Orange >Restaurants > Merlin's Magic Dinner Show
2710 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA | Directions 9286933.787012 -117.824168
It wasn't that bad!! I had a great time – I bought my ticket before reading the reviews. I wanted to take friends out at the last minute and found this on-line. I then decided to read the reviews. The reviews are much too harsh. Let me explain.
We were seated near the front. I expected the worse but was pleasantly surprised. The theater for the show was clean and nice. The staff was very nice. We walked in and was seated immediately. I expected to be the only group there according to the reviews but we were almost a sold out crowd. There were families celebrating birthdays, communion, and anniversaries. All were made to feel welcome.
Another criticism according to reviews was the food. Our food was delicious. Everything tasted good. It was enough to fill you up and some people even took boxes home with left overs.
The show was fun. I enjoyed the magic. Its not like you are going to a show in Vegas. Merlin performs a few neat tricks and keeps the audience engaged. Its not like you are going to a knock down show stopper where the cheap seats are $80 +. But for the price it was just right. The children really enjoyed it especially when they were asked to sit up front so they could both see the show and particiapate.
Conclusion, I am so glad I bought my tickets before reading the reviews because I would not have gone and would have missed a fantastic evening. If you are looking for a Vegas show or something a little more classy than spend the $80+ for a show and have dinner for additional amount somewhere else. But if you just want a good meal and a little light entertainment for a reasonable price than this is your place. We had a great time and I look forward to taking other friends and family for an afternoon out. Most of the time I read reviews and the writers are right. But this time, I really think some of you are wrong. If you are expecting a show with dinner at this price to be like an extraveganza, then stop being cheap and go pay for what you are looking for instead of writing bad reviews on a great deal because you are too cheap.
Merlin – Homemade Soup of the Day is a hearty chicken soup with carrots, celery, and onion. The broth was outstanding with a robust chicken flavor. The vegetables add a great flavor and texture. Thumbs up!
Not what Goldstar advertised – We were told that there was great food and entertainment by " saucy wenches " serving our food plus a magic show..
The 2 wenches were middle aged and Merlin the quote magician was also the only waiter!!
The food was not good, under cooked chicken..
Besides being rude while taking our orders he was a terrible magician.
Needless to say we do NOT recommend this place and Gold star should take it off its ad.
rip off – I can't believe how many personal friends Merlin has writing 4 star reviews for his show! I boasts itself as the "best show in town"...if you consider a 4 block radius "town" it probably is, but with so much professional entertainment nearby this one is a joke. I doubt they'd let this guy set foot near the Magic Castle where the real magicians perform. This show is of the "pick a card any card" variety. He even does the "linking rings" trick any school kid can do in his sleep. The patter is corny, the servers are just frustrated high school drama students trying to maintain their English accents all night (mine was even wearing army boots under that wenchy dress!) The food is substandard, and as you've heard Merlin also serves as waiter before he goes around behind the curtain to start his cassette of "magic show music" and rolls out his ear worn tricks. The brochure picturing him levitating members of the audience is bunk. "He just does parlor magic in a back room of a rib joint". Check out Medieval Times or the Pirate Adventure if you want a real show.
Over priced don't waste your money – We came in not knowing where to stand or what to do. Had to ask if this was the correct place for the show. They keep you all crowded into the small front lobby and like others have said you get to watch the girls run back and fourth very dis-organized. Then Merlin walks around with his wizard coat and hat on. Walks around like a waiter and takes your reservation. They had Merlin working the tables too. We sat and sat and waited to be served what seemed like forever. Took then so long to start to bring food. Merlin did some rookie tricks, like a carnival would have. Then Merlin would go back to the back of the room and wait for his next time to show. Soup came first, and then a drink. The drink was gone before the food ever was served. Have to say the food was pretty good. They stalled everything out so you have to listen to this loud Merlin till jokes. If that was not enough Merlin even got everyone to tap on the tables with their spoons for applause. Lovely to listen to while you eat. Never will go back . Food was good but would go into the main tables and eat, not the show place.
Waste of money. Even after eating we felt stuck there while they stalled so everyone might keep ordering drinks and stuff. Didn't work for us, we got up and left after eating. Not worth it even if it was free.
kitchy but fun – This show is not going to be the best show you have ever seen in your life, I mean seriously, at most you are paying $29.95. If you are smart and don't order online, you will find one of the many coupons printed in the newspaper, posted online, or given out by other people that have gone to the show. But what I can say is that this show is well worth the money. It is totally kitchy, but overall, a lot of fun. The jokes are bawdy and silly. The tricks are cute and fun for the kids. The wenches are haughty and entertaining (not to mention the cleavage). The food is great, and the drinks are strong.
