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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Pick Six: Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Concert Planning

 Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Cher Lloyd

It is almost my most favorite time of the year at the Universal Orlando Resort…Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando takes place on select nights February 7 to April 18, and is included in admission to Universal Studios Florida.

Mardi Gras features a kicking parade and event food that is beyond delicious, but the 16 concerts taking place at the Universal Music Plaza Stage, located between Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Twister…Ride It Out, in Universal Studios Florida are always the shining star for me and how I plan what nights I am going to be partaking in the festivities.

Mardi Gras Concert Universal Orlando Resort

With the 2015 Mardi Gras Concert schedule out, it is time to get planning!

Pick Six: Universal Studios Mardi Gras Concert Planning

1. The Schedule

The 2015 Mardi Gras concert schedule is AWESOME!!!

This year’s exhilarating concert lineup features an array of talent with something for everyone to enjoy. Headliners include English pop sensationJessie J, who’s known for her hits “Price Tag” and “Bang Bang,”  “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson, who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, and reggaeton superstar Yandel, who has had three songs reach the Top 10 Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs Chart and a No. 1 album on the Top Latin Albums chart. Also performing is R&B artist Trey Songz, award-winning American country group The Band Perry, and the rock group American Authors, whose single “Best Day of My Life” was named the No.1 most played song in 2014 on Adult Pop Radio.

I can’t decide who I am the most excited to see!!!

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Concert Lineup 2015

It’s important to remember that these concerts happen rain or shine and are subject to change.

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Zydeco Stage

Each event night you can also enjoy authentic Zydeco bands direct from Louisiana to amp up the Mardi Gras experience.

2. Florida Resident Annual Pass Deal

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Passholder Offer

Florida Residents have the opportunity to earn up to 3 months free on any annual pass when you enter the UPC Code from specially marked 20 and 24 packages of Coca-Cola.

If enter the UPC Code to purchase a ‘Power Pass’ (with blackout dates and admission to Mardi Gras after 5:00 pm), you will receive 1 month free.

If you enter the UPC Code to purchase a ‘Premium Pass’ or a ‘Premier Pass’, you will receive 3 months free.

You can find out more about this and other Hot Deals to the Universal Orlando Resort here.

3. The best kept secret for Universal Orlando Resort Premier Pass Holders

Universal Orlando Florida Mardi Gras French Quarter

Universal Orlando Premier Pass Holders receive complimentary Valet parking as part of their pass benefits, however on Mardi Gras nights you will not be able to use this benefit.

Hope is not all lost though, because you are able to use the Red Carpet Valet Parking at a reduced cost, last year it was $15. The main perk of using the Red Carpet Valet Parking is that you receive your car quickly.

This investment was well worth it, because the Valet lines can get incredibly long on Special Event nights!

4. When to arrive

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Arch 2014

The decision of how early to arrive to Universal Orlando Mardi Gras on concert night largely depends on how close you would like to be to the stage and how long you are willing to stand in the Universal Music Stage Plaza.

While there are benefits to being close to the bands, there are also large screens that will be broadcasting the concert on either side of the stage so everyone is able to see.

Another thing to keep in mind when planning your arrival is the Spring Break Schedule, because that will also have an affect on how many people will be attending Mardi Gras.

Chairs/Seats are not allowed at the Music Plaza Stage, so while earlier in your wait you may be able to sit on the “grass” as the concert draws closer you will be asked to stand.

Also if it is necessary for you or someone in your party, 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.

5. Eating & Drinking

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Food

Universal Studios Florida is full of great options for catching a bite to eat or a drink, but on Mardi Gras nights you have to visit the French Quarter for Cajun and Creole foods that are only available during this special event.

Also, the French Quarter is located directly across from the Universal Music Plaza Stage so it is very convenient if watching the concert is your priority for the night.

6. Parade Viewing

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Parade

If being close to the stage is your focus, catching the Mardi Gras parade will be a challenge on most nights.

However if you are interested in catching the parade and seeing the concert, there parade route goes by the Universal Music Plaza Stage so you will be able to catch both in one night.

Universal Orlando Florida Mardi Gras Sign

So those are the six things that I keep in mind when I am planning a trip to the Universal Orlando Resort to see a concert during Mardi Gras.

What is your best tip for visiting Universal Orlando during Mardi Gras?

