Universal Orlando is always looking for ways to improve the guest experience at their parks, especially during their special events,Read more
EVERY NIGHT February 9 – March 31, 2019
2019 Concert Lineup
- February 9 – BUSH
- February 16 – Gavin Degraw
- February 17 – Day + Shay
- February 23 – Macklemore
- March 2 – Sabrina Carpenter
- March 9 – Becky G
- March 10 – Sean Paul
- March 16 – Steve Miller Band
- March 17 – Ziggy Marley
- March 23 – NF
- March 24 – Pitbull
- March 30 – Bazzi
- March 31 – Prince Royce
Universal Mardi Gras is a seasonal event at Universal Studios Florida that typically runs from mid-February through early April. The event runs daily and features cajun food in the French Quarter Courtyard and an authentic Mardi Gras parade with a different theme each year! On select weekend nights, you may even be able to catch a performance on the Universal Music Plaza Stage. While the party in New Orleans can get wild and crazy, Universal Mardi Gras celebration is a family-friendly event focusing on food and fun! There may be a little bit of drunkenness and scantily clad performers, but nothing out of control.
The Mardi Gras celebrations start as soon as you enter the park and make your way down Production Central. Festive decorations have been added to the areas of the park where Mardi Gras is celebrated, zydeco music is blasted from the speakers, and the parade performers will be out and about meeting guests, taking pictures, and giving out beads. The French Quarter Courtyard is the main hub of the celebration and it’s located in the New York area of Universal Studios Florida. The parade kicks off in Hollywood and makes its way through Production Central and New York before returning back to where it started in Hollywood. Concerts take place on the Universal Music Plaza Stage, which is located in Production Central between Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Food & Drink
The French Quarter Courtyard is where you’ll find food, spirits, and musicians straight out of New Orleans. You can’t really compare the quality of food to what you would get in New Orleans, but they try to replicate the style for a broader audience who might not enjoy the authentic flavors and they don’t do a terrible job at it. You’ll find traditional dishes like Jambalaya, Po’ Boys, Etoufee, Beignets, and King Cake.
It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without alcohol, and Universal tries to keep the event authentic by providing plenty of options from Abita Brewing Company. Abita is brewed in Abita Springs, Louisiana and pairs nicely with Mardi Gras. Their signature beer is Purple Haze, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. If you prefer mixed drinks, Universal has two signature Mardi Gras cocktails that can also be paired together for a third options. Their mixed drinks come pre-mixed and are usually heavy on the sugar side, so be prepared before ordering
If you’d prefer non-alcoholic specialty drinks, Universal has provided two options, including a Bayou Bog Water drink that features gummy candy and is perfect for kids as well as a King Cake Slushie.
2019 Mardi Gras Food Photos
Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard
Universal Mardi Gras is trying out a new approach to their food offerings for the event in 2019 with new sampler sized portions and a Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard! The Tasting Lanyard is available for purchase throughout the French Quarter Courtyard and comes in three different varieties. You can get a 5 Sample Tasting Lanyard for $30, a 10 Sample Tasting Lanyard for $50, and an Annual Passholder Exclusive Tasting Lanyard for $60. If you’re an Annual Passholder, we’d recommend splurging on the exclusive lanyard. The sampler portions range in price from $4.99 to $6.99, so it’s easy to save money. Even the 10 Sample Tasting Lanyard can provide decent savings, but the 5 Sample Tasting Lanyard is only a deal if you stick to the big ticket items.
Bayou Boil – An Exclusive Mardi Gras Dining Experience
On select nights starting February 16 – March 31, Universal is offering an all-you-can-eat Louisiana-style crawfish boil with shrimp, potatoes, and corn-on-the cob. They’ll also have chicken and andouille sausage available by request. After dinner, watch the parade from the Pantages Theatre Courtyard where they will be serving King Cake, beignets, sparkling wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. This experience costs $59.99 per adult + tax and $39.99 per child + tax.
The Bayou Boil is available on February 16, 17, 23; and March 2, 9, 10, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31.
Universal Mardi Gras Parade
One of the centerpieces of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration is the parade and for a very good reason. There are plenty of good parades in Orlando, but this one has an energy and excitement that is unmatched. In 2019, the theme of the parade is Party Animals, and the six specialty floats will roll alongside the six classic Mardi Gras floats. The floats are great, but the throws are limited to standard size beads and doubloons.
Mardi Gras Parade, Desserts and Cinematic Viewing Experience
If you’re looking for a way to get reserved viewing for the Universal Mardi Gras parade besides the Bayou Boil, you can check out the Mardi Gras Parade, Desserts and Cinematic Viewing Experience Add-On. This allows you to watch the parade from the Pantages Theatre Courtyard with an assortment of non-alcoholic drinks. Then you’ll move over to an exclusive viewing area in Central Park for Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration where you’ll enjoy specialty desserts, sparkling wine, sparkling cider and other non-alcoholic beverages all from your blanket in the grass. The cost of this add-on experience is $49.99 for adults + tax and $29.99 for children + tax.
The Mardi Gras Parade, Desserts and Cinematic Viewing Experience is available on March 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; and April 1, 2, 3, and 4.
2019 Mardi Gras Parade Photos
Universal Mardi Gras Concerts
The main event and highlight for many is the concert at the end of the night in the new Music Plaza, immediately following the parade. Universal brings in a great lineup of bands for these concerts (some of the past performers include Huey Lewis & The News, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Willie Nelson and Heart). Depending on the performer, this area of the park can get very crowded, very quickly and you should expect to be far from the stage if you wait until after the parade to choose your spot. You should choose your parade viewing location carefully as the best viewing areas for the concert fill very quickly, as soon as the parade ends. There are large viewing screens for those in the back of the crowd.
Universal Mardi Gras Beyond Universal Studios Florida
If you find yourself wanting to continue the party, at the end of the night, head over to Universal’s CityWalk and continue the Mardi Gras festivities at Pat O’Brien’s. It’s a replica of the original Pat O’Brien’s located in New Orleans where you can enjoy a Hurricane on the patio or sing along in the Piano Bar. At this location, it’s Mardi Gras 365 days a year!
Universal Mardi Gras Pricing
The best part about this whole Mardi Gras celebration is that it’s free!! As long as you have admission to Universal Studios Florida, you can participate in the festivities. Please keep in mind that the live concerts are held on Saturday and select Sunday nights. Go! You will have an awesome time.
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Let the good times roll!
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