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Tune Tuesday: Universal Orlando is counting on major music acts to help boost attendance levels ahead of Harry Potter’s grand opening

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Tune Tuesday: Universal Orlando is counting on major music acts to help boost attendance levels ahead of Harry Potter’s grand opening

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It’s a problem that every theme park has faced at one time or another. As in: How to keep those turnstiles turning in the weeks & months just before a major new attraction opens.

And in the case of the Universal Orlando Resort, there’s a very real fear among UOR managers that many Guests are now deliberately putting off their next visit to these two Central Florida theme parks until after The Wizarding World of Harry Potter officially opens. Which is why – in order to keep attendance levels high until this 20-acre addition to Islands of Adventure comes on line in the late Spring / early Summer of this year – Universal Orlando is really pulling out the stops for its 2010 Mardi Gras celebration.

Universal Orlando Mardis Gras logo
Copyright 2010 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved

Don’t believe me? Then check out some of the performers that UOR is bringing in to perform at Universal Studios Florida’s Music Plaza:

 Mardi Gras Event Dates
Headliners
 Saturday, February 6th
KC and the Sunshine Band
 Saturday, February 13tth
Heart
 Sunday, February 14th
Kool & the Gang
 Saturday, February 20th
Blondie
 Saturday, February 27th
Dierks Bentley
 Saturday, March 6th
Akon
 Saturday, March 13th
Aretha Franklin
 Saturday, March 20th
Miranda Lambert
 Saturday. March 27th
3 Doors Down
 Saturday, April 3rd
Beach Boys
 Friday. April 9th
Sheryl Crow
 Saturday, April 10th
Flo Rida
 Saturday, April 17th
Chicago

That’s 13 of the biggest acts in show business. Were you to combine all of the records that these performers have sold over the years, we’re talking more than half a billion albums worldwide.

And did I mention that you get to see all of this big-name entertainment for free once you purchase admission to Universal Studios Florida? Along with authentic Cajun cuisine, a spectacular parade as well as tons & tons of beads?

Universal Orlando’s 15th annual Mardi Gras – the biggest & most authentic celebration outside of The Big Easy itself – gets underway this coming Saturday night with KC and the Sunshine Band performing many of their disco-era hits live. And on every Saturday & other selected nights now through April 17th, all sorts of styles of music will be celebrated. From hip-hop to pop and country to rock.

Concept drawing of Olivander's wand shop to be built at Universal Orlando
Copyright 2010 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved 

Don’t get me wrong. The Universal Orlando Resort wants people who are thinking of traveling to Florida this year to be aware that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be opening soon. Which is why they had that augmented reality map printed in USA Today last Thursday. More importantly, this is why Universal spent megabucks on that Wizarding World TV commercial which will air this coming Sunday during the first half of the Super Bowl.

But between now and June, UOR managers would still like it if Central Florida tourists came by and checked out all of the great rides, shows and attractions that are already up & running at USF and IOA. Which is why – in order to spur things along – Universal Orlando really pulled out the stops when it came to the music acts that will be performing at this Resort’s 15th annual Mardi Gras celebration.

So if you just can’t wait for that first taste of J. K.-Rowling-approved Butter Beer, why don’t you whet your whistle with a Hurricane and then pick up out a spot to view USF’s Mardi Gras parade from? If you do that … Well, the time will at least appear to go faster until Hogwarts Castle opens to the public. Not Time-Turner faster, mind you. But faster nonetheless.

The exterior of Hogwart's Castle at Univeral Orlando's Harry Potter portion of the park
Photo by Kevin Kolczynski. Copyright 2010 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved 

For further information on Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras (which celebrates 15 years of beads, bands and good times), please click on this link.

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  • That augmented reality map was freaking incredible. I have to say that I'm much more interested in the Potter attraction at Universal than I am at the so-called Fantasyland expansion at WDW. There's nothing there for grownups, just li'l girls who wanna be princesses. But the Potter attraction looks to kick major ass.

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