Mardi Gras: More beads, bands, and good times


We visited Universal Orlando over the weekend specifically for Mardi Gras. This weekend was a double line up, and while it would have been nice to go both nights, we stuck with Saturday night to see the B-52’s since we saw KC last year.

Let me just say.. Mardi Gras was very interesting this year.

The park has an awful lot of merchandise this year. Lots of beads, masks, and light up stuff. You know, the normal. I’m seriously digging on that tie made of beads, though. They’ve also got a mug with beads inside that light up. That’s pretty cool too. I (personally) am impressed with the merchandise this year.

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The Studios was fully decked out for Mardi Gras, including inside Monsters Cafe. You can’t turn a corner near the front of the park without seeing something green, gold, or purple. Kind of makes you wish they had Mardi Gras nightly, doesn’t it?

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Aside from decorations all over the place, the French Quarter is back as usual. They’ve added a glass blowing stand this year where they’ll make beads right there. Seems that the glass blowing was pretty popular during the Christmas season, so they brought it back for Mardi Gras.

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While you’re walking around checking out the food, souvenirs, and glass blowing, you can also find parade performers roaming the streets around the stage area and in New York. The streets can be crowded with folks trying to get their photo taken, but it’s a lot of fun just to watch them interact with each other and park guests.

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My personal favorite part of Mardi Gras: the parade. The parade begins at 8pm on event nights, so we lined the streets waiting for the parade to being. This year featured four new floats, as well as several floats from years past. I really liked the floats this year, especially the elephant float. They’ve also got interesting beads this year. Compared to last year, where it was mostly just colored beads, this year we’ve got shapes and a lot more different colors. The coins are also back, too. Tip – Get to your parade spot at least 30 minutes prior to the parade to guarantee a good spot to catch beads, or else you’ll wind up in the back catching nothing.

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Following the parade, you’ve got the concert. Not much to say about this year’s concert, except I wish B-52s would have opened with Love Shack. It was a lot of fun, but the crowds were hectic.

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Now.. look at the boat.

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