If you’d have told me that I’d enjoy an afternoon at Medieval Times, I’d have told you that you were tacky and I hated you. I’ve lived in Dallas for nearly 25 years, a large majority of those passing the imposing Medieval Times castle on Stemmons Freeway on a regular basis. Yet, I’d never been. Or really even wanted to.
But here I am. After my kids begged me to go for months, I finally gave in. And now I’m a super fan.
Before I lose all street cred as a cool dad – was it cheesy? Absolutely. 2,000%. But in all the right ways. The production values are high, as is the drama between the Knights. It was like WWE of the Dark Ages.
While you don’t come for the food, it was a lot better than expected – the tomato soup was my favorite. It was followed by half a chicken that you dismembered with your bare hands and corn on the cob. For dessert, a moist pound cake. Also, the booze was reasonably priced — about $10 for a large glass of decent wine. (PRO TIP: Make sure your glass if full before you enter the arena. The bar staff is a little slow once you’re seated.)
Speaking of seated, no matter where you sit, you’re really close to the arena. I was actually really surprised by how intimate the entire spectacle was. We had VIP seats (natch!), but even then there were only two rows of people behind us.
Over the course of a couple of hours, there’s jousting, games of skill and other medieval endeavors. My favorite was the falconry exhibition. The trained bird of prey swoops over your head at least a half dozen times while soaring through the arena. (I was so much in awe that I actually forgot to take a photo!)
After that, there are some games of horsemanship, followed by the main event – the joust. Nets descend on both sides of the arena to protect spectators from shards of wood ruining their days (and faces). First, the lances collide with shields, knocking the long-maned Knights off their horses. Sparks then fly (literally), as swords clash and shields smash.
Everyone in our group, kids and cynical gay dads alike, were on the edge of their seats as they fight with swords, balls and chains and other medieval weapons on the arena floor.
Will we come back? Almost certainly. Everyone from kid to grandparent enjoyed the trip back in time.
Tickets start at $60.95 for adults and $36.95 for kids. For $12 more, you can upgrade to the Royalty Package (that’s what we had), which gives you Priority Castle Access that lets you skip the line at the front door and puts you closer to the action. You also get a VIP lanyard, cheering banner and a Knight’s rally towel.
(PS – that crazy-looking woman photobombing us in the top picture…that’s my sister, Monica. She’s pretty awesome, too.)
Special thanks to the Medieval Times Dallas castle for recognizing that I might, indeed, enjoy their show and inviting my family to attend. Even though our tickets were free, my opinion about how fun the afternoon was is truly my own.