It’s Florida’s Biggest Party — Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando. Each spring, the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street make their way from the bayou to the streets of Universal Studios Florida. With concerts lighting up the stage; 1.8 million beads flying through the air; a wild and wonderful parade led by amazing, outrageous performers — Mardi Gras is a Universal Orlando tradition like no other. Good times and great food are on the menu with boatloads of tasty shrimp, sweet stacks of delicious beignets and so much more! Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration is the party of the year—and everyone’s invited. Mardi Gras events are included with your Universal Studios theme park admission.
While Mardi Gras normally lasts only two weeks in New Orleans, at Universal Orlando Resort the party is celebrated for a total of 50 dazzling nights. This year for the first time ever, Mardi Gras will run consecutive nights from February 4 to March 25.
Universal Orlando has been creating its special Mardi Gras celebration for more than 15 years – bringing the perfect combination of the Big Easy and spectacular theme park entertainment to its guests all for the price of regular admission. Nationally renowned musical acts combine with an authentic Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic Cajun cooking, and hand-picked New Orleans bands to capture the look, feel and fun of New Orleans – all inside Universal Studios Florida.
The 2017 Mardi Gras Concerts
You can’t have a great party without great music. At Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras you can catch some of the biggest names from the worlds of pop, rock, country, R&B and more, live in concert on the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios Florida at 8:30pm, on 12 select nights from February 4 – March 25, 2017. This year’s concert lineup includes:
- Saturday, February 4 – Trace Adkins
- Saturday, February 11 – NE-YO
- Saturday, February 18 – Collective Soul
- Sunday, February 19 – X Ambassadors
- Saturday, February 25 – Fifth Harmony
- Saturday, March 4 – Yandel
- Sunday, March 5 – Olivia Newton-John
- Saturday, March 11 – UB40
- Sunday, March 12 – Toby Keith
- Saturday, March 18 – Jason Derulo
- Sunday, March 19 – Earth, Wind & Fire
- Saturday, March 25 – The All-American Rejects
Mardi Gras Parade
Gather the family and catch beads by the handful as our dazzling parade winds its way through the park with incredible floats, colorful costumes, towering stilt walkers, street performers and dancers. It’s fun and excitement for all ages.
For those with little ones, you can head to the Little Jester’s Parade Viewing Area, which can be found in front of the Brown Derby Hat Shop. The area is available beginning one hour prior to the start of the parade.
Be sure to line the streets to catch beads and doubloons by the handful. You’ll see beautifully decorated floats designed by Blaine Kern Studios, who have been creating authentic Mardi Gras floats in New Orleans for over 60 years.
This year’s parade features six new floats and they’re all themed to different mythical creatures. The include:
- Manticore’s Majesty
- The Rise of the Garuda
- The Dance of the Dragon
- Phoenix from the Flames
- Garden Sprites
- The Flight of the Pegasus
Looking for the best spots to watch the parade from? Take a look at the map below:
The parade rolls through the streets of Universal Studios at the following times on the following evenings:
- February 7: 5:00 p.m.
- February 5-6, 8-10, 12-17: 6:45 p.m.
- February 20–24, 26–27 and March 1–3, 6–10: 7:15 p.m.
- February 4, 11, 18, 19, 25, 28 and March 4, 5, 11–25: 7:45 p.m.
French Quarter Courtyard
Want to experience the real feel of The Big Easy? Head to our French Quarter Courtyard for sizzling Cajun and Creole food. Menu items available for purchase include dishes like shrimp gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets. The French Quarter Courtyard opens at 4:00 pm. each night of Mardi Gras.
With a rich history of soulful performers, New Orleans is often considered to be the birthplace of true American music. Each Mardi Gras evening you can enjoy the sweet sounds of authentic jazz, blues, and zydeco bands from New Orleans. The line up includes:
- 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
CityWalk After Party
After-hours, partygoers 21 and older should head to CityWalk. The New Orleans spirit can be found at Pat O’Brien’s, a replica of the famed French Quarter watering hole. There you can enjoy Hurricanes, eat Cajun favorites in the Main Bar, or join the group sing-along in the Piano Lounge.
CityWalk is open each night until 2:00 a.m. and on Mardi Gras event nights, your Annual Pass or Universal Studios theme park ticket allows you to skip the cover at Pat O’Brien’s and all other CityWalk nightclubs.