Why I Love Mardi Gras At Universal Orlando

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of the Universal Orlando Resort to experience Mardi Gras, however all opinions are my own.

 Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Header

Why I love Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando

Mardi Gras is my absolute favorite time of year to experience Universal Studios Florida!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Archway

Mardi Gras is an annual celebration, included with park admission, that happens on select weekends until April 18th where entertainment, specialty food items, an amazing parade, and a concert series that is full of amazing performers fills the park with an electric energy!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras Entertainers

The celebration vibe is set once you enter the gates of Universal Studios Florida, and you are greeted with some of the many special entertainers on stilts that are wonderful!

Also, roaming the streets you will find a roaming band performing some Mardi Gras favorites.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Band

What would a great Mardi Gras party be without food?

The vibrant French Quarter Courtyard is where you will find cajun and creole treats and specialty drinks available for purchase.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida French Quarter Courtyard Jester

During the media event we had the opportunity to try a few of the goodies that you will find!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Media Event Food

We all got to try the spicy Jambalaya, grilled Andouille sausage with peppers & onions, and the creole gumbo.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Gumbo
Creole Gumbo
Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Andouille Sausage
Andouille Sausage with Peppers & Onions
Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Jambalaya
Jambalaya

Then as an even sweeter treat, we got to finish our meal with beignets and funnel cakes.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Beneigts
Beignets
Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Funnel Cake
Funnel Cake

And the Voo Doo Punch is dangerously good!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Voo Doo Punch
Voo Doo Punch

You can’t celebrate Mardi Gras without a parade, and this one definitely doesn’t disappoint!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras Riverboat Float

Over the course of Mardi Gras Universal Orlando will let 1.8 million beads fly during the Mardi Gras Parade.

Universal Mardi Gras Parade Map

While the route covers a good portion of Universal Studios Florida, I recommend catching the parade near the Horror Make-Up Show since you will get the chance for double beads as the parade starts and ends here.

This year the Mardi Gras Parade stops for some dance breaks during which the Mardi Gras Krewe gets down off of their float to give out premium Mardi Gras Beads. They are a ton of fun!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Krewe

Little Mardi Gras fans and their families may want to consider viewing the parade from the Little Jester’s Area, near the Brown Derby, where they have less people to contend with for beads. This area is available beginning one hour before the parade starts.

On an earlier visit to Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando, I was able to ride the Elegance of India Float and throw beads it was an AMAZING experience! Annual Passholders can sign up for the chance to be chosen here. Not an Annual Passholder, make sure you follow @UniversalORL on Twitter!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras Float Riding

During Universal Mardi Gras the streets of Universal Studios Florida are filled with the sounds of great performers and bands!

On the French Quarter Courtyard stage you can find some of Louisiana’s most popular bands performing authentic blues, zydeco, and more!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida French Quarter Courtyard Trumpet

The Courtyard Stage is set up near Transformers: The Ride 3-D, and has even more room this year for dancing. It’s a really great place to spend some time!

Here are the bands that are set to perform on the French Quarter Courtyard Stage for the remainder of Mardi Gras.

  • March 13: Mississippi Rail Company
  • March 14: Mississippi Rail Company
  • March 15: Mississippi Rail Company
  • March 20: Soul Project
  • March 21: Soul Project
  • March 22: Soul Project
  • March 28: Naughty Professor
  • April 4: Daddy Mac Blues Band
  • April 11: Big Al and the Heavyweights
  • April 18: Gravy

Later in the evening you can head over to Music Plaza Stage to catch live performances from some of the biggest names from the worlds of pop, rock, country, R&B and more.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Music Concert Plaza Stage

Here is the line-up of artist who will be performing during this year’s Mardi Gras Celebration.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Lineup Universal Studios Florida

I’ve also shared some of my best concert tips in this post!

It is important to note that, there is an ADA viewing area is located at the far right side of the stage near the restrooms adjacent to Twister…Ride It Out.

During the event we got to see Kelly Clarkson, and it was AMAZING!!! Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Kelly Clarkson

 

Everyone in my family has an Annual Pass to the Universal Orlando Resort, and if you don’t have your’s yet this is a great time to get one because there is a great Mardi Gras promotion going on!

Florida Residents Get up to 3 Months Free on any Annual Pass with a valid UPC/Promo Code on select Coca-Cola Packages or Wendy’s cups.

For a limited time, you can become an Annual Passholder, and get three additional months added to your Preferred Pass or Premier Pass. Or, get one additional month added to your Power Pass. Includes access to special events and other perks all year round. (Offer valid on new purchases only; must be purchased and activated by 04/19/15. Blockout dates apply for Power Pass. You can find out more information here.)

Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando is our family’s favorite time of year, and we can’t wait to go back!

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Concert Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras FamilyI can’t thank Universal Orlando enough for the opportunity to experience Mardi Gras, and if you haven’t gotten the chance to go yet…What are you waiting for???

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Discovery Cove Welcomes Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Discovery Cove Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Female Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Born at Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove in Orlando welcomes Dolphin Awareness Month with special news – sharing the birth of a beautiful bouncing baby girl born Feb. 7, 2015. The female calf now weighs approximately 44 pounds, is 3 feet 10 inches long, and is nursing and bonding with her mother, Coral. This is Coral’s second calf and the 29th dolphin to be born at Discovery Cove since it opened in 2000. Coral was also born at Discovery Cove in October 2000.

A week after the calf was born, the Discovery Cove Veterinary and Zoological Team performed her first neonatal wellness exam. Mom Coral kept a watchful eye close by as the team conducted the mini-physical. These examinations are part of the general health care given to all animals at Discovery Cove, which ensures the highest standards of care.

Discovery Cove Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

The Zoological Team is excited to welcome this new addition to the family and is providing around-the-clock care for Coral and her new calf. The veterinary team is checking on the progress of the baby 24 hours a day to monitor her behavior, respirations and nursing. By observing Coral throughout her pregnancy, and now providing supplemental care for the calf, the team is able to gather necessary research to better understand the dolphin gestation process, and it also aids the Animal Rescue Team when rescuing ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned dolphins in the wild.

Discovery Cove will soon host a naming contest on its Facebook page where fans can help choose the new baby dolphin’s name.

Discovery Cove Baby Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive tropical day resort where guests experience awe-inspiring encounters swimming with dolphins, snorkeling among rays and tropical fish, hand-feeding exotic birds and relaxing on pristine beaches. For the second consecutive year, Discovery Cove was named the No. 1 amusement park in the world in the 2014 TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ Amusement Parks and Water Parks category. To learn more about Discovery Cove and to book reservations, visit the recently redesigned website DiscoveryCove.com, featuring a more user-friendly interface.

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