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Universal’s Mardi Gras 2018 Celebration Dates Announced

Universal’s Mardi Gras 2018 Celebration Dates Announced

It’s never too early to start planning your trip down the Bayou to celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort. This year, Florida’s biggest party will take place every night from Feb. 3 through April 7 in 2018.

In addition to the longest celebration we’ve held, there will be an abundance of concerts on select nights. These concerts will feature some of the biggest names in music. But if you still want more, be sure to check out the live performances from New Orleans every night in the French Quarter Courtyard.

Universal’s Mardi Gras 2018 Celebration Dates Announced

And you won’t want to miss the nightly Mardi Gras parade when it rolls down the streets of Universal Studios Florida every night. This dazzling parade features colorful floats, performers, lights, feathers, glitter, beads, and more!

Did we mention beads? I can guarantee there will be a ton of those. You won’t want to miss out on collecting as many as you can, although you will never have me beat!

So for you Kings, Queens, maids, and dukes, it’s almost time to start gathering up your closest friends and preparing those taste buds for the finest Cajun food east of the French Quarter. Next year’s Mardi Gras celebration will be here before we know it. With more nights to party on and concerts to see, the good times will surely be rolling.

Universal’s Mardi Gras is included in your admission to Universal Studios.

Everything You Need To Know About Mardi Gras At Universal Orlando Resort


12 amazing concerts. 12 parade floats with over a million beads. Tons of mouth-watering Cajun food. You’ve got 50 nights to join us for this year’s biggest party — Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort.

The party hits the streets of Universal Studios Florida on Feb. 4 through March 25. Did I mention the parade is every night? As if that isn’t reason enough, check out your complete event guide to Mardi Gras below.

Share your party with #UniversalMardiGras on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram when you visit to share your excitement.


5 Reasons To Party With Us During Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras celebration has only just begun. There are still plenty of nights for you to join us for this incredible party now through April 16.


From delicious Cajun food to catching handfuls of beads during the colorful parade, Show Director Jason Horne has the top five reasons why you should come to Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras.


All of the Mardi Gras festivities from the parade to the live concerts are included with your Universal Studios Florida admission. So grab your tickets and join the party!

New App Puts Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras At Your Fingertips

This year at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras, you’ll be able to catch millions of beads during an incredible parade and indulge in tons of beignets. And I have a new way to experience it all!


I’m excited to announce that Universal Orlando Resort has launched a brand new gaming app, the Mardi Guide, now available for download for iPhone and Android users. The Mardi Guide app allows you to choose from four game tracks, all with different tasks to complete with your friends and family throughout the Mardi Gras celebration.


You can choose from the following four game tracks: Date Night, Family Night, Food Lovers and Music Lovers. There are four tasks for you to complete in each track, giving you the opportunity to discover new foods; new places to take your date and fun activities you are able to enjoy with your family throughout Universal Studios Florida. Plus, if you’re an Annual Passholder, you can access exclusive bonus content.


But wait there’s more!

This app offers one special track titled Bonus Beads, where you can find hidden treasures that will unlock as you complete each task throughout the day. What’s great about this app is not only are you collecting beads in person, but you’re also collecting beads virtually!


Once the parade begins, the Mardi Guide app automatically starts your phone’s camera feature, so you can capture all of the action. You can even add some Mardi Gras flair to your photos by selecting the photo frame feature.  It’s even great for selfies! So, turn those location services on and get ready to catch Florida’s biggest party with the Mardi Guide app, now available for download  for iPhone and Android users.

R&B Artist Trey Songz Closes Universal’s Mardi Gras

This Saturday, contemporary R&B artist Trey Songz will take the stage for the final night of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras. Throughout his music career, Trey Songz has released five albums that reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200. His album Ready won the 2010 BET Award for Best Male R&B Artist and led to six hit singles, including, “I Need a Girl,” “Successful” and “LOL Smiley Face.”

