Mardi Gras has returned for another year of good food, fabulous entertainment and lots of glitter and beads. Running from 21st May until 19th June 2022, the Mardi Gras is bigger than ever with show times now published for the krewes around the park and new for 2022, Towers Street has its own krewe! Meaning whatever time you enter the park, you're not far away from being submerged into Mardi Gras fun.
The Mayor of Mardi Gras welcomes everyone to the event, if you arrive at the park during the first hour of the day, all of the krewes are on Towers Street meeting and greeting everyone coming in. Extra entertainment is also in the entrance plaza and Towers Street between 9:45 am and 10:30 am.
New for 2022, Towers Street has its own Krewe. Complete with a big and elaborate stage and costumes, this krewe knows how to party! The background of the stage when walking down Towers Street looks like a miniature of the Towers themselves. Complete with a bubble machine, this krewe is more directed to younger guests we feel. We loved this krewe, the costumes are the best part and the interactions we saw between the actors and guests were really nice to see.
We cant wait to see how this krewe develops over the next few years if the event returns.
Back to sail the seas for another year, the Mutiny Bay Krewe have washed up ashore and are entertaining land lovers with the Fish Wizard. Full of dancing, glitter and fun music, this is and always will be our favoured krewe of them all at Alton Towers. This year the krewe has received more actors, which means we've been able to see other characters added to the krewe such as a jellyfish. With lots of families and guests passing through this area every day, it's the perfect location for a krewe with lots of guest interactions. Be careful the crab doesn't get you wet when passing through the area, he doesn't like those that don't join in and dance!
The Ministry of Joy have taken over and are dancing their way around the streets of X Sector. With dancing, lots of lights and reflective costumes this krewe is great fun but limited by the small space in front of the Donut Factory. As with other krewes around the park, more staff have been added into the X Sector krewe this year along with a drag queen which we loved seeing in the area. Something completely different to other krewes around the park and definitely added more inclusivity into the area. We would love to see this krewe be relocated to another area of X Sector, maybe if Enterprise was to be removed that space would be a perfect area for a proper stage to be installed.
The Forbidden Valley Krewe are back for 2022 and are on the lookout for new recruits to join the party. Based at the top of the valley, in the huge Marvan vehicle, you'll be lured into dancing with the creatures of the valley as you walk past. As with the other krewes around the park, more people have been added into the krewe which makes a huge difference, last year we felt like the area was lacking in actors compared to the others. The location of the Forbidden Valley crew is perfect and catches almost everyone when walking through the area. It's just a shame the special effect (the spark machine) was removed for this year. We would love to see each krewe to have its own special effect or something unique.
Joining the party again for 2022 is the Katanga Krewe, where the party keeps on rocking. The main theming for the krewe has been relocated from to the side of the Runaway Mine Train entrance to the left-hand side of Pizza Pasta. During this move, unforcedly the c02 cannons which went off above the Runaway Mine Train entrance a few times each performance have been removed / not reinstalled. Katanga Canyon should always have actors or some form of entertainment on as it brings the area alive! Another great krewe for Mardi Gras, but we would love to see more audience participation, due to the small space there's not much room to roam around and speak and dance with guests.
The Voodoo Krewe have returned for another year of spookiness and entertainment. Located outside Woodcutters which is the perfect krewe to sit down, get some food and drink and enjoy the Mardi Gras Vibes. Last year this krewe felt like it was missing something and we think it was people because this year the krewe fitted in a lot more and more people were standing around and watching it. Of course, this might also be due to show times being announced whereas last year this wasn't possible due to Coronarivurs. Unlike the other krewes around the park, the Voodoo Krewe have a huge area where they can roam around and dance. This really helps to get people involved in dances and get more people watching. Great costumes and makeup, like last year, we love how some actors in this krewe use props - something we've not seen much of around the park. We also think that this krewe has the most to grow, for example making the stage bigger and getting more people. Maybe a circle stage in the middle of the area that rotated would be cool.
At the end of the day, 30 minutes before rides close the park welcomes its first parade for over 20 years! All of the krewes from around the park come together to form a parade. Starting from the sweets stand near the smiler toilet block and ending at towers street, the parade goes around the park via food street, past the entrance for battle gallons and finishes with one last party outside the Towers Street Krewe. Featuring Alton Bear - this is a parade not to be missed!
This is the first time we've ever seen a parade at Alton Towers and it was so much fun, we totally understand it not being busy enough and not being viable to run this twice a day. It makes for a great ending to an event seeing all of the krewes and characters together. We also loved how the music seemed to follow them around the park, when travelling through a different area the music magically changed to suit the parade coming by.
Food Street is back for 2022 and the space has been expanded... slightly! Although there appears to be less food stands this year the space that food street occupies has been made bigger with a floating bar and lots of benches added to the area.
Along with the new second-story bar and the floating pontoon with lots of benches, a mini stage has been set up for some singers to entertain guests sitting around enjoying their drinks and food.
We think something like this should be made a permanent fixture, as it really suits the area. Who knew sitting on the lake and having a drink would be so relaxing?
Parkwide theming is something that Alton Towers has and always will struggle with, due to the size of the theme park. So instead of theming the whole park and spending lots of money, the park has focused on different areas and krewes themed around them. All of the theming was mostly reused from last year, with the addition of the Towers Street Krewe stage this year (which looks awesome!) but we feel like the park could have done more this year. The parade was a nice touch but there wasn't any floats or extras that we hadn't seen before.
Towers Street has its own Mardi Gras soundtrack when entertaining the park and each krewe has the same soundtrack and same set of dance moves. What we would love to see in the future is a remix of music used in an area used in a krewe, for example in X Sector you could have a remix of The Smiler and Oblivion music used in the krewe with a unique dance move for that section. We just felt that once you had seen one krewe dance to music, you had seen them all. Which isn't an issue but spoilt the experience a little bit.
Now covid has calmed down a bit, costumes are more complete with masks being removed and show times published around the park, in the app and shown on signs in the krewe areas.
Mardi Gras at Alton Towers was, of course, the original Mardi Gras event at a Merlin Theme Park and we think it's still a strong event but comparing it to Chessington's event we feel like some improvements could bring it back to our favourite Mardi Gras event.
Overall all we had a really good time and it was great to see the park so busy for Mardi Gras. It's great to see so much entertainment going on around the park after being dormant for a few years.