Sun Burst


Hi, I’m Richard The Orlando Guy and it’s time for another Orlando Update.

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras 2023 Celebration has kicked off at Universal Studios Florida – complete with mouthwatering cuisine, a dazzling parade, live music and tons of beads. Universal Orlando Resort guests can now let the good times roll through April 16th and party beyond the bayou during Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval. This year the event will feature eight live performances by top names in music like Sean Paul, Maren Morris and the Goo Goo Dolls at the Music Plaza Stage on select nights – you can check my website at for the full concert schedule. During this year’s dazzling “Mythical Realms of Mardi Gras” the annual parade will entice partiers with six new floats inspired by fantastical creatures like dragons, phoenixes, unicorns and more that will join Universal’s traditional lineup of New Orleans-inspired floats – such as the iconic, two-story Riverboat and nearly 50-foot-long King Gator. Of course, the taste of New Orleans will be hosted throughout the park with an expansive menu featuring more than 50 tasting-sized items. Access to Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. It’s become a Central Florida spring tradition.

Over at Walt Disney World, though, the party has ended. The Reedy Creek Improvement District as we know it will come to an end after 50 years as a bill to replace it heads to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. House Bill 9B was approved by the Senate which replaces the district’s five-member board with appointees by Governor DeSantis and will also change some of Reedy Creek’s powers. Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort said in a prepared statement, “We are focused on the future and are ready to work within this new framework, and we will continue to innovate, inspire and bring joy to the millions of guests who come to Florida to visit Walt Disney World each year.” The bill will go into effect upon becoming a law with the Governor’s signature, expected soon.

In other Orlando attraction news, The Wheel at ICON Park located on International Drive in the heart of the tourist district, has reopened, nearly six weeks after being shut down when it lost power with riders aboard on New Year’s Eve. The park said technicians were inspecting “thousands of components” on the almost 400-foot tall observation wheel to determine what caused its power failure and is working with Duke Energy to upgrade the ride to prevent another power loss. The shutdown of the wheel at the beleaguered park came on the heels of the tragedy that occurred on the now dismantled Orlando Free Fall at ICON Park where 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death back in March of 2022. ICON Park has said the Orlando Free Fall was solely responsible for the drop tower’s operation and maintenance.

We may be getting even more flights in and out of Orlando International Airport pending the merger of Jet Blue and Spirit. Jet Blue which recently moved its gates to the brand-new Terminal C would pass Southwest and become the largest airline operating at MCO. JetBlue’s chief executive officer, Robin Hayes, said that combining the two airlines will give travelers a more credible alternative to American, Delta, Southwest and United. The combination of JetBlue and Spirit flights would number around 145 or roughly a quarter of flights at Orlando International compared with the combined 144 departures by Delta, American and United. Personally, I’m sticking with Delta as I enjoy the Sky Club access and flight amenities.

That’s your Orlando update for this week, click the like button, subscribe to my channel and set the notification bell so you don’t miss a single update. I’m Richard – The Orlando Guy. See you next time.