The door to Wonderland recently appeared at the Craft Hall in Philadelphia, PA starting on December 8, 2021. This magical door will only be open in Philadelphia until January 2022, then it will close and repeat somewhere else. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to visit Wonderland, I visited and attended the Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party. The Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party is a Fever Original Event that provides one-of-a-kind experiences all over the world. After gathering my thoughts on a truly unique event. I’m ready to share my review with all of you! Usually, I would break this down to the good, the bad, and the hmmm, but this one is all good! With one critique.
The Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party is an immersive experience from start to finish! Before you can enter Wonderland, you must sign a form regarding Covid-19, a safety measure they put in place. Guests enter the Hatter’s room which is filled with an assortment of ornate hats for guests to wear during the party. Who goes to a party and does not wear a lovely hat? No one. Though I did opt to wear my horns. After selecting a hat you simply must try it on in the fitting room but in the fitting room is a surprise!
The fitting room is no ordinary place, like all things in Wonderland it is magic. The Doormouse compliments you on your attire, asks you to dance, and then teaches you how to get through the mirror into Wonderland. This particular experience is extremely important. Many guests felt uneasy and the interaction with the Doormouse offers a sense of comfort. It stills the nerves and lets the guests know this will be an enjoyable evening. Everyone who found their way into Wonderland had a smile and the Doormouse is very much responsible for that.
I won’t give away how you get into Wonderland but it set the mood for a fantastic evening. Myself and the guests were transported to the Wonderland Tea Gardens where the Hatter, Doormouse, March Hare, and the Tweedles are waiting for you. The Tea garden is positively beautiful, filled with odds and ends the Hatter has collected, flowers, and fairy lights.
The dress code was casual but many guests were dressed in their Wonderland best. I spoke with some of the guests and many were there to celebrate! There was a couple who recently got married, a woman celebrating her divorce, several girl’s night outs, and some were seeing friends for the first time since covid happened. This whimsical tea party runs for 90 minutes. During this time you receive 3 magical cocktails (they have non-alcoholic options), a tray of tea snacks, a chance to take photos at Instagrammable locations, and an out-of-this-world show.
The live performance is the highlight of the evening. It’s a mixture of improv-comedy, cabaret, a theatrical play, and a little bit of MTV’s Wild’n Out! The Hatter and his friends interacted with the guests the entire time, thus providing incredible and unpredictable moments.
The comedy is in no way cookie cutter or “Disney-like,” it is filled with F-bombs, innuendos, perfectly placed puns, and on several occasions, old-school roasting. The Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party knows its audience is 21+ and holds nothing back!
My favorite moment from the evening is a sing-along that had the audience singing “True Colors,” by Cyndi Lauper. There was also a moment when the Doormouse performed a seductive performance of “Push it” by Salt-N-Pepa!
If this event had no cocktails or food and was just the three of them performing, I would still recommend this as something you must do!
Speaking of cocktails and food! Let’s discuss. The three cocktails were delicious and themed after a different element of the beloved book and films. Gin was the spirit star for those who chose to have alcohol, while a mixture of tea, juice, and a bit of absinthe shined in the non-alcoholic versions.
All the drinks leaned a bit to the sweeter side and I imagine that is to play up the childlike nature of the world of Wonderland. During the designated “tea times,” the Hatter, Hare, and Mouse interacted with the guests and also created moments for the guests to interact with each other. Even if you never met the person sitting next to you, by the end of the experience, you knew their name, 3 facts about them, and gave them your sexiest finger point! The last one is not what it sounds like.
Each drink offered a little bit of magic that made them all Instagram-worthy.
While I loved 99.999999% of the pop-up event, I must address the Cheshire Cat in the room- The Food. The Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party DOES NOT sell itself as a dinner and a show. So, you should have no expectations of a buffet-style meal or a multiple-course dinner. However, it does offer light refreshments, emphasis on the word light.
The food is fitting for an actual tea party. There were finger sandwiches, hummus with pita chips, and a brownie for dessert. However, the portions must have drunk the shrinking potion because they were tiny. Many of the guests shared with me that if they had known the portions were small they would have eaten before the tea party, while others were making reservations to eat dinner elsewhere as soon as the party was over. A few guests stated they would have opted for non-alcoholic drinks because alcohol and an empty stomach are not an ideal combination.
I give the Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party an A-
I highly encourage you to purchase a ticket to the Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party when it comes to your city! I believe it is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event that you will cherish and remember forever. There is something so magical about an event that can provide laughter, joy, and bring strangers together. If you have been looking for something to do that’s worth leaving your home in a pandemic, this is the one. You do not have to be a lover of Alice in Wonderland to enjoy this experience but those already in the fandom will get exactly what they are hoping for and more.
For more information on this event and Fever’s other events head to their website! You’ll get to see what events are in your city and all around the world. Just select your location and get ready to follow your fandom to one-of-a-kind experiences.