The party is underway at Universal Studios Orlando’s annual spring season event: Mardi Gras – Florida’s Biggest Party!
We made our first (of many more to come) visit the 2016 event this weekend and compiled a list of 10 better than good reasons you should attend Universal Studios Mardi Gras too!
In no particular order, here are those 10 reasons
10. The Food
Much like we talked many, many times before about the special event food at Halloween Horror Nights, Mardi Gras too offers specialty food that you’re not going to find during a regular visit at the part.
Great selections from “N’awlins” cuisine like Andouille Sausage, Jambalaya, Gumbo, Beignets and King cake, along with event favorites cheese steaks and loaded fries, and one NeoZAZ favorites we’ll get to in a minute because it deserves its own entry on this list.
9. Stilt Walker Photo Ops.
Stilt Walker photo ops are of course not limited to this event, Universal has many great stilt walker characters through the day at both parks. However, in the opening hours of the French Quarter Courtyard (4:00PM on Mardi Gras Event Nights) the parade stilt walkers gather in the streets during this limited event run for a unique photo op!
8. French Quarter Courtyard
We started off the list talked about the food, and here’s where you get it – the French Quarter Courtyard. But the Courtyard isn’t all about food, there’s bars featuring Louisiana brewery drafts, a Crepes and Coffee booth, and live Zydeco bands straight from New Orleans.
7. Blinky Cups
Help light up the party by grabbing your own blinky cup from almost any of the Mardi Gras bars. These cups don’t just add a bit of fun to the event but also offer discounted refills throughout the night – and the entire event when you come back!
6. Voodoo Juice
And if you’re going to get a blinky cup and you’re 21 or over and enjoy a enjoy an adult beverage, you might as well have them fill with an ice cold Voodoo Juice. Voodoo Juice is the signature drink of this year’s event and is a tasty mix of Full Throttle energy drink, Minute Maid orange, pineapple and cranberry juice, and rum.
One huge reason to go to Mardi Gras and Universal Studios are the concerts. Included with the price of admission on Mardi Gras event nights is a full concert on the Music Plaza Stage. Acts appearing at this year’s event are:
February 6th (Sat.) Hunter Hayes
February 13th (Sat.) Diana Ross
February 14th (Sun.) Barenaked Ladies
February 20th (Sat.) Nate Ruess
February 27th (Sat.) Fall Out Boy
March 5th (Sat.) Kool & The Gang
March 12th (Sat.) The Gray
March 13th (Sun.) Adam Lambert
March 19th (Sat.) Shawn Mendes
March 20th (Sun.) 3 Door Down
March 26th (Sat.) Reo Speedwagon
April 2nd (Sat.) T-Pain
April 9th (Sat.) Jessie J
April 16th (Sat.) Yandel
4. Twisted Taters
This is the one food that will always get its own spot on any Universal event list we publish on NeoZAZ. The simplest idea that has given us so much joy over the years. A thinly spiral cut potato deep fried on a stick then coated with your choice of seasoning. It’s not limited to Universal Mardi Gras, we enjoy them at Halloween Horror Nights each year, but it’s not found in the park every day. If you miss tasting a twisted tater at Mardi Gras, you’re doing your taste buds a disservice.
3. Beads. Millions of Free Beads
Let’s face it, it’s not often you walk out of any them park with a free souvenir other than a park guide, Mardi Gras gives you that chance. Flying through the air from the parade floats, over 1.7 million strings of beads will make their way into park visitor hands this year, more than enough to go around so go out there and get yours!
2. The Parade
And how do you get those beads? Watch the fantastic Mardi Gras Parade make its way through the streets of Universal Studios! 10 original individually themed party floats lead by a crew of costumed character and stilt walkers light up the streets and the get the party going with lights, confetti, music, and as mentioned just moments ago – beads! Roughly a dozen costumed attendees on each side of each float throw colored strings of beads to the parade watchers from start to finish. And to give the kids their fair chance and a near guarantee of walking away from the parade with plenty beads, head over to the “Little Jester’s Parade view area” in front of the Brown Derby hat Shop – an area just for kids their own parade experience.
1. Mardi Gras is included with Park admission
We went through a lot of reasons to attend Mardi Gras at Universal Studios this year but possibly the best reason to go is Mardi Gras is included in price of the day admission to the park. The Concert, the Parade, entry into the French Quarter Courtyard is all part of a day’s visit to Universal Studios. So enjoy a day at central Florida’s best theme park and then stay for Florida’s biggest party!
Mardi Gras takes place on select nights February 6 – to April 16, 2016.
For dates and concert information visit the Universal Studios Mardi Gras website at: https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Mardi-Gras/Overview.aspx
Stay tuned for our Mardi Gras coverage podcast special coming soon to NeoZAZ.com.