Universal Orlando kicked off 2015’s Mardi Gras event this weekend, with a few subtle changes to year’s past, but still continues it’s tradition of concerts, parades, food, drinks, and fun at Universal Studios Florida.
In case you’re late to the party; Mardi Gras is held on select nights Feb 7 through April 18, guests will experience a “N’awlins”-inspired, family-friendly version of Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida.
This year, Universal made some changes and revamped the branding of the event with more emphasis on Sugar Skulls and bright colors. This year’s merchandise shows off the new direction and it looks fantastic.
The French Quarter Courtyard continues to offer great food and drink and some great photo ops with some of the parade’s characters; as well as a chance to get a head start on your bead collection. Everything you’d come to expect from Cajun cuisine is offered; such as Jambalaya, Andouille Sausage, Red Beans & Rice, and Gumbo. If you want to play it on the safe side, they do offer Pizza, Chicken Tenders & Wings, and Twisted Taters (a spiral cut, deep fried potato on a stick). Voodoo juice makes it return as the signature drink of the event as well. The courtyard begins to open up later in the afternoon, around 4:00pm. Make sure to get there early as lines can get quite long, especially during busier Mardi Gras days. Local New Orleans bands also perform in the courtyard in a stage set up near the Transformers attraction’s side.
This year’s parade didn’t introduce a specific theme or any new floats, but the King Gator and Riverboat floats received some TLC and look completely fresh and modern, while still keeping the charm of the original design. The parade also debuted a new sequence in which a couple floats are grouped together at a time so it tightens up the length of the parade as well as the pacing. There are 2 stops in this year’s parade which offers a mini-celebration and the release of confetti. The stops occur down Hollywood Blvd and New York around the Central Park/Mummy area.
The opening concert featured a performance by Olivia Newton-John, in which she performed her hits like Physical, as well as some cover songs.
Remember, Mardi Gras is included with theme park admission. If you’re planning on heading out this year, we’ve prepared a guide that offers some tips and planning advice; as well as more details on this year’s acts and times. Even though Mardi Gras is a little different this year, you’re guaranteed to have a good time and good food!