Getting to Know Universal: Mardi Gras 2020

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Universal’s family-friendly Mardi Gras is celebrating 25 years of partying February 1 through April 2, 2020. This article will cover the hit musical acts, new parade floats, new food and drinks, and more offered at this years event.

Concerts

Image courtesy Universal Orlando 2020.

The crown jewel of Mardi Gras are the headlining concerts on select nights from the biggest names in music. From R&B to EDM, Alternative Rock to Country these artists perform full musical sets, and it’s included in park admission! This year’s line up is one of the biggest, most diverse yet:

Saturday, February 1 The Roots
Saturday, February 8 Karol G
Saturday, February 15 Bell Biv DeVoe
Sunday, February 16 +Live+
Saturday, February 22 Kool & the Gang
Saturday, February 29 TLC
Saturday, March 7 REO Speedwagon
Sunday, March 8 Dustin Lynch
Friday, March 13 Luis Fonsi
Saturday, March 14 The All-American Rejects
Sunday, March 15 Diana Ross
Friday, March 20 Chris Young
Saturday, March 21 Earth, Wind, & Fire
Sunday, March 22 Marshmallow
Saturday, March 28 Why Don’t We
Sunday, March 29 Gavin DeGraw

 

 

 

 

 

Concerts perform at 8:30 p.m. at the Universal Music Plaza Stage between Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem and Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon. Dates and times subject to change. Arrive at least 60 minutes and up to two hours prior to concert start for viewing space.

Looking for something more traditionally soulful? Bands from New Orleans play daily at The French Quarter Courtyard starting at 4:00 p.m.

Mardi Gras Parade

Image courtesy of Inside Universal.

Feet don’t fail me now! Universal’s popular parade returns with brand new floats themed to “Treasures of the Deep”. Pirates, treasure maps, parrots, and pearls adorn the new floats along with the stilt walkers, steam boats, dancers, and bead tossers. Speaking of bead tossers, guests interested in slinging necklaces are required to sign up using Virtual Queue through the Universal Orlando app. Download the app before your visit; sign ups open up a few hours prior to parade time.

The parade runs nightly–check the Universal Orlando site or app for parade times. Parade viewing locations are available through Hollywood, Production Central, and New York. A children’s viewing area is available in front of the Brown Derby Store an hour prior to parade time.

French Quarter & Tribute Store

Universal transforms the New York backlot into the French Quarter of New Orleans, the Mardi Gras party HQ. Street performers, bands, food stands, and decorations adorn with entertainment and food opening at 4:00 p.m. daily. New this year is the Mardi Gras Tribute Store, themed to the creepy and macabre of New Orleans. Inside guests will find two rooms full of merchandise: the first room recreates a Jazz hall while the second is themed as a cemetery. This store is an attraction of its own and is a must do for all guests.

Food & Beverage

What’s Mardi Gras without FOOD? Classics items return like po’boys, king cakes, jambalaya, gator bites, and more. New this year are expanded drink offerings with mixed drinks, floats, and non-alcoholic offerings (even a coconut of coconut water for the first two weeks). For fans of Horror Nights the familiar ‘blinky cup’ (aka a cup with a blinking LED on the bottom) will be available for purchase with a drink.

For the 25th anniversary the French Quarter will also offer a rotating food booth where the menu changes every two weeks. Each menu will focus on a part of the world that celebrates Mardi Gras and highlights local ingredients and flavors.

  • Trinidad and Tobago (February 1 – 15)
  • Louisiana Creole (February 16 – 29)
  • Brazilian Carnival (March 1 – 14)
  • Germany (March 15 – April 2)

Want to sample your way around the big easy? The tasting lanyard returns this year and lets guests sample food and drinks around the event. Lanyards are only available in the park for $60, available to guests 21 years and older.

A full menu from the French Quarter plus other Mardi Gras offerings around the resort is available online.

If you brought your appetite the all-you-can-eat Bayou Boil is where you want to be. The boil features crawfish, chicken, jambalaya, and desserts plus special parade viewing. Tickets start at $59.99 plus tax per adult, $39.99 plus tax per child. Want something sweeter? Watch the parade while eating deserts and appetizers plus exclusive viewing of Universal’s Cinematic Celebration nighttime show. Tickets start at $49.99 plus tax per adult and $29.99 plus tax per child.

Got any questions about Mardi Gras at Universal? Let us know in the comments.

Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and sports.

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