On February 6, Universal Orlando Resort will kick off its 15th year of Mardi Gras – the biggest and most authentic Mardi Gras celebration outside of New Orleans. Guests will experience the spirit of Bourbon St. in the heart of Universal Studios, with festivities including live concerts by artists like Flo Rida, Sheryl Crow and Chicago, authentic Cajun cuisine, a spectacular parade and tons of beads.
With a combined total of more than half a billion records sold worldwide, this year’s Mardi Gras lineup features an eclectic mix of 13 of the biggest names in music. From hip-hop to pop, country to rock, and R&B to disco, there will be something for everyone. Along with Flo Rida, Sheryl Crow and Chicago, Mardi Gras guests will enjoy live performances by headliners like “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, country sensation Dierks Bentley, hip-hop artist Akon, multi-platinum selling rock band 3 Doors Down and the No. 1 selling American band of all time, Beach Boys.
In addition to seeing top-name talent perform on the main stage, guests can also visit Universal’s very own “French Quarter” – a replica of the New Orleans’ famed district – and groove to the authentic bayou sounds of bands directly from New Orleans.
To commemorate this special year, guests will enjoy a heritage-themed Mardi Gras parade featuring new colorful renditions of floats from past year’s events. Universal worked with New Orleans-based Blaine Kern Artists, Inc. to incorporate new elements into some of the most memorable floats in the event’s history. The twelve vibrant floats will cruise the streets of Universal Studios during the festivities, filled with riders tossing beads by the handful to excited park guests.
Guests will also enjoy the aroma and taste of authentic Cajun cuisine – such as jambalaya, gumbo, beignets and king cake – along with hundreds of costumed characters and stilt walkers dancing and mingling in the streets. Party-goers will also enjoy Universal Studios’ most popular attractions, including the all-new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – a radically-innovative roller coaster that combines hit music, first-ever maneuvers and highly-sophisticated audio and video for a one-of-a-kind ride experience.
* Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is the biggest and most authentic celebration outside of The Big Easy, featuring hundreds of costumed characters, tons of souvenir beads, Cajun cuisine and an elaborate parade featuring floats designed by Blaine Kern Artists, Inc – the same company that designs floats for the New Orleans parade.
* Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2010 Mardi Gras celebration kicks off on February 6 and runs every Saturday night through April 17, with additional dates on Sunday, February 14 and Friday, April 9.
* Mardi Gras is included in admission to Universal Studios.
* More information is available at http://www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.
MARDI GRAS TALENT LINEUP
Saturday, February 6 KC and the Sunshine Band
Saturday, February 13 Heart
Sunday, February 14 Kool & the Gang
Saturday, February 20 Blondie
Saturday, February 27 Dierks Bentley
Saturday, March 6 Akon
Saturday, March 13 Aretha Franklin
Saturday, March 20 Miranda Lambert
Saturday, March 27 3 Doors Down
Saturday, April 3 Beach Boys
Friday, April 9 Sheryl Crow
Saturday, April 10 Flo Rida
Saturday, April 17 Chicago
FLORIDA RESIDENT MARDI GRAS OFFERS
– Save $25 on Universal Orlando Annual Passes
• For a limited time, save $25 on a Power, Premier or Preferred annual pass and enjoy an entire year of thrills:
• Power Pass – $114.99 after savings
• Preferred Pass – $194.99 after savings
• Premier Pass – $264.99 after savings
• Must be purchased by April 18, 2010 with specially-marked Coca-Cola and Wendy’s products
• Visit Universal Orlando’s website (www.universalorlando.com) for full details and the benefits of each annual pass
– Florida Resident Mardi Gras Getaway ~ Starts at $79 per person, per night
• 2-night accommodations at a hotel near Universal
• 2-day/2-park ticket to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
• Early park admission to select attractions in Islands of Adventure
• Complimentary transportation to Universal Orlando Resort
• Upgrade to an on-site hotel for as low as $147 per person per night and receive complimentary Universal Express access to rides and attractions; and a reserved Mardi Gras parade viewing area at the event
– Mardi Gras After-5 Ticket ~ $49.99 plus tax
• Admission to Universal Studios after 5 p.m. on any one Mardi Gras event date