Theme Park Insider

News update: Universal Mardi Gras; free Disney meet and greets

September 29, 2016, 9:23 PM · Let's catch up with the latest news from the Orlando-area theme parks.

Universal Orlando is changing its annual Mardi Gras celebration. In years past, the park has offered bead-chucking parades and speciality food and drink stations in conjunction with more than a dozen concerts that started during the actual Mardi Gras season but then continued well into Lent and often even past Easter. But for 2017, Universal is expanding and contracting the event, at the same time.

Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras will run for 49 consecutive nights, from February 4 through March 24. Universal Studios Florida will offer parades, Cajun food, themed drinks and jazz bands from New Orleans for all 49 nights, with to-be-announced major music acts performing on 12 nights during the celebration. Earlier this year, Universal's Mardi Gras ran for 16 night between February 6 and April 16. (FWIW, the actual Mardi Gras is on February 28 next year.)

Walt Disney World is working on plans for a third parking garage at its Disney Springs shopping and dining district. Disney has built two parking garages, an exit from Interstate 4, pedestrian bridges, and widened Buena Vista Drive to increase capacity at Disney Springs, the former Downtown Disney. The third garage is expected to go in south of Buena Vista Drive across from the Lime garage.

Over at the Magic Kingdom... Check out the new sign at the Carousel of Progress!

Finally, Disney fans in the Orlando area can enjoy a free meet and greet with a Disney Princess every day from October 1 through November 1, at the World of Disney store in Disney Springs. This is a rare opportunity to experience a Disney character meet and greet without having to pay for a theme park ticket.

Replies (1)

September 30, 2016 at 11:42 AM · It's nice to see it continue to say "Walt Disney's" Carousel of Progress. Disney has decided to label everything simply "Disney" in order to be consistent, so it's nice to see them make an exception for a ride that Walt was a major part of. Now if only it were Walt Disney's Tomorrowland again as opposed to Michael Eisner's Tomorrowland with a few remains of Walt's Tomorrowland.

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