Florida Mardi Gras 2024

By James | Last updated May 9, 2024

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Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday) has been celebrated in the Southern states for centuries, particularly in Louisiana, Alabama and of course Florida.

As its name suggests, it is always on a Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, as a precursor to Lent and is always 47 days before Easter Sunday. In 2024, Mardi Gras falls on February 13.

If you are in Central Florida, then the biggest celebrations take place at Universal Studios Florida and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. At both parks, the events are included with the standard admission ticket.

You will find other Mardi Gras celebrations in Florida including:

  • St. Andrews Mardi Gras, Panama City
  • The Spirit of New Orleans, Lake Wales

You don’t have to go to New Orleans to immerse yourself in Mardi Gras, there are plenty of places in Florida to celebrate Mardi Gras

Universal Studios Florida

One of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations in 2024 takes place at Universal Studios Florida every evening from February 3 to April 7 where you can experience authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine including Catfish, Jambalaya, Shrimp Gumbo, red beans and rice, beignets and Andouille Sausage.

You can listen to the authentic sounds of the Big Easy and watch a special evening Mardi Gras parade with 12 authentic New Orleans style Mardi Gras parade floats when multi-coloured float riders and stilt-walkers throw strands of beads and doubloons into the crowds as they pass by in true Mardi Gras tradition.

There are also special live concerts featuring world famous acts on select nights.

The Mardi Gras celebrations and concerts are included in the standard park admission plus you get free admission to selected venues at Universal CityWalk® including Pat O’Brien’s which is an exact replica of the famous New Orleans bar, so you can party away until 1 o’clock in the morning. The rides remain open until normal park closing time.

Read more about the Universal celebrations of Mardi Gras.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

In the past Busch Gardens has hosted a Mardi Gras weekend but now they are running a full blown Mardi Gras festival on select days from January 14 to March 5.

You can enjoy live New Orleans music and entertainment plus indulge in New Orleans cuisine and drinks.

Admission is included with your standard day ticket, annual pass or Fun Card.

Read more about Busch Gardens Mardi Gras celebrations.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld does not replicate the Busch Gardens Mardi Gras Festival but instead they run the Seven Seas Food Festival on select days from February 12 to May 19. However they do have special events on Mardi Gras day itself.

Admission is included with your standard day ticket, annual pass or Fun Card and there are live music concerts on select dates.

Read more about SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival.