This spring, the fun and excitement of The Big Easy makes its way to Universal Orlando Resort for Mardi Gras 2012 – an authentic celebration that completely transforms Universal Studios Florida into a family-friendly version of the famed New Orleans street party.
On Saturdays and select nights starting February 11 through April 14, Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration combines unparalleled theme park entertainment with an elaborate Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic New Orleans bands, delicious Cajun cuisine and live concerts by some of today’s most popular artists.

With a combined total of more than 350 million albums sold, guests will rock out to 14 of the biggest names in music. On Feb. 18, pop superstar and Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson will take the Music Plaza Stage to perform major hits from her recent album, “Stronger;” Hot Chelle Rae will please crowds with their hit “Tonight, Tonight” during their performance on March 23; and singer-songwriter and Grammy Award nominee B.o.B, known for his multiple top singles “Nothin’ on You,” “Airplanes” and “Magic,” will perform on March 24. Additional performances include Billboard magazine’s “Female Entertainer of the Century” and disco diva Diana Ross; Boyz II Men, the most successful R&B group of all time with more than 60 million albums sold worldwide; teen sensation Big Time Rush; 2012 Grammy nominee for “Best New Artist” J. Cole; and four-time Billboard Latin Music Award winner Prince Royce. For the complete line-up, see below.

With four Grammy nominations, more than 10 million albums sold and 13 Top Ten hits including “Name,” “Slide” and “Black Balloon,” Goo Goo Dolls has become one of the most globally recognized and influential forces in pop music history. Their hit “Iris,” from the “City OfAngels” movie soundtrack, spent nearly 12 straight months on the Billboard charts and held the No. 1 position for 17 consecutive weeks. 

Sugar Ray first gained fame in the music scene with the hit “Fly.”  Since then, lead singer Mark McGrath and his band mates have taken their combination of sunny pop and lightly funky hip-hop grooves and created several of the most infectious summer singles of the late ‘90s, including “Every Morning,” “Someday” and “When it’s Over.”

Before enjoying the live concerts, guests can experience all the fun and excitement of The Big Easy as Universal Studios Florida is transformed into a family-friendly version of New Orleans’ famed Mardi Gras. The celebration includes an elaborate Mardi Gras parade, where guests can dance along with street performers and collect beads by the handful as colorful floats wind down the street of Universal Studios. This year’s parade will take guests on a journey through the earth’s different ecosystems with elaborately themed floats including: bayous and swamps, rainforest, coral reefs, the deep blue sea and Polar Regions. Every year, the parade’s hand-crafted floats are built by Blaine Kern Artists – the same company that designs the floats for the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

The heart of Mardi Gras is Universal Studios’ French Quarter Courtyard, where guests can groove to the soulful sounds of authentic New Orleans bands every night before the headliner concert. Since 2006, more than 20 bands have traveled straight from The Big Easy to Universal Orlando to perform Blues, Jazz and Zydeco music for partygoers – adding to the authenticity of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration. The French Quarter also features delicious Cajun cuisine, including jambalaya, gumbo, beignets and much more.

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Mardi Gras Event Dates

Headliners (performing in the Music Plaza)

New Orleans Bands (performing in the French Quarter)

Saturday, February 11 The B-52s The Daddy Mack Blues Band
Saturday, February 18 Kelly Clarkson Lil Malcolm and the House Rockers
Sunday, February 19 Boyz II Men Lil Malcolm and the House Rockers
Saturday, February 25 Diana Ross John Lisi & Delta Funk
Saturday, March 3 Goo Goo Dolls Beth McKee & The Sliders
Saturday, March 10 Big Time Rush Gravy
Friday, March 16 J. Cole Lil’ Brian & The Zydeco Travelers
Saturday, March 17 Sugar Ray Lil’ Brian & The Zydeco Travelers
Friday, March 23 Hot Chelle Rae J.J. Caillier & The Zydeco Knockouts
Saturday, March 24 B.o.B J.J. Caillier & The Zydeco Knockouts
Friday, March 30 Plain White T’s Soul Project
Saturday, March 31 Prince Royce Soul Project
Saturday, April 7 Cyndi Lauper Rockin’ Jake
Saturday, April 14 KC & The Sunshine Band Big Al & The Heavyweights


Mardi Gras is included in regular admission to Universal Studios. Guests can take advantage of this special offer:



Mardi Gras Getaway

  • 3-night accommodations at a Universal Partner Hotel
  • 2-day Base ticket to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
  • Early park admission to select attractions in Islands of Adventure
  • Complimentary scheduled transportation from hotel to Universal Orlando Resort
  • And more
  • Starts at $249 per adult, tax inclusive
  • Upgrade to an on-site hotel and receive complimentary Universal Express access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks (a free benefit worth up to $87 per person, per day)