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Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to check out the new version of the Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park, a slightly tweaked revision of the original. I had seen the show before and was eager to see how drastic the changes were. It turns out that the show is more or less the same with the exception of a shoehorned in subplot concerning the discovery of a dragon egg. In my opinion, this new aspect of the show neither hinders nor enhances the rest of the show. Audiences are still able to marvel at the same spectacular stunt-work, fight choreography, over-the-top comedy, and funny love story that the dinner theater is known for. Only now with a dragon.
It has to be a tricky business putting together a show such as this. There needs to be a cohesive narrative and enough spectacle to keep people’s attention. At the same time, the audience is eating dinner throughout almost the entire performance and not 100% committed to what’s happening on stage. It seems as if the way they deal with this is by having an overwhelming amount of activity happening at once. There is always something going on, and if you miss one sequence, there’s another one right around the corner. It’s loud and over-the-top and it works perfectly in this venue.
The location itself has a pretty spectacular setup. The audience is seated around a moat, and in the center of this moat lies the pirate ship that serves as the stage for the show. There are no bad seats in the house, and everybody is right in the middle of the action. Everybody is assigned to a particular section, represented by a different color. There is a different cast member assigned to represent each section so the audience will have a routing interest in the outcome of the various pirate battles and games.
Keeping things even more interesting, people are selected at random from each section to participate in the games portion of the show. There is also an opportunity for several children in the audience to board the pirate ship and play a significant role in the happenings on stage. The odds are pretty strong that somebody in your group will end up involved in the show in some capacity, creating terrific memories.
Unfortunately, the food isn’t great, but it’s serviceable for what it is. They offer chicken or ham, with steamed vegetables and rice. There is also a soup or salad before the main course, unlimited sodas and a dessert. It’s not the best meal I’ve ever had, but I definitely left full and felt like I got my money’s worth.
Overall, the show proved once again to be a highly entertaining night out. Sure, it’s extremely cheesy, but it’s also a great deal of fun. Performances were appropriately campy across the board, and everybody involved seemed to be having a good time. While I enjoyed the entire program, I have to single out two set-pieces that were simply extraordinary. One involves two pirates riding a rotating ladder at top speed, and another is a spectacular aerial sequence straight out of Cirque de Soleil. The whole show was entertaining, but these sequences truly wowed the audience.
Don’t forget to get there early as there is a highly entertaining preshow in the lobby that sets up the main narrative, as well as providing some pretty entertaining stunt-work in it’s own right. There is a bar for while you wait as well as plenty of available souvenirs. This is a great outing for any occasion and I highly recommend it to pirates of all ages.
For more info and to purchase your tickets, visit the Pirates Dinner Adventure Website at:
Pirates Dinner Adventure
7600 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
Tickets were provided at no cost for this review by Pirates Dinner Adventure Marketing. Opinion and article is the author’s own review of the venue, show & Dinner.