Mardi Gras Universal Help

Hey everyone,

After not visiting the parks in two years, I’ve really got the itch to go back! Due to work, I was looking at times I could possibly go, and it would only be for a few days TH-Sun. However, upon looking at the dates, I’ve found out that Rock the Universe and Mardi Gras are on those days (The last weekend in January, or first weekend in February. Since I’ve never gone during this time, does it make a difference in what to expect at Universal? Is one weekend better than the other? Are these events after park close, or during the regular hours?

What I mean is, in the winter, it was decked out in decor and music, but other than that, it was the same as when I went in spring. I never went in fall because of HHN, and Diagon Alley being closed before I can go see it at nighttime. For the RtU or MG, what are things I should know before committing? Crowd wise, is one better than the other?

Can anyone who experienced any of these events provide feedback?

I did not ever experience Rock the Universe, but historically late January/first week of February are a great time to visit. Usually not big differences between the two weekends, even when RtU was held. It’s hard to predict exactly which is best, but I may lean toward February. The Mardi Gras celebration is months long, so really only effects things when combined with another holiday. I can say, I have visited this time of year, and the weather can be nearly perfect.

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I went during the last two and really enjoyed it. I haven’t been to Disney but it sounds like one of the Festivals at Epcot. Every country that celebrates Mardi Gras has snack booths. We bought a Mardi Gras snack lanyard that got 15 snacks for $60, so a real bargain. Two years ago they had a Mardi Gras parade, this year they left the floats out in the walkways and you could walk up and admire them. Two years ago the booths were in a central location. This year they were scattered around. We didn’t do any of the concerts, so I can’t comment on that. I swore off rock concerts decades ago after my ears rang for a week+ after Living Color. Weather was nice at that time.

Wearing a HP robe was the perfect layering garment. Early and late, when it was cold you could put on the hood and wrap it around yourself and keep the wind off. Middle of the day you could leave it flapping open.

That’s why I love this forum, everyone is so nice. I never attend after hour parties or anything, and wasn’t sure if these events have any impact anything in the daytime other than hours or anything.

I know last year due to COVID, they had a lot of the Mardi Gras food and entertainment during the day because they didn’t do (if I’m correct) the after hours. In normal years did they do that as well as the after hours, or did they keep them separate?

Also, when we went in December, the weather was cool enough to wear my HP sweater at night, but also warm enough to go swimming if we wanted to. Is that the case in February?

I think the food booths will probably be open all day in 2022 (maybe after 11am?) but they were only open at 4pm before Covid. We enjoyed sampling all the foods and drinks and got great use out of the tasting lanyard. I wouldn’t say that the Mardi Gras stuff adds big crowds or daytime headaches unless its the crowd waiting for the parade which I hear is back on this year. It’s a fun event.

The Mardi Gras concerts are on weekend nights on the Universal side. I’ve not gone to any because we have had the seasonal AP and are blocked out. But I think the crowds will be at the concert area and the rest of the park should have shorter waits.

Swimming: We’ve gone the last week of February a few times. Some days its plenty warm enough to swim and some not. We generally would start the day in shorts and sweatshirts/jackets but would not need them once the day warmed up. I’d say Feb (after mid month) has warmer temps than December but you really never know. We always had good luck and it was definitely warmer than winter in the Northeast US!

Most days in late January or early February, yes it’s warm enough to swim in the afternoon and evening at the resort. But there is usually a wide swing in temperatures that time of year. If you take one week for instance, most days can be 70’s, 1 or 2 days only 60’s, and 1 or 2 days in the 80’s.

And if is works out or your schedule is flexible, you can even do a Waterpark on one of those warmer days.

The Fearless River at Volcano Bay is very warm. Mid 80’s.

The waterpark water is also heated which makes it fun, even when the weather is a bit chilly. And in winter, the water park is usually pretty empty, and everything is a ride now.
Several times, I’ve ridden the aqua coaster 5 times in a row. Sometimes I could stay in the boat, and other times I only had to go to the platform behind the one or two other groups waiting to ride.

Mardi Gras is during the day and included with park admission.

I think the reason was to increase the dining capacity because of social distancing. It had been pretty grim post-lockdown but pre-Mardi Gras. I know that is why they kept the booths around after Mardi Gras.

Oh, that makes a lot of sense!

I’m kind of leaning towards possibly January, but still keeping options open for February.

Almost every time I’ve gone, I thought about getting the seasonal pass, but never have. The last time I went it was December, and there was no scheduled concert, but when I went to the desk to buy it, the lady told me that if I did, I wouldn’t be able to enter US because an unplanned concert popped up for that day. Then, I went on the last day to upgrade it in the park, and was told that I’d have to leave the park for the same thing.

Do the after hours events mentioned in the thread count as “concert days”?