Universal Mardi Gras begins February 3, and this year’s event will be the longest celebration ever with a total of 64 nights of celebration officially ending on April 7.
The nightly Mardi Gras parade is the next best thing to celebrating on Bourbon Street. This year’s parade is constellation themed featuring 12 parade floats designed by Kern Studios, who has made floats for Mardi Gras in New Orleans since 1947. Six new floats will debut this year, including Taurus, Virgo and Serpentarius. You’ll also be dazzled by stilt walkers, street performers, colorful krewes of dancers, and tons of confetti as you grab for beads from the sidewalks of the parade route.
If you’re watching with little ones, check out the Little Jesters’ viewing area in front of the Brown Derby Hat Shop. Guests can start marking their territory for an unobstructed view of the traveling celebration one hour before the parade begins.
Parade times vary on certain nights:
- February 3: 7:45 PM
- February 4 – 5: 6:45 PM
- February 6: 7:15 PM
- February 7 – 9: 6:45 PM
- February 10: 7:45 PM
- February 11 – 15: 6:45 PM
- February 16: 5:15 PM
- February 17 – 18: 7:45 PM
- February 19 – 23: 7:15 PM
- February 24: 7:45 PM
- February 25 – 28: 7:15 PM
- March 1 -2: 7:15 PM
- March 3 – 4: 7:45 PM
- March 5 – 9: 7:15 PM
- March 10 -31: 7:45 PM
- April 1 -7: 7:45 PM
Back this year on the Music Plaza Stage are the biggest names in country, pop, rock and R&B to put on an unbelievable show for Mardi Gras guests. Concerts begin at 8:30 PM on select weekend nights. The lineup
- Saturday, Feb 3 – Sean Paul: Best known for chart toppers like “Gimmie the Light”, “Get Busy”, “Rockabye”, and many more over the course of his 16-year career.
- Saturday, Feb 10 – Beach Boys: Led by Mike Love and BruceJohnston the band’s legacy continues with around 150 shows per year. The Beach Boys recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Good Vibrations”, which is one of the biggest rock and roll hits of all time.
- Saturday, Feb 17 – Kelsea Ballerini: The singer/songwriter’s certified gold debut album, The First Time, featured three #1 platinum hits including “Peter Pan” and “Dibs”. She is the only female artist in country music who has achieved this.
- Sunday, Feb 18 – Andy Grammer: Multi-platinum artist, with major hits including “Keep Your Head Up”, “Fine By Me”, and “Honey I’m Good”.
- Saturday, Feb 24 – Macklemore: With over 2 billion music video views, Macklemore is one of two rappers with a diamond certified single. His 2017 album Gemini was the first solo effort for the Seattle artist.
- Saturday, March 3 – 311: The Omaha natives, famous for their unique hybrid of rock, rap, reggae, and funk music, have had 10 consecutive Top 10 albums.
- Sunday, March 4 – Phillip Phillips: The 26 year old American Idol alum with an “earthy” rock sound is best known for songs like “Home” and “Raging Fire”.
- Saturday, March 10 – Jason Derulo:
- Sunday, March 11 – Fitz and the Tantrums: With well-known platinum singles like “Hand Clap”, “The Walker” and “Out of My League”, Fitz and the Tantrums quickly evolved from independent artists to hit makers
- Saturday, March 17 – Foreigner: Named one of the Top 40 best-selling music artists of all time by Business Insider in 2017, Foreigner is one of the most popular rock acts in the world with #1 hits like I Want to Know What Love Is”.
- Sunday, March 18 – Fifth Harmony: This multi platinum group, who got their start on X-Factor, has won many awards including American Music Awards, iHeartRadio Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and tons more. Their most recent album’s lead single “Down” feat. Gucci Mane was the group’s fastest rising single ever.
- Saturday, March 24 – Jessie J
- Sunday, March 25 – BUSH: Sold almost 20 million records in the U.S. and Canada, 18 consecutive Top 40 hits including “Comedown”, “Glycerine”, “Machinehead” and several more.
New Orleans takes over the streets of New York at Universal Orlando with the French Quarter Courtyard, opening at 4:00 pm each day. Dedicated to “N’awlins style Food & Spirits”, you’ll be able to dine on delicious Cajun favorites like spicy jumbalaya, shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice, and many more. Between the sweet smell of beignets in the air and the live performances from authentic Louisiana jazz, blues, and zydeco bands, it will be hard to remember that you’re at Universal and not Bourbon Street. The street performance schedule is as follows:
- February 3 – February 20: Free Agents Brass Band
- February 21 – March 6: Naughty Professor Brass Band
- March 7 – March 20: New Breed Brass Band
- March 21 – March 31: Young Pinstripe Brass Band
- April 1- April 7: Dirty Bourbon River Show
As if the festivities could get any more exciting, the entire Mardi Gras celebration is included in park admission. Get the party started by grabbing discount Universal Orlando tickets on tickets2you.com!