Dinner Thearters

I am always on the lookout for fun family places. We did the amusement parks, we have been to many museums and we did the active and adventurous thing. So now where to go?

Many of our friends talked about dinner theaters and we visited one of them long ago, so we decided to explore the dinner shows in our area.

Two if my favorites are Medieval Times and Pirates Dinner Adventure. Read more about them below. 

Please feel free to share your experiences too by adding your own articles and/or posting comments.

 

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Medieval Times

Medieval TImes - Vanquished

Recently my family and I received an invitation from the king to attend a feast and tournament at the Buena Park castle and were given the royal treatment. During this momentous event we enjoyed a four-course meal and were entertained by many acts of bravery, swordsmanship, jousting and combat. 

Going to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament feels like stepping back in time to an age of castles, kings, knights and stallions, battles of honor and chivalry and great duels to the death. If you enjoy movies like The Sword in the Stone or shows like Merlin, then you will feel at home in this medieval 11th century castle. 

Before the show

Medieval TImes - Good clean fun

As you enter the castle, you get assigned your seat and colors and you will receive a crown with the same colors.  The colors represent the knight that will defend your honor during the tournament. Be prepared to cheer for your knight and boo the other knights. 

Your seat assignment depends on the package you purchased and your time of arrival.  If you get the King’s Royalty package, you are guaranteed a seat in the first row. With the royalty package, you get a seat in the first 3 rows.  

If you are getting the standard package, you should try to get in 1 hour before the start of the show.  This way you can get better seats from the remaining rows. No matter what row you end up in you will still have a good view of the action. The rows are arranged in stadium style with a lot of clearing from the row in front of you. 

While waiting for the show to start you can enjoy some mixed drinks at the bar. They have good margaritas in large souvenir glasses that you can take home. The reception hall also showcases horses, swords and shields. The kids can buy toy swords and shields and the adults can admire and buy the real things. 

Medieval TImes- The King Arrives

The Feast

When we decided to visit Medieval Times, we weren’t expecting a gourmet meal, but we were pleasantly surprised with a good and filling meal.

Everyone gets the same feast. You start with a hot tomato bisque soup with garlic bread. After the soup you get a large piece of roasted chicken, a spare rib and herb-roasted potato wedge. The portions were large and filling. No one in our group was able to finish the meal (you can ask for a takeout box if you have a lot of leftovers). Make sure to leave room for the dessert – an or apple turnover. Soft drinks are included.

If you are a vegetarian, make sure to let the reception staff know before you enter. They will arrange for a special meal. 

Finally, you don’t get any utensils so expect to eat with your hands and get messy - but if you insist they will bring you a plastic form and knife. 

Our server was great. He was friendly and attentive. He made sure we got our food on time and refilled our drinks quickly. Tips are expected, like any other restaurant.  

Medieval TImes - Jousting explosion

The tournament

This is a big production show with as many as 75 actors, 20 horses, a lot of weapons and a large arena. 

The knights start the tournament in friendly competition. First we witnessed some awesome sword fights - with sparks flying on contact and shield clanking when hit. Then we enjoyed jousting matches with horsemen knocked off their horses. When a knight wins a fight, he goes around throwing flowers to his section. 

We also watched a falconer showing off the grace and obedience of her Falcon. 

Later the tournament turned more ominous when a neighboring king requested the princes as a prize. The champion knight had to defend the princes’ honor and vanquish the offending knight.

The show was very entertaining with some audience participation. We really did not feel the passage of time. The only low moment in my opinion happened towards the middle of the show. A lone horseman spent a lot of time showing off his horse dancing and prancing to great music. Don’t get me wrong, the horse was magnificent, but this act was way too long. I am only guessing that they probably needed this intermission to prepare for the next act.

This description was deliberately kept brief to avoid spoiling the fun and surprises for everyone.

Value for the money

This dinner and tournament is a little on the pricy side. You pay $57 for standard tickets and you can add $10 or $20 for the royalty packages. But keep in mind that you are paying for a 4 course meal and a show.

Throughout the year you can find special deals through Groupon or through Medieval Times website. I saw some deals for half of the normal price. 

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

7662 Beach Blvd

Buena Park, CA 90620

1-866-543-9637

 

 

Merlin Magic Dinner and Show

Merlin Magic Dinner and ShowIf you are looking for something different to do with the family on a Saturday evening this place just might fit the bill.

The Rib Trader in an established BBQ restaurant in the city of Orange CA – offering a great selection of BBQ dishes. You can visit any day of the week for lunch or dinner, but on Saturday and Sunday they set aside a banquet room for the Magical dinner and show with Merlin. You will need reservations for the dinner and show, so plan ahead. This is a family show, enjoyed by young and old, so don’t expect a Las Vegas style production. 

