Say Mardi Gras and most people have images of wild parties in New Orleans. But the celebrations also take place in other areas along the Gulf Coast states, including Florida. One of the most popular is the Universal Orlando Mardi Gras, which runs several weeks and is much more family friendly.
This year, the theme park’s Mardi Gras runs every Saturday (and the occasional Friday and Sunday) from February 11 through April 14. The party starts around dusk, with New Orleans style bands and a parade that spans from one end of the Universal Studios park to the other. And at this Mardi Gras the only thing you need to show to get a strand of beads is an outstretched hand.
Following the parade, head on over to the Music Plaza Stage for a show by some of biggest names in music. Each week features a different headliner and here is the list of the ones set to perform for 2012:
- Feb. 11 – The B-52′s
- Feb. 18 – Kelly Clarkson
- Feb. 19 – Boyz II Men
- Feb. 25 – Diana Ross
- March 3 – TBA
- March 10 – Big Time Rush
- March 16 – J Cole
- March 17 – Jill Scott
- March 23 – Hot Chelle Rae
- March 24 – B.o.B.
- March 30 – Plain White T’s
- March 31 – Prince Royce
- April 7 – Cyndi Lauper
- April 14 – KC & The Sunshine Band
Admission is included in regular park admission for the day, and there is also an “After 5″ discounted pass for those who just want to do Mardi Gras (though if you want to do any of the rides, you really do get a better deal paying for the whole day and doing the rides during the day and the Mardi Gras celebrations at night).
Hold on to those tickets because after Mardi Gras winds down and the park closes, the tickets serve as a CityWalk Party Pass, gaining you free admission to all of the clubs.
[Image courtesy of Universal Orlando]