If you’ve always wanted to attend the world-famous Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, but haven’t been able to do so, head to Orlando, instead. From February 11 through April 14, Universal Studios in Orlando will be throwing a Mardi Gras party that will rival the one in the Crescent City.
In fact, parents will much prefer the Orlando version, as it’s much more kid-friendly. During the celebration, an extravagant parade will amaze guests every Saturday night, with beautiful floats, street performers, lots of beads, dancers in fantastic costumes, and music. And here’s something the Big Easy doesn’t have – a special parade just for little revelers!
Universal is going all out for Mardi Gras in 2012. Visit the French Quarter and enjoy some real Cajun food prepared by real Cajun chefs. As you dive into some jambalaya, red beans and rice, or beignets, you can hear some music provided by bands and artists straight from New Orleans.
After the main Mardi Gras events, head to CityWalk for the “party after the party.” As part of this special event, seven night spots will provide fun, food, and libations. For a real taste of New Orleans, grab a space in Pat O’Brien’s, an exact copy of the one in the Big Easy. Visitors will be partying until the wee hours of the morning!
The dates and times for the Mardi Gras parade is as follows:
February 11, 18, 19, 25 – 7:30PM
March 3, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 – 7:30PM
March 31 – 8:30PM
April 7, 14 – 8:30PM
In addition, some amazing musical talents will be performing at Universal during Mardi Gras. In February, concerts will be performed by Kelly Clarkson, Diana Ross, The B-52s, and Boyz II Men. In March, the headliners will include Jill Scott, J Cole, Big Time Rush, B.o.B., Prince Royce, Plain White T’s, and Hot Chelle Rae. The April concerts are just as exciting, too! Appearing live will be KC and the Sunshine Band and Cyndi Lauper.
This year Universal Studios will even have a special KidZone Mardi Pardi Krewe located in the Woody Woodpecker’s kidzone area. This will feature lots of free Mardi Gras beads and stage shows of favorite kid characters.
Times for the KidZone Mardi Pardi Krewe will be:
Daily Shows: 11:00AM, 12:00PM, 1:00PM, 3:00PM, 4:00PM, 5:00PM
Don’t forget the Mardi Gras parade and concerts for 2012 are included with your normal park pass! You do NOT need to buy a special ticket to see and hear everything.
If all this sounds like a great festival to you, you might want to stay in one of the three hotels that are located right in the middle of all the action.
If you choose to stay at Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, or Loews Royal Pacific Resort, you’ll be just steps away from all the revelry. Orlando Universal is also offering some great package deals for Mardi Gras. Brush up on your bead-catching skills and head on down!