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What to Expect at Universal Mardi Gras 2013

Universal Mardi Gras 2013Time to break out the beads! Mardi Gras at Universal Studios officially kicked off Saturday night and runs through April 20 on select nights.

This annual event brings a family-friendly version of the New Orleans street party to Universal Studios with street performers and colorful stilt-walkers, Cajun cuisine, Big Easy performers and concerts from major recording artists.

Dates & Admission

Mardi Gras is held on Saturdays and select nights from February 9 through April 20. Check the crowd calendar for specific dates. This annual special event is included with regular theme park admission. Guests will find going through security much quicker if they have bags open and ready for inspection.

Mardi Gras Parade

The best part of Mardi Gras at Universal Studios for many families is the parade! This year’s theme is “Colorful Cultures Around the World,” with floats inspired by Day of the Dead, Chinese New Year and Elegance of India. The parade starts 45 minutes before the start of the headlining concert, which varies by night. Universal Studios’ rides and attractions close at the start of the parade.

Universal Mardi Gras Parade 2013There is a new parade route this year. It begins next to Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show theater in Hollywood and heads past Terminator 2: 3-D down to the Universal Studios Store, turning onto Plaza of the Stars and heading to New York. It makes another turn on Delancy Street, making it’s final turn at Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue.

Universal Mardi Gras 2013

Live Concerts

The concerts are a huge draw and are performed on the Universal Music Plaza Stage each night of the event. This year’s lineup draws from a variety of genres, offering a little something for everyone!

Mardi Gras 2013 Concert Lineup

Feb. 9 Lifehouse
Feb. 16 Steve Miller Band
Feb. 17 Boys Like Girls
Feb. 23 Trey Songz
March 2 Demi Lovato
March 9 Montgomery Gentry
March 15 Sean Kingston
March 16 Matchbox Twenty
March 22 Austin Mahone
March 23 Phillip Phillips
March 30 Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
April 6 Kool & The Gang
April 13 Pitbull
April 20 The All-American Rejects

French Quarter Food & Music

Universal Mardi Gras 2013Each evening of the event (after 4 p.m.) you’ll hear some of New Orleans’ most popular bands performing several sets of authentic blues, Zydeco and more in the French Quarter Courtyard. You’ll also be able to sample authentic Cajun food for a few extra bucks. The French Quarter Courtyard is the main hub of the Mardi Gras celebration and is located in the New York area of Universal Studios near Revenge of the Mummy.

French Quarter 2013 Concert Lineup

Feb. 9 John Lisi & Delta Funk!
Feb. 16 The Dirty Bourbon River Show
Feb. 17 The Dirty Bourbon River Show
Feb. 23 Colin Lake
March 2 Beth McKee
March 9 Gravy
March 15 Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers
March 16 Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers
March 22 Soul Project Nola
March 23 Soul Project Nola
March 30 Big Al & the Heavyweights
April 6 Mississippi Rail Company
April 13 The Rockin’ Jake Band
April 20 Daddy Mack Blues Band

Just For Kids

Your little ones can get their own private parade experience in the Little Jester’s Parade Viewing Areas located next to Terminator 2:3-D. These areas open one hour before the parade starts. This is an ideal parade-watching location for parents (or anyone else) who want to leave before the concert starts.

And don’t forget the KidZone Mardi Pardi Krewe, located in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, where kids can get lots of free beads and watch a live stage show starring popular characters such as Woody Woodpecker and Scooby Doo. (Show times are 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily.)

Universal CityWalk

The fun continues late into the night at Universal CityWalk! Guests 21 years and older get free admission to seven clubs and bars, including Pat O’Brien’s — CityWalk’s Mardi Gras headquarters — by showing their Universal Studios theme park tickets.  (Universal CityWalk is open every night until 2 a.m.)

Related: Universal Orlando Special Events for 2013

So as they say…Lessez Les Bon Temps Rouler! (or Let the Good Times Roll!)

*Show times and entertainment for the live concerts are subject to change.

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