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Spotlight: Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Although we’d rather have visitors choose Capone’s Dinner Show over any other dinner theater, many guests attend multiple shows during their vacation. Therefore, we’d like to provide our ‘review’ of the other shows in the area. In this post we spotlight Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. We’ll give you our favorable comments – as well as some insight as to why Capone’s may be your better choice – if you’re only attending one dinner show.

 

Read our review…

This 11th century-style dinner attraction was inspired by the true medieval tradition of royal families inviting guests to a festival and feast to watch knights compete on horseback.  You can’t help but notice the Castle’s towering white walls, complete with moat and drawbridge, in the Kissimmee landscape.  The Castle also features an authentic eight-cottage medieval village.  Some things have changed over the 27-year history of Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, such as the characters and the storyline, but the commitment to the accuracy of the weapons and costumes of the times have not changed.

Royal guests are treated to a romantic, snowy rendezvous in the woods and an authentic sword fighting and medieval jousting tournament on horseback!  This entertaining show really lets you get a glimpse into the years from the century of 1001 to 1100.  Along with the kings and knights, the stars of this show include some very talented stallions.  These magnificent horses are raised mainly at the Medieval Times’ Chapel Creek Ranch in Sanger, Texas.  This 241-acre ranch houses Quarter Horses, Menorcans, Friesians, and also breeds purebred Spanish Andalusians.  They raise more than 400 horses here and begin training them early, introducing them to lead ropes and halters as weanlings.  More initial training follows until age three, when they move to one of the nine Castles in North America.  Here, they learn advanced-level dressage from a Master horse trainer.  Then, they get to live the pampered life of a performer!

The general consensus of this attraction is the show is very entertaining, and the medieval village is interesting, but there is no staff on hand in the village to explain things to the guests.  Things were sure a lot different in the 11th century so the average guest does not know what the artifacts were used for.  The staff generally seems disinterested and robotic, not ‘in character’ like the staff at Capone’s and some of the other dinner shows.  They also have vendors running around during the show trying to sell you souvenirs.  To me, this is a turn-off.

The show also includes a 4-course feast.  This starts with soup, then chicken, ribs, potato and dessert, served by medieval characters. They do have a vegetarian meal available as well.  Most people agree that the food was not the highlight of this show, and that the wait staff gets in the way of the show.  Capone’s buffet keeps the food HOT unlike plated food with servers trying to deliver hundreds of plates of food to the guests while still hot – many guests receive cold food at other dinner show restaurants.

Medieval Times also tries to save money on their beverages by not keeping guests glasses full. I personally think the dinner at Medieval Times is probably the worst of any dinner shows in Orlando. In my opinion they would be better served increasing their quality of beverages and dinner. That’s the track we took at Capone’s Dinner & Show and we have had to raise our prices slightly to deliver a tasty meal and upgraded beverage choices.  We also offer the best selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. Medieval Times does not pour a premium draft and the only other choice for alcoholic beverages is wine.

As we mentioned in our August article, if you desire to attend Medieval Times, check with Medieval Times directly and then check out ticket resellers prices. Be sure and look at the differences on seating and upgrade deals.  They have been offering discount prices direct to consumer, so you may actually pay more going thru a reseller.

Spotlight: Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

At the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford, there is so much to do! Of course, the main attraction is the 400+ animals, some of which include cheetahs, kangaroos, leopards, and Maude, the long-time resident Asian elephant. This zoo also contains the Southeast’s largest collection of venomous snakes and non-venomous reptiles in the Herpetarium. You can even learn some things about bugs at the Massey Services Insect Zoo.

There are several demonstrations offered on the weekends including a bird show, elephant demonstration, bug encounter, and primate feeding program. They also have a special behind-the-scenes elephant encounter where you can learn more about this fascinating animal and even get to find out what an elephant trunk feels like, with all its 100,000 muscles. (Elephant Encounter is an additional purchase, weather permitting.)

Along with the amazing animals, this zoo boasts beautiful, lush botanical gardens. You can also bring your bathing suit and cool off in the Wharton-Smith tropical splash ground. Included with regular admission, everyone will enjoy cooling off on those hot summer days at this watery, animal-based playground.

You may even try ZOOm Air Adventure Park, which is an aerial adventure course featuring zip lines and rope bridges, so you can experience the zoo from an animal’s perspective – in the tree tops! There are three tree top courses available; including a kid’s course (must be 36” tall, separate admission). There are even night-time aerial adventures available. The zoo also offers Battlefield Live Orlando Laser Tag, summer camps, birthday parties, volunteer opportunities and more!

This zoo was originally opened as the Sanford Zoo in 1923 with a collection of donated animals held by the Sanford Fire Department. It was relocated later and has been at its present site since 1975 and it continues to grow as Seminole County’s premier recreational and educational attraction. The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ most visible role is to provide its guests with recreation and the opportunity to observe and learn about its unique and interesting animals. One of the Zoo’s most critical functions is to provide a refuge for animal species that are threatened in the wild. You even have the opportunity to adopt an animal!

Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located at 3755 NW Hwy 17-92 Sanford, FL, approximately 32 miles from the Orlando tourist area.

For more information about the Central Florida Zoo, visit their website. Feel free to contact Al about your visit to the Central Florida Zoo and share your tips and experience!

Spotlight: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Although we’d rather have visitors choose Capone’s Dinner Show over any other dinner theater, many guests attend multiple shows during their vacation. Therefore, we’d like to provide our ‘review’ of the other shows in the area. In this post we spotlight Pirate’s Dinner Adventure. We’ll give you our favorable comments – then at the bottom of the article, we’ll provide a few reasons why we think Capone’s may be your better choice – if you’re only attending one dinner show.

Read our Dinner Show Review

Ahoy Mate, check out the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Show for a swashbuckling good time.  This interactive show has  comedy, romance, acrobatics, a hearty feast, and plenty of action!  The ‘stage’ is actually a fully-rigged pirate ship!

The fun starts even before the show begins as you enjoy The Kings Festival, where you get to take pictures with pirates and enjoy appetizers, as well as a full bar.  You can purchase souvenirs from the gift shop.  You can also customize your adventure by upgrading your package to the Governor’s VIP Lounge Experience in the beautifully decorated Treasure Trove. The Governor’s VIP lounge is perfect for private parties (birthday, anniversary and wedding) or any special event.
(Tip: book in advance as seating is limited in the Treasure Trove and tends to sell out.)

During the show, enjoy a delicious three-course feast as the reprehensible pirate, Sebastian the Black, has captured the beautiful Princess Anita, her court AND the audience.  Audience members get to participate, and there are parts for both adults and children alike.  Dinner includes a salad or soup, chicken or pork main dish, complete with sides, and a royal dessert.  A great time for the entire family!

After this delightful show, check out the after-show party, The Buccaneer Bash.  The perfect end to an evening of adventure, you can meet the pirate crew from the show and dance the night away at this 70s-style disco.

Purchase your tickets online for a special discount. Be sure to choose the Orlando, Florida location, not the Buena Park in California dinner show. This is their other location.

Another option for adults is Treasure Tavern; a separate, 18 and older show located within the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure complex.  This 2-hour show is filled with comedy, acrobatic acts, live music, dancing, fantastic dining, and plenty of rum!  You can enjoy the signature Rum Punch, free upon entry (to those over 21).   Opened in 2010, this new show is a wonderful getaway from the ordinary.

Now that you are a little more familiar with Pirates Dinner Adventure, wed like to share how Capones compares.

  • Parking is free at Capone’s – Pirate’s charges extra to park.
  • Pre-show drinks are far more expensive than Al’s Secret Hideaway Bar.
  • Free refills of your drink during the show have been noted as slow to come – our staff will keep your glasses full.
  • ALL of our drinks are included in the ticket price – even alcoholic drinks – and we offer more choices; Pirate’s charges extra for certain drinks.
  • Because we offer a buffet, our servers will not be interrupting the show – in fact, our wait staff often becomes part of the show!
  • Our buffet keeps the food HOT unlike plated food with servers trying to deliver hundreds of plates of food to the guests while still hot – many guests receive cold food at other dinner show restaurants.
  • Our souvenirs are reasonably priced with dozens of items under $5.
  • Seating allows a little more room than some dinner shows that cram as many guests on benches with limited elbow room.
  • Although Capone’s does not offer pre-show appetizers, many reviews claim the appetizers do nothing to contribute to a good experience at Pirates.
  • Capone’s upgraded the lighting and sound system in 2008 which has added to the overall experience – especially for our older guests.
  • Our theatre has undergone a renovation – beautiful and CLEAN – and still manages to keep the 1930’s charm.

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving week is finally here (or here already, depending on how you look at it).  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the visitors to our site, and for supporting our tourism industry.

A great way to spend your Thanksgiving is by bringing the family to Capone’s Dinner and Show.  On Thanksgiving Day they offer a traditional menu including roast turkey, ham and all the trimmings. This way, everyone in the family gets to have a nice, relaxing day – no cooking, and best of all, no cleanup and dirty dishes!  This is also the day Capone’s begins their special holiday show, which runs until January 1st.  They even have a coupon for a free etched glass (one per party) for Thanksgiving day.  During the holidays, if you have a group of 15 or more adults (including teenagers), your group will receive a special group rate.

Whatever you do, we hope each and every one of you has a safe and happy Thanksgiving with your friends and loved ones.

Please enjoy this Thanksgiving poem by Joanna Fuchs…

Thanksgiving Delights

On Thanksgiving Day we’re thankful for
Our blessings all year through,
For family we dearly love,
For good friends, old and new.

For sun to light and warm our days,
For stars that glow at night,
For trees of green and skies of blue,
And puffy clouds of white.

We’re grateful for our eyes that see
The beauty all around,
For arms to hug, and legs to walk,
And ears to hear each sound.

The list of all we’re grateful for
Would fill a great big book;
Our thankful hearts find new delights
Everywhere we look!