Updated: Feb 20
Did you know that you can celebrate Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort? This annual family-friendly event is perfect for the young and young at heart!
Every year from early February to late March, Universal Studios Florida hosts one of the biggest family-friendly Mardi Gras celebrations.
From the food, entertainment, parades, colorful beads, costumes and music, everyone is sure to have a fun time!
Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida features an international food fest with cuisine and entertainment inspired by international Carnaval celebrations.
Best of all, this event is included with your Universal Studios Florida theme park ticket!
Authentic Mardi Gras Cuisines
All around Universal Studios Florida, you’ll find an assortment of regional Carnaval dishes and drinks available for purchase. Of course, no Mardi Gras celebration is complete without the delectable beignets coated in powdered sugar!
Festival guests can sample the flavors of Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, Spain and other regions including, of course, New Orleans.
For those guests wishing to sample a variety of cuisines, a special Tasting Lanyard can also be purchased and will allow them to treat their tastebuds with international food and drink samples.
Let the Good Times Roll
There’s nothing more festive than hearing the sounds of Mardi Gras music! You can join the excitement at the Music Plaza Stage, an outdoor courtyard environment featuring music and a place to grab a table and relax while enjoying some good eats under the dazzling lights.
Plus, on weekend nights, your admission ticket to Universal Studios Florida gains you access to their outdoor concert series featuring some of the biggest celebrity performers and entertainers.
Mardi Gras Parade and Floats
One of the best activities of Carnaval is watching the ornate floats in the Mardi Gras parade.
At Universal Studios, guests of all ages will enjoy the themed floats, music and street entertainers, along with collecting those popular beads.
Along the parade route, there is even a special parade viewing area just for kids or “Lil Jesters” who want to partake in the bead catching activities.
Here’s a pro tip!
Did you know that guests can actually ride the Mardi Gras floats? Yes, that’s right!
Any guest 18 years of age or older and children 48” or taller, who are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian can participate.
Guests of Universal Studios Florida interested in participating in this immersive activity can register ahead of time through the Universal Orlando Resort app during the afternoon of the parade (first come, first serve).
If selected to participate, guests will be outfitted with Mardi Gras costumes, known as “The Krewe" to wear on the themed floats.
Once on the floats, guests are supplied with hundreds of colorful beads to toss to the enthusiastic parade spectators.
Personally, I had the opportunity to join one of these floats and it was absolutely an incredible experience that I look forward to doing again in the future!
It's true you don't have to visit New Orleans to experience the joys of the Mardi Gras festivities. The Universal Studios Florida Mardi Gras celebration is such an inclusive experience where every member of the family can celebrate this occasion in a safe and welcoming environment.
Want to know what else you can experience at the Universal Orlando Resort? Check out my blog, How to spend 4 days at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Lissa Ryan is a Senior Travel Advisor with Kingdom Destinations specializing in luxurious family vacations. Lissa helps busy parents who want to create travel memories with their families through luxury travel experiences, but are too busy or overwhelmed with all the effort and research that is required to plan that perfect vacation.