Get the bead necklaces ready because Mardi Gras is back at Universal Orlando Resort, from February 4th to April 16th! Inspired by New Orleans’ Big Easy Bash, this is an event you won’t want to miss, featuring incredible food, spectacular parades, and live music, all included with your park admission to Universal Studios Florida!
With so much to experience at this fun-filled event you’re going to want to make the most of every single minute - if you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort this Mardi Gras season, here’s everything you need to know.
Authentic food experiences
Mardi Gras means ‘Fat Tuesday’ for a reason and there are enough food options at this event to prove it. For those wanting a spicy, savoury kick the Crawfish Boil and Shrimp Ceviche Tostada have got you covered. Anyone looking for a sweeter treat will find it with some beignets or of course the classic King Cake.
And it’s not just Universal Studios getting in on the action. For the first time ever, the celebrations will be extended to the other theme parks, with gumbo, jambalaya and more available at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and a Muffuletta Longboard Pizza at Universal’s Volcano Bay.
A spectacular parade
A Mardi Gras celebration wouldn’t be complete without a larger-than-life parade through the streets and this is no exception. This year’s parade theme of “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras” will feature fantastical creatures like dragons, phoenixes and unicorns, all with a Mardi Gras twist. Six of these magnificent floats will join the traditional lineup of New Orleans-inspired floats, such as the Riverboat and the almost 50-foot-long King Gator.
Make sure you get your spot in plenty of time, as you’ll want a prime location for catching as many bead necklaces as you can!
Pro Tip - Want to get even closer to the action? You can get involved and join the parade from on top of the floats themselves as you toss beads to the crowd below - a truly unforgettable experience for the whole family. This will take a few hours so make sure you plan accordingly!
On select dates throughout the season, you can see some of the biggest names in music live in concert on the Music Plaza Stage. The 2023 headliners include Goo Goo Dolls, Maren Morris and Sean Paul, and with first-come-first-served entry, you’ll want to get there early to avoid disappointment. Check out the full concert line-up below:
- February 4 - Patti LaBelle
- February 10 - JVKE
- February 11 - Goo Goo Dolls
- February 18 - Maren Morris
- February 19 - WILLOW
- February 25 - 3 Doors Down
- March 4 - Sean Paul
- March 5 - Lauren Daigle
This year there will be an all-new space for the Mardi Gras Tribute Store as it leads guests down the traditional alleyways of New Orleans and into the heart of the Mardi Gras celebrations of a speakeasy. While inside, guests can shop for exclusive themed merchandise and collectables, from pins and keychains to t-shirts and mugs.
Let the party continue
The Mardi Gras celebrations don’t have to end when you leave the parks. At Universal CityWalk, Pat O’Brien’s will host a Mardi Gras After Party from 4pm to 1am, while the Red Coconut Club will become the Cursed Coconut Club for the season.
At the Universal Orlando Resort hotels, there will be exclusive Mardi Gras food offerings for guests to enjoy, like Cajun Jambalaya Pasta at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, N’awlins Po’Boy Sliders at Hard Rock Hotel, and Crawfish Etouffee at Universal’s Aventura Hotel.
Want to join the party? Book your Universal Orlando Resort tickets in advance for the best price, like our 3-Park Explorer Ticket, giving you access to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay Water Park for the same price as our 2-Park Explorer Ticket.