Mardi Gras – Universal Orlando

Well the Mardi Gras season is well underway at Universal Orlando and we’ve already seen bands like KC & The Sunshine Band, Hear, Kool & The Gang, Blondie, Dierks Bentley and Akon take the stage and tonight sees the great Aretha Franklin blasting out the sounds. It promises to be a fabulous evening!

One of the centerpieces of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration is the parade. The Krewe of Dionysus Parade (picture above) rolls around 8:00pm or 9:00pm depending on weather and the date.

The theme for 2010’s parade is “15 Years of Beads, Bands, and Good Times.” The traditional Mardi Gras floats, which come directly from New Orleans, are the Riverboat, the King Gator, the Jester, the King & Queen float, the Boeuf Gras (the BIG beef), the title float (which lets you know the name of the krewe and the theme of the parade) and the Universal float.  This year’s parade brings the debut of three new floats: A music float, a food float, and a New Orleans float.

The floats are great, but the throws are limited to standard size beads and doubloons. If you want the really nice big, long beads, you will need to purchase them at one of the several gift shops located throughout the park.

If you find yourself wanting to continue the party, at the end of the night, head over to Universal’s CityWalk and continue your Mardi Gras festivities at Pat O’Brien’s.  It is a replica of the original Pat O’Brien’s located in New Orleans where you can enjoy a hurricane (a New Orleans tradition) on the patio or sing along in the Piano Bar.  At this location, it is Mardi Gras 365 days a year!

The best part about this whole Mardi Gras celebration is that it is free!! As long as you have admission to Universal Studios, you can participate in the festivities. Please keep in mind that the live concerts are held on Saturday nights. Go! You will have an awesome time.

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