Anyone in Central Florida with access to a television set has heard the advertisements featuring the enthusiastic shout, “It’s HUGE!” Normally the slogan refers to a thrilling day in the Orlando and Kissimmee Fun Spot America amusement parks, but for the next two months, it’s all about the Mardi Gras party.
Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 16 this year, but celebrations as huge as the ones Florida’s Fun Spot parks are throwing can’t be contained in just one day. Instead, their festivals run from Feb. 5 – April 11, with colorful decorations, jazzy music, a kid-friendly parade, and the flavors of New Orleans, a city that truly loves its food.
Float parades are a hallmark of the annual event, and the Fun Spot parks have come up with a family-friendly, COVID-safe version with their “Children’s Mardi Gras Parade.” Each Saturday during the celebration, Fun Spot Revelers will hop aboard the Fun Spot Train and toss bead necklaces to children ages 12 and under as the train makes its way through the park. Kids celebrating a Birthday Party in either park can follow the train’s route as honorary Kings and Queens of the festival.
Every Mardi Gras celebration features plenty of food, and this one is no exception. Check out the park’s Bayou Bites Menu, bursting with New Orleans flavors:
- Jambalaya: A steamy combo of spicy sausage, shrimp, chicken, bell peppers, onions, and garlic in a tomatoey Creole sauce, served with rice with a corn muffin.
- Voodoo Chicken: Cajun spiced boneless fried chicken wings with a generous splash of sweet and spicy Thai chili sauce, served with Cajun-seasoned fries.
- Gator Bites (available in the Orlando park only): Dunk tender fried alligator meat nuggets into Fun Spot’s special “Nawlins Sauce” and you’ve got a Floridian specialty, served with Cajun fries.
- Andouille Sausage Po’ Boy: Spicy sausage, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles served on an artisan roll and slathered with “Nawlins Sauce” make this a true Big Easy classic.
- Cajun Fries: What’s not to love about fresh-cut French fries tossed in Cajun seasoning? Dip ’em in Nawlins Sauce for an extra treat.
- Beignets: Have you even been to a Mardi Gras festival if you haven’t indulged in these crispy fried pastries dusted with powdered sugar? Served with a side of chocolate sauce, because there’s no such thing as too much sugar when you’re celebrating Fat Tuesday.
- King Cake Sundae: A New Orleans tradition, served in a cup. Vanilla soft-serve ice cream with cake crumbles, cinnamon sugar, and a generous swirl of caramel, all topped with Mardi Gras sprinkles.
- Mardi Gras Festival Apples: Caramel apples decorated Mardi Gras style! Choose from three variations, each covered in gold, purple, and green sugar or sprinkles.
- Fat Tuesday Funnel Cake: Calories don’t count during this particular festival, so dig in to this crispy funnel cake topped with cinnamon sugar, whipped cream, and Mardi Gras sprinkles.
- MG Mocha Shake: An indulgent coffee and chocolate milkshake topped with Mardi Gras sprinkles.
- Mardi Gras Cotton Candy: Delicate cotton candy spun in shades of purple, green, and yellow.
- Popcorn Parade: Popped corn in the event’s traditional colors.
When you’re ready to kick the celebration up a notch, Fun Spot’s Nawlins Spirits Menu features three tempting cocktails:
- HUGE Hurricane: Rum, Passionfruit Juice, Orange Juice, Grenadine
- Blue Bayou: Vodka, Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice, Sour Mix, lemon
- Voodoo Juice: Coconut Rum, Banana Liquor, Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice
But wait… There’s more! Along with traditional Mardi Gras events, Fun Spot Orlando has refreshed its Escape Room attraction with a distinctly New Orleans theme. The Backwater Bayou escape room coaxes visitors down an alley off of Bourbon Street and into a backwater swamp in a race against time to defeat the dreaded swamp queen. Up to six players can enter during each session, and tickets and reservations must be made at the park’s Admissions booth.
For more information about park hours, directions, tickets, and more visit Fun-Spot.com.