Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras Celebration

Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort 5
If you’ve ever wanted to experience Mardi Gras with the family Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras Celebration is your “must-see” destination. Last week, I was invited by Universal Orlando Resort to experience this incredible event first hand. It was authentic, family friendly, and not to be missed! Wanna know the best part? The Mardi Gras concerts, parade and French Quarter food & music are all included with your admission or annual pass.

Can’t make it Mardi Gras weekend? That’s OK! This celebration keeps going for several weeks. In fact, there is still time to catch it THIS year! All the concerts, parade, food and fun are happening in the park through April 18th.  Here’s some of what you can expect to see during your visit:

Street Performers

Mardi Gras Street Performers

 Authentic Music and Foods

Over in the French Courtyard, you’ll find sizzlin’ smells and sounds to delight your ears and fill your tummy. Head over to choose from a variety of Cajun and Creole foods. While you are eating, enjoy authentic zydeco bands straight from New Orleans. Our group enjoyed a delicious meal of gumbo, jambalaya, andouille sausage, and beignets.

Mardi Gras food
Mardi Gras Music

Experience a seriously IMPRESSIVE Mardi Gras Parade

What is Mardi Gras without a parade?! Of course there will be a parade!  This year the Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Parade features 13 exquisitely detailed floats.  These floats were engineered by Blaine Kern Artists, the same company that has been hand-crafting floats for the iconic New Orleans celebration since 1947. Following the parade floats are performers, dancers, glittered, stilt walkers all dressed in colorful costumes. As a guest experiencing the parade you will have the opportunity to catch beads tossed by the handfuls from the floats along the extensive parade route.  During my visit, our group had the unique opportunity to costume up and toss beads from the King and Queen float.

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08_Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort

21_Throw Me Somthing Mister

14_King Gator Float, Mardi Gras at UOR

Live Concerts

In addition to the wonderful Zydeco street musicians from the Big Easy, there are also large-scale concerts held on site after each parade event. Universal Orlando Resort has an all-star concert line up sure to impress. Some names include Jessie J, Kelly Clarkson, Trey Songz, and Trace Adkins.  MKTO was the featured group during our visit and were ever in for a surprise!  Prior to our ride in the parade, the guys from MKTO treated us like the VIP’s by sneaking up and joining a group picture and talking with us individually. They even agreed to take a selfie with me.

MKTO Mardi Gras

MKTO selfie

After we quickly exited our float and de-costumed, we booked it over to the stage where our new friends MKTO were performing to enjoy their show that was already full of excitement and great energy!

MKTO 2

It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. I hope you have the opportunity to visit Universal Orlando Resort to have a Mardi Gras experience of your own. For more information on accommodations, park tickets, and other FAQ’s visit the Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras website here.

Disclosure: my trip experience, accommodations, and dining experiences were all provided by Universal Orlando Resort as part of a sponsored trip. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

 

 

 

The Top 3 Best Travel Websites to Search When Flying

top 3 travel websites
Remember that one time you suddenly realized you had neglected to buy airfare for two of your six family members for THE family vacation…..Annnnnnd there was say, only about a week and a half until said family vacation….Yeah, that was today. Two of our family members were about to experience their own version of Home Alone.

home alone
As you can imagine, I spent the majority of my morning matching up flight times and prices. It turns out that even in a panic, I am still extremely  budget conscious.  My frantic airline research was simplified by a few  travel search engine sites that you simplymust to know about! I’ve included my top 3 favorites for you in case you ever need a last-minute flight. Keep in mind, these are great for planning ahead too. 😉

The Top 3 Best Travel Websites to Search When Flying

Airfarewatchdog: airfarewatchdog.com This is one site I check weekly, whether I have a trip on the horizon or not.  This site will allow you to search every low fare leaving a selected city that particular day. That’s a great feature if you are itching to get out-of-town with no particular destination in mind or maybe you are up for a little weekend getaway. They will also send you an alert if a certain flight you are looking for goes on sale.

Skyscanner : www.skyscanner.com Skyscanner is a travel search engine that searches every airline and travel deal site charging no search or booking fees to you. Once you’ve found your chosen flights, hotel or car on Skyscanner, you are taken directly to the website of the travel provider to make your booking and pay directly with them. I found it pulled the lowest rate of any search engine every time.

ITA software by Google:  matrix.itasoftware.com ITA Software is a travel industry software division of Google. ITA’s airfare search and pricing system is now used by travel companies such as Orbitz, Bing Travel, Kayak.com, CheapTickets, and airlines such as American, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.

Using these sites, I was able to find and book our last two remaining flights at the lowest rate of the day. In fact, they were even lower than the original flights booked.  In my defense, I hadn’t completely forgotten about this trip. We have all been looking forward to it for a while but some of the flights had to be booked by an agent.  I had just been waiting to find that “perfect deal” for the others. I may have just cut it too close to the deadline this time.

Thanks to these great sites, I feel confident in the price I paid and all the Chases will get to enjoy the beach together. Stay tuned for more awesome travel tips, reviews, and deals over the next few weeks. It’s a big season of travel for the Chases!

Where are you traveling this year?