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January 9, 2001

Celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando

Orlando, FL -- The world's ultimate party begins February 16, 2001 when Mardi Gras returns to Universal Studios Florida for a sixth explosive, fun-filled year.

The biggest and longest-running Mardi Gras celebration outside New Orleans, Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2001 will continue for 22 nights through March 17, 2001 at Universal Studios Florida, located at Universal Orlando.

Featuring spectacular parades, authentic food and drink and red-hot music, the all-day celebration kicks into high gear after dark when Universal's street sets turn into the party-happy French Quarter. Mardi Gras is included in the price of theme park admission, so guests can enjoy all the great theme park rides and attractions during the day and continue to party New Orleans-style throughout the night.

The highlight of Universal's Mardi Gras is a parade featuring 15 original, elaborately-decorated floats designed by Blaine ("Mr. Mardi Gras") Kern, whose world-renowned New Orleans-based company has built Mardi Gras floats since 1932. Wildly-costumed float riders respond to the famous Mardi Gras request, "Throw me something, Mister!" by tossing millions of strands of beads and doubloons throughout the month-long event.

Thousands of flags, festoons and tons of confetti combine to transform the theme park into a mega-Mardi Gras party. Talented street performers and stilt walkers entertain crowds, as does a roster of top musical acts performing in concert on the Hollywood Boulevard main stage. Rounding out the celebration are the savory smells of such authentic New Orleans delicacies as jambalaya and shrimp gumbo.

"Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida is the wildest, most extravagant party in the world," said Felix Mussenden, president and chief operating officer for Universal Orlando. "We capture the excitement of the Big Easy and take it even further by entertaining guests with the largest Mardi Gras celebration ever seen outside of New Orleans."

Admission to Universal Studios Florida is $46 for adults and $37 for children, plus tax.