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.
A 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