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Universal Mardi Gras 2016 – Florida’s Biggest Party

Universal Mardi Gras 2016

Whether you know it as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Carnival in just a few short weeks the year’s biggest party is upon us!  This year, Mardi Gras falls on February 9. Though you may not be celebrating in Rio de Janeiro, Venice or New Orleans , Universal Mardi Gras 2016 is “Florida’s Biggest Party”.  And honestly, Universal is the only place to be if you really want to “Let the Good Times Roll”!

Mardi Gras Orlando Florida 2016 at Universal Studios

Mardi Gras Orlando Florida 2016 at Universal Studios

Universal Mardi Gras 2016 events  kick off on Saturday, February 6 and continue through mid-April on select nights.   So even if your vacation doesn’t fall on the ‘real’ Mardi Gras, there are still plenty of opportunities in the coming months to enjoy the party!

Modeled on New Orleans Mardi Gras, Universal celebrates Mardi Gras like nowhere else in Orlando.  However, don’t expect this Mardi Gras to be completely like New Orleans.  You’ll still find all the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras fanfare:  jazz, floats, beads, Creole food and concerts, etc.  BUT expect a tamer version here.   Mardi Gras Universal has fun festivities for both adults and kids- making it one big family friendly street party.

Begin your evening by heading to the French Quarter Courtyard.  This is where the party begins. From the sounds, smells and sights of Universal Mardi Gras 2016, you’ll think you’ve just arrived in the Big Easy.  Street performers wander about the streets entertaining the crowd.  Guests  dance in the ‘French Quarter’ to the sounds of jazz and blues bands direct from New Orleans.  The aroma of Cajun cooking is sure to lure you into trying some of the many food booths serving quintessential  New Orleans delicacies like Jambalaya, muffalettas, seafood gumbo, andouille sausage/beans and rice as well as sweet desserts like beignets and King cake.  Believe us, you’ll want to experience it all -especially the food- before heading to the parade.

Universal Mardi Gras parades are known for their vibrant and glitzy floats, and at Universal they are no different.  In fact, all twelve floats are designed by the same company that has been designing New Orleans floats for over 60 years . You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to New Orleans when you see the authentic  Mardi Gras floats like the King and Queen, the Jester, the Riverboat , etc.  as well as four new floats this year that you’ll only see at Universal Orlando:  Oktoberfest, Venetian Carnival, Rio Carnival and 4th of July.

The parade route starts at the Horror Make Up Show heads down and loops around Hollywood Blvd until it ends back at the Horror Make Up Show.   The Universal Mardi Gras parade lasts about 25 minutes.  We like viewing the parade from Mel’s Drive In because you’re able to see the beginning and end.  However, anywhere along the route, you are guaranteed a pretty good view.  If you’re concerned about getting caught in the parade crowd with your kids, head over to the Little Jesters special viewing area.  Here, your kids will be able to experience a Mardi Gras that caters to them.  Believe us, they will love catching a ton of colorful beads and coins!  Also, another great area for kids is the  KidZone Mardi Pardi Krew.  Here they can watch Woody Wood Pecker and other characters perform.   Both areas open an hour before the Mardi Gras parade begins.

Universal Mardi Gras 2016 Concerts

Once the parade finishes, it’s time to head over to Music Plaza where you’ll be treated to a free concert by some of music’s biggest names.   A few  of this year’s Universal Mardi Gras concerts are: Diana Ross, Barenaked Ladies, Adam Lambert, Shawn Mendes, and REO Speed Wagon. Be sure to check Universal’s website for the full Universal Mardi Gras 2016 concert series lineup.  It’s worth noting that if you have small children, you may want to steer clear of Music Plaza, which can get a little more ‘lively’ and crowded as the night goes on!  

What else is so great about Mardi Gras in Orlando?  Admission to all Mardi Gras festivities  is included in the price of your general admission ticket to Universal Studios Orlando!

If coming to Orlando for Mardi Gras, be sure to check out our Orlando vacation home rentals at or call us at 407-966-4144. We have a large selection of homes close to Universal Studios and Disney to choose from.



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Universal Mardi Gras 2016 – Florida’s Biggest Party


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