The date worked out for us to visit on a Sunday, so Knight Training was in progress! The show started at 4:00, and we arrived right at 3:00. From the ticket desk, we proceeded to the photo booth, where all 4 of us posed for a group picture. This is taken against a green backdrop, and your picture can then be pasted onto various backgrounds; we chose the Castle setting for ours.
From the photo area, we decided to visit the horses...I stopped to chat with the Operation Manager, George, who offered to buy drinks for our group. M and M decided on the Blue Raspberry Slushie, and C and I opted for the lemonade (which was very good by the way). The drinks are served in souvenir cups, and the girls were thrilled with their knights-helmet cups!
While sipping on the refreshments, we watched the Knighting Ceremony-the conclusion of the Knight Training. Each child who participated in the Knight training was "knighted" by the King, and posed for a shot. The smiles on these children's faces were adorable!
In just a short time, we were all called into the main room to receive directions and seating order. Our group was in the Red and Yellow section, which is in the middle. I was surprised (and very happy) to see that we had front row seats! The table was set with our dishes, and a couple goodies that come with the King's Royalty seating-a Commemorative Program, Cheering Banner, and Souvenir Cup.
Our "wench" (a medieval term for a waitress :) came and took our drink orders as we anxiously awaited the start of the show. Soon darkness descended, and a mysterious voice narrated a short history of the Knight and his horse.
|I absolutely LOVE this picture!|
Here the focus was moved to the arena again, as the "dancing horses" took center stage. Watching these horses is amazing, and I imagine never gets tiring, no matter how often you see it!
The Lord Chancellor appeared and started some friendly competitions between the knights-catching a ring on their lance, throwing a spear from horseback, and even a relay race!
|Sorry about the blurry horse!|
|M has the flower attached to her cape on her shoulder :)|
One of my favorite parts of the show is when a single white stallion and rider come out, and literally "dance" to music playing in the background. This is magnificent, and if you've never seen it-this few minutes alone is worth the price of your ticket!
Now, back to the tournament...at some point during the competition, the Chancellor informs the King that a herald is advancing towards the castle. Although it is not know whether he is friend or foe, the King allows this messenger to deliver his news. Alas, it is not good news for the King! He is told that a distant King wants to wed the Princess, and join their kingdoms. If the good King refuses, he is promised destruction and misery-not only for the King's household, but for all his loyal subjects as well.
As the messenger is escorted off the castle property, the tournament continues, soon moving into jousting. Once a knight has fallen from his horse, the fight continues on foot, employing various weapons. From swords to axes to bolas, the knights untiringly wield these impressive pieces with ease. The fights are very realistic, and I heard many gasps, sighs and cheers from the crowd around us!
When at last a knight is declared the final victor (which just happened to be our knight, Lord del Font), the herald reappears ready to do battle. He challenges the victorious knight, which is of course accepted. This is a deadly fight-to-the-finish, and involves the messenger and 2 of his warriors, as well as our heroic knight and his Squire. As expected, the final champion is our Red-and-Yellow knight!! 3 cheers for our valiant knight!
At this point each knight rides back in and takes a couple laps around. The Lord Chancellor then rides to the center of the arena, wishes everyone a good evening, and closes the program with the most thrilling invitation to return to Medieval Times!
Now, I know this is an extremely lengthy review. But, I have to add a couple thoughts from the evening. First of all, this is not the only Medieval Times castle I have visited, but it is easily my favorite. The Lord Chancellor brought more enthusiasm to his role than another Chancellor at a previous show/castle I attended, and he also added in some impressive sword-wielding of his own :) Each of us also agreed that the show itself was more realistic, and the fights were improved-whether this was due to different knights, or maybe we just caught an especially good show, I don't know. Each scene, each act was performed with precision (by both horses and humans), and the whole show was a smooth, enthralling feature. Kudos also to George, the operations manager, who made our little group feel very welcome and excited about the show! It was certainly an evening we won't ever forget, and I look forward to visiting Medieval Times again in the (hopefully near) future!
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