, REO Speedwagon, and more. Many of these concerts are very popular, so you’ll want to arrive very, very early. If you want to be close to the stage, you’ll likely need to camp out for most of the afternoon, depending on the band’s popularity. The concerts are standing room only.
Every Mardi Gras night, there’s also a fantastic and whimsical parade featuring Mardi Gras and other worldwide celebrations. The parade starts near the Horror Make-Up Show theater, heads toward the park entrance, and then circles around New York before returning to its starting point. There’s viewing all along the parade route, though stay close to the park entrance if you want to leave quickly afterward. Note that the parade starts at 7:45pm, while the concerts start at 8:30pm, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to do both in one night.
In the French Quarter Courtyard, you’ll also find New Orleans-style dishes to purchase, such as jambalaya, gumbo, and beignets. There’s live music here throughout the event, and you’ll find Mardi Gras characters and stilt walkers roaming the area and taking pictures with guests.
Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is a great event available at no additional cost, and has plenty to offer both adults and families. Just note that the park is more crowded on these evenings, and if you’re not attending the concert, try to stay clear of the Universal Music Plaza area.
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