Entertainment Beyond the Parks: Orlando's Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

March 18, 2015, 9:01 AM · For many of us the greatest aspect of any visit to a theme park is the immersive environment. The moment when we disappear into another world. On my latest trip to Orlando I was lucky enough to visit Diagon Alley for the first time and what a great first impression, wandering past the London facade and into a magical marketplace. Even stumbling into Simpsons land for a Buzz Cola and Krustyburger was a cool immersive experience. But after exploring the park for many hours I started to wonder about other immersive experiences that can be found in Orlando. For my wife and I the only thing in Orlando that can rival a trip to the parks is a visit to Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Show.

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

I have been to several dinner shows over the years and Sleuth’s is without a doubt the best experience. Be warned, however, this show is not intended for young guests and many of the jokes will probably go over their heads. The venue does do some more family-friendly shows so it is best to check with the box office and see what show would best fit your dynamic. The show costs $59.95 but there are many coupons and discounts available (including on their own website) so a little digging can go a long way. The price point is all inclusive and includes a rather large meal, drinks, and the show itself. The appetizer course included a salad, bread rolls, and crackers with spreadable cheese. For the entrée, patrons have the choice of lasagna (meatballs optional) with garlic bread or Cornish game hen with stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans and a sweet potato. The desserts rotate but on our visit we had a choice of Key Lime pie, chocolate cake, or strawberry shortcake.

A major draw for many visitors is the unlimited drinks that come with dinner. In addition to coffee, lemonade, and soda, beer and wine also is included. You can easily get your money’s worth with just dinner and drinks. The only complaint I had all evening is that the food, while plentiful, was nothing exceptional. None of it was bad, for sure, but much of the food was a bit bland and uninspired. Fortunately the quality of the performers more than makes up for this slight misstep.

The actors are top rate and absolutely brilliant at interacting the crowd. Unlike most dinner shows where the guest is merely a passive observant, here you are an integral part of the story. There are 15 different shows which feature unique storylines. On our visit, we were guests at an Italian wedding. Various performers worked the crowd while the other tables were getting seated and each actor played their roles perfectly and really made you feel as if you were part of the wedding reception. Although there were only five main actors their varied and over-the-top personalities really shined. There was the Father of the Bride who was financing the dinner who clearly had a goodfellow complex and made his fortune in the concrete shoe business. His nephew, Vinny, the fast talking New York detective who could give the entire cast of Jersey Shore a run for their money in stereotypes. The Bride, an obviously deranged (but hilarious) spendthrift, and her Maid of Honor who is constantly on the prowl for a hookup. Some of the biggest laughs of the night came from the lovelorn Best Man who very clearly laid out his rules for dating him. (I do not want to spoil the gag but suffice to say they were brilliant).

Once the guests had all been seated, the characters reveal some of their backgrounds and relationships with each other. All this dialogue is not only hysterical but necessary information as each actor clearly has a hidden agenda. Towards the end of the exposition a murder is committed and the entrees are served. Each table works as a team and over dinner you discuss possible questions to ask the culprits and put together motives. After dinner the actors come back to the stage and the audience gets to interrogate them and ask questions. All characters are required to tell the truth about any question except the killer who will obviously lie. The shows are created so that each character has a decent motive and opportunity to be the killer so deducing who is guilty is not always easy. Once every table has asked their questions each guest must write down who they think is the killer and their motive. At the end of the show the plot is revealed and killer unmasked. Unfortunately, no one at our table came up with the correct answer but others in the room did and won a small prize.

I really cannot recommend this show highly enough. It was funny, engaging, and totally immersive. The actors deserve much credit as they are masters at improve and play off the audience beautifully. After a long day of riding broomsticks or fleeing from a Disco Yeti at the parks there is nothing better than to sit down, have a couple of drinks, and solve a murder.

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows is located at 8267 International Drive, next to Kings Bowl and the I-Drive 360 development. If you've visited Sleuths or any other dinner shows in the Orlando area, please tell us about them in comments!

Replies (2)

March 18, 2015 at 9:13 AM · "there is nothing better than to sit down, have a couple of drinks, and solve a murder"

And crashing a wedding? That's like double torture.

March 20, 2015 at 6:56 AM · If you're ever up at Massanutten Resort in Virginia (they're an RCI, so you can use DVC points, if you want). I HIGHLY recommend the Clever By Half Productions murder mystery dinner. I've been to a lot in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, etc. and it is by far the best one I've ever seen!

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