Universal Orlando hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. Universal’s Mardi Gras takes the spotlight, offering an exciting blend of international flavors, live concerts, and entertainment. From February 3 to April 7, 2024, immerse yourself in the festivities, knowing that many of these experiences come at no extra cost, enhancing your Universal Orlando visit with an extra dose of magic!
Universal Studios Florida is transformed into one big party that you won’t want to miss out on. Today, we’re sharing 5 top reasons you should plan a trip to Universal Mardi Gras 2024. If you’re in the beginning stages of planning your next theme park vacation and need additional help or are looking for discounted theme park tickets, check out our trusted travel partner The Park Prodigy!
What is Universal Mardi Gras 2024?
Let the good times roll! Each year, guests can enjoy a Mardi Gras Universal celebration. It’s an infectious time of joy, music, and most importantly, beignets! This festival is included in your regular Universal Orlando admission ticket. This means you don’t have to pay extra for the Mardi Gras concerts or parade! Does it really get better than that?
At Universal Mardi Gras you will find performers throughout the day in Universal Studios Florida leading up to the big parade at night! Enjoy New Orleans jazz bands, parade performers, and even your favorite characters dressed for the occasion (Beetlejuice with his Mardi Gras beads on is our personal favorite). Now is all of this Mardi Gras fun worth you planning your trip during the winter months? Let’s highlight 5 reasons why it’s worth the visit!
Related Video: Everything You Need to Know for Mardi Gras 2024
5. Food and Beverage Card
Finding ANY discounts in theme parks is a tough task, especially for food! At Universal Mardi Gras 2024 you can save anywhere from $10-$30 on specialty Mardi Gras food with the Universal Orlando food and beverage card! Savor the mouthwatering flavors of global Carnaval celebrations from New Orleans to Spain to China and beyond with over 60 tasting-size menu items. Some of our favorite Mardi Gras food Universal Orlando items are Fried Green Tomato Po’boy, Beignets (of course) Bloody Mary Wild, Ube Ice Cream Sesame Bubble Waffle Cone, and so much more.
Now how can you save? The “Mardi Gras Food and Beverage” card is a way to taste more and save more. Pay $65 for a card worth $75 for Mardi Gras food items. You might say “it’s only $10?” We’re saying “Hey! It’s $10!” A little savings can go a long way on your theme park vacation. Universal Orlando annual passholders have the option of saving more by purchasing an exclusive $150 card for only $120, a $30 savings.
What’s so great about the Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Food and Beverage card is that it doesn’t expire so you can save it for the following year or maybe 2-3 years from now. It can only be used for select food and beverage items throughout Universal Orlando Resort and not used online.
Most food items will cost anywhere from $5-$15 while alcoholic beverages range from $13-$17. Remember, the food booths sell “tasting size” items one waffle wouldn’t fill you up for lunch. The cards are available for purchase at various locations throughout the park during the event.
Related Post: Mardi Gras 2024 Menu
4. Tribute Store
I am probably the biggest fan of Universal events specifically when it comes to the Tribute Store! For those that aren’t familiar, the Universal Tribute Store is a themed retail pop-up for Universal events (Mardi Gras, Summer, Halloween Horror Nights, and Holidays). This is where you can find every piece of Universal Mardi Gras Merchandise your heart desires. Not only is it just a merchandise shop but it truly is an experience because of how much work Universal Creative puts into it.
It’s free to enter so make sure you stop in even if you just do some window shopping. In 2024, climb aboard the 9th-century riverboat that doubles as the Mardi Gras Tribute Store!
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3. Universal Mardi Gras Concerts 2024
If I told you that you could see Grammy award winners, have a whole theme park day riding world-class attractions, and enjoy a parade all with one Universal Orlando ticket, you probably wouldn’t believe me! It’s true! Each year, Universal Orlando holds a Mardi Gras concert on select nights featuring various popular artists. The Mardi Gras Concert Lineup 2024 is a great one featuring stars like DJ Khaled and Zedd.
Now, the concerts are only on 7 nights out of the whole event but if you plan it right, you can enjoy an awesome show! One year, we had a blast riding Rip Ride Rockit while the concert was going on. You could hear the music and see the whole crowd of people while you’re rocking out on the coaster.
TPT Tip from Krystal: Arrive early for these concerts. They will take place on the Music Plaza Stage (in front of Rip Ride Rockit) and the area will fill up! If you want, you could make sure to snag a spot for the parade in Minion Land or New York so you are already in the area for the concert.
2024 Universal Mardi Gras Concert Lineup
- 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
2. Float Riding
Have you ever imagined yourself atop a dazzling parade float in a theme park? Beyond the beautiful floats, the highlight of Universal Mardi Gras Parade is the thrill of catching beads! Shake what ya mamma gave ya and charm the float riders to toss some beads your way. And if that doesn’t quite match your taste, why not be the one adorning the crowd with beads?
At Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration, park enthusiasts have the opportunity to ride on a Mardi Gras float and play bead-tossing maestro during the lively parade! It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave an indelible mark on your memories.
How to Ride a Universal Mardi Gras Float?
Hop aboard the King Gator or Riverboat for the Mardi Gras Parade! There are 3 ways you could get the chance to ride a Universal’s Mardi Gras parade float.
- Join the Virtual Queue in the Park – you must be in Universal Studios Florida to join the virtual queue to have the chance to ride a parade float. Spots are limited so you must be on your game and act fast to snag one. I suggest being on Universal’s free WiFi as that’s typically when the app works best.
- Float and Dine Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Float Ride and Dine Experience is a guaranteed way to ride in the parade and enjoy a 3-course meal at select restaurants. The experience starts at $84.99 plus tax per person, but pricing varies depending on the date. This tends to sell out too so try to plan in advance.
- Universal Annual Passholder Float Riding – If you are a Universal Orlando Annual Passholder, you may reserve a spot on the Mardi Gras Parade Universal float for a select night. For Mardi Gras 2024, passholder reservations are sold out for the season. It’s still good to know for next year!
Regardless of your method for securing a coveted spot on a float, make your way to the Animal Actors Theater precisely one hour before the parade begins. It’s worth noting that the parade kick-off time varies each night, so plan accordingly. May the odds be ever in your favor!
TPT TIP from Krystal: Be aware of the Universal Mardi Gras parade time for the night of your visit. The start times vary and you don’t want to miss your chance to ride a float. Check the Universal Orlando app the day of your visit.
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1. No Extra Cost – FREE Universal Event
Our top reason to visit Universal Orlando Mardi Gras is because it is included in your park ticket! Unlike many other special events, Mardi Gras at Universal allows visitors to experience the lively festivities without the need for an additional ticket purchase. This means that guests can enjoy the lively parade, savor the authentic Cajun cuisine, and immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the event—all as part of their standard admission to Universal Studios Florida. This adds tremendous value to your visit, offering an exciting experience that integrates with the broader offerings of Universal Orlando.
We would be slighting you if we didn’t point out that while there are a lot of great reasons to visit Mardi Gras, it is a busy time of the year to visit the parks. Between February Break, Spring Breaks, and Easter – prices for tickets and hotels will be higher than usual.
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We hope this guide sprinkles a little extra pixie dust on your plans for Universal Orlando. Our insights come straight from the heart of the parks, where the magic happens every day. We’re thrilled to share our firsthand experiences and tips to help you create unforgettable moments!
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