Trey Songz Coming to Mardi Gras

Before the concert, guests can catch colorful beads by the handful during the festive Mardi Gras parade, which features 12 vibrant floats. Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

Schedule of Events for the Weekend:

  • 4:00 P.M. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens
  • 7:45 P.M. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts
  • 8:30 P.M. – Live Concert Begins

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Rock To The Band Perry

Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras continues this weekend with a musical performance by award-winning country group The Band Perry on Saturday, April 11.

The Band Perry - HR

The Band Perry, comprised of siblings Kimberly Perry, Reid Perry and Neil Perry, rose to fame with their quadruple-platinum song “If I Die Young,” their platinum song “You Lie,” and their No. 1 Billboard Hot Country song “All Your Life.” Combining country, pop and rock sounds, the musical trio has continued their success by winning multiple CMT and CMA awards, receiving Grammy and Billboard award nominations and selling out worldwide tours. Their second album, Pioneer, was released in April 2013 and produced the No. 1 singles, “Better Dig Two” and “DONE.”

Before each concert, guests can catch colorful beads by the handful during the festive Mardi Gras parade, which features 12 vibrant floats. Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

Schedule of Events for the Weekend:

  • 4:00 P.M. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens
  • 7:45 P.M. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts
  • 8:30 P.M. – Live Concert Begins

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras To Feature Musical Performances by MKTO, Styx and American Authors

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration continues this weekend, featuring live concerts by MKTO, Styx, and American Authors. Best known for their hit single, “Classic,” pop, hip-hop and R&B duo MKTO will rock out on Universal Studios Florida’s Music Plaza stage on Friday, March 13.


On Saturday, March 14, guests can enjoy a live performance by classic rock band, Styx. With their chart-topping hit singles, “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man” and “Fooling Yourself,” Styx was the first band ever to release four consecutive triple-platinum albums.

American Authors  - HR

American Authors will take the stage on Sunday, March 15. This popular alternative rock band is best known for their multi-platinum single, “Best Day of My Life,” which was named the No.1 most played song in 2014 on Adult Pop Radio.

Before the concert, guests can catch colorful beads by the handful during the festive Mardi Gras parade, which features 12 vibrant floats. Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

Trace Adkins to Perform At Universal Orlando Mardi Gras

There’s nothing like eating N’awlins style food, catching some beads and listening to a true Louisianan perform on the Music Plaza stage.

Trace Adkins Coming to Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Chart-topping country music star Trace Adkins will be at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras this Saturday, March 7. Adkins has turned his albums into Platinum plaques, selling more than 10 million albums. Not just famous for his music, Trace Adkins is also known for his many different achievements including:

  • Celebrity Apprentice Winner 2013
  • Appeared in The Lincoln Lawyer and Mom’s Night Out
  • Developed and hosted GAC’s “Great American Heroes”
  • American Country Awards host for four consecutive years.
  • Spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Program and American Red Cross

Trace Adkins has had more than 20 singles on the Billboard country music charts, with hits like, “No Thinkin’ Thing”, “Ladies Love Country Boys”, and “You’re Gonna Miss This.” One thing is for sure, you are NOT gonna wanna miss this.

Before the concert, guests can catch colorful beads by the handful during the festive Mardi Gras parade, which features 12 vibrant floats. Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

 Schedule of Events for the Weekend:

  • 4:00 P.M. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens
  • 7:15 P.M. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts
  • 8:00 P.M. – Live Concert Begins

Mardi Gras runs on select nights through to April 18, so let the good times roll and get ready for a rockin’ weekend!

Get The Low Down On Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Floats

The Universal Orlando Blog recently sat down with TJ Mannarino, Senior Director of Art & Design with the Universal Orlando Resort entertainment team to get all the information on this year’s Mardi Gras parade and floats at Universal’s Mardi Gras happening on select nights from now through April 18.


