Medieval Times outside of Chicago
- This is the article on the Medieval Times dinner theater chain. Medival Fashion For the historical time period, see Middle Ages.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is a chain of dinner theaters Medeival Fashion which stage tournaments in the style of the chivalric contests Medeval Fashion of the High Middle Ages. The company is privately held and headquartered Mediveal Fashion in Buena Park, California.
The original Medieval Times opened as El Castillo del Cid in 1984 in Kissimmee, Medieal Fashion Florida—amidst initial skepticism. Since then it has opened eight additional Meideval Fashion locations primarily in suburban areas of North America including California, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Toronto, Ontario. The Andalusian horses featured in the shows are raised and trained at the company's own Chapel Creek Ranch in Sanger, Texas.
Customers pay for the dinner and show on a single ticket; after purchasing, they gather for pre-show entertainment outside the venue at a "castle" bearing external resemblance to an 11th century northern European castle. Each castle has a capacity of between 1,000 and 1,400 patrons.
Upon admission, patrons are seated at tables encircling a large indoor arena, in which the performing knights engage in jousting as well as sword fighting and individual and equestrian skill games. The house is divided into six sections, each assigned a different color, and the audience members are encouraged to cheer for knights who wear the same color (an authentic nod to traditions of courtly love).
Dinner is served in courses, without eating utensils, as the audience is to eat with their hands in "medieval fashion" (historically, knives were customary; sporks and knives are available at the show for those who desire). There is no menu to choose from; a typical meal for all consists of vegetable soup, garlic bread, bone chicken, one potato, one rib, a varied pastry, and Pepsi, iced tea, beer and/or coffee. It differs from a Medieval kingly feast, with the potato, Pepsi, and coffee being especially anachronistic(see external link named Historical Fiction). Dinner and show are designed to last two hours.
In the 1996 movie The Cable Guy, Jim Carrey's character entertains a customer played by Matthew Broderick at a medieval-themed show. The scene was filmed at the Medieval Times location in Buena Park, California near Knott's Berry Farm.
In the 2004 movie Garden State, one of the characters who works at the New Jersey Medieval Times wears a full suit of mail around the house and is jokingly called a "Fast Food Knight" by another character.
In addition, Medieval Times has been featured in many television programs including MTV's Date My Mom, VH1's Flavor of Love (starring Flavor Flav), TBS's Minding the Store (starring Pauly Shore), The WB's Survival of the Richest, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Walker, Texas Ranger, and The Osbournes.
- Medieval Times home page
- Jason Coyne's Medieval Times Gallery The whole show in pictures.
- The United States radio show This American Life featured a visit to Medieval Times in Simulated Worlds, an episode first aired on 11 October 1996.
- Medieval Times Georgia Photo Gallery
- Historical Fiction
Categories: Restaurants in the United States | Medieval reenactment | Theme restaurants