Before there was a Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, there was Medieval Times, and that’s the moral of this story. New isn’t always better.
We traveled to Anaheim this last weekend and stayed overnight to have some family pictures taken. While there, we decided to cross something off our list that we’d been wanting to experience ever since we took in a dinner show at Medieval Times almost ten years ago: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure!
Groupon frequently offers discounts for the Buena Park location, and so we snagged 4 of these tickets and made reservations, all for the same day. It was pretty easy for the middle of summer and we figured it would be a great show for the entire family.
#Ranking: Parents – #stinkydiaper | Kids – #cleandiaper
We were advised the doors opened at 5:30 pm, and the show started at 7:30 pm, but to get there early because there was a pre-show and appetizers. We got there early and waited in a long line to get in. From there we took our pictures (additional $20 charge to buy), and walked around an overpriced (even for a kitschy California dinner show) store with cheap, shoddy, and very smelly merchandise, trying not to have beer spilled all over us and our kids from the flubbing attendee’s who were shouting at each other across the room.
After rummaging around the gallery, we discovered we’d been sorted into the Blue category. Then we were expected to pay $3 each for a bandanna to show our support for the pirate who’d captured us, plus $5 each for a flag. The pre show set the stage for the event, but was overshadowed by the formalities of making sure everyone remained orderly. Though we had been “shanghaied” by the pirates, we had to make sure to allow for those with special assistance needs to board the ship first. Not to mention, we had to hold our children over our heads for them to even be able to see anything as everyone was stuffed into the open bar area of the showroom.
One of the perks of paying half price for tickets on Groupon, was that our family actually got VIP seating. This is not to be confused with upgraded seating. They weren’t the best seats in the house, but they were close up and gave our kids got a great view of the action. Plus, they got to be a part of the show to boot. Our pirate was really friendly, he made sure I knew when to cover my baby’s ears from the loud gunshots, warned my little boy so he wouldn’t get his fingers stepped on, and included our kids for the entire show.
My twins loved this adventure. They had the best time, especially our six year old son. He was in heaven. When it was his turn to go up on stage he took full advantage of the opportunity.
Our kids loved cheering, waving their flags and getting into the excitement. For that reason, it was well worth it. The scenes between the pirates were really fun, the fight routines were great and the acrobatics were outstanding, but the songs were ear splittingly awful, the acting was worse than mediocre, and the food was inedible.
Two things could have vastly improved our experience at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure. First, include the bandannas and flags in the admission price. It’s ridiculous to charge for items that are required to participate in the fun. Secondly, create a separate place for children away from the bar folk to watch the pre-show. These two things would have made a huge difference, and I probably could have overlooked the Captain’s wife nearly falling off the cannon in her high heels, the songs which had no rhythm, and the bad food.
► For Kids: This can be a really fun experience for your kids if they love pirates, and campy entertainment.
Has your family been to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure? Or what about Medieval Times? Let us know your opinions in the comments!
► Nap Version: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure wasn’t a waste of money, but I was disappointed at the value. Bad food, and mediocre acting. If you go, definitely bring costumes or some paraphernalia to feel like you are part of the theme. We were pirates for last Halloween, and my kids kept reminding me we should have brought our costumes. If you do bring paraphernalia, you could easily get away without buying the bandannas though you may still want a flag for the kids. Lastly, don’t go early; you’ll be fine if you show up about a half hour before the actual show time.
There is no shortage of other things to in Anaheim, if this isn’t your cup of tea.