Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Shines as Bright as My Daughter’s Smile
This is stop #4 in our Around Central Florida in 80 Days post series! Special thanks to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament for allowing me and my family to have free tickets to review their dinner and show tonight.
It was an amazing evening filled with tons of smiles, and wide-eyed wonder from my younger children. The festivities began while waiting outside the castle walls as they opened the doors and the King and the Princess came out to greet us and invited us inside. We gazed upon the hall with the beautiful suits of armor all in a row around each turn. Once inside, they motioned us to have our turn getting a picture taken with the King of the castle! We also got to take a shot at sitting on the throne with all our family around us in another picture.
There is a main inner hall colorfully decorated with flags and symbols painted on the ceiling that we got to browse around in during the pre-show before they let us into the dining hall/tournament arena. There were all sorts of fun souvenirs to look at from gorgeous princess dress-up attire for little girls to shiny swords and daggers for the boys. My little ones made a quick forward march directly to the “light up” toy section designed to help entertain little ones during the dinner and show. I highly recommend getting something from this vendor cart as it is a huge favorite among children. These light up toys are great for many reasons, but especially useful when the house lights dim and they might want a little night light from a sword, rose wand or tiara to light the way. We picked out two swords for our youngest kiddos – a pink one for my daughter and a blue one for my 2 yr old son. Talk about BRIGHT smiles! Lol!
While enjoying the scenery and picking out a souvenir or two, we noticed a gentleman in royal attire from the Medieval Times cast and asked to get our picture with him. He saw my daughter in her princess dress and offered to let her have a special honor with the king. We waited as instructed to hear her name announced over the loud speaker. Then she was escorted onto a small stage area with thrones (grinning from ear to ear after hearing her name over the loud speaker) where the king came out and asked her to kneel down on the pillows before him. An assistant came over and draped a stunning royal cape around her shoulders and fanned out the train around the back of her like a princess. The king asked her to bow and he then he bestowed upon her the title of “Princess” using a sword to gently place above both her shoulders one at a time as they did in medieval times. It was so much fun to see her face as she was given this high honor! She felt like an official princess she said! So cute! Thankfully, my son video taped it for me too. They told us that later during the show they would bring out a certificate with her info on it to have as a keepsake of this honor from the king. You can purchase a picture to go with it too.
We now were allowed to proceed to our table along side of the large arena or tournament area. We were given blue paper crowns to wear when we first got our tickets that evening, and they were a reminder that we would be seated in the blue section so we could root for the Blue Knight during the tournament. Now our table was in the front row, so we could definitely see just fine during the show. I did take a short hike up the stairs to the tiered seating above and behind us to get a glimpse of what other seating looked like, and all the seats were designed to be able to see just fine. No one’s head will be blocking your view in other words. The bathrooms were clean and it seemed there were plenty of them available. Every Medieval Times worker or employee I spoke with or asked questions of, had gone out of their way to assist me and did it with a smile on their face. I was very impressed.
The house lights began to dim – it was showtime! The presentation begins with an incredible amount of excitement and drama. Special effects with lights, fog and sound were all used so smoothly and effortlessly that you almost forget how much work is involved with pulling off this kind of event, and the magnitude of how much time it must take for everyone to practice and coordinate every moment of the action packed show and tournament! It was amazing to watch and experience such a stunning performance! The kids were all in awe from hearing the clashing sounds of swords and seeing the sparks flying as the metal hit metal.
