Mardi Gras is underway at Universal Studios Orlando! The annual event is included with regular park admission and on select nights guests can experience a family-friendly version of Mardi Gras featuring street entertainers, authentic Cajun cuisine, New Orleans style music, a fun-filled parade and big name concerts. To help you make the most of your Universal Mardi Gras experience, here are some helpful hints. Mardi Gras Parade Universal’s festive Mardi Gras parade features colorful and dazzling floats and lots of costumed street entertainers, dancers and stilt-walkers. The 25-minute long parade begins approximately 45 minutes before the scheduled concert time. Grab a good spot along the parade route and get ready to catch your share of Mardi Gras beads and doubloons as they are tossed from the floats. When looking for those beads, it’s helpful to yell out, “throw me something, mister!Parade Start Times: 7:45 pm – March 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, April 5, 12, 19 st patricks day downtown disney celebration 8:15 PM – May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Children’s Viewing Area A separate viewing area for children is available in the Little Jester’s Parade Viewing Area located next to the Terminator 2: 3-D attraction. You may access the area approximately one-hour before the parade starts. Concerts Mardi Gras at Universal Studios means music and that means concerts from high profile bands and entertainers. Performances at the Music Plaza Stage (located between Dispicable Me Minion Mayhem and Twister attractions) offer an exceptional opportunity to see a top band with no opening act and no special ticket. The concerts are included with your regular theme park admission. You can enjoy both the parade and the concert, but to do so, you might want to catch the parade from the parade route closest to the stage. That way you can easily move from the parade route to the stage area. Of course, if you care more about the band, feel free to get to the stage area early and hang out in your preferred spot near the stage. Show up early enough and you can be in the front row. 720x90_concerts_universal Rides Universal’s rides and attractions will close at the start of the parade. Food The Mardi Gras food is delicious and the French Quarter Courtyard opens at 4 pm, ready to serve up authentic New Orleans style favorites like spicy jambalaya, grilled Andouille sausage, shrimp gumbo, red beans & rice, beignets and po’ boy sandwiches. The courtyard, located in the New York area of Universal Studios near Battery Park, also features music from bands straight out of New Orleans such as Remedy Krewe, Soul Project, Mississippi Rail Company, Cha Wa, Dirty Bourbon River Show and more. So sit back and experience the atmosphere before the parade and concert begin. After-Party On Mardi Gras event nights, you can use your Universal Studios theme park ticket to skip the cover charges at Pat O’Brien’s and all the other rocking night clubs at Universal CityWalk. Pat O’Brien’s is an exact replica of the famous New Orleans club where you can celebrate Mardi Gras every day of the year! CityWalk is open nightly til 2:00 am.  Nightclub patrons must be 21 or older for admission.