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New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

star-4.5349 Reviews
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New Orleans, United States
New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon1 hour  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 7 more


Peek behind the curtain at the marvel of Mardi Gras with this tour of Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. See the behind-the-scenes work and incredible artistry that goes into preparing for the annual celebration. With a guide, learn the history of the event, and see fantastic floats and props. Get a picture in front of your favorite float, dress up in costumes, and sample some classic King Cake.
  • Tour of Mardi Gras World in New Orleans
  • See where New Orleans’ amazing Mardi Gras floats are made
  • Try on Mardi Gras costumes, pose in front of the floats, and savor a slice of traditional King Cake
  • Learn about the history of Mardi Gras from your guide
  • Pickup from downtown New Orleans provided
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Guided walking tour
Slice of King Cake
Shuttle pickup and drop-off from select downtown New Orleans locations

Departure Point

1380 Port of New Orleans Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

Departure Time

9:30am - 3:30pm
Tours occur every half hour.

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Begin your behind-the-scenes tour of Mardi Gras World by hopping on the shuttle at one of the 20 stops in central New Orleans. Shuttles run every half hour from each location from morning until mid-afternoon, so you can easily fit your 90 minute excursion into a day of sightseeing. 

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by your guide, an expert in all things Mardi Gras. Get inspired by the warehouses and ‘float dens,’ studio spaces where designers create elaborate floats for the festival’s 40-plus parades. Learn the meanings behind the symbols and design details, and check out the incredible planning and labor that goes into constructing each float. 

You’ll come away with a greater understanding of Mardi Gras, a beloved and deep‐rooted tradition that is now the largest cultural celebration in the U.S. Before heading back to town on the shuttle, get a photo with your favorite float and try on some fun festival costumes—and don’t forget to grab a delicious slice of King Cake.
Stop At:  
Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World
Hop on the complimentary shuttle from any of its 20 convenient downtown New Orleans locations. When you arrive at Mardi Gras World, located on the beautiful riverfront, you’ll be greeted by your friendly, knowledgeable guide for a 1-hour behind-the-scenes tour of this famous facility. Explore the warehouses where artisans create spectacular Mardi Gras floats that are used in more than 40 parades each year. Admire the intricate designs and vibrant colors of these interesting, one-of-a-kind creations as your guide explains their meanings. Wandering through these magical studio spaces, you’ll see firsthand the skillful craftsmanship that goes into every float, giving you unique insight into the hard work, creativity and extensive planning that goes into such a grand celebration. Your guide will teach you about the history of this unique and festive tradition that goes beyond its modern-day reputation of wild celebration antics. Snap photos in front of the floats, pose with props, and try on Mardi Gras costumes with your friends and family. Top your experience off with a piece of King Cake, a delicious Mardi Gras tradition! -------------------- ITINERARY -------------------- Free French Quarter Shuttle Stops 1. Cafe Du Monde, 800 Decatur St. 2. Bourbon Orleans Hotel, 717 Orleans St. 3. Dauphine Orleans Hotel, 415 Dauphine St. 4. Hotel Le Marais, 717 Conti St. 5. Hotel Mazarin, 730 Bienville St. 6. Basin St. Station, 501 Basin St. Free Downtown Shuttle Route 1. Mardi Gras World Shuttle Stop 2. Marriott on Canal St. 3. Astor Crowne Plaza 4. Ritz-Carlton Maison Orleans 5. Roosevelt New Orleans 6. Le Pavillon Hotel 7. Drury Inn & Suites 8. Whitney Wyndham 9. Staybridge Suites 10. Loews New Orleans 11. Harrah's Hotel 12. Hilton New Orleans Riverside 13. Omni Riverfront Hotel 14. Marriott Convention Center 15. Hampton Inn & Suites 16. Hyatt Place 17. Mardi Gras World
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Tour does not operate on Mardi Gras Day, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and Easter
  • Completed floats may not be along the tour route the week leading up to Fat Tuesday
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Mardi Gras World

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour?
This activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "The floats are amazing, it's a great tour for young and old alike." See review
  • "Its a self guided tour with a lot of photo opportunities, would be nice to talk to some workers if you have questions." See review
  • "The site itself is fascinating and a bit to be missed if you want a look behind Madri Gras." See review


349 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 349 reviews
Must do!!!
, Jul 2021
Awesome time from beginning to end!!!! Transportation driver was awesome and so was the staff at Mardi Gras World!!
Great pics
, Jul 2021
Great film on the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Floats in warehouse were awesome and fun to poise with.
Absolutely Don't Miss This!!!
, Jul 2021
This Madri Gras tour is a MUST see in NOLA!! The Kern family is top notch in what they do and in customer service! It truly is spectacular!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Best tour guide Gary and tour!!
, Jul 2021
We took over a bus with 31 dancers and parents and loved every minute of this tour with GARY!! Gary was the BEST tour guide full of information! He gave more information and history we didn’t even know we could get in that time frame! He also gave us amazing food recommendations that we then had after the tour! Best tour ever!!
Experience is key
, Jul 2021
One of the best tours we went on! The colors were so vibrant, I just wish it was longer! Even my teenagers loved what they saw and the different floats!
Interesting Fun
, Jul 2021
So interesting to see the phases of float building great friendly staff Loved Buzz Lightbeer Recommend to any Mardi Gras enthusiast
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Amazing! Who knew this was a thing!
, Jul 2021
What amazing work! So cool to see the work space. I can’t imagine the fun those employees have daily! A must do if in New Orleans!
A different experience!
, Jun 2021
Very fun and cool experience! Felt like I was in behind the scenes at Disney. You start with getting beads as your “ticket” and some kings cake. You watch a short clip and then get to walk around a medium sized warehouse at your own pace looking at the cool sculptures and taking picture. Gift shop also had cool novelty things: I would give it 5 stars but I thought it was a little over priced.
Feast for the Eyes!
, Jun 2021
Very interesting tour! We love the Arts so it was a feast for the eyes to see all of the props/sculptures up close. They are larger than life and so colorful. Nice open warehouse. The artists were working on props in their open workshops and the artists were using the robot to sculpt new props. The movie gives you all the history behind the floats and parades. I recommend watching that first while you eat your King’s Cake they give you at check in! We toured for about an hour and a half including the movie. Nice indoor activity about the traditions of the city. Worth it!
A Peek at Mardi Gras Splendor
, Jun 2021
Fantastic imagination and execution of creative worker bees. The scale and colorful genius of these artesams is eye popping.

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