Overall, I had a great time with this show. If you go in thinking that it is going to be some fantastical show filled with special effects and daring adventure, think again. It isn't like that. It is an enjoyable and entertaining family show. It is worth checking out, just be sure to bring your good humor, because it will only add to the kitchy charm. Oh, also, be sure to make your reservations in advance--I made mine late and got sat in the back. I still had a great time, but next time I bring my family, I am going to make reservations early so I can get a front row seat.
Very fun show – My family and I went to the show to celebrate my sister's birthday. We had a great time, and for a 2 hour show, you can't beat the price. The "wenches" were fun and Merlin had a great sense of humor. The food is included in the price but we were able to order lots of extras, like appetizers and bar drinks. A very entertaining family show, the kids and adults all had a great time and enjoyed the magic and the jokes. Have not eaten in the restaurant part of the building but would definitely recommend the show to friends.
Magic show let down – This really was a let down for my family. I made reservations with the nicest & friendliest young lady and she really got me, my wife & 3 kids hopes up for a spectacular magic & comedy show! If it wasn't for her being very informative, we would have doubts. She sold us the show!
However, and fiirst of all, who would ever think the dinner theater would be in an old & deserted restaurant? My 5 year old did not even want to go in. We felt like we were entering a scary ride. No one was there to greet us and than a young girl came ripping around the corner out of breath to ask why we were there?? Strange?? We sat in the chairs in what we think is the front lobby to watch & listen to workers back & forth with setting up the showroom. It was a turn off to hear the girls talk about their personal problems and comments about customers when we were excited to see the show.
We finally went in the showroom or just a enclosed room and a big man dressed in a funny tacky wizard costume was starimg at us a few minutes before he even said hello and to find out he is Merlin? He was a little funny but not near a comedian and his magic was old and not impressive. He sweats alot on stage and why does he take food orders at tables? His costume litterally stinks! We had a terrible time and we have no interest in magic shows again, at least not at The Rib Trader. We would rather spend $29.95 a person for just a dinner without the horrible so called magic & comedy show.
Do yourself a favor and Save your money & time....
Great family entertainment & surprisingly good food – We couldn't agree at all with the negative comment posted by "haroldhill". We took two 12 year olds & two other adults tonight to the 5 p.m. show & were delighted from the first moment we walked in. We were greeted at the door by Merlin who directed us to our table, followed by a bawdy "wench" who had us laughing immediately & feeling comfortable & anticipating a lot of fun. We weren't disappointed. It helped that we made our reservations several weeks in advance & had a front row table. The kids were enthralled & even though some of the adult humor went over their heads, they were fascinated with the magic tricks & the kid level jokes. We four adults couldn't have been more entertained by the family show & laughed out loud almost the entire 2 hours we were there. There was a period of time when the kids were invited to come up front & join in the show & they make it even more special if they're celebrating a birthday. If you're looking for a Magic Castle show for this price, you must be really kidding yourself, but we definitely felt we got our money's worth for 4 adults & 2 children for under $150.00. We tacked on another $16.00 for non-alcoholic beverages, tax & a generous tip & we still got out of there for under $200.00. Do the math. It's approximately $30.00 per person with everything included. A movie & popcorn these days will set you back about 1/2 of that price & this is "live entertainment" & a full-course meal folks without the offensive four letter words every other second. A real treat for a special occasion or just a fun night out. A+.
save your money – With overwhelming positive reviews from some obvious friends of Merlin at another website I invested over a hundred bucks and took my family on our LA road trip and was extremely disappointed. The magic show contained none of the "bigger" tricks featured on his website or brochure....it consisted of parlor magic ranging from various versions of "pick a card, any card" to making a hanky disappear by shoving it into a false thumb to the capper of the evening, the earworn "magic linking rings" (yawn). Comedy stemmed from Merlin's "saucy wenches" reciting blonde jokes while trying to keep up their fake English accents...high school drama students at best. The meal was nothing to rave about...Campbells chicken and rice soup served in melmac bowls was far from "homemade"...the ribs were tiny and not so tasty, the drinks were pricey and the whole evening consisted of Merlin taking your order, strolling backstage to turn his interlude music on and off (he desperately needed some kind of music during his show to fill the lulls!) and doing his parlor magic off a steel folding table provided by the restaurant. Save your money and go to a real magic show at the Magic Castle or enjoy the Pirates Dinner Adventure or Medieval Times down the street. The Merlin show hails itself as the best dinner show in the area...I'm honest enough to say it's true....if it's a "one block area" surrounding the tiny Rib Trader restaurant there in the city of Orange.
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