Your adventure into the world of Mardi Gras begins as soon as you step into the park. Walking down the purple carpet we were greeted by the royals and handed a mini-guide. Inside it has a small map of the park along with all of the food, shows and parade times. It is great to see event guides back, it almost acts as a free souvenir from the event and your time at the park.
A purple carpet isn't the only change to the park entrance, a new photo wall has been installed along with some extra theming on the entrance archway along with a Marid Gras sign installed. It's clear that a lot of money has been spent on this event.
The event kicks off at midday with more entertainment than we've ever seen before at the park. Full showtimes can be found in the parks app and the mini mardi gras guide paper map. Our day at the park started with a quick visit to the VIP area, where we had the chance to taste some of the exclusive new food for the event, such as Shrimp Po Boys and the famous King Cake. The flavours of this new food and the presentation were amazing!
After being entertained by some of the Mardi Gras royals popping in and out, we saw our first act on the mini stage located just outside of the Nemesis Inferno entrance. Featuring a tap dancer and a live singer, we thoroughly enjoyed the short but sweet entertainment. The group we saw perform were from the Stealth Krewe and their costumes were by far our favourite! The makeup and attention to detail was amazing. It's great to see the park integrating the event into rides around the park. Some facts about Stealth also got mixed into the crowing of the Krewes stage show. Remember to throw your beads at the bead tree at the end of the performance. It's good luck!
Join the Mardi Gras party and celebrate with the Royals and the Krewes in the Mardi Gras Parade! Featuring a float and a parading of the Krewes around the park. This light-hearted parade lasts around 25 minutes in total but will pass by you in 3 minutes if you stand watching it from one spot. Featuring music, dancing and a lot of glitter and energy. The parade starts at the marquee and depth charge and travels into the Angry Birds area then loops around Pizza Pasta to return back to the marquee area. Announcements around the parade route tell you when the parade is due to start, the route can also be seen on the mardi gras mini-guide. We thought enjoyed the parade and feel that it has a lot of future potential. We think that if it was more spaced out the parade could be double the length. The number of actors doing the parade was huge and there was so much energy and love behind it all. Although this might not be as easy to do, we would love to see the music in the area change to the parade music instead of speakers on the floats just playing it. We also absolutely love the new mardi gras car/float, we can see this vehicle getting reused a lot over the next few months at the park. Could we possibly see a Fright Nights parade at the start of the day?
The Crowning of the Krewes is a live singing and dancing competition where the crowd decides who wins! The competition is strong Nemesina, Rift Racer, Aqueous and Rapid Rhymer will be relying on you. Whoever gets the loudest cheer at the end gets crowned King or Queen of Mardi Gras. This 10-minute show is great, full of singing and dancing and a tune we can't get out of our heads. One thing we found very clever was how the park managed to change the lyrics of one of the songs to facts about Stealth. The song Shut Up and Drive was adapted from "0-60 in 3.5" to "0-80 in 2.3". We absolutely loved this show, the costumes, songs and guest interaction was amazing. We cant wait to see this show progress over the next few years if they do more Mardi Gras events.
It's not just parades and shows going on in the events arena, you can also meet and greet some of the Mardi Gras Royals and some of the Krewes. It's so nice to see meet and greets returning to the parks, some of the interactions we saw yesterday were heartwarming! We warn you, if you sit down the royal will hunt you down and try to convince you to learn dances and get you up on your feet enjoying yourself.
Roaming around the park and playing on the main stage are two bands, one playing the drums and the other playing music like the London Street Orchasutre did for Oktoberfest for the past few years. Also, don't miss the live DJ, located between the rapids and the tea cups!
Feeling peckish? The variety of food for Mardi Gras is huge and unlike anything we've ever seen before at Thorpe Park. Two new food streets have been set up East and North Street Food Stalls along with another temporary pop up bar. As mentioned earlier, we had the chance to sample 90% of the food being served at the event and we loved it, the different flavours and styles made the event feel very authentic.
Calling all merch loves, Mardi Gras wouldn't be the same without exclusive merchandise like a custom Freestyle bottle, a magnet, a pin badge and a T-Shirt.
For the first time that Thorpe Park has run a Mardi Gras event, we think they've done an amazing job! The music, atmosphere and everything was perfect. We were blown away by the detail put into the costumes, makeup and theming put in. Bunting is hung all around Angry Birds Land, along with new banners hanging down the sides of the buildings to make the area feel more festive. Although there were a few technical issues throughout the day, we feel like everything went really well and we can't wait to see the parade develop further. It's great to see the park come alive when an event is on, and this is only the start with Carnival, Okbterfest and of course Fright Nights later in the year.
Mardi Gras runs from 19th May until 19th June and is located in the Angry Birds section of the park.