REVIEW: Murder Mystery Dinner Train Ft Myers Florida

 

Murder Mystery Dinner Train Attraction in Fort Myers Florida

Murder Mystery Dinner Train – Fort Myers, Florida

 

 

Murder Mystery Dinner Train: A Unique Dining Experience

The Murder Mystery Dinner Train in Fort Myers, Florida was one of my best birthday dinners ever!  Partly because it was a gift from my best friends who were visiting from Pennsylvania, and I got to spend my special day with them — and partly because it was very different from the usual dinner-at-my-favorite-restaurant and flowers which are to be expected every year.  I have to admit, in over half a century I had never been to a murder mystery dinner show.  And, the fact that this one was on a train was extra special and unique.  Here’s my review of this special occasion gift…

 

Seminole Gulf Railway Train Car

Seminole Gulf Railway Train Car

 

The Fort Myers Murder Mystery Dinner Train has been running for about 25 years, since the early 1990s. The popular Southwest Florida attraction is operated by the Fay family who runs up to 4 railcars during each excursion. They had purchased and refurbished vintage sleeper coaches that each hold 50 passengers, for a total of 200 when the train is at capacity.  Our tickets were for the Sanibel Car, which my friend Donna is introducing in the photo above.

 

Appetizer: Hand Crafted Cheese Selection With Crackers And Seasonal Fruit

Appetizer: Hand Crafted Cheese Selection With Crackers And Seasonal Fruit

 

Upon boarding we were escorted to our reserved table which displayed the menu for the evening along with the first of our five course dinner.  The appetizer was a Hand Crafted Cheese Selection with Crackers and Seasonal Fruit.  It was strategically placed in the center of a setting that rivaled most fine dining white tablecloth restaurants — right down to the fresh cut single yellow rose.  Since it’s the unofficial flower of friendship, it was perfect for our long-standing foursome friendship.  I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting such elegance.

 

Murder Mystery Dinner Train Table Setting

Murder Mystery Dinner Train – Elegant Table Setting

 

While perusing the menu to select our dinner choices, I captured this picture of Ron and Donna, our best friends for decades — almost as long as the Murder Mystery Dinner Train has been operating.  Cultivating a long-distance friendship is a beautiful thing, even if there is 1200 miles between us.  You can imagine how much we look forward to our yearly visits — sometimes in Florida, sometimes in Pennsylvania, and oftentimes somewhere in between!

 

Mystery Train Dinner Menu

Murder Mystery Train Dinner Menu

 

5 Course Dinner Menu

Our 5 Course Dinner Menu

 

This was our 5 Course Seasonal Dinner Menu with 3 entree selections to choose from.  I chose the Dijon Salmon, Donna had the Chicken Cordon Bleu, and our hubby’s both opted for the manly portion of the Chef Carved Imperial Prime Rib. The Soup du Jour was Creamy Potato Leek.  We all chose the Fresh Florida Caesar Salad instead of the Fruit Cup with Toasted Coconut and Raspberry Drizzle.  Add warm Fresh Baked Rolls to all of this and we were almost too full for dessert… almost.  It would have required more willpower than I had to resist the Ghirardelli’s Spring Surprise.

 

Chef Carved Imperial Prime Rib

Chef Carved Imperial Prime Rib

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

 

Ghirardelli's Spring Surprise

Ghirardelli’s Spring Surprise

 

The portions were generous and the quality exceeded our expectations.  In fact, hubby commented that the prime rib was the best he had in a while.  Whenever I’ve been to any kind of dinner show the food was always secondary to the entertainment, but not so here.  It’s cooked fresh onboard, with quality ingredients, which matters.  At times the train ride was a bit bouncy while eating, but they do stop during the main course.

 

 

Route Of The Dinner Train

Route Of The Dinner Train

 

Our 5 course meal was perfectly timed between acts during a 40-mile round trip that lasted just over three hours. You can see from the map that the train begins and ends in Fort Myers, at Colonial Station.  There were a few scenic points along the route, my favorite being the crossing of the Caloosahatchee River. Since the inception of the Murder Mystery Dinner Train, more than 70 original scripts have been produced and dramatized.  They like to change them regularly for the sake of their repeat patrons, which is a large part of their business.  I, myself, am looking forward to doing the Murder Mystery Train again in the near future.

 

Show Program For The Murder Mystery Train

Show Program For The Murder Mystery Train

 

The name of the show we attended was “A Hard Day’s Death” with excellent and professional-quality acting. In the early days of the Murder Mystery Train they contracted an acting troupe for the shows, but now the railway employs its own crew of actors.  (The wait staff is employed by Seminole Gulf Railway as well.)  A Hard Day’s Death had the perfect mix of intriguing murder, dark secrets, and humor.  For me, it was a highly enjoyable ‘who done it?’ murder mystery with well-developed characters.  Rock ‘n’ Roll fans, specifically fans of the Beatles, laughed out loud at the satirical take on the classic, “A Hard Day’s Night.”  It was most certainly a humorously exaggerated imitation of the vintage hit.  The various references to the iconic British Band and their music showed creative genius on behalf of the play writers.  Kudos to them!

