Experience the authentic tunes of Bourbon Street, the delicious food and drinks of New Orleans, massive concerts and the wildest parade of the year during Florida's biggest party! Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras kicks off February 9th and will run every day through April 9th in 2019. The Big Easy is headed to Universal Orlando, so here are 5 reasons to book your Mardi Gras trip today.

The Parade
There's no other parade like the Universal Orlando Mardi Gras parade! Line the streets of Universal Studios Florida to catch beads by the handful as beautiful floats and phenomenal dancers pass by. There will be all-new floats during the event, created once again by the incredibly talented Kern Studios. They have been developing authentic Mardi Gras floats for New Orleans for over 60 years! The celebration culminates with showers of colorful confetti that rain down during this wild spectacle. A special Jester's Viewing Area located in Hollywood near the Brown Derby Hat Shop is available for small children so they can have an unobstructed view of the parade.

Free Concerts
On select nights and weekends during the event, you can catch a free concert at the Universal Music Plaza Stage located inside the park. Top musical artists from all genres of music will perform during the event. Admission to the concerts is completely free with your park admission, but the seating area is limited and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so arrive to the show early to stake out your spot! Enjoy mouthwatering New Orleans treats like beignets while you wait for the show to begin.

New Orleans Food
One of the best parts of Mardi Gras has got to be the authentic style “N'awlins” food. Head over the French Quarter Courtyard set up in the New York area of the park for some of the best-tasting food this side of Bourbon Street. Sample sizzling staples like spicy jambalaya, shrimp gumbo and crawfish étouffée, all served atop a heaping helping of red beans and rice. Or, try some of the new favorites like Voodoo Chicken Tenders, Cajun-Stuffed Pockets or the tantalizing Twister Tater, which is a whole potato that's spiral sliced, stuck on a stick and deep fried. Wash it all down with a refreshing frozen drink or specialty cocktail, available in alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.

Live Entertainment
Feet don't fail me now! Before the parade starts at nightfall, you can party in the streets during the day. Dance to the sweet sounds that come straight from the Bayou as bands from New Orleans perform at the French Quarter Courtyard. Get up and dance with colorful characters and lively street performers while Louisiana jazz, blues and zydeco bands perform live all afternoon. The entertainers roaming the park, dressed in brilliant outfits and crazy masquerade masks, are always ready to pose for a photo.

The Beads
It wouldn't be Mardi Gras without the beads! Of course, you can catch beads from all of the amazing dancers and helpful volunteers that will be throwing them during the parade. You can also get beads and special colorful doubloons (collectible coins) by asking some of the stilt walkers and costumed performers that wander the park during the day for them. However, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, the merchandise locations at the French Quarter Courtyard offer giant, over-sized beads and fun light-up necklaces that will help you shine bright all night!

Universal's Mardi Gras runs from Feb. 9th to April 4th, 2019.