Universal Orlando announces Mardi Gras concert lineup

Thirty Seconds to Mars, Ne-Yo and Blake Shelton are among the headliners just announced for Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras this spring.

The 2011 Mardi Gras celebration happens on weekend nights Feb. 12 through April 23 at the Universal Studios Florida theme park in Orlando, Florida.

Here’s the concert lineup:

  • Feb. 12: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
  • Feb. 19: The B-52s
  • Feb. 20: KC & The Sunshine Band
  • Feb. 26: Pitbull
  • March 5: Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • March 12: Foreigner
  • March 18: Neon Trees
  • March 19: Thirty Seconds to Mars
  • March 25: OneRepublic
  • March 26: Blake Shelton
  • April 1: Sean Kingston
  • April 2: Ne-Yo
  • April 9: Lifehouse
  • April 16: The Beach Boys

Universal’s Mardi Gras also includes a nightly parade with floats designed by Blaine Kern Artists in New Orleans, and, of course, lots and lots of beads.

A “French Quarter” street party serves up cajun food and musicians playing blues, jazz and zydeco.

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras is included with regular theme park admission to Universal Studios Florida – no separate ticket is required for the concerts.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster reopens at Universal Studios Florida

The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster is open once again at Universal Studios Florida, after being closed for maintenance on Sept. 15.

Universal has been mum on exactly what maintenance was being performed. The coaster’s German manufacturer – Maurer Sohne – issued a memo on Sept. 2, advising that all coasters similar to the Rip Ride Rockit be shut down immediately because of a flaw in the coupling bar that holds the two trains in the ride cars together.

At the time of the ride’s closure, Universal said that they had already dealt with the manufacturer’s advisory.

The Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster boasts the tallest lift hill in Orlando, at 167 feet. It has a number of unusual design features, including a vertical loop that rolls the ride cars around so that riders are not upside down at the top of it. The coaster officially opened on Aug. 19, 2009.

The ride features individual speakers in each seat and the ability to “choose your own soundtrack,” from a list of 30 songs by artists such as the Black-Eyed Peas, No Doubt, Beastie Boys and Evanescence. There are also a number of hidden tracks for the Rip Ride Rockit that aren’t on the official song list.