So, we left for Orlando last Friday for a long-weekend vacation. My sister was sweet enough to stay at our place and take care of Bailey - thanks sis! The first day of our Orlando vacation went pretty smoothly. We finished packing that morning, caught our plane in the afternoon and arrived right around 4PM, which was time perfectly by my SO, so we could go straight to the hotel and check in.
We took the complimentary shuttle to the car rental place, got our car and headed to our hotel. (See the airport in the background? I suppose technically, that is a hotel connected to the airport, but you get the jist)
We arrived at our hotel, checked in and settled in to relax for just a bit. We had the whole evening to spend at our will, so I decided to take my SO to a dinner theater. I remember growing up in Orlando that a dinner theater was a great thing-to-do in tourist-town and that we tried pretty much every dinner theater in town. My fave was King Arthur's Court, but that apparently shut down a few years ago. My next fave was Arabian Nights, so we chose that for the night. A quick tip on dinner theaters - check with your hotel concierge, because they can usually get you discounted tickets. Just remember to tip them - not sure what the going tip is for a concierge so if anyone knows, leave a comment, if you don't mind - I hope we gave her enough!
We accidentally drove to Disney (missed our turn on 536) so after some circular driving, we finally made it to Arabian Nights just in time to catch the end of the magician pre-show. After a greeting from some dude in a purple robe, we were let in to the arena where salads were waiting for us. Thank goodness because we were starving!
Now, I did check some reviews for the place before we headed over and they all said the food was terrible, especially the steak. I decided to go with the chicken option, which I thought was pretty good. The chicken didn't have much flavor, but it wasn't quite as bad as I expected based on the reviews.
My SO decided to try the steak, which he wasn't thrilled with, but I warned him! An important thing to know about dinner theaters is that you don't go for the food - you go for the entertainment. If you go to a dinner theater, don't expect to be blown away by the food - it's good, but usually not great.
Now, while I found the show to be pretty entertaining, another important thing to know about dinner theaters is that they're just that - "theaters." Your kids will probably end up having a better time than you, but I suppose it depends on what you're expecting. You also need to remember you're in Orlando where they're trying to market towards tourists. The show will probably be silly, corny, and sometimes over-the-top, so don't expect Broadway.
I had a good time. The show was pretty good, the horses were beautiful, and I thought the riders did some pretty amazing tricks - flipping, juggling, balancing, and all that fun stuff.
All in all, I'd say a dinner theater is a good thing to do in Orlando, but only if you're willing to let yourself have a good time without expecting complete perfection from the food and the show. My fave dinner theaters are: Arabian Nights, Medieval Times, and Sleuths Mystery Dinner theater. If you want a perfect dinner theater, you may want to try one of the Disney ones - they're not perfect, but Disney has an extremely high standard with everything they do, so you may like it more than the ones around I-Drive (International Drive - the "tourist area"). The only one I've done is the Luau at the Polynesian Resort and it was very good!
Has anyone out there done a dinner theater before? What did you think?