This is a family show, enjoyed by young and old, so don’t expect a Las Vegas style production. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised with the entertaining magic and the food quality. 

Merlin Magic Dinner and ShowAs you enter the dining hall, Merlin himself greets and checks you in. Your waitress, also called “Winch”, guides you to your assigned seats and takes your order. 

There are only two main choices on the menu: Adult or Children dinners. For adults, the meal includes BBQ chicken and Ribs, baked beans, Cornbread and Coleslaw. You can substitute for all ribs, all chicken or Salmon for an additional price. The kids get chicken sticks as the main dish. Everyone starts with a delicious vegetable soup. While orders are taken and

While orders are taken and the food is served, Merlin starts his engaging show. Everyone gets to participate in the fun. Some adults and children are invited up to the stage to help with the magic tricks. The magic is very basic with all the standard tricks, but very well performed by Merlin. The kids loved the show, but everyone enjoyed Merlin’s jokes. Some of them were for the adult audience ears. I am glad we decided to give this place a try, but I would a long while before I go back

Merlin Magic Dinner and ShowThe magic is very basic with all the standard tricks, but very well performed by Merlin. The kids loved the show, but everyone enjoyed Merlin’s jokes. Some of them were for the adult audience ears.

I am glad we decided to give this place a try, but I would be a long while before I go back for the magic show. I will definitely go back to the Rib Trader to try some of their other dishes. Merlin usually has 2 shows on Saturdays and one show on Sunday. The dinner and show ticket for adults

Merlin usually has 2 shows on Saturdays and one show on Sunday. The dinner and show ticket for adults is usually $30, but you can get a discount at Groupon. Drinks, substitutions, dessert and gratuity are extras.

2710 E Chapman Ave
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 744-9288
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Pirates Dinner Adventure

Pirates-Dinner-Adventure

We started our “Dinner and Show” tour by visiting Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park. We were pleasantly surprised. The show was a delight and the food was good. 

We started by posing for a photo op behind the helm of a ship. You can pick some props from a basket – mainly different style captain and pirate hats - and be as serious or as silly as you like. You get to see the result at your table and decide whether to buy it – no pressure. The main reception hall is large and it has 2 bars and a gift shop. While you wait, you are served appetizers (included in the admission price). 

We came in late so we only got to try the Mozzarella sticks and the mini Tacos. They were both delicious. 

The adults ordered Margaritas in a large decorative glass that you get to keep. The price is steep, but you are really paying for the glass. If you are so inclined, you can get refills for half the original price.

Pirates-Dinner-Adventure

While we were sipping our margaritas and enjoying the snacks, the pre-show started. It is basically a setup for the main show and a quick introduction to the actors. 

I am going to avoid giving too much detail about the pre-show and main-show so I won’t spoil the surprises for you.

When the pre-show is done you will be escorted by your pirate to your dinner table.

Once inside, you will come face to face with a huge replica of an 18th century Spanish galleon anchored in a 250,000 gallon indoor lagoon. The seats are arranged stadium style around this stage, so everyone can have a good view of the action.

The main show was great and interactive. Lots of sword and gun fights, acrobatics, high jumps and dives - and a mutiny. Also to settle a dispute between pirates the captain announces races.  

Three members of my family were selected to participate in one of the races. A lot of children were selected from other sections to participate too. They were thrilled to be pirates for a day.

The actors were good and entertaining. They engaged the audience and were funny. 

Pirates-Dinner-Adventure

The servers start serving your meal right away while you are enjoying the show. You get a salad or soup. I had the vegetable soup and enjoyed it. My wife had the salad and it was a good garden salad. We had a choice of half roasted seasoned chicken or ham for the main course. We picked the chicken and it was well cooked and tasty. The chicken plate comes with rice and vegetables. The ham plate comes with stuffing.

We especially liked the desert which was bread pudding with baked apples and ice-cream (they just call it Apple Cobbler al a mode). You also get a soft drink of your choice (included) or you can order mixed drinks from the bar. 

Our server was friendly and attentive. We did not have to ask for refills – he kept them coming.

Pirates-Dinner-Adventure

All in all it was a very good way to spend an evening away from home and away from the ordinary restaurant. It is a good start to our planned Dinner Theater Safari. 

Regular ticket prices are $57 for adults (ages 12 and older). You can purchase an upgrade to guarantee first rows seating. 

See more details about this adventure at www.piratesdinneradventureca.com.

7600 Beach Boulevard,

Buena Park, CA 90620

714-690-1497

866-439-2469