Chivalry, Rivalry and Revelry. If you like history, especially if you like the Medieval or the Renaissance time periods, then you’ll love Medieval Times in Buena Park. Themed in Medieval Spain, the show features King Carlos and his princess daughter as well as six handsome knights and some stunning pure Spanish horses, quarter Horses, Friesians and Menorcan.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, North America’s longest running dinner attraction, invites guests to travel back to the 11th Century with the premiere of a new show – the company’s first since 2007. The new show also celebrates the California Castle’s 25th anniversary and its recent $2.5 million renovation. In addition to a new story, the production includes new lighting, choreography and battle scenes, costumes, new horse dressage elements, and a new musical score custom created for Medieval Times and recorded in Kiev, Ukraine.
Entering the “castle” we were all given colored crowns. These represented not only the areas we would be sitting, but the knights for whom we would be cheering. Each of the knights represented a different part of Spain. We were able to watch as visitors got knighted.
As we were on the Valentine’s Day package, we also received free admission to the Tower of Terror where we saw torture equipment commonly used during that period. There seemed to be more torture devices geared toward the women. Hmm. As part of the package we also received a photo, a scroll and a rose.
Drinks from the bar are separate and can be purchased with or without a souvenir cup. Some of the souvenir glasses can get refills. Wine by the glass can run $6.00 to bottle $32-50, Large Pilsner 40 oz $24 no refill; ceramic stein cup, king’s goblet (30 oz), can run $12 to $17 for soda or specialty and frozen drinks for $20-22;
Almost two years in the making, the new live production presents even more audience favorites such as live jousting, sword fights, horsemanship and falconry.
The jousting is so real that they have to put a screen down to prevent injury to the guest as pieces of the wooden shields and swords fly everywhere. The swords spark as they clash while the knights perform hand-to-hand combat for the honor of the princess. Besides the long sword, they also used short swords, the bola and mace, pole axe and lance. The falcon, a popular bird of sport then, also entertained us as did the horses.
We were served by our maids and serfs. Like in medieval times there was no silverware and hence there is none here. (Though you are provided with a towelette later.) Nevertheless, you might want to come with your own hand sanitizer in your purse.
While the average meal consists of tomato bisque soup, castle bread, roasted chicken, BBQ spare ribes and herb basted potatoes, with the apple turnover for dessert. They do provide for vegetarian requests with a yummy vegetable lasagna and roasted vegetables. They prefer if you can request this ahead of time when making your reservation.
Because of the dust from the ring, and the strobe and atmospheric smoke, people with asthma are warned to have their puffers with them.
The finale is something you definitely want to see.
I was concerned about the future of the horses when they are finished performing and was told they have a ranch in Texas where the horses are retired to.
At the gift shop young princesses and princes can buy their own princess hats, swords and shields, capes, and other items of royalty.
General admission is $58.65 for adults and $36.40 for kids. They offer a complimentary ticket for your birthday if you sign up in advance. Special packages can be arranged for birthday parties of 10 or more guests. For a little more, there is also the knighting ceremony ($20) and announcements ($10) or the royalty package, which includes VIP seating, commemorative program, and a DVD of the show (an extra $10 /person). The King’s Royalty package for $20/person gives you front row seating, group photo, program and banner. Cake can be provided or you can bring your own, as long as it doesn’t require refrigeration.
Medieval Times Entertainment launched in Majorca, Spain, in 1973, and opened its first North American Castle in Kissimmee, Fla., in 1983. Now regarded as North America’s longest running and most popular dinner attraction, more than 50 million guests have experienced Medieval Times at Castles in Buena Park, Calif., Schaumburg, Ill., Hanover, Md., Lyndhurst, N.J., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando, FL and Toronto, Ont., Canada. In 2007, the company moved its North American headquarters to Irving, Texas, close to the company’s Chapel Creek Ranch in Sanger, Texas. Medieval Times is online at www.medievaltimes.com and reachable at 1-888-WE-JOUST (888-935-6878). For special events call 714 521 2342.