Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament: A night of nostalgia, entertainment, and fun
“Most Noble Cecilia, We take great pleasure in wishing you a happiest of birthdays. We would like to extend this royal invitation to return to your nearest castle and celebrate with those that hold you in the highest regard. Together, we will feast. We will revel in your recent glory. And we will raise a glass to many prosperous crusades to come.”
After receiving this welcoming invitation, I was compelled to respond. Scott and I gladly accepted the offer to travel back into 15th century Europe to attend Medieval Times.
The Medieval Times Castle
Pulling into the Arundel Mills shopping center, we quickly spot the battlements of a medieval castle.
“It’s a turret! It’s a turret! Oh, I see a front gate!”
Already, we are back to being little kids jumping around hyper with glee inside of the car.
From the moment we are greeted at the ticketing booth to the moment we are bid farewell, we are taken care of by staff dressed in medieval costume speaking in old English. (I was quite impressed that no one ever broke character.) We are handed our cheering banner and paper crowns, and bid entrance to the castle grounds.
Inside the Castle Walls
Upon entering, the Queen and Lord Chancellor personally welcomes you to the event. The Royal Falconer is also present to introduce guests to the beautiful art of falconry.
At a $2 additional cost, visitors may tour the “dungeon” which holds a variety of medieval torture devices and artifacts. If you are a fan of the middle ages, there is a large gift area where you can purchase anything from dragon collectibles to princess tiaras and even a full suit of armor. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, there is also a full bar complete with frozen cocktails, goblets of ale, and chalices of wine to get you all riled up before the tournament.
The Dinner and Tournament
A blast of trumpets interrupts the crowd wandering about the castle.
“Hear Ye, Hear Ye! You have been summoned to attend the Queen’s feast and royal joust.”
We are escorted into the arena by our “wenches” and “serfs” who would be caring for us throughout the night.
1st Course is Served
The entertainment promptly begins as we are served our first course of garlic toast with a second course of “dragon’s blood” (tomato soup). An Andalusian stallion enters into the arena guided by the Master of Horse, where they perform an impressive show of horsemanship. The Queen, Lord Chancellor, knights, squires and various “serfs” and “wenches” (our very own servers/hosts throughout the night) parade out onto the arena where we capture our first glimpse of those who will be fighting for glory.
2nd and 3rd Course is Served
Our second course of corn and seasoned potato is brought to our table along with the third course of “baby dragon” (roasted chicken). Meanwhile, the Master Falconer releases a falcon which flies wildly yet purposefully over the guests’ heads, circling about the arena. After a fine show by the Queen’s guard, the knights begin the tournament with a series of games including flag passing on horseback and catching rings on a lance.