Time of the year has come again for every party lover in the Florida to enjoy the family-friendly version of New Orleans Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando — Florida’s biggest party of the season! Started on this February 4th, Universal Mardi Gras was a huge success on its very first night itself. There were authentic New Orleans Young Pinstripe Brass Band, dozens of colorful characters, vibrant floats, endless beads, delicious Cajun cuisine and Mardi Gras Parade. 2017 Mardi Gras will run 50 consecutive nights from February 4 to March 25.
Being the annual pass holder of the Universal, I love visiting Universal at least once a month. And therefore, had saved my calendar for the grand opening day of the Mardi Gras since the starting of the year.
Universal Mardi Gras Parade 2017
Unlike 2016 parade, this year’s parade features SIX all-new floats themed to mythical creatures including:
- Manticore’s Majesty
- The Rise of the Garuda
- The Dance of the Dragon
- Phoenix from the Flames
- Garden Sprites
- The Flight of the Pegasus
From the start to finish, the Mardi Gras parade is about 20 minutes in length and it is very spectacular to watch.
Universal Mardi Gras Concerts 2017
The best part about the Universal Mardi Gras is a live concert on the selected night by the renowned artists. I attended the concert of the Trace Adkins and it was a total blast!
Now I’m looking forward to attending the concerts of the girl group band Fifth Harmony on February 25 and country singer-songwriter Toby Keith performance on March 12.
Check out the complete line-up below:
- February 4: Trace Adkins
- February 11: Ne-Yo
- February 18: Collective Soul
- February 19: X Ambassadors
- February 25: Fifth Harmony
- March 4: Yandel
- March 5: Olivia Newton-John
- March 11: UB40
- March 12: Toby Keith
- March 18: Jason Derulo
- March 19: Earth, Wind & Fire
- March 25: The All-American Rejects
French Quarter Courtyard
French Quarter Courtyard is the heart of the Universal Mardi Gras where you can not only meet the colorful characters of the parade but also watch the authentic New Orleans bands every night before the main concert. Also, this is the place where you can get New Orleans authentic delicious cuisines such as jambalaya, gumbo and beignets.
Also, here’s the list of New Orleans bands performing on the French Quarter this season as follows:
- February 4 – 14: Young Pinstripe Brass Band
- February 15 – 21: New Breed Brass Band
- February 22 – March 5: Free Agents Brass Band
- March 6 – 15: Naughty Professor Brass Band
- March 16 – 25: Dirty Bourbon River Show
Tips for visiting Universal Mardi Gras
- All Mardi Gras activities — the concerts, parade, and French Quarter Courtyard — are included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. As long as you have a ticket to get through the turnstiles on a Mardi Gras event date, you have access to everything. If you’ve Universal Orlando Annual pass, you can visit whenever you want.
- Universal Mardi Gras is a family-friendly as well as the kids-friendly event. There’s festivity everywhere during Mardi Gras season.
- This year Universal has set up a special parade viewing area just for kids called the Little Jester’s Parade Viewing Area. It is located next to the Terminator 2: 3-D attraction, and it opens an hour before the parade starts.
- All the concerts take place in the Music Plaza. There’s no sitting arrangement but it is totally on the first come first basis.
- If you want to sign up for the Mardi Gras Parade Float, you can check all the details and sign up here.
- Before heading for the Universal Mardi Gras, check out the weather in Orlando and dress appropriately.
I had an amazing experience during the Mardi Gras first evening of the season. I’ll try to visit few more times to experience the festivity and attend my favorite artist’s concerts.
Do share your experience if you have been to Mardi Gras or attended any similar festival in the comments below.
Happy Mardi Gras!
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