Thanks to Medieval Times for providing complimentary tickets. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Everyone knows that there is no shortage of entertainment in the Orlando area for kids and families. But what if you want to be thoroughly entertained AND to learn something new? And what if you could also have a great meal at the same time? You definitely can have this great experience at Medieval Times!
Before our trip, I was browsing the company’s website to see if they might have any educational resources so that I could give me kids more context and really enrich the overall dinner show experience for us all, since the Medieval time period is not something they really know much about at this point.
I was VERY pleased to see that Medieval Times is well equipped to handle school groups, homeschoolers, and really anyone who wants to combine some great learning opportunities with all the fun in store. There is a page where you can request resources based on the ages of your kids and get pdfs that are thorough and very helpful, all sent to you immediately (and free of charge!).
When you are planning your arrival time, note that doors open about 1 hour and 15 minutes before the dinner show actually begins. I highly recommend getting there right when the doors open because the back yard section of the castle consists of a Medieval village that basically serves as a museum showcasing daily life and important skills and trades of the time. It has a surprisingly large number of artifacts that are at least a few hundred years old, as well!
It is fascinating, but it is also easy to miss, as you are ushered into a great hall within the castle while waiting for the show to begin, and you access the outside grounds via a rather nondescript set of doors simply marked as an exit. Definitely don’t miss out on the treasure of the grounds. It is open before the show, as well as after, and there are staff members on hand ready and willing to answer your questions!
Once it is time to begin the feast, you are ushered into the arena based on the color of the crown you receive (there are 6 different colors, representing the 6 different knights who compete in the challenges). While it took a little while for the seating to take place, I appreciated the fact that it was well organized, and definitely designed to keep folks from rushing into the arena and causing problems.
Dinner is served without utensils, as utensils weren’t really a thing during this time period. That’s also just consistent with all of the dinner shows I’ve been to, and I imagine it’s a cost saving measure. I totally brought plastic spoons in anticipation of being asked to drink my soup. Here’s the full list of what we ate!
And if you want to know my thoughts on the food taste/quality, I’ll be happy to share! I thought the soup was fine but forgettable (though my youngest child absolutely INHALED it, so she was definitely a fan!). The bread was good but not amazing. The corn was way overcooked and soggy. The herb-basted potato was so salty that I only ate one bite. The pastry was a slice of pound cake, as I recall, and it was simple but very yummy. I didn’t go for the coffee. So overall, not my favorite meal that I’ve had at a dinner show, with one very significant exception: the roasted chicken was BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS the very best chicken I have ever had at a dinner show, and possibly ever had EVER. It was so magnificent and juicy and flavorful that it honestly didn’t even matter what I thought about everything else that I ate. SO GOOD, Y’ALL! I want the recipe!
Now let’s talk about the entertainment! There are knights competing in some friendly competition, and there is a King and his daughter, the princess, who seem to have a lot of lines that help move the story of the evening forward. Truth? I had a really hard time understanding the king, and therefore, following the story. But it honestly did not impact how fun it was to watch the knights and the horses, because they were all AMAZING performers!
The audience was really involved in the show, spurred on by the knights who kept the crowds cheering. If a knight performed well in an event, he was gifted a flower by the princess, and then he would throw the flowers into his cheering section. Yours truly caught one of them!
We were all especially blown away by the powerful hand-to-hand combat scenes that the knights performed. After explaining to my youngest that the scenes were choreographedand that everyone was going to be safe and sound, we were all able to just get into it and ooh and ahh as we watched sparks fly when metal hit metal. Those men really gave it their all, and it made for an amazing show! The horses were also supremely well trained. It was spectacular and just so much fun!
We attended this show on the evening we arrived in Orlando for our “roadschool” adventure. It’s a great thing to do on your first night in town, for sure! I very highly recommend checking out the teacher resources that are offered for free, and I suggest spending as much time as you can in the medieval village checking out artifacts and reproductions to help your kids get a better understanding of the time period. You are in for a great show and a great opportunity to grow your minds a bit! Cheers to a fun family outing!