Florida Guide > Other Activities
Mardi Gras comes to Orlando!
Having not been to Universal Studios and IOA for a few years, we were pleased and surprised to find that on a visit in April, your ticket into Universal (if used on a Saturday) has the added bonus, of the Mardi Gras celebrations. Not being too sure what to expect when we saw the advertisements, we decided we would go along on a Saturday in April to see what it was all about!
On first impression, during the day time , to be honest, there is little difference to be noticed. But when we got to a place called French Quarter Courtyard which was located between Grammercy Park and Monsters Cafe, we found that there were a number of food stalls with authentic New Orleans cuisine and music playing in the background, which was laid on by musicians, it was a real party atmosphere helped by the warm evening sunshine, it was like something from the Big Easy it's self!!
After tasting some of the cuisine, not for all members of my group, but I do like spicy food, so I was quite enjoying the scene set already. We knew that later that evening, after the Mardi Gras parade , they had Kool and The Gang showcasing in a side area, for free!! Being of a certain age, I was quite looking forward to seeing this band later on in the evening!!
After a few attractions were enjoyed we managed to find a location to watch the parade, which I knew little about really, but we soon met some "friends" and could not help but be carried away by the whole buzz. This was something that I felt was clearly aimed at the older children, not really much to offer for the under 8 year olds in my opinion. Once the parade started, then the beads began to fly off the floats. It was, I have to say, the craziest fun time!! My daughter (13) and even my husband, were calling out and rushing around to catch the beads thrown off the floats, along with plenty of other revellers!!
My only observation, I couldn't tell you much about the colourful floats, we were all too busy trying to catch and collect the beads ( not as easy as it sounds!). As the parade moved on, with a suitable amount of beads collected, we roamed into the area blocked off for the Kool and the Gang, to enjoy our free concert! I have to say, I thought it was excellent, my daughter was slightly less impressed (not her sort of music!), but all in all, it was a very different experience, and I know we will go again in 2007!! Even if it is to see the floats properly next time!! Remember, not really for the very young, there was quite alot of young adults soaking up the atmosphere and getting ready to continue the party out on City Walk too!!!
I was worn out from bead collecting, so back to the villa for me on this occasion!! Great fun!!
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