Mark Miller, owner of Arabian Nights, talked recently about the dinner show’s 25 years of operation in Kissimmee and its revamped show called The Royal Celebration. Here are some of his observations.
• On changing roles: “For 25 years we’ve had a princess looking for her prince. This is an arranged marriage to combine two tribes [in the new show]. It seems small but it makes a huge difference in the way the plotline goes.”
• On what happens next: “I won’t tell you the whole plot, but somebody becomes evil. And bad things happen. And then, as in the kind of fairy tales I like, good things happen after bad things happen. This is not the Brothers Grimm here.”
• On changing tastes: “The pace of the show has had to change over the years to be more immediate. It’s got to roll a little faster. I always look at the show as something like a dance. It has to have a rhythm to it. If it doesn’t have a rhythm, it isn’t going to be good.”
• On the changing world: “All business has changed a lot. Since we feature horses, they’re sort of timeless, you know. It’s great. A beautiful horse is still a beautiful horse and everyone still connects with them on a very basic level.”
• On the Arabian Nights audience: “Honestly, most people come here to see Disney, and we’re happy they’re here. We love Disney. They bring us all these people. … Very few people come to Kissimmee to see us, but a lot of people plan to see us when they’re here. “
• On what didn’t change: “We have four or five acts in the show that if we took them out, people would never come to see us again, they would be so mad.”