It’s that time of the year again! Universal’s widely beloved Mardi Gras celebration continues it’s tradition of concerts, parades, food and drinks at Universal Studios Florida. This year’s event boasts an impressive lineup of performers ranging from one of 2013’s biggest names in Robin Thicke; all the way to punk rock legends, Weezer. No matter who the performer, there’s always 2 things you can count on at Mardi Gras. The parade and beads. Lots and lots of beads.
Before we get into the parade, let’s take a look at this year’s merchandise. Compared to last year, Universal went with a general, fun look for the merch; save for a pair of Minion/Mardi Gras merchandise. Glassware was $14.95, the shot glasses were $8.95, and t-shirts were $19.95. If you fancy yourself a set of your own beads, Universal was selling 3 for $10.
One aspect that often goes over-looked is the food! Universal offers guests a chance to sample of Nawlin’s most revered dishes, such as gumbo, jambalaya, and shrimp po’ boys. If your sweet tooth needs some indulging, you can’t go wrong with some beignets or even king cake!
New to this year’s parade are three floats with designs featuring planes, trains and automobiles as you travel “Around the World in 80 days”, reflecting the sense of fantasy and exploration of Jules Verne’s classic adventure tale. Of course you’ll also be seeing Mardi Gras classics like the double-decker Alligator float at the end of the parade.
Fun tip! On some nights, Universal may be seeking park guests to throw beads off the floats. Lucky guests get chosen around an hour or so before the parade . Make sure you warm up your arm too, because it can get exhausting up there!
This year, the parade route starts right by the Horror Make-Up show. On slower nights, you may be able to get a good spot about a half-hour before the parade starts. On busier times, we definitely recommend getting there at least an hour ahead of the scheduled start. If you’re traveling with the little ones, Universal offers a kid’s viewing area that is located right next to Terminator 2 – 3D. You can check out the parade out below*:
Mardi Gras runs February 8th – May 31st. For complete information on performers, dates and park hours, visit universalorlando.com. As always, make sure to stay tuned to Orlando United for more Mardi Gras fun!
Let us know what you thought of this year’s Mardi Gras by visiting our forums. Enjoy the pictures!
*On Feb 8th, the parade started and ended right by the Horror Make-Up show. Make sure to get more information the day of your visit to plan your parade viewing spot better.