Reading Is rewarding – there’s a surprise here folks!

We took a family trip to Medieval Times in Buena Park Friday night. My husband Noe (who provided the non-media photos here) had been to Medieval Times in Buena Park. My daughter Alice and I had not; the closest I had been was to King Henry’s Feast in Orlando when Alice was a few months old. I expected a lot of Ren Faire type stuff, but with more horses. I couldn’t understand why my normally-stoic husband (honestly…he could be a statue part-time, he’s so good at The Stoic) was nearly giddy when we got there. We got our tickets and were assigned our color (green, yay), and then Noe went up to the big map painted on the wall and drove his fingertip into an area just above and to the left of center, then turned and grinned proudly at us.

It’s sort of in the upper-right section of Leon, here.

 

“The city of Valladolid.” I realized. Wait, this isn’t Merrie Olde England. This is Medieval SPAIN!

If someone in your party is celebrating a special occasion, you can arrange to have them made a knight or princess of the realm by the King.
Like so.

The King, King Carlos, had his picture taken with all of the two upper-tier package guests (the upgrades are only 10.00 and 20.00 and if you’re celebrating anything, are more than worth it for all of the pampering you get, from what we saw. The rest of us had our photo taken with The Sword in The Stone. There was some English stuff mixed in here and there, but we decided to just do the suspension of disbelief thing and have fun. We looked at the wares for sale, and while there were the usual t-shirts, keychains and collectible drinking vessels…

We got the tankard this time, and I learned that we already have the blue goblet. Either the light-up turret or the metallic pink (you can only see the red one here) next time.

There were also gorgeously hand-wrought suits of armor, weapons, shields and smaller replicas available. I asked about the forges and they said, (I didn’t write this down, so it’s from memory) Art Gladius and Marto(?). Yes, you can take home a real suit of armor. But it only comes empty. Sorry, handsome knight not included.

And we had so much fun! Dusty arranged for us to have regular tickets so that we could experience what a normal guest experiences. We did not feel like third-class passengers in any way, though. Our service was excellent, we were treated like welcomed guests, and every single person there had a wonderful view of the show.  There are six or seven seats that do not have a clear view of the Royal Box. However, these are the only seats with an up-close and personal view of the horses and knights as they await their rewards after the individual contests, so if you’re a horse lover, try to sit on the end next to the Royal Box.

The lighting is really fantastic. There are some fog and strobe effects, and people who are allergic to horses or fog juice should exercise caution. There are two full bars with regular and specialty drinks, plus a small wine bar at the entrance. The bars stay open throughout the entire show. Alice declared the Royal Knight in the souvenir tankard to be “great”. I stuck with iced tea, and it was good. So was the coffee, later, which is not easy to do for an arena full of people all at once.

Dinner was “Baby Dragon – it tastes just like chicken!” according to our server. I think she may have been joking. Well, it was tasty and fell off the bone. It was rubbed, roasted and we each got half with half of a rubbed, roasted potato, corn cobbette that tasted like it had been cooked in honey butter and a serviceable tomato soup with little chunks of veggies in the bottom, served with herbed toast. And yes, no utensils! For dessert, we had a warm Napple, or for those of you not from Hawaii, apple turnover. The food was very good. I didn’t expect it to be so good.

The show, I have to divide into two parts. The acting was over-the-top and corny and perfect for the venue. We never, NEVER cheered loud enough the first time. I thought Princess Catalina was going to turn out to be evil because of the way she talked like a villainess, but that was just how she talked. Also, I kind of sympathized with the villain because he reminded me of Jon Snow. So there was that. The audience ate. it. up. They loved it. The kids, especially, loved having a good guy to cheer and a bad guy to boo. I liked that the damsel wasn’t in distress and told him to go to hell of her own accord. Not in those words, but, good example for the kiddies. The host of the show reminded me of a thinner version of John Rhys-Davies, and he did a great job of capturing everyone’s attention and keeping the story going without any lulls.

The Royal Falconer presented The Sport of Kings – and the falcon decided, after circling beautifully over everyone’s heads several times, to go off the books and land on someone’s plate. No one was hurt – falcons are temperamental, and falconer and falcon took their bows to wild applause.

The second part: The knights and squires, and their horses and trainers too. Man, can these guys fight. They are not playing. One other bonus of our seat placement (front row next to the Royal Box) was that when a knight “died” in battle, their squire helped them walk there to rest a moment before taking them out. We could see that these atheletes had given everything they had and were completely exhausted. This wasn’t a stagecraft; this was ancient sport. We left mightily impressed with what we had witnessed.

The horses were gorgeous and beautifully trained. We got to see a few of them in their stalls before the show, and could see that they looked healthy and happy. That’s a good sign. From our vantage point, we could also see the affectionate bond between the knights and their horses before and after their feats of bravery and skill. I remember seeing the Royal Lippizans when I was a child. The Andalusian horses here are quite similar. In fact, Medieval Times is the largest breeder of the purebred Spanish horse in the world.

We’re going to take Noe’s brother for a Christmas present next month, because he is seriously nuts about it, and we’ll be trying one of the VIP packages this time. We can afford to do it because we’re MiceChat readers, and MiceChat readers get 40% off tickets! Just use THIS LINK . It will ONLY work if you use THAT LINK!!! And, get this: the discount is good for Buena Park (near Disneyland), Orlando (near Walt Disney World) and Chicago (near The Walt Disney Birthplace) – so if you’re planning a trip out of town, you can make your reservations for a special night out now and save some vacation cash!

And what could be better than going for a discount? How about going for FREE? The King and his Court want to host you and three of your favorite people for a night of fun, festivities and fighting. Here’s how to enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and leave us a comment (can’t hurt). There are several chances for you to win, do each one for better odds! One random winner will be announced on Fab News next Tuesday:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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