Universal Orlando’s annual Mardi Gras celebration returns to Universal Studios Florida on February 4th; it will run through March 25th. The event will include live musical performances, a spectacular parade with beads by the handful, and authentic Cajun cuisine. It’s a celebration you won’t want to miss!
Mardi Gras Grand Celebration Parade
Every evening, Universal Orlando will unveil their grand Mardi Gras parade, complete with stunning floats, amazing costumed characters, beads by the handful, and more. This year’s parade will include six all-new floats themed to mythical creatures, including Manticore’s Majesty, The Rise of the Garuda, The Dance of the Dragon, Phoenix from the Flames, Garden Sprites, and The Flight of the Pegasus.
February 5th – 10th, February 12th – 17th: 6:45 PM
February 20th – 24th, February 26th – 27th, March 1st – 3rd, March 6th – 10th: 7:15 PM
February 4th, February 11th, February 18th, February 19th, February 25th, February 28th, March 4th, March 5th, March 11th – 25th: 7:45 PM
The Mardi Gras parade begins and ends at Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show. It parades along the park’s main roadway, Revenge of the Mummy and Transformers, and marches back to the Horror Make-Up Show. Good viewing locations include all walkways along the parade route. We especially recommend watching the parade near the Music Plaza on concert nights for better viewings of the performances.
After the parade, the party continues at the Music Plaza located directly next to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit’s entrance with a live performance on select nights. Some of the biggest names in music including Jason Derulo, The All-American Rejects, and Ne-Yo will take the stage at this year’s event.
Saturday, February 4th: Trace Adkins
Saturday, February 11th: Ne-Yo
Saturday, February 18th: Collective Soul
Sunday, February 19th: X Ambassadors
Saturday, February 25th: Fifth Harmony
Saturday, March 4th: Yandel
Sunday, March 5th: Olivia Newton-John
Saturday, March 11th: UB40
Sunday, March 12th: Toby Keith
Saturday, March 18th: Jason Derulo
Sunday, March 19th: Earth, Wind & Fire
Saturday, March 25th: The All-American Rejects
French Quarter Courtyard
The heart of Universal’s Mardi Gras event lies at the French Quarter Courtyard (located in the New York section of the park), where you can purchase an array of delicious Cajun meals, such as Jambalaya, Beignets, Gumbo, Andouille Sausage, and so much more. You can also taste different beverages and enjoy live music by bands direct from New Orleans. The French Quarter is the perfect way to get a taste of what Mardi Gras is all about.
February 4th – 14th: Young Pinstripe Brass Band
February 15th – 21st: New Breed Brass Band
February 22nd – 5th: Free Agents Brass Band
March 6th – 15th: Naughty Professor Brass Band
March 16th – 25th: Dirty Bourbon River Show
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do I need a special ticket to attend this event?
Answer: No, Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with your regular theme park admission or annual pass.
Question: When does this event take place?
Answer: Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration includes two main acts: the parade and the concerts. The parade takes place every evening (exact times for each date are included above) from February 4th through March 25th. The concerts take place on select days throughout the event (exact dates are provided above).
Question: Where does this event take place?
Answer: The Mardi Gras celebration is at the Universal Studios Florida theme park. Universal’s sister theme park, Islands of Adventure, does not take part in this event.
Question: Is this event appropriate for children?
Answer: Yes, this event is a family-friendly version of the popular New Orleans event. While Universal’s version is designed to be appropriate for people of all ages, please be aware that some musical artists may use foul language during their performance.
Question: Where do the concerts take place?
Answer: The main concerts take place at the Music Plaza in Universal Studios Florida, which is located next to the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction and directly in front of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit’s entrance. The bands from New Orleans who are scheduled to perform play live at the French Quarter Courtyard, which is in the New York section of the park (these performances are entirely different and are not being referred to when mentioning “concerts” in the below FAQ’s).
Question: Does the park provide seating during the concerts?
Answer: Seating is not provided, and you are prohibited from bringing portable chairs into the park as well.
Question: Do I need to sign up to watch the concerts?
Answer: It is not required for you to sign up to enter the Music Plaza. You are permitted to wait in designated areas for early entry into the plaza and may enter the area at any time if space is available.
Question: About how early should I arrive to watch a concert?
Answer: Lines can begin to form as soon as the park opens, especially for popular musical artists, though we don’t recommend getting to the Music Plaza until about 3-4 hours in advance for better viewing. However, if you wish to receive front row or nearby it, we recommend waiting as soon as you arrive at the park (this is only recommended if the artist is very well known, you do not mind waiting in tight crowds for hours, and you do not mind skipping the theme park attractions). The Music Plaza tends to fill up directly after the Mardi Gras parade. If you’d prefer not to wait but wish to see the concert, we advise watching the show at the entrance of Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe.
Question: Am I allowed to leave the concert area once I enter?
Answer: Yes, you are permitted to leave and return to the concert area, but please be aware that other people will be entering the area; there may be a possibility that you could lose your spot.
Question: What time do the concerts begin?
Answer: All concert performances for this year’s event begin at 8:30 PM.
Question: What happens if it rains?
Answer: The event is intended to occur rain or shine, but be aware that some festivities may be canceled.