Orlando has a well-deserved reputation as the theme park capital of the country and even the world. Many vacationers spend all of their time at the major theme park complexes, never venturing outside their borders. While this is certainly one way to have a great vacation, those who make their way out into the rest of the city will find some delightful surprises.
Orlando is also home to a wide variety of dinner shows. All dinner shows follow basically the same format: some type of pre-show entertainment, a multi-course dinner or buffet, and a full length performance. Often the performance is interactive, utilizing audience volunteers or otherwise involving the audience in some way. The performance may be held either during or after dinner.
While the format of dinner shows may be somewhat formulaic, the content of the shows varies widely. At an Orlando dinner show, you may find yourself transported back to the days of lords and ladies for an exciting joust competition; an invited guest at the wedding of nobility; solving a murder mystery; or in the middle of a 1920s gang war, just to list a few of the possibilities. Virtually all of Orlando’s dinner shows are of the highest quality and are well-worth the investment of time and money.
At Medieval Times, you are taken back in time. Lords and ladies reign supreme in this exciting and high energy medieval jousting competition. Enjoy a traditional feast served up by wenches and serfs as you cheer for your favorite knight. Guests become truly competitive as the alcohol flows and the competition heats up, but it is all in good fun.
Your adventure begins the moment you park your car. A medieval village with craft demonstrations and other activities related to medieval life is available for your exploration. After visiting the village, you will make your way along the drawbridge across the moat and into the Great Hall.
There you will be personally greeted by King Alfonso and his daughter Princess Esperanza. You will receive a colored crown to match the colors of your knight. A short period of time is given for you to meet others with whom you will share the feast and festivities.
Soon the Trumpeters of the Realm will give the signal that the Grand Ceremonial Arena is open. You will make your way to your seating area at that time and the feast will begin. Wenches and serfs make their way through your seating section with well timed precision, delivering soup, bread, ribs, and chicken as well as potatoes and pastries. The meal is served in authentic medieval style, which means no silverware (because it hasn’t been invented yet). Two rounds of complimentary beer or soft drinks are served, while a full cash bar is available throughout the show.
The backdrop for the show is a tournament of skill. The early competitions feature a flag toss, ring piercing and javelin throw. However, the plot quickly turns to intrigue as the Princess expresses a surprising love, a competitor proves treasonous and another steps up to defend the crown.
The excitement of the joust is experienced in full glory as the competitors seek not only to score points but to unseat each other from their horses. Once on the ground the battle continues, unleashing the full weaponry of the time. Swords, axes, bola and maces are all unsheathed as the competition grows ever more fierce. Once the treachery is unmasked the once friendly competition becomes a fight to the death for the honor of the crown.
An ever-thickening plot full of twists and turns and shocking surprises is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Will honor and peace be restored or will evil win the day? The truly surprising finale will amaze even the most jaded and cynical guest.
After the show, you have the option of continuing the party at the Knights Club. This replica o f a medieval ballroom is lovingly restored and decorated with such authentic touches as suits of armor, etched swords and shields and a wide variety of tapestries. Full bar service and a dance floor are available here. This is also your chance for autographs as the knights and royals circulate amongst the partiers.
Medieval Times first opened its doors on the island of Majorca in 1973, followed by a location in Benidorm, Spain in 1977. However, the Orlando area show is generally considered the flagship attraction. Opened in 1983, the Orlando location was the first in North America and the beginning of a North American dynasty.
The Orlando attraction recently completed a 6.3 million dollar renovation that doubled the size of the Hall of Arms, re-worked the front entrance complete with moat and drawbridge and created a brand new state of the art kitchen. The Medieval Life village located on the grounds is the only living medieval village in the United States. The attraction gives back to the community that supports it as a proud sponsor of Give Kids the World.
Medieval Times offers a variety of special packages, from the free birthday experience (with a minimum of two paying guests) to full corporate events.
Medieval Times is a truly one of a kind experience. The shows are quite popular and reservations are highly recommended. Prices are reasonable, in line with those of other dinner shows in the area. There are often two shows a night during the busy season, so be sure to decide which show you would prefer.
Medieval Times offers the sword and sorcery excitement of a grand medieval event. Against this backdrop is a compelling story of treachery and love, good and evil. The show is breathtaking and exciting and well worth the price of admission. If you have time in your vacation schedule, Medieval Times is highly recommended.