Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando

This time of year is absolutely amazing in Central Florida! The weather is typically just right with very few rain showers, the crowds are not horribly bad and there is one other reason that makes February through April a great time to visit Central Florida. I know you may be thinking Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, and while you are close, we need to drive a little farther towards Orlando to find the reason that I am speaking about, Universal Studios Orlando’s Mardi Gras Celebration.  That’s right, Universal Studios pulls out all the stops for this celebration every year. I have to admit that Mardi Gras is most likely the number one reason why we keep our annual passes to Universal Studios.

If you have never been to Universal Studios Orlando’s Mardi Gras let me sum it up for you: 

Amazing food + Fantastic parade + Entertaining concerts = Great time had by all!

Let’s start off with the food! The French Quarter Courtyard is jam packed with Mardi Gras favorites like Jambalaya, Creole Gumbo, Andouille Sausage, Red Beans and Rice, and of course Beignets.  Last year I tried the Andouille Sausage and it was fantastic, just the right amount of flavor and kick.  Each year we will grab some beignets (be prepared for a line) and sit down in our spot and wait for the parade.

This is not just any parade either. The Mardi Gras Parade starts at 7:45 pm and is filled with the most spectacular parade floats and stilted street performers that you will be temporarily brought into their world. The performers in the parade have a way of making you feel special and they are sure to try everything to get you cheering and screaming! I almost forgot…when watching the parade be sure to keep your head up and eyes peeled because riders on the floats throw beads to the crowd and some of them come in pretty fast. Catching the beads is my son’s absolute favorite thing to do during Mardi Gras and from looking around during the parade, I don’t think he is the only one. Passholders have the opportunity to sign up to ride on the floats and throw beads. We have tried each year and have yet to be selected. Still time this year!

After the parade makes its way past, you will want to head over to the Music Plaza Stage (directly in front of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster) because at 8:30pm the Mardi Gras concert will begin (select nights).  We have seen some of our favorites during the Mardi Gras concerts including Daughtry, Jessie J, KellyClarkson and Barenaked Ladies to name a few.  If you are able to go for more than one night of Mardi Gras I suggest seeing the parade on a night that you are not really interested in the concert. If you are really interested in the concert it is a good idea to set up camp early and just watch the parade go by from a distance.  This year we are very excited to once again see Jessie J and Adam Lambert as well as seeing Fall Out Boy for the first time.

Well there you have it, why we love Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando and why we spend many of the weekends during February, March and April at this park.

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