After about 40 minutes traveling along TTC routes to get to the (more commonly known) Exhibition grounds, Jay, Kit and myself get off our last bus and stand in front of the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament building.
I exclaimed, "We're here!" and Kit eagerly looks around and then asks, "Where's the castle?"
"It's right in front of you buddy, can't you see it?"
Kit shakes his head, "That's not a castle, ChaChi."
Jay and I shared a look and a smile, and directed Kit up the side walk, where we'll wait for roughly 15 minutes for the doors to open to the inner sanctum of Medieval Times.
And the story begins....
Once you enter the realm of the Medieval Times castle, you're now in Spain. Who knew, right?? Probably the best and quickest flight you've ever taken to another country, if only you could remember it!
And, in case you forgot, you come from a noble lineage, M'Lady or M'Lord, traveled from one of these distant lands of Spain. We decided, based on our Yellow/Red crowns that we traveled all the way from Mallorca. Jay and I always wanted to live in a small island town!
You have a gracious King, His Majesty Don Carlos and a beautiful Princess, his daughter, and are about to be entertained by horsemanship, falconry, and knights eager to showcase their agility and fighting skills, in honor of their home lands.
I'm not kidding when I say the magic began right when we walked through the gates. With our tickets in hand, we first received our crowns that indicated which Knight we were going to cheer for. Right away, we're whisked off over to have our photo taken (so be sure to be camera ready right from the start,) with either the Princess or the King. We left the decision to Kit, and both Jay and I were a bit surprised he chose to take a picture with the King. He's an avid Mario Brothers III and Wii Mario Bros player, and is all about saving Princesses Toadstool & Peach, but he wanted to meet the big man of the castle instead, I guess.
Once our picture was taken, we're lead to the main hall, which is where Kit was absolutely mesmerized, with wide-eyed wonder. While the outside has perhaps a somewhat deceiving exterior to the discerning eye of a five year old gamer, the interior on the other hand is very much castle-esque, with crests, a throne, and even a dungeon. Kit was in heaven, and since we were some of the first people to enter the hall, we just let him roam wherever he pleased, with us trailing a few feet behind him, while the floor was still rather empty.
Even now, just thinking back to watching him explore every nook he could find of the hall brings a goofy smile to my face, that kid was cute!
Medieval Times, More Than a Dinner & Tournament
I don't want to give away what happens during the show, but here are a few highlights.
You're seated based on your ticket purchase (we had VIP seating with the Kings Royalty Package.) Front row seats was definitely a thrill, and Kit immediately began practicing waving his Knight's banner. Lunch/Dinner is certainly plentiful. The basic meal comprises of garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, a large portion of roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes, the pastry of the Castle, coffee and two rounds of select beverages. There are vegetarian substitutions and allergy considerations made available, so talk with a rep ahead of time if you have food concerns.
I knew we would be eating with our hands (there aren't any medieval utensils to contend with,) but I figured I'd leave that fact as a surprise for Kit. I'm not sure whether I should have prepared him though, because he suddenly became this proper little gentleman, waiting for our waitress to bring him a full fine dining cutlery set.
"Buddy, you eat the chicken with your fingers," and Kit merely eyes me up as if he's just realizing I must have been born in a barn. Where is this child when we have dinner at home??
I love horses. They're always majestic looking creatures, and watching these noble steeds was truly a pleasure. I swear, I could have done a whole blog post simply on the horsemanship alone.
You're greeted once more by King Don Carlos on his trusty steed, before the knight's tournament begins.
You're introduced to your Knights for the tournament.
And noble ladies may be gifted by a small trinket from their Knight when they win a challenge.
And the fighting. Wow. Sparks literally flew when swords clashed. You know going into the theatre that you're going to watch knights fight, and these six certainly didn't disappoint to entertain the crowd with their skill. It was such a thrill that Kit started loudly cheering, and even got in a bit of heckling at the other knights, during the tournament whenever our Red/Yellow Knight was in the middle of a challenge or a fight. Our nephew isn't one to be loud in crowd, so to watch him really get into the whole competitive flare was a joy to see and hear.
As you can see in the picture above, we were behind a net for a bit of the show. Chunks of wood flew all over the place, and while none of them hit the net in front of us, they had to ensure our safety. Luckily the net wasn't that distracting from the fun!
The show is full of awe inspiring tricks and skill, intrigue (there is a story to follow along, and not all those in attendance are there to play nice,) horsemanship and falconry. Rest assured that you will get your fill of food and entertainment by dining with the King.
Only the Best at Medieval Times
Here are a few tips to make the best of your trip to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament:
- Purchase your tickets ahead of time. I was wondering why there was such a long line-up before the doors were set to open, until it was made apparent that many families showed up without tickets in hand. Judging by how quickly everyone got into the main hall, their reps are quick, but why not take the no-fuss fast lane by getting your tickets online ahead of time? Buying ahead of time guarantees you get exactly the experience you want, especially if you're looking for VIP seats.
- Have a loved one knighted. There is a quick knighting ceremony that happens while we're all waiting in the main hall to be seated. Two girls were knighted by the King himself to celebrate their birthday. Jay and I were so close to having Kit knighted, because he defeated a whole horde of zombies the last time he played Minecraft.
- Check to see if there is a knight training session happening before your Dinner event! If we had chosen to go on the Friday instead of Saturday, Kit would probably have made it to the grounds along with 99 other kids to learn what its like to be a knight, including learning how to fight with a sword! This is such a fabulous idea, and worth the price of admission all on its own.
- Go hungry. OMGosh, none of us were able to finish our plate.
- Splurge on the pictures. We received a gorgeous photo of the three of us with the King (Kit got to help hold a sword, he was so chuffed!) I'll admit, I'm not usually one to purchase commemorative photos at events, but these guys do a really great job of capturing a moment. I can't stop staring at our picture; I love seeing the sparkle in Kit's eyes. Also, while I did take pictures during the meal, it's hard to keep reaching for the camera while your fingers are all greasy from lunch/dinner.
- Get there early enough to also enjoy the Dungeon/Torture Museum ($2/per person.) We didn't notice the attraction until minutes before we were going to be seated, and Kit was too tuckered out at the end of lunch to check it out afterwards. Excitedly rooting for your Knight takes a lot out of a boy.
- Check out Medieval Times' website for awesome limited-time deals and coupons, including a free Royalty upgrade coupon on general admission tickets!
- Join the King's Court & Birthday Fellowship newsletter for free admission during your birthday month! (Make sure you check the Birthday Fellowship box when signing up for the newsletter.)
We had such a fabulous experience, Jay and I are excited to take Kit there again.
Win with Medieval Times
No jousting involved, only your computer skills and wit required.
Thanks to Medieval Times Toronto, you have a chance now to win TWO (2) tickets to an upcoming Dinner and Tournament event. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter contest form below to enter for a chance to win!
Congratulations to Lisa C for the win!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in a partnership with Geek with Style to provide you the most up to date facts, helping you make better informed decisions. All opinions in this article are my own.