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New Orleans Mardi Gras World Behind-the-Scenes Tour

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New Orleans, United States

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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
  • "The site itself is fascinating and a bit to be missed if you want a look behind Madri Gras." See review
  • "We enjoyed taking the tour on our own so we could take as many pics and stop and look as often as we like." See review


332 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 332 reviews
Good for a rainy day
, Jun 2021
The shuttle only had 10 stops; none were in the French quarter, so we still had a bit of a walk. Seeing the floats, and the film was interesting. The artists were mostly sitting around playing on their phones. But overall not a bad experience.
I'm ready for my close up!
, Jun 2021
So much fun. It starts with a piece of King's cake, enjoy the mighty Mississippi river and settle in watching a short video about the history of Mardi Gras. Cool floats and props. Make sure you have your camera.
, Jun 2021
Fun tour. Learned how floats were designed and created. What a process! Building was a little warm even with the fans running.
My visit to Mardi Gras World
, Jun 2021
It was my 1st time to New Orleans. Mardi Gras World was on my list to visit & I was not disappointed. The movie was a good introduction for our tour. It is self guided but there were signs at each station explaining what they were doing. My biggest surprise was that the props are made out of Styrofoam. It is easy to cut & paper mache is glued to it then painted. We had the opportunity to talk to one of the workers who explained what & how she was making a prop for a small parade. There were many props both finished & being worked on. I really enjoyed our visit and the free shuttle taking us back to Canal Street, 2 blocks from our hotel, was a plus. Well worth the money.
Very interesting tour
, Jun 2021
It was really interesting to see how they develop a design for a float and then how they make it a reality. Seeing all the different characters that have been created was great. You never realize how big they truly are. Its a self guided tour with a lot of photo opportunities, would be nice to talk to some workers if you have questions. Would recommend cheking this out.
Fun picture tour
, May 2021
Lots of fun. My 8 year old loved taking pictures with everything. My teenager enjoyed walking around as well.
No help.
, May 2021
Viator was no help. We don’t understand why we were even directed to Viator. Had to call Mardi Gras World directly to get transportation.
Expected to have someone give in details the history
, May 2021
Colorful and full of History but no one working to demonstrate or tell about different floats. No more to say
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Add it to your “to-do” list!
, May 2021
This is a self-guided tour. Pretty cool to see where all the floats are made. It’s an important part of a trip to New Orleans - after all, who doesn’t think of parades and Mardi Gras?!
, May 2021
We were super impressed! Tons of cool stuff. Great way to spend an afternoon. Cake was delish too! :)

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