First, can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind the this year’s line-up of Mardi Gras floats? Every year we first head to New Orleans and meet with Kern Studios, the company who fabricates our floats. We go there to look at a history of Mardi Gras floats and what they just finished doing for the previous year in the Mardi Gras parade. So, essentially, we are inspired by the actual themes, floats and stories that they tell in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

It sounds like a very inspirational trip
. Yeah, it’s great to really immerse yourself into the world that is Mardi Gras. During that trip we collaborate, pick and choose, and walk away with a skeletal frame of what we makes sense for our Mardi Gras. Then we come back and design our float line-up.

Tell us a little about the process of building the floats. It’s a process that happens pretty much through the summer prior to the next Universal Orlando Mardi Gras.


We develop the designs through the end of the summer and start construction around September with Kern Studios – they send their crews here and they ship all the props in from New Orleans. The floats are built and then, after the main components are painted and constructed, our in-house design teams get a chance to enhance them with glitter, and with what we call soft fabrics and foliage. That process of decorating goes on until Mardi Gras opens in early February.

What is new and different about this year’s Mardi Gras parade? It’s the 20th year of the parade and we actually focused a lot on two main themes that are staples for us – the King Gator float, which is the main float that ends our parade, and the Riverboat float, our southern style Mississippi riverboat. This year we really enhanced them to a level that they haven’t been before. We actually rebuilt a lot of elements within both of those floats and repainted big elements.


How is the parade presented this year? We chose to do it a little bit differently this year and give our audience a new way to experience the parade.

In the past we sprinkled different thematics throughout the parade lineup and you would see floats that celebrated the world of Mexico or India next to floats that focused on different types of fanciful travel. Well, this year, we chose to actually come up with a different type of parade lineup that captures those different themes and puts them together … so you will see mini themes within this year’s parade.

You see a different type of parade — instead of seeing float after float after float, you see groupings of floats and characters, with lighting and music changes that enhance the different themes. So it actually kind of gives you maybe the ability to look at mini-parades as oppose to one themed parade. We’re excited about this as a new way to deliver Mardi Gras and to give our guests as much as we possibly can during your night here at Universal.


From a creative standpoint what are the things what do you love about the parade? We take what is known as Mardi Gras and put a Universal spin on it. For example, we add large amount of decoration to the floats that you don’t see in New Orleans — we make them these sparkling jewels parading down the street. Add in the costumes and stilt walkers, and it’s a high celebration with great thematics and a lot of color … and tons and tons of energy and excitement.

Mardi Gras is so much about tradition also – how do you think you capture that here at Universal Orlando? There is a tradition that has been held within the company that builds our floats that is different from building scenery and large scale theme park environments. Everyone who works on the floats is tied to the history of float building – their dads were artists and their dad’s dad were artists who trained the next generation on down. When you talk to the float artists and the teams it’s like stepping back in time a little bit — its more about art than construction.

Today we’re always looking for how you do it faster and using technology to our advantage, and our floats are all done by hand with each one being unique. I think these things combined with our passion for Mardi Gras is what makes it special, unique and something you can’t see any place outside of the French corner.


You can see the fabulous Mardi Gras parade on select nights now through April 18, but there are two special parade opportunities you should know about:

Ride In the Mardi Gras Parade: If you are a Universal Orlando Annual Passholder you can apply to ride on one of the floats, throwing beads (and having a blast!) along the route. Annual Passholders can apply here. One note – know you must sign up by 12 noon on Friday the week prior to the event date and additional restrictions apply. See sign-up page for details. If you would like to become Annual Passholder (and enjoy every Mardi Gras concert as part of your admission), click on over here to see the annual pass options.

Enjoy A Special Parade Viewing Area: Purchase any Universal Orlando Multi-Day Ticket or Annual Pass with any American Express Credit or Charge Card and receive entry to the American Express Reserved Parade Viewing area.

Hopefully we will see you at Universal Orlando enjoying the Mardi Gras parade – Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Check Out The Mardi Gras Merchandise At Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2015 is in full swing! Universal Orlando’s Blog has given everyone a sneak peek at the amazing merchandise available at this year’s event!


