Each year Universal Orlando comes alive to celebrate Mardi Gras, with beads, bands and great food. Mardi Gras 2019 begins February 9 and runs every night through April 4 at Universal Studios. Take a look at all the things that can be found at this years celebration!
Universal Orlando Mardi Gras
If you are ready to let the good times roll look no further than Universal Studios Florida. Mardi Gras is one of the biggest and best special events of the year, and the best part is, it’s included in your park ticket!
From February 9 to April 4, 2019 Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration combines theme-park thrills with an elaborate Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic New Orleans bands, and delicious Cajun cuisine. On select nights, there are live concerts by national recording artists.
Music is a big part of every Mardi Gras tradition, and it’s no different at Universal. These concerts are the most popular part of the annual celebration. Concerts begin at 8:30 pm, on designated nights. Concerts are held at Universal Music Plaza, in front of Rip Ride Rockit. Seating is open, as there are no assigned seats.
- Saturday, February 9: Bush
- Saturday, February 16: Gavin DeGraw
- Sunday, February 17: Dan + Shay
- Saturday, February 23: Macklemore
- Saturday, March 2: to be announced
- Saturday, March 9: Becky G.
- Sunday, March 10: Sean Paul
- Saturday, March 16: Steve Miller Band
- Sunday, March 17: Ziggy Marley
- Saturday, March 23: NF
- Sunday, March 24: Pitbull
- Saturday, March 30: to be announced
- Sunday, March 31: to be announced
What is Mardi Gras without an elaborate parade? Universal pulls out all the stops to put on an extravagant daily parade, complete with stilt walkers, beads and more!
The nightly parade returns with 12 floats, beads, colorful dancers and stilt performers. This year’s new theme is, Party Animals! You’ll see floats and performers dressed as their spirit animals from all over the world like the Arctic, jungle, ocean, swamp and more.
Ride On A Float
In the past, there have been different ways that guests can try to ride one of the colorful floats through the streets of Universal Studios Florida, tossing beads to thousands of cheering spectators. This is not a guarantee by any means, but worth a shot!
- Space is limited, and signing up does not guarantee a spot
- Must be 18 years of age (or accompanied by an adult)
- Must be at least 48 inches tall
- Floats can accommodate guests in push wheelchairs with advance notice
Keep an eye on the AP site for news.
On-site hotel guests
Universal has allowed a limited number of on-site hotel guests to participate in the Mardi Gras parade. The same restrictions as above apply here.Visit the ticket counter at your on-site hotel or stop by Guest Services at Universal Studios Florida, to inquire.
Each night, two hours prior to the parade time, there is a standby line that forms outside of A Day in the Park with Barney in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. Should there be spots on the floats due to guests not showing up, a limited number of those in the line may be allowed to ride a float.
What is a Mardi Gras celebration without food? Universal has amazing offerings during Mardi Gras that can be found at dining locations, and special tents. While we don’t know the full menu yet, here is a preview at some tasty treats. Returning favorites will include beignets, gumbo, jambalaya, po boys, crawfish, and a “signature” Mardi Gras cocktail, while new items will consist of frog legs, crab etouffee, and craft beer flights (that include regional brews from throughout Louisiana).
French Quarter Courtyard
The hub of the Mardi Gras celebration is in the Courtyard near The Streets of New York. Here you will find great food and drinks as well as local bands playing authentic Cajun music.
- February 9-17: Dirty Bourbon River Show
- February 18-27: Naughty Professor Brass Band
- February 28-March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
- March 19-April 4: New Breed Brass Band
No need to leave the kids at home, Universal Studios Mardi Gras is family friendly. There is a special parade viewing area just for kids called Little Jester’s – it’s located next to the former Terminator 2 3-D ride, and it opens an hour before the parade starts. As another bonus, Universal has put this special viewing area right next to the park exit, so you can easily leave once the parade passes.
Get ready to the good times roll at Universal Studios Florida during Mardi Gras! The best party outside of New Orleans.