Mardi Gras & Oktoberfest 2021

Danscott22

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
For Oktoberfest last year didn't they have ride close of 6 or 7pm with park close at 8pm on weekdays? So guests could enjoy the stage and entertainment for longer but the expensive ride operations is minimised?
It was a Monday-Thursday ride close of 6pm, entertainment until 7 was it? and Friday-Sunday were ride close 8pm, entertainment until 8:30pm.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
It was a Monday-Thursday ride close of 6pm, entertainment until 7 was it? and Friday-Sunday were ride close 8pm, entertainment until 8:30pm.

That I think would be the best compromise overall. ride close at 6pm, stage to at least 7pm Mon-Thurs. If at 6pm a ride has a 60 minute queue the park wouldn't be closing til 7pm anyway as that ride will need to clear the queue.

It's difficult with covid distancing but would be especially nice if at closing time the entertainment moves from the stage and procession with the entertainers and guests all make their way from the lawns and up Towers Street and out, sort of a closing carnival again.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
You do realise that the sun sets after half past nine on that date, a Monday?
Chances of a sunset ride would be pretty slim I would guess Matt.
I wasn’t specifically wondering about a sunset ride, more whether the close might be late(ish). I guess we’ll find out soon enough...

Also, is it known if Standard MAP holders can get into Mardi Gras for free, or do they have to pay? I was only wondering because I know that Standard MAP holders are often excluded from events such as Scarefest and Fireworks; I have a Premium, so I’m OK, but both my parents have Standard, so I hope they’re still able to come in...
 

AT86

TS Member
I wasn’t specifically wondering about a sunset ride, more whether the close might be late(ish). I guess we’ll find out soon enough...

Also, is it known if Standard MAP holders can get into Mardi Gras for free, or do they have to pay? I was only wondering because I know that Standard MAP holders are often excluded from events such as Scarefest and Fireworks; I have a Premium, so I’m OK, but both my parents have Standard, so I hope they’re still able to come in...

There are no restriction dates for Mardi Gras for standard pass holders. For future reference you can find the restriction dates here.

https://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/important-information/terms-conditions/restriction-dates/
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
This might seem like a bit of a wild theory, but is there any chance that to accommodate the sunset rides they've advertised and not increase operational costs, AT will open later and close later? Say, open at 12 and close at 9? I know this sounds crazy but it makes more sense than a 10-9 day surely, and I can't understand why they'd advertise sunset rides if they weren't going to actually deliver on it.
They won't be able to deliver on sunset riding anyway since sunset is way past 9pm at the height of summer. I also wouldn't open later in the morning since you'd want people eating at both dinner and tea time inside the park.

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AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Whilst the event will be running from 22nd May to 20th June, the resort jobs page is advertising for performers with 15 performance dates. This suggests that, like Oktoberfest, the weekend and half term days (of which there are indeed 15) will be the 'peak' days when the full event experience will be found.

Peak "full entertainment" dates for Mardi Gras will be:

22/23/29/30/31 May
1/2/3/4/5/6/12/13/19/20 June

It is therefore highly unlikely that the park will open anywhere near as late or have the offering on off-peak weekdays. Which I guess was always probable.
 
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Heidi

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Wicker Man
I'm confused by the King and Queen thing, the website said entries are to be made on tiktok before the 14th of May but also that they'll be chosen in a ceremony in the morning on Towers Street, how will that work?
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Can I be cynical for a minute and consider the fact that some of the events and festivals are an excuse to have third-party food vans on the lawns so Alton Towers don't need to staff and run as many of their own catering outlets.

I think some of it (particularly Oktoberfest) is to get guests in the park in the quiet season, but also it does feel like Mardi Gras is an effort to brand some food vans really.
 

Alsty

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
If that's the case, instead of hiring in food vans they should let outside companies run their foot outlets... and do it permanently. Maybe then we'll actually get some quality, variety and less shuttered units.
 

Ben

TS Founding Member
Favourite Ride
Your Dad
You know when I think of Mardi Gras, the famous New Orleans festival in the Deep South of America I think of gumbo, crawfish, beignets... not Yorkshire pudding wraps and New York pizza.

Im happy to see there's some different food options as the park desperately needs them, however don't p!ss on my foot and tell me its raining.
They have clearly just got any mobile food units they could, I think our retail park has an ice cream one if you want a contact towers
 

Dave

TS Founding Member
Not sure what folk where expecting? Of course it was going to be food vans.

If you expected Epcot food and wine festival in year one then disappointment was always going to be your friend.
 

swalesuk01

TS Member
For me its not that they are using food vans that's a given, for me it's the fact they are seemingly ignoring a whole street food culture that goes with the festival. Apart from the King cakes it might as well be an around the word food festival.

It's nice to see them broadening events but it just seems such a missed opportunity or lazy not to source out street food to match the festival. Instead it looks like they have just gone to the usual vans to cater the event which is why people will be cynical of them.
If you want to use outside catering for an event I would prefer to see them theme it to the festival rather than just any food van I can get at any event.

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rob666

TS Member
So it is Mardi Gras with the wrong food on the wrong dates, but it is still much better than the alternative...nowt.
I notice the Munich Oktoberfest has also gone to the wall due to the virus, so we should be grateful for what we have got.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
For me its not that they are using food vans that's a given, for me it's the fact they are seemingly ignoring a whole street food culture that goes with the festival. Apart from the King cakes it might as well be an around the word food festival.

It's nice to see them broadening events but it just seems such a missed opportunity or lazy not to source out street food to match the festival. Instead it looks like they have just gone to the usual vans to cater the event which is why people will be cynical of them.
If you want to use outside catering for an event I would prefer to see them theme it to the festival rather than just any food van I can get at any event.

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Yep this is the main issue, they are getting some random food vans and then adding an event that doesn't match them. At least with Oktoberfest they had German ssagues and other appropriate foods.

It seems like they don't want to invest in selling their own burgers properly (hence the rollover hotdogs which have a longer shelf life at the Forbiddon Valley BK) when they can just get someone else to bring a van in and take all the risk.
 
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