Unveiling the Magic: Crafting Mardi Gras Parade Floats at Universal Orlando Resort

As the last confetti spark settles at the end of Universal Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval, the imaginative team from Universal Orlando’s Art and Design Department is already conjuring up next year’s spectacular celebration (sometimes even two years in advance).

Each year, six floats triumphantly return to the parade, while another six blank canvases eagerly await the touch of this dynamic team, poised to transform them into mobile masterpieces. It’s a flawless display of creativity and craftsmanship, unfolding like clockwork with each passing year.

Many people work to make the floats look incredible each year for Mardi Gras. This is what they say about their work: “Our designers imagine a new theme for the parade every year. Once the current year’s parade ends, the rotating floats are taken off-site, completely stripped down, and repainted to match the vision for the next year. We work closely with Kern Studios in New Orleans, who provide us with giant statues for the floats. Once installed, the floats return to Universal Orlando, and that’s where our magic begins. This year, the Mardi Gras Parade brings to life the elements, with floats embodying earth, wind, fire, water, sun, and moon. My favorite among the new ones is the earth float. It’s receiving an abundance of lush foliage and flowers, creating a captivating scene.”

Observing the floats in their nascent state reveals a departure from the typical bright, bead-laden extravagance of Mardi Gras. Yet therein lies the beauty of the Art and Design Team’s work; they transmute the ordinary into the extraordinary, delivering surprises year after year.

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Luisa Gallon

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