Theme Parks

Quick Guide: Celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort

A few years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to experience Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras festivities. Food, celebrations and plenty of great music – it put a fun spin on our day at the park.

Held on select nights between February 6 – April 16, 2016, the event features authentic cajun food, a festive Mardi Gras parade and live entertainment from both cajun bands and also headliner performers. And best of all? It is included with park admission!Quick Guide- Celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort - blog

2016 Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Concert Series 

This year’s lineup features some pretty incredible concerts (Diana Ross!!) and a wide variety of music ranging from hip hop, country and throwbacks. Which show would you like to see for Mardi Gras?

February 6 Hunter Hayes
February 13 Diana Ross
February 14 Barenaked Ladies
February 20 Nate Ruess
February 27 Fall Out Boy
March 5 Kool & the Gang
March 12 The Fray
March 13 Adam Lambert
March 19 Shawn Mendes
March 20 3 Doors Down
March 26 REO Speedwagon
April 2 T-Pain
April 9 Jessie J
April 16 Yandel

While the headliner performances take place at Music Plaza after the Mardi Gras parade, you’ll find authentic cajun bands performing in the late afternoon in the French Quarter Courtyard. Enjoy a beignet (or two) and grab a seat – it is tons of fun and great people watching too.

Mardi Gras Universal Orlando French Quarter Courtyard

Tips for Celebrating Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando

  • Mel’s Diner is at the beginning and the end of the parade route – find a place to watch there and you can see the parade twice!
  • Little Jester’s Parade Viewing Area – If you’ve got little ones, don’t miss this special area where kids get their own parade experience. With extra beads and extra attention from the street performers, I loved watching the kids excitement about the parade.
  • Rides and attractions within the park close at the beginning of the parade, so plan accordingly!
  • The fun doesn’t end once the park closes. Show your paid admission to Mardi Gras and receive free general admission to five unique clubs and bars at Universal CityWalk. (Ages 21 and up.)

Mardi Gras Float at Universal Orlando

While many people often ask if Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando is considered kid-friendly – I say a big, fat ‘YES!’. It is a great experience for families and little ones will love collecting beads from parade goers. (Just think of them as free souvenirs!)

Make It a Weekend Trip

Guests can take advantage of a vacation package including the all-new Cabana Bay Beach Resort starting from $149 per adult, per night, tax inclusive. The package includes 3-night on-site hotel accommodations, a 2-day Park-to-Park ticket, Early Park Admission and more.

For more information on this vacation package and Mardi Gras,

What Mardi Gras concert would you like to see this year?

Hi there!

I'm Carrie McLaren,

based in Jacksonville, Fla. Family travel is my passion and I want to help you succeed in making fantastic memories with your family.




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