New for 2021; Mardi Gras is bringing the party to Alton Towers Resort. Running from 22nd May to 20th June, the event has a mixture of late-night opening times, with the park open until 8 pm on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
As with all Mardi Gras events; costumes, makeup, music and sets play a huge role in setting up the atmosphere. Towers Street has been transformed into a wonderland, with each of the krewes around the park having their own bandstand to perform on. From family friendly Munity Bay and Katanga Krewe to the fearsome Forbidden Valley Krewe, almost every area was represented somehow. Actors would line Towers Street on both sides at the beginning of the day, for the first hour, welcoming guests into the park and wishing everyone a happy Mardi Gras. Posing for photos and celebrating the event, all of the actors looked like they were having a great time! The costumes and some of the props some of them had were insane. Our favourite has to be the flying bird from the Katanga Krewe and the giant sparkly wings from the X Sector Krewe.
When celebrating Mardi Gras, one thing that's always huge in the states is food, and this year Alton Towers brought Food Street to the festival. With a whole range of new flavours for guests to try, such as Yorkshire pudding wraps, Chinese, Greek and many more! We could have spent the day just in this one area and been happy. Roaming entertainments also visited the area throughout the day with stilt walkers and a roaming band spotted during our time in the area.
Located in Towers Street for those wanting to go a little more full out, you could buy coloured beads and more party accessories. Along with some limited edition, Mardi Gras tops and a pin badge.
Throughout the park, instruments such as a piano near Munity Bay and a drum kit outside Woodcutters were installed for guests to show off their musical talent. Along with this came some new music played on Towers Street and around the park. We were amazed at the amount of effort put into this event, you can truly see how much love and attention went into the theming around the park. From the small elements on Towers Street, to the bunting installed down near the towers and the huge set pieces used for the Krewe's located around the park.
Advertised as flash mobs, in five areas of the park huge set pieces were created where actors would put on a party for guests travelling through the area, encouraging those to dance along and move to the beat!
Forbidden Valley Krewe:
Located in Forbidden Valley a dangerous krewe has taken to the streets to dance away the curse of Nemesis. Equipt with Weva42 and Mav-1n a huge new piece of theming has been installed which contains a spark machine behind it, for when the party really begins to kick-off! The costumes for the dancers in this krewe are cool and fit in well, especially the headpiece, the amount of detail that went into creating it is amazing!
Located outside The Runaway Mine Train entrance, the Katanga Krewe have brought the Mardi Gras party to an area normally overlooked! A huge Myan statue centrepiece occupies the area with a moving mouth and smoke effects that go off during the flash mob. Again the costumes used in this area are amazing, with bright colours used and lots of bells to make sure you hear them coming! One thing we noticed at this Krewe is that all of the facemasks used are themed into the area as much as they can! With lots of guest interactions, this Krewe was our favourite. The smoke effects from the Runaway Mine Train entrance was definitely our technical highlight from all of the krewes across the park.
Mutiny Bay Krewe:
Submerse yourself in the washed-up Mutiny Bay Krewe, full of crabs, fish and beautiful mermaids! Located at the entrance to Mutiny Bay, this flash mob brought the fun of the sea to the shores of Mutiny Bay. With more families travelling through this area with younger adventures, we found this area getting busier than the other krewes. Again the costumes in this area were beautiful and the huge new centrepiece was stunning and could have always been there. For those that got too close to it, you might have been squirted by one of the sea creatures! This was one of the areas that we noticed that the makeup was more creative and inspired by the area, rather than glitter and bolder colours.
Something spooky is brewing in the Dark Forest and Fountain Square area. Located near the Wood Cutters restaurant, the Voodoo Krewe is a day of the dead inspired flash mob mixed with some special effects and lots of dancing. A very high energy flash mob, one thing that would have made this area better was some more props for the dancers to play with. The area is much bigger than the others but the krewe worked it well. We cant wait to see what happens with the spooky set-piece over Halloween and the future.
X Sector Krewe:
The party doesn't stop until you've experienced the X Sector Krewe, located in the far corner in front of the Donut Factory. With sparkly costumes and lots of glitter, the Mardi Gras party is fun for all the family. The X Sector Krewe lacks a huge set-piece but cleverly uses the existing building above the doughnut factory and turns it into a DJ booth. Two smaller pods are located in the corner of the dance area however with no staff dancing in them turned into a selfie point for some guests. The costumes in this area were great again but we wish they were more themed into the area, with more smilers colours and maybe an oblivion twist.
Mardi Gras was a great event and with the late-night riding, if you spent the morning watching the mardi gras dancers, you still had loads of time to go enjoy the rides and soak up the sun! We would love to see the event come back next year as it was a huge hit. Hopefully, if the pandemic is less of an issue next year the event could take place from February to March as it does in America! The set pieces used around the park were amazing and it is a true testament to what the park can produce for an event. It's great to see the park hosting more entertainment all year round.