This past Saturday, Leap and I surprised the kids with a trip to Arabian Nights Dinner Show in Orlando. We already had our tickets (discounted of course) but I upgraded them to the VIP Experience for $15 more per adult and $12 per child. The upgrade included the Sneak Peek Stable Tour, Priority Seating (we got 1st row!) and half off drinks the entire night. Even with the extra fee for the VIP Experience, I count Arabian Nights as a Frog Family favorite and a GREAT value.
Here’s how it went…
Check-In & Appetizers
We arrived at Arabian Nights at 7 p.m. and checked in for the VIP Experience. After check-in, we joined the rest of the guests in the Great Hall for appetizers, which included pasta salad, fresh vegetables and dip, and chips and salsa. There was a beautiful belly dancer who weaved through the crowd for photos and quick lessons for willing guests. (FYI: Leap is no belly dancer!) She also performed short numbers on the stage and kept the crowd updated on when and where the night’s events would take place.
Sneak Peek Stable Tour
From the Great Hall, VIP guests were led through the Palace of Horses arena to the stables where we got to meet and interact with the real stars of the show…the horses! It was such a treat to pet these amazing animals. Tad and Lily’s favorite part was getting to sit on one of the large draft horses. Leap liked being able to wander through the stables and peek into their stalls. The best part for me, other than taking pictures of the kids on the horse, was watching the cast member paint the horse who would later appear in the Native American Tribute part of the show.
After the stable tour, Leap took the kids down into the arena for stick horse races with other young guests. I went ahead and found our seats and captured some great videos of the little cuties having fun. (Sssshh, don’t tell Tad I used the video camera since he is the videographer of our YouTube videos after all!).
I know everyone is curious about the food since this a dinner show we’re talking about and dinner show food is notoriously ‘blah.’ Our server, Tiffany, was great and reminded us that if we weren’t completely satisfied we could order something else. Well, I’m happy to report that all four of us cleaned our plates; it was much better than expected and there wasn’t a single complaint. I had the pot roast on a pastry puff and Leap had the pork loin with Marsala sauce. Both entrees were served with mashed potatoes, vegetables and a roll. Tad and Lily both had the chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese.
Tad and Lily had so much fun in the hour and a half before the show that I’m pretty sure they thought that’s what we had come to do. So when the actual performance began, their eyes lit up, their mouths gaped open and they kept repeating one word…WOW! (Leap and I did the same thing, actually.)
All-American girl and champion rider Sherry Smith discovers she is actually the Princess Scheherazade. Along with her genie guide, Abracadabra, she takes the audience on a journey around the world to find her prince. Beginning in Europe, we saw the Royal Horsemen Quadrille (watch the video). They were so regal and the costuming and music fit the theme perfectly. From there, we were led to Latin America to see a Spanish Toreador handle the garrocha pole masterfully.
The next part of the show, and in the opinion of all four Frogs, the best part of the show, was the Gypsy Acrobats. Picture this: man standing on top of very large horse, woman standing on man’s shoulders, all while the horse is galloping in a circle. Now picture this: same man standing on horse with another horse following closely behind, man does back flip onto second horse, all while the horses are galloping in a circle. The entire act was truly amazing. Watch a video of the Gypsy Acrobats here.
The last part of the show took us to America where we watched Western Square Dancing (on horseback) and back to Arabia where Princess Scheherazade found her prince, Prince Khalid. Spoiler alert: The Black Stallion reappears in the final act and is ridden by the Princess…with no hands! Watch a video of the Black Stallion here.
The gates opened and in rushed ALL the horses from the show, without saddles or bridles. To watch them run, play, buck and roll around in the middle of the arena was a perfect way to end a fabulous evening at Arabian Nights. Watch a video of the Post Show here.