Over at Disneyland they boast the one and only New Orleans Square, which is the perfect place to celebrate Mardi Gras all year long. So just imagine how popular it gets around this time of year when the Mardi Gras season is officially back in full swing! Not to be outdone, though, Walt Disney World Resort shines through with its own claim to Mardi Gras fame—one that rests largely in its adjoining Port Orleans Resorts. So, if you happen to be on vacation at Walt Disney World Resort right now and you’re looking for an excuse to eat, drink, and be merry by way of getting into the spirit of Mardi Gras then you have an array of awesome options awaiting you. Here’s your guide of suggestions we’ve scrounged up for you on how to celebrate Mardi Gras at Disney World.
First, on a bit of an introductory note, it’s worth noting that Mardi Gras this year falls on March 1. What perfect timing, because it’s spaced out in a way that it comes directly after President’s Day weekend and just before the start of Spring Break for most of Florida’s schoolchildren. This means you lucked out on the calendar in timing your Walt Disney World vacation! Do be mindful, however, that there are likely to be other vacationers hailing from Mardi Gras hotspots seeking out the quieter happenings within Florida.
Head to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
If you’re already at Walt Disney World Resort this weekend then you’ve more than likely already booked accommodations at the hotel of your choosing. Even if you didn’t opt for a stay at Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarters or Port Orleans – Riverside, though, it’s okay. Enjoying the ongoing Mardi Gras-laden festivities happening onsite here is something that all guests can get into, regardless of where they are staying. Although, it goes without saying that if you do happen to be on-location it makes things a lot more convenient.
For the Love of a Parade
Throughout the years, Disney’s Port Orleans sister resorts have put on a lesser-known miniature parade procession, with golf carts decked out into themed floats and Cast Members jovially tossing beads, candy, doubloons, and other goodies to onlooking guests. It’s a fun little festive way to celebrate, all while keeping things low-key. Because the event and any following onsite activities planned around it go largely unadvertised beforehand, it’s always best to contact the main desk to ask about when and where all this will take place on the grounds.
Or perhaps you and your family want to lead in your very own parade! All it takes is a little imagination and a couple of bike rentals. Fortunately, Port Orleans has those available onsite as well, right at the Riverside Levee Marina. From traditional two-wheel bicycles to fancy surrey bikes, don your best greens, golds, and purples and hop along for your own joyful joyride.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides
If bike riding isn’t your thing, then you may want to celebrate the Big Easy in a “big easy” kind of way. We’re referring to pure relaxation and unwinding a bit with a scenic horse-drawn carriage ride. Since early February these ongoing rides have been taking guests along the beautiful banks of the Resorts’ Sassagoula River, through the splendor of delightful magnolias, lovely Spanish moss, and even allowing for opportunities to spot resident wildlife.
Have a Bounty of Beignets
Many would agree that the best part about Mardi Gras is eating beignets—those traditional doughnut-like delights that have been celebratory staples in Mardi Gras festivities for so many centuries now. And it’s no secret that Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter is quite popular for their offerings of such. Just stop on in at their resident Scat Cat’s Club – Café and enjoy accordingly.
Live Jazz at Scat Cat Lounge
Since early February and ongoing now, you can head on over to Scat Cat’s Club – Lounge at Port Orleans to enjoy live Jazz music performances taking place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. And while you’re there, don’t miss out on the opportunity to order some of their widely popular food and beverage features, including their brand-new Bebop Bloody Mary specialty cocktail or classic Oyster Beignet Po Boy!
Let Your Taste Buds Celebrate
From Beignets to Bloody Mary specialties, there’s certainly no shortage of ways to fatten up this Fat Tuesday. But now’s the time to let your taste buds run rampant, and we have other enticing eats to suggest you try out!
First, there’s Port Orleans – Riverside’s Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Serving up savory southern cuisine kicks, you can enjoy festive flavorful hits that are legendary to the Louisiana bayou scene. From Jambalaya to even Mardi Gras Fritters, the food here epitomizes the very best in Creole and Cajun cooking.
Because Disney Springs is a foodie’s fantasy come true, it’s worth mentioning that many of the renowned dining establishments here are known to showcase special menu offerings in light of any and all seasonal celebrations taking place at a given time. And they’ve had a reputation for featuring Mardi Gras/Carnevale specials in the past, so it’s likely they will be doing so again this year as well. Therefore, it might just be worth your while to take a boat ride over from Port Orleans across the Sassagoula River to Disney Springs and check out what’s happening.
There are undoubtedly a number of other ways in which you can decide to celebrate Mardi Gras this year. But remember, you never really need a holiday as an excuse to have a good time. The scene at Disney is forever one to celebrate.