Trip Tip: Mardi Gras 2001 at Universal Studios


DIS Veteran
Aug 20, 1999
For the sixth year, Universal Studios Florida will have its annual Mardi Gras celebration. The celebration last for 22 nights, starting on February 16, 2001 and ending on March 17, 2001. Mardi Gras consists of a nightly parade, New Orleans cuisine, and musical acts.

The highlight of Mardi Gras is the parade. The parade begins at park closing. Stilt-walkers, performers, and even the Blues Brothers join fifteen brightly-decorated floats that wind around the theme park. Floats are themed after such characters as Roman gods and goddesses, E.T., and the Marvel superheroes. Cheer loudly and the float-riders will toss you beads and doubloons. Do not attempt indescent exposure like the Mardi Gras at New Orleans to get beads because security will escort you out of the park! Yell, scream, and raise your hands at the float riders and you might get a bead. Some people see beads as a status symbol. Some people have so many beads around their neck that they look like Mr. T! You can buy special beads in the gift shops.

A musical group performs every Friday and Saturday during Mardi Gras. Past performers were 38 Special, the Pointer Sisters, Journey, and the Steve Miller Band. The stage is set up in front of Mel’s Diner for the performances.

Although Mardi Gras celebrations are known for wild times and drinking, the one at Universal Studios Florida is like the one at New Orleans, minus the drunken debachery. Although alcohol is served and people are drinking, the crowd rarely gets out of control. Security usually escorts roudly guests out of the park.

The best part is that the Mardi Gras celebration is included with your regular day’s admission!

Mardi Gras tips:
1.) You can ride a float! Float rider tickets are offered to onsite hotel guests. Annual passholders have a chance to get float rider tickets if they call into the passholder hotline at a certain time. You can also wait in the standby area. People will be selected to be a float rider on a first come, first serve basis until all openings are filled. If you want to try for the standby line, be in line at least 90 minutes to 2 hours before park close. The standby line is by the bathrooms near the Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show theater.

2.) You can get a lot of beads if you avoid the crowds. Crowds are usually thin around the parade entrance and exit. The crowds are usually thickest near the Party Zone. Scout out your place wisely.


Barry Hom
The moderator formerly known as Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards
Wow!! Great info!! We'll be there March 10-16th. So we will definitely plan to take this in :)
Thank you so much!!!!
Barry, Thanks for the info. My wife and kids were able to ride the floats during the Horror nights and loved it. I read where you said they take resort guests first for Mardi Gras. In Feb., we'll be staying at the Hard Rock. Where do we go to see about getting the kids on the float again? To the park? or at the resort? we're also AP holders, so it's no problem to walk over to the park. Has the schedule on who will be performing for Feb. yet? One other thing, I read where we get front of the line access for staying at Hard Rock, last year for Portofino, I believe they gave it for up to 11am or noon. Is it true, they give front of the line ALL day for resort guests in Feb? Thanks again.
OK Barry, does this mean that the parade is not dark on Mondays and Tuesdays? I hope so
I am partially working on last year's information. Things can change this year.


Barry Hom
The moderator formerly known as Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards
Dad just hung up with Universal. It runs nightly from 2/16- 3/17
Nightly bands with top name entertainers saturday eve's only. All day festivities at Universal. He gave me a number for Mardi Gras Hotline

Thanks for the hotline #!

I hope that the word "nightly" means they are having the parade on Mon. and Tuesdays also.
Last week they told me NO mon and tuesdays, which meant less opportunities for the kids to be on the float.
When I called this morn to confirm FOTL, Lou, who likes to be called the "Godfather",seemed thrilled about one paticular Band during Mardi Gras. I begged but he wouldn't tell untill its definate. Ask for Lou, he's a Howl!!!


When I called the hotline number I only got a recorded message. No chance to actually talk to someone there.
Oops, I wasn't clear. I called 1-800-uescape, this morning. We were looking to verify times for FOTL, thats when I spoke to Lou.
Patti, will you be at USO in March? It sounds like it will be fun.



Patti, I called Universal and they gave me the number for future Mardi Gras updates.

Thanks Jessica, What had me really worried was Barry's message saying 22 nights, if you subtract all the Mondays and Tuesdays from the dates he listed it gave you 22 nights.


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