Photos and Video from Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Opening Night 2013

Was I at Universal, or was I in New Orleans?

There was a lot happening on Feb 9th 2013 as Universal Orlando Resort kicked off its annual Mardi Gras celebration. It was a packed house with excitement in the air that promised an unforgettable evening.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras has New Orleans atmosphere, food and entertainment, that makes you feel like you are in the Big Easy. The crowds can be massive, but it sort of adds to the feel that it’s going to be an eventful night.

Cajun cuisine is offered at select restaurants and elsewhere throughout the park. If you are a “crawfish” lover, this is for you.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras

Photo by Kevin Kolczynski ©2012 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved


Before guests can enjoy a live concert, they can dance with energetic street performers and collect beads by the handful in the Mardi Gras parade.

This year’s parade celebrates “Colorful Cultures Around the World,” featuring all new float additions inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, Chinese New Year and Elegance of India.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi GrasUniversal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras

The parade’s elaborate, hand-crafted floats are built by Blaine Kern Artists – the same company that designs floats for the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras

The floats are truly spectacular. You could look and look and always find details galore. They exude creativity and seemed to be built well. Oh, and don’t worry – you won’t have to flash anything to anyone to get beads. The parade is interactive in that beads are thrown to the crowd at an alarming rate. Based on how eager the crowd was to catch these colorful necklaces, I began to think perhaps they could be turned in for cash at the end, but no such luck. LOL

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi GrasUniversal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras

Throughout the park, party goers can enjoy the soulful sounds of authentic New Orleans bands that travel to Universal from the Big Easy to perform Blues, Jazz & Zydeco music.

The best part of this is that the party is included with your admission ticket. This is not a separate paid event. For more information and a schedule of concert performers, visit

Disclosure – Adventures by Daddy was hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and received complimentary admission for John Saccheri and a guest as media for this opening night of Mardi Gras. However all opinions expressed are those of the author’s. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About John Saccheri

John Saccheri has been rooted in the Disney culture from childhood. John only had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World once, at the age of 5. After returning home, he never stopped talking about it, yearning to return. His parents were worried about this “obsession,” but John began working at the age of 12 with a focus on saving up for the next Disney trip. He was able to visit Disney World at least once a year from 14 years old onward. Today, a successful entrepreneur, John was able to move from his hometown of Long Island, New York, to Central Florida to be close to the Mouse. Going to the parks still seems like a fantasy to him!