- Insider’s guide to Mardi Gras 2021’s exclusive food and drinks
- Insider’s guide to Mardi Gras 2021’s parade
Universal’s Mardi Gras Parade isn’t happening for the 2021 season at Universal Orlando Resort, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its ensuing social-distancing guidelines. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have the ability to see all of the elaborate, beautiful floats!
Universal has come up with a replacement idea that still allows a little of that parade itch to be scratched while simultaneously ensuring that all safety modifications are being followed.
Mardi Gras 2021 – parade floats overview
When Universal was forced to suspend its Holiday Parade last Christmas, the company struck upon a solution to fill that experiential void: the Holiday Experience Featuring Macy’s Balloons, which took several of the procession’s floats, inserted them into a big soundstage (along with the occasional character or performer – oh, and Santa Claus himself, of course), and then let guests walk through it, admiring everything up-close and taking copious amounts of photos.
The strategy here for Mardi Gras is similar in concept but different in execution. Rather than setting up all the floats in a building, the company has scattered them all throughout the entirety of Universal Studios Florida, allowing for a greater quantity of the parade structures while increasing the distance between them. What’s more, each has its own entertainer or two, wearing a complementary costume and tossing out beads to the guests gathered around (don’t worry – there are social-distance markers set up around the parade structures). And, finally, there are smatterings of Mardi Gras stilt walkers, brass-band musicians, and other characters that are stationed strategically throughout the park, including some that are able to wander hither and thither in the general areas of some floats – meaning that there is still a festive atmosphere that undergirds the whole experience.
Mardi Gras 2021 – parade float locations
There are seven parade floats stretched out throughout the theme park, with some being returning favorites and others themed to a fleet of pirate ships. Here’s where you can find them, but please note – Universal has shown a tendency to regularly move them around the park, sometimes on a pretty consistent basis:
6. King Gator – in Hollywood, in front of the radio broadcast center
Mardi Gras 2021 – where’s the best spot to check a parade float out?
One of the best places that we’ve discovered thus far is the Music Plaza Stage area, which has two floats stationed there, along with a plethora of tables (for resting and eating all that delicious Mardi Gras food) and a bunch of festive lighting at nighttime.