With half a dozen productions going on at any time, Myrtle Beach is a great place to see a big show. And while you might assume travelling with small children counts you out for a dinner show, you're wrong. Myrtle Beach is home to not one, but two, fantastic dinner shows for people of all ages, from toddlers to their great-grandparents: Pirates Voyage and Medieval Times. They're perfect for families looking for thrilling spectacles and great food.
There are at least a dozen different moments in Pirates Voyage when you're likely to think, "But that's not humanly possible!" And that thought is probably quickly followed up by, "Do it again!"
Without giving away too much, let's just say these are not your average 18th century sailors. These are pirates with some serious acrobatic, gymnastic, diving and circus skills.
Pirates swing, fly and bounce, across the water and up walls while mermaids twist, flip and glide through the air and water. Sea lions race, waddle and get up to some naughty antics while the crowds cheer on their team of pirates.
Food is plentiful: soup, pulled pork barbecue, barbecue chicken, buttery potato, corn on the cob, bread and an apple turnover for dessert. Soft drinks are included, and specialty and alcoholic drinks are available for purchase.
Everybody gets in on the fun when the crowd is divided to cheer on two teams of pirates. Even grown-ups can't help but shout themselves hoarse as their pirates race for glory. It's hard to overstate how much fun the show is.
Insider tips: When someone comes around at the start of the show selling flags, consider buying one for each child to wave during the competition at the end of the show. And make sure you get there when the doors open. There's a fun and funny pre-show in which the pirates come out and show off some of their crazy skills, like juggling and have-to-see-it-to-believe-it balancing acts.
From the moment you pull up to the big castle and walk over the giant drawbridge, you know exactly where and when you are: Medieval Times. As honored "ladies and lords" at the king's feast, you'll dine on pewter plates on half a roasted chicken, roasted potato, corn, bread, soup and a pastry, and have your choice of soft drinks served in a tankard. And best of all, you'll do it like a true medieval lady: with your hands. No forks or spoons back then, so none now. Alcoholic drinks are available for additional cost.
The plot of the show is a king holding a festive tournament of knights. The audience is divided into six sections, each cheering for their own knight as they compete on horseback in increasingly difficult feats of daring and skill. A nefarious interloper shows up, however, and demands the princess's hand in marriage, turning the once fun games into a battle of life and death.
Really, though, it's a show about horses - beautiful, incredible, well-trained horses. Some prance and leap in impossible ways. Others joust and race at full speed across the sandy stage in the middle of the building. They are the true stars of the show, and it's thrilling to watch them and the knights compete.
By the end of the show, everyone in your family will be cheering for their knight, begging for the roses they throw into the crowd after each contest and wildly waving their pennants and light-up swords.
Go Blue Knight!
Insider Tip: The jousting and sword fighting towards the end of the show is intense, so if your little ones are easily frightened, remind them that they are at a play, and that it's only make-believe. The "Dungeon," a small display of medieval torture implements, which you can visit for an extra charge before the show, is not appropriate for children. And finally, as with Pirates Voyage, consider buying the flags for sale before dinner starts. They really do add to the fun.