Orlando has a well-deserved reputation as the theme park capital of the country and even the world. Many vacationers spend all of their time at the major theme park complexes, never venturing outside their borders. While this is certainly one way to have a great vacation, those who make their way out into the rest of the city will find some delightful surprises.
Orlando is also home to a wide variety of dinner shows. All dinner shows follow basically the same format: some type of pre-show entertainment, a multi-course dinner or buffet, and a full length performance. Often the performance is interactive, utilizing audience volunteers or otherwise involving the audience in some way. The performance may be held either during or after dinner.
While the format of dinner shows may be somewhat formulaic, the content of the shows varies widely. At an Orlando dinner show, you may find yourself transported back to the days of lords and ladies for an exciting joust competition; an invited guest at the wedding of nobility; solving a murder mystery; or in the middle of a 1920s gang war, just to list a few of the possibilities. Virtually all of Orlando’s dinner shows are of the highest quality and are well-worth the investment of time and money.
At Arabian Nights, located on the famous Hwy 192 tourist strip, you will be an honored guest at the wedding of a prince and princess. A battle between good and evil plays out dramatically as an uninvited guest threatens the proceedings. The main stars of the show, however, are the horses. The story takes place on horseback in the largest permanent indoor equestrian arena in the world.
Arabian Nights’ horses are world-famous. Most populous in the show are the white Arabians, which are an ancient breed that is considered the forefather of modern light riding breeds. Arabians are bred for power and stamina as well as beauty and strength, making them an ideal breed for the demanding stunts required by the show.
Another breed that is used in the show is the Spanish Andalusian. Andalusians are a medium or “warm” breed, somewhere between the fiery Thoroughbreds and the so-called Draft horses such as Clydesdales. Andalusians were the original breed that founded the famous Lipizzan line. Their combination of temperament and speed make them truly flexible performers.
Arabian nights also features a variety of Quarter Horses, such as Buckskins, Paints, and Appaloosas. Quarter Horses are strong and quiet, but capable of sudden bursts of speed. This makes the breed ideal for their role in the show.
The Belgian and Percheron lines are so called Draft or “heavy” horses. Known for their quiet strength, Draft horses have been used throughout history to carry loads and pull equipment such as plows and wagons. In the Arabian Nights show, this strength is utilized as the Draft horses provide the heavy power of the show.
The Paint Horse is many guests’ favorite due to its beautiful markings. The Paint is a variety of Quarter Horse that was the symbol of the American Wild West. Uniquely prized for their beauty and color, Paint Horses are a magnificent addition to the Arabian Nights show.
The Black Stallion is Arabian Nights’ most famous horse. He has appeared in multiple books, films, and television series. The Black Stallion appears in Arabian Nights by special permission of the family of his creator, Walter Farley.
Arabian Nights opened as a family business on Feb 29, 1988. Since that time, the show has consistently won a host of awards. The show is a regular winner of the Orlando Sentinel’s Reader’s Poll among many other honors.
At Arabian Nights, the guest is treated as a guest of honor for the wedding festivities. Your every need will be attended to by humble “servants.” Dinner includes a salad, a choice of four entrees (including one vegetarian option), vegetable and mashed potatoes, and unlimited house beer, wine and Pepsi products. For dessert, you will be offered a slice of the wedding cake. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated as well. Just let the company know what you need when you make your reservation.
Reservations are required, particularly during popular times of the year. VIP pricing is just slightly higher than standard rates and includes upgraded beer and wine options in the VIP lounge, a souvenir poster, priority seating and a meet and greet with the performers and horses prior to show time. Children’s tickets, for ages 3-11, are approximately half price and children under age 3 are admitted free.
Be sure to visit the show’s website at www.arabian-nights.com . The website features more in-depth information about the performers, horses and show as well as incredible pictures from the show. There is also a download area with a variety of activities for children and adults alike. Also be sure to check out the online store.
Arabian Nights is a top-rated show for a variety of reasons. The unique indoor equestrian venue, powerful and beautiful horses, amazing performers and breathtaking storyline combine to make Arabian Nights a true spectacle. Completely unlike anything you have seen before, and wildly different from the other Orlando attractions, Arabian Nights is a true must see for every Orlando vacation.