“Tell me, what type of resume does a Royal Knight have?” I asked, Steven Ager the Master of Horse, with my half crooked smile. “No resume, I have been here since I was 17 years old, they have trained me from the ground up.” A likely story from a Royal Knight at Medieval Times Orlando Castle.
About Medieval Times Orlando
Medieval Times is a Dinner and Tournament attraction celebrating it’s 30th anniversary with an all-new show. “This is the very first Medieval Times”, explained David Graham, Lord Chancellor of the tournament.
My Medieval Review
I approached the drawbridge and glanced up at the fiery torches marking the entrance to the Orlando Castle. I had done this before when I was just a child, bursting at the seams with fairytale lore. Would my experience here be as magical in my adult life as it had been 24 years ago?
Admittedly I didn’t have high hopes. Medieval Times is child’s play, just a silly theatrical tournament made for little boys gleaming to live vicariously through Knights on horses, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I made my way over to the Medieval Village, an authentic replica of 8 medieval cottages situated around a brick paved courtyard next to the Orlando Castle. I stepped inside. The smell reminded me of my childhood garage detached from our 19th century home in upstate New York. It was the smell of age and fire. I cased the scene which led my eyes to a sign reading, “Torture Chamber”. Naturally, I had to see more.
The Torture chamber has a collection of medieval torture devices used for a variety of punishments. Of all the artifacts in the Medieval Village collection, these are the only replicas.
“All of these artifacts are from Spain ranging anywhere from 200-800 years old. It is the only collection of medieval artifacts in the United States”
said Stefanis Alexandres, Medieval Times’ resident metalsmith and creator of the castle’s stunning ornate metal decor. I was impressed. Then I found out that Stefanis is not just an artist making elaborate metal pieces for Medieval Times in authentic medieval fashion, but he is a Smithsonian Craft Show artist as well.
My eyes were wide. I was enamored by the exhibits of weapons, pottery, home dwellings, tools, torture, clothing and textiles. This was an unexpected bonus for me. Astounded, I was ready for the Royal Court.
My expectations had raised a bit after the Medieval Village experience, but I still wasn’t completely on board with the tourist frenzy dinner tournament. However, I was hungry, and after all, there were going to be strapping young men of brawn and metal on horses. How bad could this actually be?
The lights went dim as an enchanting narrative began. A spotlight directed my attention to a single white horse. In this moment, I knew I had it all wrong. This show was going to be epic.
I watched in child-like curiosity as a parade of Royal Knights entered the arena on majestic Pure Spanish Horse Stallions, and as the Royal Falconer performed his flight with his seasoned bird of prey.
It wasn’t very long before I found myself chanting for our teams’ Royal Knight. The night progressed into an evening of horsemanship, jousting, weaponry and romance, all of which unraveled before an authentic medieval 3-course dinner. I was entertained at the notion of eating with my hands, which was just a minor part of the boundless details that Medieval Times incorporates into their experience.
I was full, the Blue Knight concurred the evil villain and Princess Catalina chose her hand and lived happily ever after. The night had come to an end, and as I passed through the castle’s portal and back into the real world I realized, that even still, after 24 years, Medieval Times Orlando Castle is a magical place indeed.
As always your experience, questions and suggestions are enjoyed. Happy fairytale travels!