Universal’s Creative Director for Merchandise, Brian Beauregard, discussed how he came up with this year’s look. He said, “This year, our artwork was heavily derived from folk art and inspired by the cultural impact of popular music festivals across the country such as Bonnaroo and Coachella”


While you’re enjoying Mardi Gras, you’ll be able to buy a Unisex T-Shirt and a Ladies Fashion Cut-Out Back Tee both with tagline “Rock Your Mojo”, a souvenir shot glass and a lanyard.


A special tip for all you shoppers out there: supplies of special event merchandise is limited, so remember to buy early!

Olivia Newton-John Kicks Off Universal’s Mardi Gras This Weekend

Universal Orlando’s 2015 Mardi Gras celebration begins this Saturday, February 7, featuring a live performance by Australian singer-songwriter Olivia Newton-John.

Olivia Newton-John - HR

With more than 100 million albums sold, Newton-John has won 10 American Music Awards and four People’s Choice Awards throughout her career. She’s recorded 10 No. 1 hits, including “Physical” – which is listed at No. 6 on Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of All Time. She is also known for her breakout performance alongside John Travolta in the iconic musical film, “Grease.”


Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration runs select nights until April 18 and combines unmatched theme park entertainment with a jazzy New Orleans flare. Along with live concerts by some of today’s hottest artists, guests can enjoy authentic New Orleans bands in the French Quarter Courtyard, mouthwatering Cajun cuisine and an extravagant parade, which features 12 vibrant and dazzling floats.

Screenshot 2015-02-05 at 2.47.09 PM

Mardi Gras is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information and details about special ticket offers, visit

Phillip Phillips and MKTO Added To Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Line Up

Universal Orlando Resort announces the addition of pop duo MKTO and hit singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips to the list of popular artists performing at this year’s Mardi Gras celebration.


Best known for their multi-platinum singles, “Thank You” and “Classic,” pop group MKTO will make their concert debut at Universal Studios Florida on Friday, March 13. The group’s name stands for musical duo Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller, as well as “Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts.”


On Saturday, March 28, “American Idol” victor Phillip Phillips will take the stage. His most popular song, “Home,” has endured great success with more than four million copies sold, and he released his newest album, “Behind the Lights,” last May.


Running select nights Feb. 7 to April 18, Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is a family-friendly version of the famed New Orleans festival. The event features a dazzling parade with thousands of beads, fresh Cajun dishes, bands straight from Bourbon Street and live concerts by some of today’s hottest musical acts, such as Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and Trey Songz.

Musical Line-Up for Universal’s Mardi Gras 2015

Mardi Gras 2015 is right around the corner at Universal Orlando Resort, and we’re thrilled to announce this year’s awesome talent line-up. Whether you’re into pop, R&B, country or the classics, you’ll be able to enjoy an array of talent with a little bit of something for everyone.


Headliners this year include English pop sensation Jessie J, who’s known for her hits “Price Tag” and “Bang Bang”, American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and reggaeton superstar Yandel.

Also performing is R&B artist Trey Songz, American country group The Band Perry, and the rock group American Authors, known for their hit single “Best Day of My Life”. You can find the complete list of artists down below.


Florida’s biggest party also features a dazzling Mardi Gras parade and more than 1.8 million beads! That’s plenty for you to catch throughout the 16 nights of thrilling concerts and some of the biggest names in music!

