Universal Orlando is once again hosting a mega Mardi Gras bash this year stretching all the way to the end of May bringing headlining concert acts each weekend alongside New Orleans style food to make a massive park-wide party. In addition, each year Universal updates their Mardi Gras parade with the aid of Blaine Kern Studios, the company behind the look of the real festival in Louisiana.
Building on the three new cultural floats from last year, show director Patrick Braillard and a team of designers decided upon a theme of “Around the world in 80 Days” to tell a story with the Mardi Gras parade. Amidst all the high-flying beads being tossed from atop the floats, the story takes guests on a journey across the globe via boat, train, and even zeppelin with a variety of stylized sculptures and a bit of a steampunk flair.
Video: Behind the scenes of Mardi Gras 2014 at Universal Orlando, backstage with new parade floats
The Lissa leads the parade as a ship sailing the high seas, complete with dolphins swimming alongside as well as a particularly familiar submarine that looks like it just rose from 20,000 leagues under the sea along with a large, friendly octopus.
Then the adventure takes to the air via biplane, zeppelin, and hot air balloons, each illuminated in a vibrant spectrum of dancing colors at night.
Universal also gave their old jester float a sprucing up this year, as it’s one of the oldest of the parade.
And when the parade hits the theme park streets after dark, it becomes infectious with its high energy and toe-tapping music, aided by elaborately costumed performers themed to match each of the floats.
Mardi Gras continues at Universal Orlando through May 31.
More behind-the-scenes photos from Mardi Gras 2014 at Universal Orlando:
(Photos by Cody Meacham, Ricky Brigante)
More from Mardi Gras 2014 at Universal Orlando:
(Photos by Ricky Brigante)