After dealing with Bill drama the last few days, a girl deserves to treat herself to a fun day out.
Universal Orlando has a Mardi Gras event every year, full of concerts by well known bands, street performers, food kiosks, and the headline of the night, the big parade with real floats straight from the streets of New Orleans.
The parade allows for participants to ride the floats, first the annual passholders and a few random hotel guests, then those who decide to wait in stand by, and sometimes, manager picked families as a random “magical moment”
I just so happened to do the stand by line. I waited in front of Barney’s Backyard Theater for about an hour and a half amungst a crowd of people hoping for their chance to ride the float.
I got in.
I was assigned to a float called the Garden Sprite, a float themed around forest fairies, mushrooms, and lots of glittery flowers. She is one of six new floats that made their debut this year in the park, a theme revolving around mythology and fantasy stories. A co-worker a few days ago told me more about the history of Mardi Gras and the floats and mentioned that sometimes, there’s an underlying theme surrounding the floats that are in the parade. It just so happened that Universal has it as a fantasy theme this year.
The float surrounding us each had their own special effect, whether it be shooting fire, confetti, or a smog effect. Our little sprite just so happen to shoot confetti, and lots of it.
And of course, riding a Mardi Gras float wouldn’t be complete without beads, and tons of them. For 30 minutes, guests on the float had to toss an almost endless supply of beads to the masses…
…while also grabbing some for yourself.
Sometimes, doing something as spontaneous as riding a float can really change your outlook on life. Needless to say, it’s a whole different experience being on the float then walking in front of it like I often do as an escort. Of all the things I ever did at Universal from the guest and team member perspective, this happens to be one of my favorites.
The event runs until March 25th with parades happening daily. If you want to be part of the action, hang out at the orange benches outside the Barney Theater about 2 hours before parade step off. 3 hours if it’s a concert night.