Sunday, August 18, 2019 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Get Your Party on at Universal Studios Orlando Mardi Gras

Looking for a Mardi Gras celebration that keeps all the fun and excitement of the original without the crowds and falling-down drunks? Universal Studios in Orlando gives you the chance to enjoy Cajun food, down some tasty adult beverages, take in some top-notch entertainment, and grab your fill of beads. And you can even bring the kiddos without worrying about over the top craziness.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is an adults-only blowout that attracts a staggering 1.2-million bead covered partygoers. This is 3.5 times the entire population of New Orleans. The city gets crowded. Very crowded. Complete with drunken revelers, occasional bar brawls, and, sometimes, a criminal element.

Universal Orlando has recreated Mardi Gras, and as always, they have exceeded the expectations of all who have attended the event in years past. One day of celebration is simply not enough here. Anytime between February 9 and April 4, 2019, you and your family need to be at Universal Studios in Orlando. It’s a big deal.
 

Entertainment

There are lively and colorful parades each and every night with beads-a-plenty being tossed at the crowd while kids scramble for the candy being thrown their directions. The floats are brought in directly from New Orleans so they are as authentic as authentic can get. Street performers amaze guests with their varying talents. Mimes, musicians, flame swallowers, jugglers, and performers doing things beyond the imagination are all out in full force. Universal only imports the best of the best and it’s nice how these street acts won’t bleed anyone’s wallet dry asking for tips they are not allowed to receive.

The parade starts around 7:45 pm (depending on weather and specific date), with riders tossing handfuls of beads to the crowds. This year’s theme is Party Animals, featuring jungle, ocean, arctic, swamp,sky and garden floats. Season pass holders can even sign up to ride on the floats. Obviously, space is limited.
 
Entertainment
 
Cajun Eats

Let’s talk about food. It isn’t prepared by minimum wage cooks tossing frozen entrees in microwaves. It’s prepared by some of the most renowned French cuisine chefs in the business. Many of whom reside in New Orleans. A few of 2019’s menu items will include shrimp étouffée, catfish Po Boys with crispy slaw and hot sauce, and a real favorite, King cake. This year will be the first time Universal will offer sampler size portions so guests can stuff themselves with a little bit of everything. Nobody ever leaves hungry. The Authentic Tunes restaurant puts guests right in the heart of New Orleans with live brass jazz music performed by players from the very streets where Mardi Gras got its start.
 
Cajun Eats
 
Signature Cocktails

Even if you pack the kids along, adults are adults and some of them still want to get their drink on. For those folks, this is nary a problem. They should expect to try some cool tasty libations which may be new to their pallets, but there won’t be any complaints.

Among the coolest alcoholic drinks available this year are the neon cocktails. Choose from the Ragin’ Rumbalaya, Vicious Voodoo and Carnival Cocktail. Party goers can also check out the mimosa bar options including mojito mint, raspberry rosemary and caramel apple varieties. Guests will be asking their local bartenders to attempt recreating their favorite ones when they get home, but these drinks are seldom duplicated.
 
Signature Cocktails
 
Live Concerts

To say Universal’s Mardi Gras offers the greatest entertainment schedule on the planet would be a gross understatement. Past performers have included Macklemore, Fifth Harmony, The Beach Boys, Sean Paul, Diana Ross, 3 Doors Down, REO Speedwagon, Bare Naked Ladies, and on and on… This years lineup is certainly no exception. It includes BUSH, Gavin DeGraw, Dan & Shay, Macklemore, Becky G, Sean Paul, Steve Miller Band, Ziggy Marley, NF, Pitbull, Bazzi, and a few more as yet to be announced. New performers are added throughout the Mardi Gras season. If this doesn’t get the music lover in you excited, nothing will.
 
Live Concerts
 
Annual and Seasonal Passholder Perks

As if all of this could possibly get any better, it does. The Mardi Gras festivities are included with annual passes and seasonal pass holders can enjoy the party, free, gratis, on selected nights which do not include concert nights. Pass holders can view the parade from a special reserved space near Mel’s Diner, pick up a free commemorative button, and continue the party at Universal City Walk with free club admissions after the concert. Sign up ahead of your visit for a chance for you and five guests to ride on a float and toss beads to screaming partiers.

For the ultimate experience, and to make certain you don’t miss even one single thing, booking a suite at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort will keep you and your family right in the thick of the action at all times. And, you will not want to miss any of the Mardi Gras events.
Annual And Seasonal Passholder Perks
So here is a chance for all who have been avoiding the crowds of New Orleans to experience the fun and excitement of Mardi Gras at somewhere which may be more conducive with their lifestyles. Universal Orlando is the only place to be.
 

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