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Cher Lloyd Rocks Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras This Weekend

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras

Celebration Continues

With Cher Lloyd Performing This Weekend

 Chery Lloyd Universal Orlando Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration continues this Saturday night with a live performance by multi-platinum British singer-songwriter Cher Lloyd, best known for her for her smash hit “Want U Back.” Lloyd is also getting ready to release her sophomore album “Sorry I’m Late” on May 27. Before the concert, guests can catch colorful beads by the handful during the festive Mardi Gras parade, which features 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Cher Lloyd

Universal Orlando’s “N’awlins”-inspired, family-friendly version of Mardi Gras runs select nights through June 7. The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

 

2014 Mardi Gras Talent Line-Up
Mardi Gras Event Dates Headliners

(performing in the Music Plaza)

May 24 Cher Lloyd
May 31 Huey Lewis and the News
June 7 Robin Thicke

 

Schedule of Events for Saturday, May 24:

  • 4:00 p.m. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens
  • 8:15 p.m. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts
  • 9:00 p.m. – Live Concert Begins

 

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Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Continues With The Roots

The Roots at Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 

This Saturday, GRAMMY Award-winning hip-hop/neo-soul band The Roots, house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and best known for their singles, “The Next Movement,” “The Seed” and “You Got Me,” will shake up Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration with a live concert on the Music Plaza stage. Before the concert, guests can catch colorful beads by the handful during the festive Mardi Gras parade, which features 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

Schedule of Events for Universal Orlando’s

Mardi Gras Saturday, May 17:

  • 4:00 p.m. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens

  • 8:15 p.m. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts

  • 9:00 p.m. – Live Concert with The Roots Begins

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando’s “N’awlins”-inspired, family-friendly version of Mardi Gras runs select nights through June 7. The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

2014 Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Talent Line-Up

Event Date Headliners (Performing in Music Plaza)
May 17 The Roots
May 24 Cher Lloyd
May 31 Huey Lewis and the News
June 7

Robin Thicke

 

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Robin Thicke Rescheduled To Perform At Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Celebration

Robin Thicke set to perform on June 7, 2014

as part of Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Celebration

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Celebration

After a cancellation due to illness earlier this year, Robin Thicke has rescheduled his Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Celebration concert for June 7, 2014! It is really great to see him coming back to Orlando, because his concert was highly anticipated by so many! And selfishly, I am excited to see the spirit of the Big Easy extend into June!

For full details about the upcoming concert, please check out the information from the Universal Orlando Resort below!

The excitement of Mardi Gras now continues through June 7 at Universal Orlando Resort, with a live performance by GRAMMY nominated musician Robin Thicke (performance rescheduled from Feb. 22). The summer of 2013 marked the debut of Thicke’s highly anticipated new studio album, Blurred Lines. The release quickly took the music world by storm and landed at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 while, “Blurred Lines,” the single, set records around the world. It went to No. 1 in more than 100 countries and had a record-setting 12-week reign in the US at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Robin continues to receive accolades for the album and single, including three GRAMMY Award nominations and four NAACP Image Award nominations.

                                                                                          

Along with the live concert, guests can experience the spirit of the legendary Bayou bash during the dazzling Mardi Gras parade, featuring 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy delectable Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

 

2014 Mardi Gras Talent Line-Up

Mardi Gras Event Dates

Headliners

(performing in the Music Plaza)

March 14 Cody Simpson
March 15 Foreigner
March 21 A Great Big World
March 22 Gavin DeGraw
March 28 Kelly Rowland
March 29 Weezer
April 5 Skillet
April 12 Lynyrd Skynyrd
April 19 Kool & the Gang
May 3 Nelly
May 10 The Wanted
May 17 The Roots
May 24 Cher Lloyd
May 31 Huey Lewis and the News
June 7 Robin Thicke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Thicke – Saturday, June 7, 2014

                        4:00 p.m. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens

8:15 p.m. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts

9:00 p.m. – Concert Begins

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Universal Orlando Resort – 2014 Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando Resort Unveils 2014 Mardi Gras Celebration Details and Line-Up

Universal Orlando Resort

This Year’s Mardi Gras Celebration Delivers More Excitement Than Ever Before With an Extended Concert Series Featuring Robin Thicke, Nelly, The Wanted and More

First things first, I absolutely adore Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort!!! It is by far one of my favorite things to attend in Orlando!!!

Universal Orlando Resort
Last year, Beth and I had a blast at Mardi Gras!

On select nights February 8 through May 31, the Universal Orlando Resort comes alive with a Mardi Gras celebration featuring 20 nights of AMAZING concerts from popular stars and New Orleans bands, great food that takes you to the heart of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a parade full of fun floats and bead throwing, and a party atmosphere that is fun for the whole family! It is also one of my husband and  date night!

The best part??? All of these are included in your admission to Universal Studios Florida!!!

Universal Orlando Resort

There are so many great things to experience at Universal Studios Mardi Gras, but the concerts this year are AMAZING!!!!

