Review: Mardi Gras 2023 at Thorpe Park

Mardi Gras, Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park is another of Merlin Entertainments’ theme parks that is now well on board the Mardi Gras bandwagon.

On first impressions, there appears to have been a little more effort put into the event here than at Chessington.

There are several large pieces of artwork around the park that encourage Instagram moments, as well as a themed cocktail bar and some extra street food stalls.

There is even a creole-themed pizza on offer, while feathered stilt walkers freely wander around the park.

Thorpe Park’s dedicated Mardi Gras map/guide also makes it easy for those looking to make the most out of the event.


The parade – a highlight – has a great route that snakes its way through many of the park’s main thoroughfares.

There’s glittery colour – again mainly yellow, green and purple – and loud carnival music for the reasonable crowds that have gathered to observe.

It’s just a little bit too short though, with only a few vehicles and a dozen or so performers.

But all of the cast are smiling, waving, dancing and engaged – even during the last of the three performances, at 17:00.

Mardi Gras, Thorpe Park
A solo singer performs on the Mini Stage

Elsewhere, solo instrumentalists and singers perform on the Mini Stage, and dancers regularly appear on the Mane Stage (which is much smaller than Chessington’s).

There feels much more going on at Thorpe Park’s event than at Chessington’s, and crucially the offerings are much easier to come across without planning – but if you want to plan, that is also much easier.

With greater numbers of everything across the board, this version of Mardi Gras definitely shaves Chessington’s as the best in the South East.

Thorpe Park’s Mardi Gras event runs until 11 June this year.