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It’s time to celebrate Mardi Gras in Williamsburg, Virginia!
The Busch Gardens Williamsburg special event, Busch Gardens Mardi Gras, started on Friday, January 27, 2023.
It will then run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (as well as President’s Day) through February 26.
On Fridays, the park will be open from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The park hours for Saturdays, Sundays, and President’s Day will be 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
And during that time, you’ll be able to experience so much Mardi Gras themed fun!
This includes delicious Cajun food, live entertainment, and even a popular cirque show. Plus, you’ll still be able to ride some of your favorite attractions.
In this travel guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this unique Mardi Gras party at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. And we’ll let you know how you can save money on admission to this event.
Mardi Gras Menu
There are 7 special locations throughout the park where you can get Mardi Gras inspired treats, eats, and drinks.
And before we go over what you can eat at each location, we want to let you know that you can purchase a 5 or 10 item Mardi Gras sampler. It’s a lanyard that can be used over multiple days and includes either 5 or 10 entrees, desserts, 10 oz. beer, 3 oz. wine, 7 oz. cocktail or specialty non-alcoholic beverages (though not flights or souvenirs).
If you’re planning on purchasing multiple food and drink samples at the different Mardi Gras kiosk locations, then these samplers are a great way to save money.
And those locations are as follows:
Clancy’s Cajun Creations (Ireland)
- Oyster Po’ Boy (new this year)
- Shrimp Etouffee
- Fried Okra
- Cajun Hushpuppies
- Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
- Red Beans & Rice
Grogan’s Pub (Ireland)
- Cajun Meatballs
- French 75
Cafe Lulu (France)
- Specialty Beignets (new this year)
- Passionfruit Hurricane (new this year)
Creole Grill (New France)
- Blackened Chicken
- Crawfish Boil
- Mardi Gras Corn
- Fat Tuesday Rum Runner
King of Cakes (Germany)
- Mini Mardi Gras Funnel Cake
- Banana Fosters Cheesecake
Bayou Bar (Oktoberfest)
- Cajun Snack Mix
- Crawfish Dip
- DarKoaster Specialty Cocktail (new this year)
- Bayou Margarita
- King’s Cup Daiquiri
- Southern Spiked Lemonade
Big Easy Spirits (Oktoberfest)
- King Cake Cinnamon Roll
- Magic Mimosa
- Cajun Bloody Mary
Busch Gardens Mardi Gras Entertainment
Live music, a dance party, and a scavenger hunt are some of the fun things you can enjoy at the event!
This cirque spectacular, returning from last year, has a fun Mardi Gras theme. You’ll be amazed by the acrobatic tricks, acts of strength and balance, and impressive artistry. This show is housed in the Globe Theatre in the England section of the theme park.
You can purchase reserved seating beforehand for a particular date and time. There is no assigned seating; instead, you’ll get access to the reserved seating area, which is first come, first served. Please note that you’ll need to check in at least 10 minutes before showtime. Also, strollers are not permitted in the reserved seating area.
Mardi Street Party
Brand new for 2023, you can catch this parade of colorful street performers (like stilt walkers and ribbon dancers) in France. And make sure you try to catch some beads from the jesters!
New Orleans Jazz Band
If you love New Orleans jazz music, you’ll definitely want to catch a performance by this brass band at Das Festhaus in Oktoberfest.
These court jester drummers, performing in the Germany section, have a jazzy NOLA rhythm.
Killarney Village Band
Inside the Abbey Stone Theatre in the Ireland area, an Irish jig band shares their version of Mardi Gras rock. And as an added bonus, it’s indoors, so it’s a wonderful way to warm up on a cold day!
Mardi Party DJ
In front of Das Festhaus in Oktoberfest, a DJ playing the top hits of today creates an upbeat party atmosphere.
Masquerade Scavenger Hunt
This is an opportunity for the whole family to get involved! It’s a park-wide, Mardi Gras themed scavenger hunt.
Rides & Attractions
A visit to Busch Gardens Williamsburg wouldn’t be complete without some fun rides, would it?
Children can explore and have fun at Sesame Street Forest of Fun, as well as the Land of the Dragons.
Additionally, the following roller coasters and rides will be open:
- Apollo’s Chariot
- Finnegan’s Flyer
- Oscar’s Whirly Worms
- Le Catapult
- Prince Elmo’s Spire
- Busch Gardens Railway
- The Little Gliders
- Elephant Run
- Der Autobahn
- Der Autobahn, Jr.
- Der Roto Baron
- Little Balloons
- Li’l Clydes
- Flutter Sputter
- Kinder Karussel
- The Flying Machine
Please note that Verbolten and Apollo’s Chariot may be closed in the case of inclement weather or colder temperatures.
Ways to Save Money on Admission
In order to attend Busch Gardens Mardi Gras, you’ll need park admission. There are a few different ways you can save money on your tickets.
Half Off Tickets
Right now, you can get up to 50% off a date specific ticket to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. This means that you’ll need to select the date you want to visit when you purchase the ticket.
And you can save even more money if you purchase All-Day Dining with your ticket. Usually, All-Day Dining costs $44.99. And that is a good deal – we go over why it’s worth it here. However, you can currently add the All-Day Dining deal to your ticket for just $40 more than a regular ticket! (Please note that it’s possible not all restaurants will be open on the day of your visit.)
Click here to take advantage of these savings.
Free Water Country USA Visits
Do you want to visit Busch Gardens several times in 2023?
Right now, you can get a 2-Park Fun Card that gives you unlimited visits to Busch Gardens Williamsburg through September 4, 2023. Now, this won’t include Howl-O-Scream or Christmas Town. But it will give you many opportunities to visit between now and September 4!
What’s more, Water Country USA is included in the Fun Card for free. You can visit the water park an unlimited number of times between May 13 and September 17, 2023.
You can purchase a 2-Park Fun Card here.
Busch Gardens Preschool Pass
Do you have a preschooler in your family?
Good news! Right now, you can get a 2-Park Preschool Pass… for free!
Seriously, you cannot beat this price!
Children ages 3-5 are eligible for this special pass. It includes unlimited visits to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA through October 31, 2023. You can “purchase” the pass online (it’s for $0.00, and you don’t have to enter credit card information). And you’ll need to register and take your first visit by May 31, 2023.