Family Mardi Gras Fun…in Orlando?

by Melanie Edwards on March 18, 2012 · 4 comments

in Orlando/Central Florida Events & Attractions

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Mardi Gras Universal Orlando Resort, Central Florida

Last weekend, my family and I had the pleasure of enjoying the Mardi Gras fun at Universal Studios in Orlando. We’ve never actually been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and though I’m sure the energy and vibe is significantly different, Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort was pretty fun.

As you may know if you’re a long-time reader, our family is from the Caribbean, with my husband being from Trinidad and I from Puerto Rico. Both islands have their own carnivals and festivals, full of parades, music, dancing, and fun, much like New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. So, the Mardi Gras festival was full of things we already enjoy.

As guests of Universal Orlando, we were able to see the Mardi Gras parade, up close. My daughter caught an insane amount of beads and even her abuela got into the spirit and went home with a nice collection herself. We also saw the KidZone Mardi Pardi Krewe, located in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, where Curious George, Woody and Winnie Woodpecker, Scooby Doo, and other characters put on a show for the kids. This was actually where the bead catching fun began, since they also throw beads to the kids.

King Cake at Universal Orlando's Mardi GrasA carnival or festival isn’t complete without food, so of course, we were able to sample New Orleans style Cajun food. Normally, this food is sold throughout the French Quarter Courtyard, with traditional foods such as jambalaya, gumbo, red beans & rice, and beignets available for purchase. As part of our tour, we were treated to a wonderful private dinner to enjoy the foods offered during Mardi Gras, including some king cake!

Our evening ended with a live concert by Big Time Rush. To be honest, my family and I only sort of knew who they were, but we had never heard their songs. Baby girl is only six years old, so she hasn’t quite hit that stage of being a boy-band fan. However, she is a party-girl at heart, much like her mami, so she really enjoyed the concert. Despite being exhausted since it was already 9 pm (past her normal bedtime), she screamed like a true fan, danced and jumped around to each song.

You can still catch the Mardi Gras fun as there are quite a few weekends left before the festival ends this year. The full concert line-up shows the upcoming performing artists, with all the concerts being included with park admission.

Have you ever been to Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras or even Mardi Gras in New Orleans? What’s your favorite part?

Disclosure: My family and I were provided a complimentary 1-day visit to Universal Orlando to experience Mardi Gras. No compensation received.

Photos courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda Dufau March 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Our first time actually participating in Mardi Gras at Universal was last weekend. We were attempting to leave the park, but the parade was coming back around into the Hollywood section, and it was rather difficult to get through the crowd. As we tried, some beads hit my big boy in the upper cheek, near his eye. As they say, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” and after making sure he was okay, we did. The boys loved trying to catch all the beads being thrown into the crowd. Even my nephew and niece got in on the action.

I’ve never been to NOLA, but of course I know that the original Mardi Gras is a tad bit different ;-).

Sorry we missed each other. Will definitely give you a head’s up next time we’re up there.


modernmami March 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Those beads hurt, don’t they!? LOL It’s hard not to get into the spirit of catching beads. So sad we didn’t catch each other too, but glad you had fun!


Jen March 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm

It was good to see you again! We had a blast too!


modernmami March 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

Lovely to see you again! Sorry your girl didn’t like the Simpsons, but I’m sure she loved the parade! 🙂


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