Saturday, February 25, 2012

Medieval Times Is A Great Place To Visit!!



As a young girl, one of my biggest dreams was to one day visit Medieval Times. We visited the Orlando, FL area several times when I was younger, and every time we drove by, or I saw a brochure for the attraction, I would dream of being able to go. The biggest draw for me was the horses, but the whole idea of seeing "knights" jousting, sword fighting, and performing other daring feats, was a dream I thought would never come true. Well, last week that dream did finally come true! (Note: to view more photos and video from our visit, please check out my album on Photobucket by clicking here).








I was able to visit the Medieval Times location in Kissimmee, FL; right near Orlando. Due to traffic (if you've ever been to Orlando you know what this is like) we arrived a few minutes later than planned. I was surprised to see that they have a Medieval Village outside for people to wander through.




 This looked very interesting, but we didn't have time to take it all in. After getting our tickets, we were given our table number, and crowns for the 4 of us to wear. The seating is separated into 6 sections, by color: Red, Yellow, Green, Black and White, Red and Yellow, and Blue. We were in the red section, so we all donned our red crowns. As we proceeded through, we were given a photo opportunity, which you can purchase later in the gift area. 



Outside the actual dining/tournament area, there are a couple areas to shop for gifts-from calendars and keychains to knight costumes, swords, and chess sets. A few minutes before the event begins, the Lord Chancellor gathers everyone into a circle and makes a few announcements. Then, everyone is seated according to their color theme. Once inside and seated, we were shortly served a bowl of tomato soup, and choice of beverage (tea, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi or Sierra Mist). Our table was served by Erich, a very helpful "slave" (as he told us to call him), and kept on top of refilling our drinks, and making sure we were comfortable. Dining is a unique experience at Medieval Times, as there is no silverware provided. The soup is consumed by drinking it from the bowl, and the other foods are eaten by hand. Throughout the duration of the show, we were served garlic bread, roasted potatoes (these are absolutely delicious!), half a chicken, barbecue ribs, and for dessert, an apple turnover. The meal in itself is something to remember, but add to that the show, and you have a real winner!



The tournament started by the Prince of the realm being captured by evil knights, while he was on his way to sign a peace treaty with a neighboring country. As he is led out in chains, the Lord Chancellor, who is the announcer for the evening, comes in to introduce the story behind the show. After many years of wars and fighting, the King had at last made peace with the kingdom of Leone. In honor of this great event, he has called for a feast and tournament, where his best knights will show off their prowess. Although the King and Princess are concerned for the Prince's delayed return, they decide to go ahead with the scheduled event.



Each knight is individually introduced, and he in turn circles the arena before halting in front of his color-themed part of the seats. After this, the King rides out, followed by his entourage of squires. 




As he rides out and ascends his throne, several horses are led out, and perform various dances and moves. This was every bit as beautiful as I had imagined so many years ago! 


Next up, the Falconer shows off his bird's amazing hunting skills. As the Falcon soars over the audience's heads, it's a thrilling experience! When he finally makes the dive, the strength of the bird is clearly seen.

Next 6 horses and riders come out, and perform a synchronized dance. This really amazed me, at how in tune the horses and riders were with each other!


At this point, the knights re-appear for some riding exercises. First it's catching a ring with their lance, as they race through the arena. Then it's a sort of relay race, as two knights ride in tandem, tossing their respective flags back and forth to each other. I was impressed at how easy they made this look! They had perfect timing, and this was a very impressive feat. Next up, it's "target practice" time, and each knight takes turns racing out and throwing a spear into a target.




Before the jousting begins, a lone rider appears on a dark bay horse, and executes the most beautiful dance I have ever seen. The video does not do this justice; it is breathtaking!
Gorgeous!









As he exits, the knights come back in full armor, and get right down to business.




 They take turns in jousting, finishing up with hand-to-hand combat, using a variety of weapons. As one knight takes out another, a replacement is sent out, until finally all that is left are the Red and the Green knights. Each fighting sequence is extremely realistic, and again, the timing and obvious teamwork is 
incredible. 












When at last the Red knight is victorious over the final opponent (or so we think), the Green knight from Leone attacks, and lets it be known that he has the Prince of the realm in captivity. The Prince is then led forth, and the Green knight demands that the Kingdom be given over to his authority. At this point, although battle-weary and wounded, the Red knight makes his move. The Prince escapes his captors as well, and it is a blazing fight to the finish! As the Red knight and the Prince work together, they defeat the Green knight and his many warriors, bringing peace again to the kingdom! 
The Red Knight (our Knight for the evening) is victorious!
The Prince joined in the fight!






At the battle's end, all the knights return for a farewell round, and the King, Prince, Princess and Lord Chancellor make a last appearance. 

After the show, we were able to speak with a couple of the performers, including David, who plays the Prince. We asked how often they have to practice, and I was simply astounded at the answer! We were told that each performer practices for 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. With such dedication to their job, it's no wonder that the show comes off as realistic! We also spoke with Gabriel, one of the Kingdom's trumpeters. 

As our family left Medieval Times, we all decided that it was the best live show we had ever seen, and well worth the cost of admission! You will leave the show exhilarated and entertained, having spent a couple of hours in 11th century Spain-the age of chivalry! 

Medieval Times has castles in several locations throughout the US (and one in Canada), so check the website to see the closest one near you. I recommend planning a trip for family vacation, a birthday or other special occasion, or just as a treat for yourself! You will not be disappointed! 

6 comments:

  1. It's been so many years since we've been to Medieval Times...but we had so much fun when we were there. Would love to go again.

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  2. Soooo cool! I am very jealous. It looks like a great place to go. :)

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  3. I've always wanted to go. With this review, we might just go for my birthday. Thanks so much!
    Danielle S

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  5. I wish we lived closer. If we ever get to Florida again I'm going to make sure we look this up. I enjoy Melieval things.

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  6. What a great time you had. Thank you for the photos and videos; almost like being there.

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