For the past 25 years, Universal Orlando rolls out a Mardi Gras party that’s a family-friendly version of the iconic Big Easy bash. At this year’s 25th Mardi Gras, guests at the Universal Studios Florida theme park can enjoy a Treasures of the Deep themed parade, food and drinks inspired by Carnival celebrations around the world, and headliner concerts by DJ/Producer Marshmello, “Despacito’s” Luis Fonsi, and best-selling American girl group of all time, TLC. Universal’s Mardi Gras party runs everyday from now through April 2, and is a fantastic theme park event included at no extra charge with Universal Studios Florida admission. I’ve personally experienced this event during my annual alternative spring break trip to Give Kids The World Village and attest the good times are rolling. John Saccheri and Matt Dobrovolsky recently attended a media preview so continue reading for what’s new for Universal’s Mardi Gras in 2020.
The most fun I’ve ever had in a theme park was the year Universal Orlando surprised my group of college students and invited us to ride on one of the floats while tossing beads the the crowd.
@UniversalOrlando surprised us with an invite to ride a #MardiGras2018 float during a break from our volunteering at @GKTWVillage. It was so much fun throwing beads to the crowd, and I even saw one of the Wish Families we served in the Village. Thank you for such a great #UniversalMoment we’ll remember for a long, long time • • • • • • • #ReadyForUniversal #UniversalMardiGras #UniversalMoments #GKTW #GKTWVillage #GKTWU #AlternativeBreak #SpringBreak #FamilyTravel #Travel #travelwithkids #TravelBlogger @ExperienceKissimmee #MyKissimmee @VisitFlorida #VisitFlorida #LoveFL
Each night the Mardi Gras parade runs throughout the streets of Universal Studios Florida with incredibly detailed floats, stilt performers and dancers in elaborate costumes, and beads – lots and lots of beads. This year’s theme, Treasures of the Deep theme, features six new floats inspired by mystical creatures of the deep, the sunken city of Atlantis and more. Each of the 12 hand-crafted floats are engineered by Kern Studios, the same company that has created floats for the iconic New Orleans celebration since 1947. And, fan-favorite floats, including the Riverboat and King Gator, will return with all-new décor celebrating 25 years of the party.
Universal Orlando is adding new food and beverage offerings at the Carnival Around the Universe tasting tent that will feature dishes inspired by carnivals worldwide with new menu items debuting bi-weekly throughout the event. Offerings include cuisine from Trinidad & Tobago (Feb 1 – 15), Louisiana Creole (Feb 16 – 29), Brazilian Carnival (March 1 – 14), and Germany (March 15 – April 2).
New Orleans flair even expands beyond the theme park at Universal CityWalk with Mardi Gras themed food items at several locations including Voodoo Doughnut and Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.
Also, for the first time in the event’s 25 year history, a Mardi Gras-themed tribute store has made its debut inside the Universal Studios Florida theme park. Located just outside the French Quarter inside the New York area of Universal Studios Florida, the immersive tribute store serves as a homage to authentic New Orleans tradition. It offers exclusive photo opportunities for guests and specially-designed Universal Orlando Mardi Gras merchandise for purchase.
For 16 select nights during the event, guests can enjoy performances by some of the biggest names in music, including world-renowned, chart-topping DJ and producer, Marshmello, the multi-platinum international star behind global smash-hits “Despacito” and “Échame La Culpa,” Luis Fonsi, and best-selling American girl group of all time, TLC, known for mega hits such as “Waterfalls,” “No Scrubs,” “Creep” and “Unpretty.” For the complete line-up and performance schedule, click here.
Remember, there’s no additional charge for the entertainment during the 2020 Universal Orlando Mardi Gras celebration. Everything (except food and beverages) is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida or with an Annual Pass. So, as they say on the bayou, Laissez les bon temps rouler! For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagram, twitter and “like” our facebook page too.