Around The UniverseUniversal Orlando Resort

Around the Universe February 2024 – Universal Orlando News & Discounts

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Feet don’t fail me now! Universal Mardi Gras begins this weekend plus major construction updates from around the resort. Grab a po’boy and a hurricane, it is time for this month’s Around the Universe!

Mardi Gras 2024

Universal’s Mardi Gras is an international celebration of carnival, with a focus on New Orleans’ famous Mardi Gras. It is Universal’s premier yearly food festival featuring over 50 dishes and dozens of cocktails inspired by carnivals all over the world – From Beignets and King Cakes to Chilaquiles Verdes and Godiva and Biscoff Liege Waffles. Universal Studios Florida is home to all the international destinations while New Orleans’ classic food and drinks are found in all the theme parks, resorts, and CityWalk.

Straight from New Orleans is the Universal’s Mardi Gras Parade, featuring floats designed by the world-renowned Kern Studios of New Orleans, LA. This ain’t no Disney parade, this one starts with a full police motorcycle escort followed by dozens of dancers, stilt walkers, and decked-out floats full of guests. Did I mention guests can ride the floats? Yup, guests can ride the floats, and as is New Orleans tradition, toss beads to the crowd. Floats this year are themed to the natural elements – earth, water, fire, air, etc. These new floats join perennial classics like the King Gator and Riverboat carnival floats.

Mardi Gras 2023. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

The parade lasts for 15 minutes and takes 45 minutes to make its way through the park. The parade starts at the Horror Makeup Show and then moves towards Transformers and counterclockwise around the park. We suggest picking a spot between Transformers at the lagoon for the most elbow room while watching. The Mardi Gras Parade performs nightly – for a full list of parade times visit Universal Orlando’s website.

Headliner musical acts perform on Saturdays from February 3 through March 17 at the Music Plaza Stage next to Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Concerts start at 8:30 pm and run for approximately 80 to 90 minutes.

2024 Universal Mardi Gras Concert Schedule

  • February 3: Walker Hayes
  • February 10: The All-American Rejects
  • February 17: Nessa Barrett
  • February 18: KC and the Sunshine Band
  • February 24: Barenaked Ladies
  • March 2: DJ Khaled
  • March 9: Ava Max
  • March 10: Queen Latifah
  • March 16: Luis Fonsi
  • March 17: Zedd

Universal Mardi Gras runs daily from February 3 through April 7, 2024.

Monsters Makeover

Monster Makeover marquee in Five & Dime. Photo courtesy of Inside Universal.

A few weeks ago the Universal Horror Makeup show went through a small refurbishment with little noticeable changes to the show. This week a small space located in the backstage space next door in Five & Dime is now labeled as “Monster Makeover”. What is this new opportunity? Will we see kids walking through the park dressed in Bride of Frankenstein hair and Dracula capes? Well, we asked the birdies around the USF Starbucks and they said this is a new face paint location focused on the Universal Monsters. Those wishing for Bibbity Bobbity Boutique but horror might be disappointed in the limited focus.

Monster Makeover is expected to open soon, watch for an upcoming Around the Universe for more information.

House of MinaLima Pop-Up

Photo courtesy Alicia Stella at Theme Park Stop

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

The design duo MinaLima, the creative minds behind the Wizarding World graphic design, have opened a limited-time pop-up store within a store at the CityWalk Universal Studios Store. The small pop-up sells tote bags, cards, magnets, journals, and more featuring iconic MinaLima designs from the films.

Construction Updates

Several new experiences are debuting around Universal Orlando Resort this summer.

First up is DreamWorks Land, a new place to meet your favorite characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Trolls, and more.

Again, thank you to Bioreconstruct for all these update photos!

Universal is also working on a new nighttime lagoon show rumored to feature popular Illumination, DreamWorks, and Universal films. Show installation continues with all-new fountain jets.

Universal’s Mega Movie Parade is rumored to debut this summer and is rumored to feature hit movie franchises. This week some interesting news popped up at WDTV where a car has been purchased by Universal to be turned into the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters. With no Ghostbusters show or attraction in the parks currently, we asked around and it seems this car will be for the new parade.

The Universal Legacy Store in CityWalk has permanently closed. Alicia Stella currently says the store will be transformed into an Epic Universe Preview Center. The exterior will receive a refresh with large LED walls and inside the focus is on AR experiences to bring the park to life. The preview center will be tech-heavy and more interactive than Epcot’s attempt in 2019. The preview center is expected to open this summer after an online teaser campaign.

Speaking of the Permit Princess, she noticed some surprise construction walls appeared around Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Alicia and I have heard these are for new interactive wand experiences debuting later this year. These locations include Knockturn Alley, next to the Forbidden Journey’s lockers, and near the entrance to the same attraction. Finally, some rumors suggest a new entertainment offering is coming to one of the Wizarding World lands in 2024…

Epic Update

2024 will be the year of Epic Universe construction as what appeared like dirt lots a year ago now looks sorta like a theme park! This year we will see the craftspeople at Universal Creative installing the exterior theming and landscaping, painting buildings and theming, and testing all the attractions. Some attractions are already testing, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

First, let us look at the park’s hub, Celestial Park, starting at the back of the park at the Helio Grand Hotel.

Next up is Super Nintendo World which will be the home of three attractions – the Mario Kart dark ride, Yoshi Adventure outdoor PeopleMover, and the Donkey Kong mine cart coaster.

Next is Dark Universe, a land dedicated to the Universal Monsters. There are two attractions in this village – Universal Monsters Unchained dark ride using Kuka robotic arms and the family-friendly Cuse of Werewolf spinning coaster.

Testing has begun on the Cuse of Werewolf roller coaster! We can see the last half of the ride here as the second swing launch takes the ride vehicle over the hill. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice the ride vehicles are spinning which will offer a unique way of experiencing the swing launch.


#epicuniverse #universalstudios #themepark #orlandofl #construction #visitorlando #thecitybeautiful

♬ оригинальный звук – music23

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministries of Magic is the home to all things Harry Potter in Epic Universe. Walk through the portal and into Paris, or well a more fantastic version of it. Dozens of fantastic beasts are found around the magical streets in window displays and interactive wand stations. There are two major attractions in this land – a fantastic beasts show live show and a blockbuster E-Ticket dark ride based in the British Ministry of Magic. Located in a land based on Paris. Don’t ask too many questions.

By far the most unique land is Isle of Berk, the land based on the How to Train Your Dragon series of films and TV shows. Walk through the portal and into Berk where the locals believe they can train you to handle your very own dragon. Cool right?


Epic Universe is expected to open in the summer of 2025 – Universal Studios Florida’s 35th Anniversary is on June 7, 2025, just saying.


Universal Orlando frequently offers discounts on multi-day tickets and hotel stays. These are the latest discounts available to guests:


  • All Guests – Buy Two Day Ticket, Get Two Days Free starting at $330.99 per adult plus tax
  • FL Residents – Buy a One Day, Two Park Ticket and Get a Day Free
  • FL Residents – Add a Day at Volcano Bay for $25


  • FL Residents – 40% off hotels based on availability
  • UOAP – 40% off hotels based on availability

We suggest watching the UOAP Rate crawler to monitor UOAP hotel rate availablity.


  • All Guests – 25% off 3-park, 5-night Vacation Packages

For more deals, including discounts on vacation packages, visit the Universal Orlando website.


The following attractions are closed for refurbishment:

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure – January 8 – February 1, 2024
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – February 5 – March 8, 2024
  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge – January 2 – February 14, 2024
  • The Reef – January 2 – February 14, 2024
  • Tot Tiki Reef – February 9 – 16, 2024

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

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