Universal Mardi Gras has officially kicked off at Universal Orlando Resort! After ending the event early in 2020 due toRead more
EVERY NIGHT February 5 – April 24, 2022
Universal Mardi Gras is a seasonal event at Universal Orlando Resort that typically runs from mid-February through early April. The event runs daily and features Mardi Gras-inspired food and an authentic Mardi Gras parade with a different theme each year.
On select weekend nights, you may even be able to catch a performance on the Universal Music Plaza Stage. While the party in New Orleans can get wild and crazy, the Universal Mardi Gras celebration is a family-friendly event focusing on food and fun!
The Mardi Gras celebrations start as soon as you enter the park and make your way down Production Central. Festive decorations have been added to the areas of the park where Mardi Gras is celebrated, zydeco music is blasted from the speakers, and the parade performers will be out and about meeting guests, taking pictures, and giving out beads.
The French Quarter Courtyard is the main hub of the celebration and it’s located in the New York area of Universal Studios Florida. The parade kicks off in Hollywood and makes its way through Production Central and New York before returning back to where it started in Hollywood. Concerts take place on the Universal Music Plaza Stage, which is located in Production Central between Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Food & Drink
The French Quarter Courtyard is where you’ll find food, spirits, and musicians straight out of New Orleans. You can’t really compare the quality of food to what you would get in New Orleans, but they try to replicate the style for a broader audience who might not enjoy the authentic flavors and they don’t do a terrible job at it. You’ll find traditional dishes like Jambalaya, Po’ Boys, Etoufee, Beignets, and King Cake. This year you’ll be able to also try dishes like Coconut Curry Shrimp Laksa, Vegan Samosa, and Salchipapas.
It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without alcohol, and Universal tries to keep the event authentic by providing plenty of options from Abita Brewing Company. Abita is brewed in Abita Springs, Louisiana, and pairs nicely with Mardi Gras. Their signature beer is Purple Haze, but you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Outside of Universal Studios Florida, specialty food and beverage can be found at select Universal CityWalk restaurants and ALL of the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels!
2022 Mardi Gras Food Preview
Universal Mardi Gras Parade
One of the centerpieces of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration is the parade and for a very good reason. There are plenty of good parades in Orlando, but this one has an energy and excitement that is unmatched. The theme for 2022 is Planet Mardi Gras, which will feature cosmic-inspired elements like comets, rockets, martians, and more! The six specialty floats will roll alongside the six classic Mardi Gras floats. The floats are great, but the throws are limited to standard-size beads and doubloons. Take a look back at the 2020 Mardi Gras Parade, because it didn’t happen in 2021.
Here’s a look at dates and time’s for this year’s Universal Mardi Gras Parade:
Universal Mardi Gras Concerts
The main event and highlight for many is the concert at the end of the night in the new Music Plaza, immediately following the parade. Universal brings in a great lineup of bands for these concerts (some of the past performers include Huey Lewis & The News, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Willie Nelson, and Heart). Depending on the performer, this area of the park can get very crowded, very quickly and you should expect to be far from the stage if you wait until after the parade to choose your spot. You should choose your parade viewing location carefully as the best viewing areas for the concert fill very quickly, as soon as the parade ends. There are large viewing screens for those in the back of the crowd. Here is the 2022 lineup:
|February 5||Sugar Ray|
|February 12||Diana Ross|
|February 19||Barenaked Ladies|
|February 26||Jon Pardi|
|March 5||LL COOL J featuring DJ Z-Trip|
|March 12||Lee Brice|
|March 13||Becky G|
|March 20||Gavin DeGraw|
|March 25||The Revivalists|
|March 26||Jimmie Allen|
|March 27||Jason Derulo|
Universal Mardi Gras Beyond Universal Studios Florida
If you find yourself wanting to continue the party, at the end of the night, head over to Universal’s CityWalk and continue the Mardi Gras festivities at Pat O’Brien’s. It’s a replica of the original Pat O’Brien’s located in New Orleans where you can enjoy a Hurricane on the patio or sing along in the Piano Bar. At this location, it’s Mardi Gras 365 days a year!
Universal Mardi Gras Pricing
The best part about this whole Mardi Gras celebration is that it’s free! As long as you have admission to Universal Studios Florida, you can participate in the festivities. Please keep in mind that the live concerts are held on Saturday and select Friday and Sunday nights. Go! You will have an awesome time.
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Let the good times roll!
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