This year’s powerhouse musical lineup features a diverse array of talent, from R&B superstar Robin Thicke, whose hit single “Blurred Lines” topped the Billboard chart for a near-record 12 weeks, to UK pop sensation The Wanted, who has sold nearly 10 million albums worldwide, to Latin idol Prince Royce, who reached number one on the U.S. Hot Latin Songs chart with “Corazón Sin Cara.” Also performing is rock band Daughtry, Grammy award-winning Hip Hop artist Nelly, and the classic rock group Foreigner, one of the best-selling bands of all time.

Universal Orlando Resort
2013 Mardi Gras Concert – Lifehouse

2014 Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Talent Line-Up

Mardi Gras Event Dates

Headliners

(performing in the Music Plaza)

New Orleans Bands

(performing in the French Quarter)

February 8 Daughtry Remedy Krewe
February 15 Barenaked Ladies Soul Project
February 16 Thomas Rhett Soul Project
February 22 Robin Thicke Rockin Jake
March 1 Collective Soul Big Al and The Heavyweights
March 8 Prince Royce Daddy Mac Blues Band
March 14 Cody Simpson Mississippi Rail Company
March 15 Foreigner Mississippi Rail Company
March 21 TBD The Big Easy Playboys
March 22 Gavin DeGraw The Big Easy Playboys
March 28 TBD Dirty Bourbon River Show
March 29 TBD Dirty Bourbon River Show
April 5 Skillet John Lisi and Delt Funk
April 12 Lynyrd Skynyrd Beth McKee & The Sliders
April 19 Kool & the Gang Gravy
May 3 Nelly Chris O’Leary
May 10 The Wanted T Bird & The Breaks
May 17 TBD Grady Champion
May 24 TBD Cha Wa
May 31 TBD Naughty Professor

 

Universal Orlando Resort
Mardi Gras 2013 Parade

Guests can also catch colorful beads by the handful during this year’s parade, which will feature 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days.” All of the exquisitely detailed Mardi Gras floats are engineered by Blaine Kern Artists, the same company that has been hand-crafting floats for the iconic New Orleans celebration since 1947.

In addition to all that, at Universal Studios Mardi Gras you can visit a vibrant French Quarter Courtyard for delicious and authentic Cajun cuisine, street performers, and bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street performing.

Universal Orlando Resort
We spent a lot of time in the French Quarter area during Mardi Gras for great food and cocktails!

And when you are ready, you can keep the Mardi Gras party going at Universal CityWalk at their great bars and entertainment venues!!!

Florida residents have some pretty amazing special offer that they can take advantage of during Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort!

In addition to amazing deals on theme park Annual Passes, there are great deals on the three on-site hotels: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and a fourth on-site hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opening March 31, 2014.

2014 Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Florida Resident Offers

Up to 3 months FREE on any Annual Pass For a limited time, get up to 3 months free on any Annual Pass:

  • Power Pass – $174.99 (plus tax)
  • Preferred Pass – $244.99 (plus tax)
  • Premier Pass – $369.99 (plus tax)
  • Offer is also available on FlexPay, Universal Orlando’s monthly payment option
  • Must be purchased and activated by April 30, 2014 with a Coca-Cola UPC code or promo code on specially-marked cups at participating Wendy’s.
  • Visit UniversalOrlando.com for full details and to learn about the benefits of each annual pass
Florida Resident Getaway
  • 2-night accommodations at a nearby Universal Partner Hotel
  • Florida Resident 2-day base ticket to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Complimentary scheduled transportation between hotel and Universal Orlando Resort
  • And more!
  • Starts at only $105 per adult, per night, tax inclusive
  • Upgrade to one of three deluxe on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort and stay in the heart of the party!  Plus, receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks (a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day)

 

Guests can also take advantage of this current special offer:

SAVE & Play Vacation Package

SAVE up to $500* with an On-Site Vacation Package
  • Deluxe On-site Hotel Accommodations at one of three AAA Four Diamond Award on-site hotels
  • Theme Park Admission
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens
  • Complimentary on-site transportation via water taxi or shuttle bus to both theme parks and Universal CityWalk
  • Receive complimentary Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines in both theme parks (a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day)
  • Book by March 31 and use promotion code UNIPLAY at time of purchase to save!
  • Valid for travel January 1 – May 22, 2014

* Restrictions may apply. Visit http://www.universalorlando.com for additional vacation package details.

I know that I will be at Mardi Gras several nights, and I hope to see you there!!!

For more information about Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

 Universal Orlando Resort Logo Universal Halloween Horror Nights

About Universal Orlando Resort
Vacation like you mean it at Universal Orlando Resort – where every heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, goose-bumping second counts.  With two incredible theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex, Universal Orlando is the only place where you can turn spending time with your family into spending timeas a family.  Together, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, become a Minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and join Optimus Prime in the fight to save mankind on the new mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.
Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.  Follow Universal Orlando Resort on FacebookTwitterInstagramand YouTube.

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