Let me start with the positives. The decorations were neat. Now onto my experience...
First, my girlfriend and I drove two hours to Elaine's Haunted Mansion for an 8pm dinner reservation. Since the show was supposed to begin at 8pm, we rushed. When we arrived, we were told the show would start 20 minutes late and to either wait at the bar, check out the gift shop, or wait outside on the veranda. The bar was overcrowded, so we had to stand in the gift shop with other people who were waiting for the 8pm show, and then we sat outside for about 10 minutes.
When we were called to be seated, the woman at the front desk asked another employee, "Where is the escort to take them to their seats?" The employee answered, "She is still getting into costume...you seat them." The front desk woman then laughed and said, "Well I guess I will be seating you this evening." This did not come across as professional and definitely did NOT help me be happy after waiting 20 minutes to be seated.
As soon as we were seated, a male waiter immediately approached us and said, "I need to take your orders right now because we are pressed for time since we are starting the show late." This is when I started to become angry. My girlfriend and I had to rush our decision on what entrees we wanted because the establishment's show was running late? At this point, any hopes of having a good experience dwindled away.
As we waited for cream of broccoli soup to be delivered, I noticed there were puddles of dishwasher water on our plates. After drying off our plates, my girlfriend reached for a butter to put on her role. The butter was open and half used! Next, I realized our silverware was sitting underneath our dinner menus. As germ conscious individuals, we hate when menus are sat on top of silverware. Dishwasher water puddles + open and used butter + menus on top of silverware = uncomfortable eating situation.
Now, let me talk about the food. For drinks, we both ordered ice tea. For entrees, my girlfriend ordered chicken parm with linguine, and I ordered the Tex-Mex pork loin. For dessert, we both ordered chocolate cake. The positives? The cream of broccoli soup was good, and the pork loin was cooked perfectly. The negatives? The ice tea tasted awful, the chicken parm seemed like it was microwaved, the linguine was water-logged and mushy, and the pork loin was bland with salty rice. To top the meal off, the chocolate cake tasted like cardboard and seemed stale...and I never dislike chocolate cake! Even the coffee served at the end of the meal was bad. I hate complaining, but the bad meal after a bad first impression upon arrival made me very unhappy.
Finally, let me talk about the "show." The show consisted of one man reading three stories from a book. As he reads the stories, two actors come out and add some quick acting scenes. From the description on the website, I expected much more. The website gives the impression that people would be popping out, or some sort of surprises would take place, but none of that happened. Where were the moving paintings, where was the ghost that passes us by, and where was the creature that escaped from the laboratory? All we got were ghost stories! The website should explain what the entertainment will actually be instead of describing false, hypothetical situations.
After paying for dinner, we immediately left. I hate to sound bitter, but I had high hopes for this place. My girlfriend loves everything that is spooky and Halloween related, and I had taken her to the Haunted Mansion for her birthday dinner. Sadly, we both left upset.
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