When I think of Mardi Gras, a few thoughts come to my mind. I think of the colorful beads flying through the air. Being a little girl and excitedly watching my mom pick out me and my siblings outfits. I think of how to get the people dancing in the giant floats to throw me a cup or a huge stuffed animal. 

Now as an adult, I look forward to spending time with my friends, the parties and making plans to go to New Orleans for the giant parades. Even though I already know that the trip will probably never move out of our group chat. 

However, if you have never experienced Mardi Gras for yourself, no amount of words can describe the full experience that Mardi Gras offers. Although, these two movies come very close to what it is like to experience Mardi Gras for very different reasons. 

First up is the movie “Girls Trip” featuring Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Hadish. If you remember when this movie came out, then you remember how popular it was. This movie made more people surge to New Orleans to attend not only Essence Fest but Mardi Gras. 

The scene starts with the four friends enjoying a Mardi Gras party on Bourbon Street. Jada Pinkett Smith’s character decides to zipline out of one window to the other window across the street over a crowd of people. The zipline gets stuck while she has to make it to the restroom. 

I’m sure you can guess what happens next. The other two friends are looking with mock horror while they eventually laugh as Tiffany Haddish’s character decides to repeat the same action thinking it was done in fun.

I do not know how realistic this scene is but if you have ever been on Bourbon Street in New Orleans on Mardi Gras then you have probably seen something close enough or equally terrifying.   Everyone I knew wanted to experience their own “Girls Trip” experience.

 For some people, this movie painted Mardi Gras as a magical experience that brought friends closer and made lasting memories. For others, this movie painted Mardi Gras as how we look at Miami for spring break. Mardi Gras was painted as the holiday that welcomed good times and crazy decisions. 

I think that this movie with all the lighthearted moments and spine crushing laughs did a wonderful job at mimicking the feeling that comes when someone experiences Mardi Gras. 

Now the second movie that had one of the most famous Mardi Gras scenes is “Princess and the Frog.” Hopefully, no one has the same experience as Princess Tiana. The Mardi Gras scene started off with Tiana jumping through the crowd searching for Prince Naveen.

 One thing I personally dislike about Mardi Gras that they did a good job of portraying is how crowded the streets can get. If you have never lost someone during a Mardi Gras parade, are you truly a Louisiana native? 

Now Tiana found out that Prince Naveen wanted to propose to her. In the scenes, beads are flying and people are cheering. She looks up and sees Lotti about to marry who she thinks is Prince Naveen. 

She then realizes that the Shadow Man has the real Naveen. She gets approached by the Shadow Man and he tempts her with the life that she always wanted. Now, obviously this scene does not portray what usually happens at Mardi Gras realistically. 

Although, this scene will no doubt be one of the most memorable Mardi Gras scenes in cinema. Disney of course plays a role in that. But, if I were to rate these two movies in which one contains my favorite Mardi Gras scene, it would have to be based on this criteria. Which scene would I like to experience? Which scene do I think portrayed Mardi Gras the most realistically?

Now depending on who you ask, you would be surprised to hear what scene people might think is the most realistic scene. We all know that Voodoo practices were and maybe still are heavily practiced in New Orleans, so Tiana’s experience may be realistic for some. Personally, I would have to give my vote to “Girls Trip.” If we can just ignore the zipline scene, it is more realistic. 

I too would have loved to end my Mardi Gras with a prince, but realistically most of us are more likely to go out and have a good time with our friends. Now of course, I would rather experience “Girls Trip.” Being a college student or an adult in general, it is so hard for everyone to be able to be free on the same day. 

Planning trips in your early twenties feels more like wishful thinking when you have a big group of friends. Not to mention, in the movie the girls had the time of their life. From reconnecting with old crushes and finding new passions, I would have loved to experience that feeling. However, they were also on Bourbon Street, so I’m not sure if that was the Mardi Gras magic or the street itself. 

That being said, “Girls Trip” would definitely have my vote for the number one Mardi Gras scene.