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.
It’s not just a beverage, it’s an experience. That’s the word from Universal Orlando Resort, which said today that the company has sold 1 million Butterbeers in its Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The creamy-smooth concoction is a favorite drink in the Harry Potter books and movies, and it’s also a favorite at the theme park, where guests will wait in ride-sized lines to buy a cup. Last year, a fourth location selling the drink was added to the theme park to alleviate some of the lines.
There’s no alcohol in Butterbeer. It’s a sweet drink, which Universal says tastes of shortbread and butterscotch. I liken it to a cream soda. You can get both cold and frozen versions at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park where the Wizarding World is located.
There are lots of do-it-yourself Butterbeer recipes out there online, but Universal’s is secret. In fact, the company says it has put special security procedures in place to keep it that way.
To celebrate the 1 millionth Butterbeer, Universal passed out 1,000 free ones on the streets of the Wizarding World.
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls water ride will be closed for several weeks following a fire at Islands of Adventure on Saturday night.
The Universal Orlando ride will be closed to repair the damage, and to undergo seasonal maintenance, according to Universal. Ripsaw Falls had already been scheduled to be closed for maintenance in a couple of weeks.
About 5:30 Saturday evening, the ride and surrounding Toon Lagoon area were evacuated when clouds of black smoke started billowing from the ride’s roof. Forty firefighters called to the scene had the fire under control in about 30 minutes and completely out in about an hour, officials told the Orlando Sentinel.
No guests were injured in the fire, though a few were evaluated at the theme park’s first aid station.
The rest of the Islands of Adventure theme park remained open during and after the fire.
The exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation.