Tips From The Inside: Get The Most From Your Trip To Universal Studios Mardi Gras
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Okay, so here’s the skinny. In order to get the most out of your trip to the grand celebration that is Universal Studios Mardi Gras, it all boils down to timing.
Yep. That’s it. “Right place at the right time” kind of timing.
With that said, I’ve put together a few ideas to help you in your quest to enjoy as many of the sights, sounds and tastes that Mardi Gras has to offer.
First things first: Get there EARLY. I’m talking waaaaaaaaay earlier than your think. If there is a band/group/singer that you have been dying to see for years and this is your chance, than chances are there are A LOT of people who also feel the same way.
Works like this: if the concert starts at eightish, you had better hit the entrance to Citywalk NO LATER than noon. “NOON?!?!?!” you say, certain that I have lost my mind.
Yes, and remembering that timing is everything with this event, it breaks down as such:
12:10-2:10 p.m.: Sitting down on the porch (only tourists sit inside) at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville for some excellent eats. And a boat drink or two, of course. You will undoubtedly get into some lively conversations with your server, your tablemates and anyone else within earshot re: your band while enjoying the breeze, the palm trees, and all of the passer-bys.
2:10 p.m. and 30 seconds: Go the bathroom before leaving the restaurant. Remember, timing is everything!
2:15-5:15 pm: Head into Universal Studios Florida, and take in a ride or two. (We always stop at the candy store in the front of Universal Studios because my wife has a sweet-tooth.) I’m sure you’ll want to make your way around to the backside of the park to see how The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley expansion is coming along. (OPENING THIS SUMMER I’M SO EXCITED!!!)
5:15-6:00 p.m.: Now that you have been able to enjoy the park at a leisurely pace, it’s time to start enjoying all of the pieces and parts of Mardi Gras itself.
Head to New York. All of the characters that will be taking part in the Parade later will be there to take pictures and talk with you. This is your opportunity to look at the amazing costumes and beautiful people that the Entertainment Team has worked so hard to present.
Side note: Entertainment begins the process of designing a Mardi Gras event ONE YEAR before you see it.
6:00 p.m.: The French Quarter awaits!!! You’ve worked up an appetite from all of that walking and picture taking; now is your opportunity to stock up on authentic New Orleans cuisine. I recommend the gumbo, the jambalaya, king cake, the andouille sausage and peppers and the beignets. EAT UP!
You have time to sample and taste one of the things that sets this event a part from all of the other fantastic Marquee events Universal brings you throughout the year: THE FOOD!!!!
6:58 p.m. and 30 seconds: Back to the bathroom. I hate to sound like your mother, but you REALLY don’t want to miss the parade/your band because you didn’t heed my advice, do you? Timing is everything!!
For the line savvy, there is a lesser known restroom tucked away, across the alley, from Louie’s pizza. Don’t tell anyone I told you!
7:00 p.m.: Since you’ve been in the New York area and have just made your way out of the French Quarter, you are in the perfect place to watch the parade.
If you sit alongside Gramercy Park in New York, you will have the perfect vantage point to watch all of the amazing floats and catch loads of beads. You will also be very close to the Music Plaza Stage and are sure to get a great view of your band.
Side note #2: Senior Scenic Designer Curtis Hopkins designed the major floats for this year’s parade. He is one talented man, even if he is a Bronco’s fan. Go Seahawks!
Immediately following the concert: Head back to Citywalk for a nightcap and the chance to relive all of the moments that made this the best concert ever/debate with your friends just who is the bigger fan.
Remember that Citywalk closes at 2:00 a.m. local time, and that timing is everything. Let the good times roll!