29 Things You Must Know About Medieval Times

Spending an evening at Medieval Times is well worth it, but you should know what you’re getting yourself into.

1. There are eight Medieval Times locations in the United States.

The east coast does fine, but what about the middle of the country?! They’re totally denied their Medieval Times experience.

2. The castles are supposed to be replicas of those seen in 11th-century in Spain.

Except for the Toronto location. Poor Toronto.

3. That’s because the family that started it was Spanish.

Medieval Times was started in the 1970s “as a dinner-theater attraction on the island of Majorca. Javier Romero, a proud son of Córdoba, was there, performing feats of horsemanship for tourists. It has grown to become a theme restaurant empire, with nine castles in North America; horse ranches in Texas, Florida and Maryland; and attendance figures in the tens of millions,” explains the New York Times.

4. When you get inside the castle, they give you a fantastic crown.

The color of the crown you get corresponds to the knight you’ll be cheering for, and thus, your allegiance is chosen early on.

5. The Great Hall is where you wait around for a bit before it all starts.

That could be really boring except…

6. During this time, you can pay extra money to go to the Torture Chamber if you want.

Eh. Whatever.

7. Or see a horse close-up.

Unfortunately, they look sort of sad, even though they get to retire to a beautiful ranch.

8. What you should really do is start drinking at the bar while you’re waiting.

It’s the best plan.

9. The only problem is that if you’re drunk, you’re definitely much more likely to buy a sword and shield.

Which cost a lot of $$$. And let’s face it, that’s dangerous.

10. Or other questionably-medieval princess swag.

11. When the show is about to begin, they play coronets or some type of trumpet-like horn.

It is surprisingly exciting!

12. And you’re ushered into the actual performance venue, which is HUGE.

13. The cross-section of people at any given show is amazing.

Families, college kids, twenty-somethings celebrating their birthdays – it’s all walks of life. You really realize how many people are there when they call out everyone who has a birthday, which takes forever.

14. The food is actually great.

The castle bread is AMAZING (it’s just garlic bread). The tomato bisque is a little salty. The “Dragon’s wing” is surprisingly tender. “Pastry of the Castle” is code for an apple turnover.

All the food is included in the price of the ticket. (The eating with your hands part is fine, just don’t wear a ballgown or something.)

15. Only downside? Alcohol is not included in the ticket price.

But once you’re sitting down, your “serving wench” will come around and bring it to you so you don’t miss a minute of the action.

16. You get to keep the cup.

They’re a little sparkly.

17. The performance itself is actually a full-on story worthy of like, Cinderella.

It involves a princess and an evil knight and jousting. I won’t spoil it.

18. There is a FALCON.

He flies around. It’s great.

19. All the knights have long hair.

20. Anyone can work there. That means you!

A former knight says that you just have to apply: “It’s like getting a job at McDonalds…You start out as a squire and work your way up. They taught me everything I know about horses. As I said in my hiring interview, I was on a horse once when I was five. I wore a helmet and I think it bit me.”

21. It is *really* hard work though.

As this reporter who trained to be a knight learned. You can read more about the lifecycle of a medieval times employee here.

22. The job is apparently not depressing the way it’s depicted in the movies and on television.

It is true, however, that the “winners” of the fights are rigged. (It’s a performance!) A lot of the knights and squires have theatrical backgrounds, so they know how to make it look real.

23. Being a serving wench is probably the best job.

Because they can collect tips and they’re not always getting injured.

24. When things get kind of serious, they *very slowly* lower a screen around the arena so that you don’t get hit or jump in on the action or something.

Which is a really smart idea, given that someone lost an eye from a sword shard last year.

25. You can spend only $20 on the souvenir photo that reminds you that you had “A Knight to Remember.”

GET IT?!

26. Even though a ticket is surprisingly expensive, there are always tons of deals available.

Like for birthdays or kids or coupon codes. Just plan ahead.

27. At the end of the night, you’re sort of exhausted.

It’s like two hours long and non-stop action.

28. But it’s totally worth it, because the whole thing feels a little like Disney On Ice, i.e. completely magical.

29. Even celebs think so!

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