Sunday, July 01, 2012

Medieval Times Updated Show - review and pics

Starting this week (the official opening was on June 26), Medieval Times in Orlando has a new show - the first new one since 2007. Much of the core event remains the same: knights, horses, swordplay, jousting, finger-licking meal with no utensils, and a setting in the 11th century. There's a new story, falconry, new costumes and battle scenes, and even a new musical score.

We were invited by Medieval Times; attending the press event in our stead was Denise and Jeff from, who graciously provided this review:

We learned early on at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament that you should never refer to a female server as “My Lady”, but as a wench (male servers are serfs). The terms “My Lord” and “My Lady” are titles exclusively used for guests of this long-running dinner attraction, which first opened it’s doors in Orlando in 1983. The show has changed many times since then, with Medieval Times debuting it's first new show in over four years on July 26, 2012.   
Set in a climate-controlled castle that is adjacent to an eight-cottage medieval village, the emphasis of the attraction is on food and action. We were told by Chris, our server (who also likes to channel Rodney Dangerfield), that the food is now paced much better with the show. Our first course of tomato bisque and garlic bread arrived before the main tournament began, and the "feast" was enjoyed as the action took place. This was our first visit to Medieval Times, so we can't compare portion sizes to the previous show, but the menu was upgraded with larger beverage servings and a larger BBQ spare rib. The remainder of the menu consists of juicy oven-roasted chicken, an herb-basted potato split into quarters, and braided apple strudel for dessert. It's solid dinner-show fare, and there was plenty of it (takeaway containers are available). In keeping with medieval tradition, no utensils are used with the meal, although a family near us brought their own plastic forks and knives. Two rounds of non-alcoholic drinks are offered. Beer and wine are not included, but alcoholic beverages can be purchased during the meal. 
The show itself has undergone many changes, but kept much of what has made it such a popular dinner experience over the past 30 years. The crowd was loud in it's enthusiasm for the battles that took place. Each section has it's own Knight, and many guests jumped to their feet or waved flags (the latter is part of an upgraded dinner experience) to cheer him on. For the first time ever, a highly-trained Liberty Horse opens the show. This is a pure-bred Spanish horse that has been trained to enter the arena without a harness, reins or human touch. Another audience favorite was the Royal Falcon, which soared closely above guests several times before flying back to the Royal Falconer. But the biggest cheers came during the tournament, where the Knights of the Realm jousted and fought with swords, with the speed of the horses clocking in at about 15-20 miles per hour! An astonishing 5000 lance tips are used by Medieval Times each year. Even more impressive? Each Knight had to train for 250 hours after already working as a squire.   
Located just about 13 minutes from Walt Disney World on US 192, Medieval Times is a unique diversion from the usual dinner and entertainment fare! Discounts to the show are easy to find, including on the Medieval Times website. Gratuities are extra, as are alcoholic beverages, photo packages, and upgraded experiences.  
Note that in the past, alcoholic beverages were included in the price, but this is no longer true. Here are some pictures of the event:

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.