We Got To Throw Beads From A Mardi Gras Float at Universal Orlando! Here’s What It Was Like

One really cool about living in Central Florida is that you can sometimes take advantage of what Orlando-area theme parks have to offer. Case in point: Joe and I have been Universal Orlando annual passholders since around 2009 or so. Besides the fact that we can go to the parks pretty much whenever we want, we also occasionally have some access to some benefits and experiences that people who are “just visiting” might not get. One of those opportunities is potentially being able to throw beads from one of the floats at Universal Studios Florida’s (USF) Mardi Gras parade.
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Did You Know You Can See Where They Make The Floats For Mardi Gras? You Can! And We Did!

I reluctantly admit that I did little to no preparation for our trip to New Orleans, besides the planning for our parade. That left us with four days with absolutely no plans, so I did what I typically do nowadays when that happens: I asked our readers for help. I did and you responded with some wonderful suggestions. One of the top suggestions was to go see Mardi Gras World.

I asked Sharon if she was interested in seeing where the floats for…

“YES!!!”

So we went to Mardi Gras World.

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We Had A Parade In New Orleans, And You Can, Too!!!

The centerpiece of our New Orleans trip was our parade. It didn’t begin that way. In fact, we didn’t even know we were going to have a parade when we decided this would be the year we finally went to New Orleans.

I owe y’all a little bit of back story. New Orleans has been a city we’ve planned on visiting for years – as in, for more than a decade. We’d wanted to visit but then Hurricane Katrina happened and we didn’t feel it was the time to go. Over time, the trip slipped to the back burner.

Last year, several things happened that reminded us we still hadn’t been to New Orleans. My best friend from college moved to New Orleans from New Jersey and has been posting pictures to his Instagram showing how wonderful the city is. We also started writing the blog and I wrote an article about how you need to visit places after natural disasters which reminded me we never visited after Katrina. It was time and we made a promise to ourselves that our trip would be the year.

When we planned out our travel for 2018, a necessity when you need to put in for your vacation a year in advance like I do, we penciled in a week in New Orleans for October 2018. Since we now live in the south, we know not to visit anywhere in the summer, when it’s oppressively hot.

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When Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade Rode Up NYC’s 5th Avenue

Following in the footsteps of their very successful screenings of “Pocahontas” in Central Park in 1995, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame in New Orleans in 1996, on June 14, 1997, the Walt Disney Company, well-known for orchestrating large-scale special events both in and outside theme parks, took on the streets of New York City by bringing its world famous Main Street Electrical Parade to the Big Apple for a one-night-only ride up 5th Avenue. Part of a “Hercules World Premiere Weekend in New York,” the 3-day weekend of events that included a mini-amusement park at Chelsea Piers, it was all a promotion for its upcoming 35th full-length animated feature, “Hercules.” This all came on the heels of the Walt Disney Company doing their part to “clean up” the Times Square area with its purchase and renovation of the historic New Amsterdam Theater for its upcoming theatrical releases (the New Amsterdam had officially re-opened just 2-1/2 months earlier).

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The Hercules logo was painted all up 5th Avenue

Both the New York Times and Variety reported about the “herculean” event (do you see what I did there?) the day before it happened. Some fun facts included:
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