I booked the Mystery Dinner train for myself, my husband, 14yr old son, & father for my birthday. I love classic mysteries and good food so it seemed the perfect plan. The food was excellent. Two of us had salmon and other other two had the beef tenderloin. Both were really, really good as was dessert (cheesecake). Our waitress was unusually abrupt and unfriendly and was unable to tell us how far away from the mid-point we were in our journey because "she has been really busy." We had a appetizer before we left the station and then salad & dinner on the way up. The production started on the way back while we had dessert.
Unfortunately for me I tend to get motion sick (I always have to drive the car), but I was hoping a train would be fine. Not so. The rest of my family was fine for most of the trip, but I was not OK. It is a slow, rocking ride to a small town/park about 20 miles away (Parkdale) and back. I did fine for most of the way up during daylight, but it was about a 3-1/2 to 4 hr excursion with a short time to walk around at the turn-back point. If there had been any way for me to stay off the train at that small town and wait for my family to come back and get me I would have done that, but it was a very cold night and there was only a small grocery store open where I would have been standing for nearly two hours waiting for them to return.... but that is only a warning to anyone who gets motion sick.
My biggest disappointment was the mystery itself. We were given flyers with the character's names and some spaces where we apparently were going to be able to make notes about clues, etc to try and solve the mystery. I'm an avid mystery reader and tend to like the British mysteries from the 1930's - 1950's. The photo on the Mt. Hood RR website shows a couple of people in vintage clothing and the description says "Classic Murder Mystery" This show was not at all that genre. The actors did a good job with their characters, but I think the producer substituted trashy for clever. Sort of like comedians who rely on swearing for laughs instead of actually funny things in life. This production relied on characters who were pole dancers, scam artists and the like for entertainment rather than having a clever story line that was interesting to try and solve. There wasn't anything about it that could have counted as "classic". There were some other people on the train dressed in vintage garb. We initially thought/hoped they were the actors, but it turns out they were also guests. I think they were expecting something else as well. It was an unnecessary story line for my 14 year old son and my 70+ father, but I suppose that type of theme is entertaining to some people.
The main interaction the characters had with the passengers was to "kill" them off giving you a dead sign, or allude to adult encounters.... but maybe I missed some of the other interactions. I came back from the bathroom to find an scantly clad actress sitting next to my 14 year old son in my empty seat. Would have been fun had she been wearing something less revealing. I'm not outraged or anything... just disappointed.
The only real "clue/motive" I noticed in all the random drug/hit-man/scam artist/adult dancer dialogue ended up pointing directly to the character who committed the initial "murder".
So if you like that type of theme and really good food and won't get motion sick on a long, rocking train ride, then this is the trip for you.
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