Event Dates Headliners
Performing in the Music Plaza
New Orleans Bands
Performing in the French Quarter Courtyard
Feb. 7 Olivia Newton-John Rockin’ Jake
Feb. 14 Jessie J The Big Easy Playboys
Feb. 15 Barenaked Ladies The Big Easy Playboys
Feb. 21 Kelly Clarkson Grady Champion
Feb. 28 Heart Cha Wa
March 7 Trace Adkins Beth McKee & The Sliders
March 13 TBD Mississippi Rail Company
March 14 Styx Mississippi Rail Company
March 15 American Authors Mississippi Rail Company
March 20 Becky G Soul Project
March 21 Yandel Soul Project
March 22 The B-52s Soul Project
March 28 TBD Naughty Professor
April 4 The All-American Rejects Daddy Mack Blues Band
April 11 The Band Perry Big Al and The Heavyweights
April 18 Trey Songz Gravy


And that’s not all—across from the music plaza stage, you can get a taste of authentic N’awlins cuisine at our French Quarter Courtyard . You can count on me heading straight for my absolute favorite sugar-powdered desert: the infamous beignets!

While you’re hanging out in French Quarter Courtyard, you’ll get a chance to see performances by bands brought in from New Orleans itself.

The best news is you can enjoy all of these awesome experiences at Mardi Gras with your admission to Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Orlando Gets Set For Mardi Gras Celebration

It is the biggest, best, party in the country — and Universal Orlando Resort brings it straight from New Orleans to you this February 12 through April 23.


Nationally renowned musical acts combine with an authentic Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic Cajun cooking, and hand-picked New Orleans bands to capture the look, feel and fun of New Orleans — all inside Universal Studios Florida.


Universal Orlando has been creating its special Mardi Gras celebration for more than 15 years — bringing the perfect combination of the Big Easy and spectacular theme park entertainment to its guests all for the price of regular admission.


“If you can’t be in New Orleans or if you can’t get enough of Mardi Gras, then Universal Orlando is the place to be, said Jim Timon, senior vice president of entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort. “We bring all of what makes Mardi Gras great together with national-level musical artists to create a family-friendly celebration that fills the entire theme park.


This year’s special Mardi Gras concert line-up features some of the biggest names in Rock, Country, Pop and R&B. Together, the headliners have had more than 100 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart and more than 20 Grammy nominations. Performers include Pitbull, also known as “Mr. 305, who will perform songs from his hit album, “Rebelution, Neon Trees, who will perform their hit “Animal, One Republic and country-super-star Blake Shelton. Also performing will be Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beach Boys and Ne-Yo. For a complete list of this year’s performers and dates, see the attached.


Along with top-name talent comes the world-famous parade – straight from the streets of New Orleans. One-dozen elaborate, hand-crafted floats designed and built by Blaine Kern Artists — the same company that creates floats for New Orleans Mardi Gras — will make their way through the streets of Universal Studios along with dozens of colorfully costumed performers and hundreds of float riders — all of whom throw beads to eager guests. The parade, with its Fire, Air, Water, Earth theme, also features music and a nightly King and Queen of Mardi Gras.


Nearby, in the Universal Studios “French Quarter Courtyard, the celebration continues. This area will feature New Orleans-inspired food creations by Universal’s chefs — including jambalaya, Po Boy sandwiches and more. And nearly one-dozen hand-picked, authentic New Orleans bands will perform the best of The Big Easy’s Blues, Jazz and Zydeco.

Book Your Universal Orlando Vacation Today

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras

R&B superstar Robin Thicke and UK pop sensation The Wanted are two of the musical  acts that will take the stage at Universal Orlando next year for the 2014 Mardi Gras Celebration.

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Robin Thicke, the R&B singer behind the hit “Blurred Lines” will perform at this year’s Mardi Gras festivities at Universal Studios.

Thicke will be on stage at the theme park on Feb. 22, one of 20 select dates of the event, which kicks off Feb. 8 and ends May 31.

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Also on the schedule is The Wanted, a five-man band from the U.K. armed hits such as “Glad You Came” and “Chasing the Sun.” The Wanted performs at Universal on May 10.  The remainder of the 2014 Mardi Gras concert schedule will be announced later, Universal says.

Robin Thicke and The Wanted Announced for Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras

Universal’s Mardi Gras, included in regular park admission, features musical guests, Cajun cuisine and a New Orleans-style parade.

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Mardi Gras Vacation Today!