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July 3, 2007
From journal Denali National Park
District of Columbia County, District of Columbia
August 22, 2004
Alaska Cabin Nite is one of several dinner theater programs at the Denali National Park area lodges, and from the reviews I've read, the best of the bunch. This three-hour program features an all-you-can-eat menu of grilled salmon, barbecued pork ribs, vegetables, and dessert served by the actors and singers who present a musical theater program after dinner. The theater program is set at the Kantishna Roadhouse in the early twentieth century and is hosted by an actress in the role of Fannie Quigley, proprietor of the roadhouse. Other characters in the production are also based on other real-life figures from the Denali area's history, including the park's first superintendent and the leader of the first expedition to climb Mount McKinley. During the show each of the characters tells the story of how he or she came to settle in Alaska through a variety of songs and skits. There are also some humorous portions with audience participation, including an enactment of Robert Service's poem "The Shooting of Dan McGrew." Throughout the dinner and theater program, the character Rosie sits at the piano banging out song after song.
I hesitated to book a reservation for Cabin Nite, as I was concerned it might not be worth the money. I've done some programs like this in the past and sometimes the food suffers and the performances are not very good. Thankfully, I was wrong to be suspicious. The food was all very good, starting with the freshest salad I had the entire trip and a bottomless basket of delicious buttery biscuits. Salad was followed by skillets and bowls of ribs, grilled salmon, corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes. All of the food is served family style, and if there's not enough the table waves their napkins over their heads and yells in unison "Hey Charlie!" (or that table's server's name) and the server will bring more. After the main course, a big skillet full of blueberry cobbler came out. While it was good, I've had better, and this was the one thing I ate that I thought could have used improvement.
Being a single traveler, I worried a little about attending this program by myself, but I was very comfortable and fit right in. Each table seats twelve guests and all table assignments are made in advance. At my table were people from Houston, San Antonio, Anchorage, Ohio, Kansas, and Melbourne, Australia. Everyone is encouraged to get to know their tablemates and make new friends. After several nights of dining alone, it was refreshing to have some company.
Reservations for the Cabin Nite program must be made in advance. Call the phone number above to reserve seats. There are two shows nightly at 5:30 and 8:30 PM. More information is available on the Denali Park Resorts website. Free transportation is provided to nearby hotels. The price for adults is $49 for dinner, the show, and nonalcoholic beverages; a cash bar is available with beer, wine, and cocktails.
From journal Experiencing the Wilderness in Denali National Park
March 19, 2004
From journal Summer in Denali National Park
October 15, 2001
People at our table came from several of the surrounding lodges and transportation is available. The staff made a special effort to have children involved which was a nice touch for families.
From journal Denali Ahhhh or Yaaaaa