Love, Magic and Unicorns at Arabian Nights Orlando, Florida

Epic, Cultured and Magical…

Photo by Christa Thompson

Photo by Christa Thompson

Everyone heading to Orlando, Florida always wants to know which dinner show is better,  Medieval Times or Arabian Nights? Well, the Fairytlale Traveler went to both to find out the real deal on the food, the show and where the kids will have the most fun (let’s be honest, it’s about the kids…maybe).

There are two heavy towering doors that mark the entrance into the Arabian Nights Dinner Show in Orlando, Florida where I was welcomed by the more-than-enthusiastic Andres, Marketing Director for the venue. I had just been to the Medieval Times Orlando Castle and was quite honestly unsure if this evening would fill the boots of the strapping metal-clad knights.

At first sight, I was not completely won over by the main common area where patrons wander about until it is time to be seated. The space seemed dated and in need of a more cozy, fresh, new, yet magical and cultured update. Like STAT.  Medieval Times on the other hand has this in the bag complete with a drawbridge that leads you into a rich, ornate and inviting castle in a setting some 800 years old.

Photo by Christa Thompson

Photo by Christa Thompson

I was also not very impressed with the food. In terms of banquet style hospitality, they could be doing much better, it was downright awful. I didn’t even finish my meal. I think they would have better reviews if they were just a show. Medieval Times has awesome food, and you eat it with your hands just like you did back in time.

Csaba, the Hungarian Lead Acrobat for Arabian Nights with 24 years of experience. Photo by Arabian Nights

Csaba, the Hungarian Lead Acrobat for Arabian Nights with 24 years of experience. Photo by Arabian Nights

On the other hand, the staff at Arabian Nights (much like the staff at Medieval Times) is amazing, even if they were handing out gross, bottom-of-the-food-chain cafeteria food. They made us feel right at home with big smiles and enthusiasm. Even still, I wasn’t sold.  Just as I was sipping a really bad glass of wine, the lights dimmed, the music started, and out raced these flawless Arabian horses mounted by men in brightly colored Arabian costume, that just seemed to fly past the crowd as if the horses had wings. It was nothing short of stunning.

Photo by Christa Thompson

Photo by Christa Thompson

The evening progressed, filled with an around-the-world cultural display of dance, acrobatics, music, mythology, magic and a love story ending with a happily ever after. I was amazed, completely shocked, I had no idea Arabian Nights was putting on such a good show. Did I mention there was a unicorn? Yeah, I was smitten!

Arabian Nights delivered in theater. My almost 5 year old had a blast, he didn’t care about the food or the decor that was from 1980. The magic, saga, culture, dance, and circus acrobatics are what drove this show home, and yes of course, the unicorn.

Princess Amirah's unicorn photo by Christa Thompson

Princess Amirah’s unicorn photo by Christa Thompson

As always your experience, suggestions and questions are always enjoyed. Happy Fairytale Travels!

About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

5 Comments on this post

  1. I haven’t been to Arabian Nights in a hundred years and that’s because I think I fell asleep from boredom. My vote: Medieval Times, hands down.

    Christopher De Voss / Reply

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