 

Murder Mystery Clue Sheet

Murder Mystery Clue Sheet

 

Here’s how it works: Each person is given a ‘Clue Sheet’ like the one shown above.  The goal is to play the role of detective and solve the crime.  As a savvy sleuth, you must not only gather information to determine who the murderer is, but your analytical mind must figure out the motive as well.  Once you establish who done it and why, you must put your answers on the Clue Sheet, along with the vital clues that helped make your decision. Then, there is one bonus question given and used as a tie-breaker, if necessary.  Prior to the final act the Clue Sheets are collected and judged.  A winner is chosen from each train car, and given a prize.  Here’s my friend Ron completing his Clue Sheet — with confidence that he has solved the crime…

 

My Friend Ron Completing The Clue Sheet

My Friend Ron Completing The Clue Sheet

 

Cast Of The Murder Mystery Dinner Train Show

 

 

A Hard Day’s Night had so many twists and turns in the story line, it was quite challenging solving the crime. Every one of those incredible actors convincingly conveyed their alibi.  For me, it was difficult accusing any one of them “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  At times, the evidence strongly suggested they were all innocent… other times they all seemed somewhat guilty.  A well-written murder mystery will cause your analytical mind to work overtime — and this one succeeded!  No one in our train car correctly guessed the murderer and the motive… bar one ‘Perry Mason’ onboard. Yep, my friend Ron!  He was presented the Murder Mystery Dinner Train “Super Sleuth Award” by one of the cast members, along with his super sleuth prize, a commemorative mug with the name and logo of the event.

 

Super Sleuth Award Presented To My Friend Ron

Super Sleuth Award Presented To My Friend Ron

 

A Parting Good-bye From Cast Members!

A Parting Good-bye From Cast Members!

 

 

Murder Mystery Dinner Train: The Perfect Special Occasion Gift

What a unique and enjoyable way to spend my birthday!  I highly recommend the Murder Mystery Dinner Train in Fort Myers, Florida.  It’s great for birthday’s, anniversaries, first-dates, date night with spouse, group events, or… simply because you happen to be in Southwest Florida.

The experience is not inexpensive — $75 Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and $79 on Saturday (taxes and gratuities not included), but you are getting dinner, a play, and a train ride.  Ala carte, you would pay much more for a triple header like this.  Like many of my fellow Floridians, I welcome the opportunity to visit attractions that are off the traditional ‘tourist track’ of the hectic Central Florida theme parks, and I certainly found a little gem with the Murder Mystery Dinner Train.  I would love to return, next time seeing one of their popular holiday-themed events such as “A Merry Little Murder” at Christmas or the train’s “Sweetheart Express” special event with a strolling violinist around Valentine’s Day.  For more information, reservations, or answers to frequently asked questions, you can visit the Murder Mystery Dinner Train website here or call 239-275-8487.

 

Upcoming Special Events On The Murder Mystery Dinner Train…

 

EASTER SUNDAY WITH WHAA HOOO MURDERS

WHEN:  April 16, 2017 – 5:30 PM

WHERE:  2805 Colonial Blvd Fort Myers, FL 33966

PRICE:  Starting at $79.95/person

 

MOTHER’S DAY WITH IT’S MY FUNERAL

WHEN:  May 14, 2017 – 5:30 PM

WHERE:  2805 Colonial Blvd Fort Myers, FL 33966

PRICE:  Starting at $79.95/person

 

FATHER’S DAY WITH IT’S MY FUNERAL

WHEN:  June 18, 2017 – 5:30 PM

WHERE:  2805 Colonial Blvd Fort Myers, FL 33966

PRICE:  Starting at $79.95/person

 

Have you been on the Murder Mystery Dinner Train in Fort Myers? Or perhaps you’ve attended another Murder Mystery Attraction in Florida?  We welcome your comments, or suggestions for additional off-the-beaten-path Florida experiences!  

 

 

2 comments on “REVIEW: Murder Mystery Dinner Train Ft Myers Florida
  1. Erin says:

    Oh my gosh, this looks so fun! I live in the area and have seen this before and wondered — and now I really want to go! Love how you outlined each part so that I know what to expect!

    • Yes, Erin, as a Floridian you must try it at least once! I would love to see one of the holiday mysteries. With the approaching holiday season perhaps you can check it out and write the review for me! Absolutely love your website and highly recommend it for my viewers who can access it here: southtosouthwest.com Thanks for commenting!

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