Some of the top highlights of the show to note were – the beautiful horse and rider displays with performing horses, dazzling jousting tournament scenes, and the romantic yet crowd-pleasing element of having the princess passing out flowers to each knight whenever a section of the tournament ended. This was followed by having the knight toss the flower out into the crowd in the section that matched their colors and into the hands of a happily awaiting fan in the audience. It was extremely fun to watch and the crowd really got into cheering for their knight and waving flags, or booing the bad guys. It was kind of humorous actually when our server was first giving us the drill about cheering or booing for the knights during the tournament – my section did great during the cheering part, but when it came to the booing part – none of us booed. He asked us what happened and I simply handed him my business card from Love2EncourageYou blog and said – we represent Love2EncourageYou …we don’t do boos. Lol. At that, he gave a hearty laugh as well and said no problem. 🙂
The evening continued to be loads of fun, action, and observing magnificient horse and riders and a very well-trained bird of prey. The battle sequences were well choreographed. They did get a bit intense at times (in a good way though), so parents may want to remind their younger children that no one is actually getting hurt – that it’s just a show. The arena has nets that come down to protect the audience during any scenes where they were sword fighting. We really enjoyed all of it. My children even noticed the extra effort Medieval Times took to install the colorful matching spot lights that coordinated the colors of whatever Knight came out into the arena. They recognize that kind of creativity. 🙂
I tried to bring you a variety of perspectives in this review. We have the family friendly angle with little ones, which I feel is very positive and would recommend bringing the kids and enjoying a family evening this way. Then you have the teenage crowd angle – my teen son and his friend that joined us had a blast tonight too and felt the entertainment was top notch! He kept commenting on the variety of weaponry they had represented from that time period being used during the show battles and how impressive they were. Both teens particularly liked the food that was served and everyone got a chuckle when the tomato bisque soup came out and we were told you have to eat everything tonight with your hands because they didn’t use utensils in those times. It’s a good thing the server was ever so sweet to bring mouth-watering delicious garlic bread to go with it. The teens gobbled it up and I found myself making the bread and soup disappear quickly. Our waiter, David, was wonderful. He even thoughtfully offered to bring extra bread or food for my 2 year old if we needed it.
Here is a list of what the “Bill of Fare” included:
- Tomato Bisque
- Castle Bread
- Roasted Chicken
- BBQ Spare Rib
- Herb-Basted Potato
- Pastry of the Castle
- Beverages: Pepsi, Coffee, Water
You’ve heard the term, “A meal fit for a king” before, well this meal was all of that and more! We were completely stuffed and still took home two to-go boxes of left overs! The half chicken and BBQ rib were scrumptious! I have very picky eaters and they both loved the chicken and bread especially! My son even enjoyed the tomato bisque soup which he normally doesn’t eat. He said it was really good! I for one, have to admit my cravings for apple desserts and to my surprise the Pastry of the Castle had apple inside! Talk about tasty pastry! (It didn’t last very long – it was that good!)
The shows final scenes were extra special for us as after our Blue Knight won a part of the tournament during a jousting challenge, the princess gave him a blue sash to hang on the end of his lance. He paraded on horse with the sash hanging off of the lance and started walking towards the blue section of fans. To our surprise he stopped directly in front of my daughter in her princess dress and leaned forward with the lance to let her take the sash off of it and keep it as a momento. The sash said, “Queen of the Tournament”. She was so overjoyed and her smile was sparkling brighter than ever. The waitress helped her put on the sash and they took her picture. Later they came back and showed us this beautiful keepsake photo with images of my daughter grinning from ear to ear wearing the sash and pics of the family’s reaction to her being handed the sash off the lance as well as a close up of the Blue Knight on his horse. It was extremely well done and very nicely displayed in the folding frame holder. We decided to buy the photo to remember the evening by. There are many opportunities to buy pictures that evening, and trust me – they are all amazing and worth getting to savor the experience with. We love our keepsake photo and are very pleased we made that decision to purchase one.
In case you were wondering how it was from an adult perspective, well – when we got home I tried to ask my husband how he liked it all and he said to me, “Not now – I need to go call my mom and tell her about our evening!” Lol! I guess that was a good sign that he enjoyed it. 🙂 From a parent’s perspective – when you see your kids really interacting and getting involved in the drama of the show, that pretty much ensures that everyone is having a great evening. My youngest at age 2 was so funny as every time the crowd clapped or cheered he would start waving his flag faster. He wouldn’t put that flag down for anything! Lol. My kids continued to wave their flags all the way home in the car and had sword fights with their light up swords while wearing their crowns as soon as we got home. Overall, I’d say it was a top notch family dinner and event!
I applaud Medieval Times for their wonderful performance this evening and give them a FIVE STAR rating (out of 5) for high quality food, delightful entertainment, courteous employees, and a unique and fabulous dining atmosphere. I also give them five stars for having reasonably priced “light-up” souvenirs for the kids to have with them during the show. Many items were only $6!
Stay tuned for a VERY SPECIAL GIVEAWAY from Medieval Times coming up in June here at Love2EncourageYou blog!
I invite you to follow Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. They have a super lively discussion and pictures going on all their social media channels. Wait til you check out their different pin boards on Pinterest! Very cool!
Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received tickets for her family in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and may differ from your own. However, I only share reviews on items I feel would be of value or interest to my readers.
Be sure to book mark and check out our other stops in the Greater Orlando and Central Florida areas in our post series called Around Central Florida in 80 Days!
Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou