Alton towers resort is no stranger to pulling off some fabulous events with the likes of scarefest, an event that has been running now since 2007 and proves each and every year to still be very popular with guest's today, the fireworks and even Santas sleepover it was only a matter of time before Alton towers would use their creativity and magic making skills to expand on their evergrowing list of events and seemingly they have done just that listing "Oktoberfest" as a brand new event for 2020. Unsure if any of the resort's events would go ahead that season or if Alton towers were even able to resume normal operations due to the global pandemic and the restrictions that were in place somehow still they managed to pull off the events, besides the fireworks, in a safe and spectacular way and Oktoberfest despite all the restrictions that were in place provided to be popular with the guests so much so that Oktoberfest will be returning for the 2021 season something I'm so excited to experience and will no doubt touch upon another time!
At the end of that season, I expected the return of scarefest and potentially Oktoberfest to return into the 2021 season but had little to zero hopes for anything big or new due to the ongoing pandemic and the restrictions that followed into 2021 that was until however when Alton towers opened their grand gardens to the guests to visit that pictures began emerging of a seeming new event for the season- Mardi Gras- as well as the return of Oktoberfest, scarefest & the fireworks and of course there's quite a lot of speculation as to what the Alton towers Christmas event will be like this season too, an event I will also be visiting and will no doubt write and share my thoughts about. When i saw the photos online of the advertisements for Mardi Gras i have to admit i was excited, curious and very hopeful that the event would be just as spectacular as past events however I didnt expect it to be quite as good as it was (so much so its now joint top with scarefest as my favourite event at the resort!) and im delighted that i get to relive my magical memories of that very event and share with you all my review on the brand new event for 2021, so sit back and relax because its a review and an event not to be missed!
When I first pass through the turnstiles and onto towers street I'm almost always in complete awe of my surroundings with the stunning towers in front of you in the distance, the lawns, the frog fountains and colourful buildings lined up one by one besides you, it truly is a magical moment that I always stop to take in and I always count my blessings at just how lucky we are to have such a wonderful theme park in the UK that's filled with so much heritage and history and walking into towers street for Mardi Gras was no different except the colourful buntings and vibrant Mardi Gras props of course!
Upon entering towers street for Mardi Gras you are almost instantly aware of what the event will bring (Big & grand, Bold & vibrant and a whole lotta fun spring to mind!) with the theme tune we all know and love being jazzed up to fit the event perfectly blooming out of the speakers, 2 purple and green floaters waving in the air and lots of colourful props and buntings it definitely brings you a sense of excitement and happiness about your day ahead something which let's be honest is what Alton towers is very good at doing in every one of our visitor's to the park but especially for this event in particular. As you walk through towers street you are surrounded by what looks like small, colourful stands each with the different Krews logo's on them now you might be wondering what on earth the krews are so let me explain a little about them. The krews basically represent each area of the park, which I will list all of them below, and at various times throughout the day, each Krew members will make their way over to their designated area of the park and put on the most flamboyant of shows in front of their decked-out areas something which I have to say I really enjoyed and also a huge credit to the entertainment team at Alton towers who managed to pull off some of the most spectacular costumes and shows throughout the day as well as being very complementary to those of us who decided to make the most of the event by dressing up ourselves! As well as the krews doing shows in their areas of the park throughout the day, they also come together at the beginning and at the end of the day to perform on towers street, something that was no to be missed as it really does get you in that Mardi Gras/street party feel especially with as I've mentioned before all of the colourful buntings, props, costumes, entertainment team saying "happy Mardi Gras!" and jazzed up music being played. Touching upon what I previously mentioned about the krews, I wanted to share with you all some insights into what each krews area of the park looked like as the colourful props don't just stop on towers street but in fact continues to each area of the park!
Starting off with The Mutiny Bay Krewe now as you might be able to guess this is the krew that belongs in the mutiny bay area of the park and as to be expected the mini-stage that they created specifically for one of the crew members to stand on and perform was themed around the sea (of course shark bait reef stands within the mutiny bay area) as well as the costumes which also matched perfectly to the overall theme of the mutiny bay krew plus some fabulous music and vibrant performances of the krews themselves as well as a performer on a tricycle which i have to admit really complimented the whole carnival/street party feel very well.
Next, we move onto the Katanga Krew which as to be expected had a completely different theming to the mutiny bay krew (i would say the theming in this area gave me more of a Mexican feel) and situated just at the side of the classic runaway mine train Alton towers had once again placed another small stage with a speaker and a microphone for a performer of the Katanga krew to stand on and engage with guests and I have to say I absolutely loved this area with the fog coming from the smoke machine that was situated by the stage as well as on top of the runaway mine train sign this area of the park was definitely high energy and whole lotta fun and every now and then you would capture a glimpse of the runaway mine train passing behind the stage.
We then have the Forbidden Valley krew which gave me more of a picturesque vibe as opposed to the mutiny bay and the Katanga krew all of which had totally different and unique things to match their area. The stage they used for the forbidden valley krew, which was situated just by the old nemesis logo, resembled a robot and once again you had a member of the krew dressed in red and brown coloured costumes and hats stood on the stage encouraging the guests to dance and party as well as the performances from the krews themselves which was something i thought that definitely bought the event and all of the different areas to life.
Moving onto the dark forest where we then have the voodoo krew which has to be my second favourite krew out of them all purely for the vibrancy of the props and costumes and the makeup on the entertainment team plus the stage that the voodoo krew stood on which was a huge pink skull with colour changing lights inside of the skulls eye and smoke machines at either side just made for a spectacular performance from the krews themselves and the theming of this area definitely reminded me of another traditional Mexican holiday, the day of the dead.
And last but by no means least we have the X-sector krew which was of course located within the x-sector area of the park. The stage for the x-sector krew was slightly different to those of the other areas of the park with the stage being located on top of the doughnut factory outside of oblivion, it was still as vibrant and bold as the previous krews stages and the street performances and costumes once again didn't disappoint. With the sound and views of smiler trains passing by, oblivion dropping into eternal darkness behind the stage and the high energy performances from the krews themselves its no wonder the x-sector krew became my favourite krew of them all but the krews and the spectacular street performances wasn't the only thing Alton towers had to offer for this event they also provided something much tastier down in front of the towers themselves.
Overall I have to say I wasn't expecting quite as much as I got from this event. From the very moment you stepped onto towers street you were welcomed by the krews, the music, the decorations and you just knew that the day would bring you so much fun, laughter and much-needed escapism from the world as we know it currently. I really have to praise Alton towers and the teams behind the scenes who created the costume designs to building the props, came up with the event itself and of course, the entertainment team who always do such a wonderful job at what they do anyway but especially doing it with all the restrictions that are in place and ensuring the guests feel safe whilst also creating so much fun during your visit. Finally, I really hope Alton towers bring back this event in the 2022 season and I shall look forward to seeing if they add anything new to the event in the future and I'm looking forward to seeing whether it can top this seasons success of it!
If a Pulled Pork Nachos from the Wicker Man area isn't enough for you then how about a Sunday roast in a Yorkshire pudding!
From Crips on a Kebab Stick to cookies and Sundays Food Street had it all!