Did you know New Orleans isn’t the only city that throws an epic Mardi Gras? For a family-friendly version head to Universal Orlando Mardi Gras! Every year for 50 nights Universal Orlando brings the French Quarter to Florida with Cajun food, authentic blue bands, parade floats, and much more. On select nights the Universal Music Plaza Stage has big name bands performing like Sean Paul & Makelmore this year. The best part is it’s included in your park ticket! Before you plan a trip to Universal Orlando make sure to check the dates for Mardi Gras. We’ve put together a list of FAQ Universal Orlando Mardi Gras and everything else you should know to ensure an epic trip.
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Guide
When is Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2019?
Every year Universal Orlando celebrates Mardi Gras for 50 days and the dates vary every year. We’ll update the article every year.
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras February 8-April 4, 2019
How Much Does A Mardi Ticket Cost?
All Mardi Gras festivities and concerts are included with paid admission to Universal Studios or a Universal Orlando Annual Pass. That’s right no additional ticket is needed to join in on the fun.
When is the Universal Studios Mardi Gras Parade?
Every night the parade takes over the streets of Universal Orlando. The parade schedule varies during the week, here is the 2017 Universal Orlando Mardi Gras parade schedule:
- 2/6: 5:15 pm
- 2/4, 2/5, 2/7-9, 2/11 – 2/15: 6:45pm
- 2/16, 2/19 – 2/23, 2/25 – 2/28, 3/1, 3/2, 3/5 – 3/9: 7:15pm
- 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/18, 2/24, 3/3, 3/4, 3/10 – 3/31, 4/1-4/7: 7:45pm
Authentic Mardi Gras Floats
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras floats are just as authentic as the floats in New Orleans. Every year Kern Studios makes epic floats for Univeral Orlando, which is the company that creates the real deal Mardi Gras floats for New Orleans since 1947. We rode on a float this year that was breathing fire.
Do they throw beads?
Yes, there is no shortage of beads thrown from the floats. Over 4 million beads are thrown from the Mardi Gras floats at Universal Orlando. Just scream, dance, and put your arms in the air! We personally threw out hundreds of beads from a float this year.
Where is the Best Place To Watch The Parade?
The parade starts just past the entrance gates and wraps its way around the park ending by Mel’s Diner. We watched the parade at the beginning of the parade route and then caught up with it again at Mel’s diner.
If you are traveling with small children there is a private parade experience in the Little Jester’s Parade viewing area, located just in front of the Brown Derby Hat Shop. Head here an hour before the parade starts to ensure a front-row seat.
Bands Performing At Universal Orlando Mardi Gras
On select nights some of the biggest names in music take the Universal Music Plaza Stage and put on a free concert. Here is the 2017 lineup:
- February 9th 8:30 pm Bush
- February 16h 8:30 pm Gavin DeGraw
- February 17th 8:30 pm Dan & Shay
- February 23rd 8:30 pm Macklemore
- March 2nd 8:30 pm TBA
- March 9th 8:30 pm Becky G
- March 10th 8:30 pm Sean Paul
- March 16th 8:30 pm Steve Miller Band
- March 17th 8:30 pm Ziggy Marley
- March 23rd 8:30 pm NF
- March 24th 8:30 pm Pitbull
- March 30th 8:30 pm TBA
- March 31st 8:30pm BTA
French Quarter Courtyard at Universal Orlando
We’ve been to New Orleans and can confirm that Universal really has brought the French Quarter to Florida. Our favorite Cajun & Creole eats were being served up with authentic blues bands playing in the background. Here’s our must try items and don’t forget to save room for the famous warm beignets:
- Creole Gumbo
- Andouille Sausage
- Red Beans & Rice
New Orleans is considered to be the birthplace of “true American” music. Every night during Universal Orlando Mardi Gras there is live music in the French Quarter Courtyard. As they say in N’awlins, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” – Let the good times roll! Blues Bands performing in the French Quarter Courtyard in 2019:
- 2/9 – 2/17 Dirty Bourbon River Show
- 2/18 – 2/27 Naughty Professor Brass Band
- 2/28 – 3/18 Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
- 3/19 – 4/41 New Breed Brass Band
We loved our week at Universal and super glad our dates fell during the Mardi Gras festival. We spent 4 nights at Univeral’s Hard Rock Hotel. On our first night we watched the parade right by Mel’s dinner, the second night we took advantage of the shorter lines on the rides (all rides and attractions are open during Mardi Gras), the third night we were lucky to get on a Mardi Gras float and threw hundreds of beads, and on our last night headed to French Quarter Courtyard for some good music and tasty eats.
*We are official members of the Universal Blog Squad but as always opinions are our own*This post may contain affiliate links, see our disclosure