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If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I have frequented MEDIEVAL TIMES DINNER & TOURNAMENT in Buena Park several times over the years, and it never gets old. This year they debut a new show with new costumes, new story line, and new music. The best part is – I didn’t have to cook! You can give Moms a night off from household chores and remind everyone, chivalry is not dead. The dinner show is an epic battle over which Knight is the most honorable and most skilled over tournament games, jousting, sword fighting, and horsemanship. You really don’t know which team is going to win and boo’ing is encouraged, because it’s all in good fun. Our knight is always scanning the crowd for his biggest fan. Don’t be shy or embarrassed if you want that flower because if you catch one, you will feel extra special. Men can catch them too for their lovely lady.
For the first time in the company’s 34 year tradition as having king as ruler, a female has been crowned as the successor! The new queen is kind and compassionate but that doesn’t mean she is soft and a pushover. She doesn’t back down when being challenged, and she cares about her people. In addition to the debut of the queen character and storyline, here are new production features to watch for –
- More than 700 new costumes for all nine castles’ performers including horses, all of which are custom-designed and hand-made at a dedicated costume shop near the Dallas Design District.
- Two hundred new suits of armor, shields and helmets, all custom-designed and hand-made at a dedicated armory in Florida.
- More than 350 team members and 225 horses who have rehearsed new lines and fight scenes for three months while still presenting the current show. This include the queens undergoing an intense two months of training to become experts at riding the impressive Andalusian stallion for the new show.
- New music composed by Dr. Daniel May, the composer and jazz pianist who scored “Everest” and other films, and has worked with notables such as Sting and The Moody Blues. He directed and recorded Medieval Times’ new show composition in Kiev with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. This includes directing the choir in Ukraine with lyrics written by notable poet and choir member Solomia Gorokhivska.
- A live-action film score precisely synchronized with every element of the show, from lights to fights; jousts to jabs; the Queen’s entry to curtain closings; and more.
- A sound and light production featuring 120 hours of programming with 300 new music cues and 500 new lighting cues. Buena Park is one of several castles installing and programming a new LED lighting system that offers 256 colors versus the old 14-color system. The system is powered by 10 miles of cable and an estimated $1 million upgrade.
“Our new female queen is a sign of the times and we couldn’t be more excited she is reigning in Southern California,” said Pedro Goite,Medieval Times Buena Park General Manager. “Historically, female characters have held strong supporting roles in our production but now we are showing a woman in charge who is respected throughout the kingdom for her authority, leadership and incredible strength. And she definitely has risen to the occasion.”
I mentioned a night off from cooking right? Admissions include a medieval-style 4-course meal as we ate with our hands. It starts with dragon’s blood (tomato soup) and garlic toast then followed by roasted chicken (baby dragon), buttered corn on the cob, potato wedge, and ends with lemon pound cake for dessert and coffee. A vegetarian stew is available upon request. Germaphobes might want to bring their own utensils. Hand towels are given out after dinner so you don’t have to get up to wash them. (Hint: Your server will appreciate tips because it is full service.) The show is about two hours.
Medieval Times owns and operates nine castles in the U.S. and Toronto, Canada, having entertained more than 66 million guests over the last three decades. The new queen character has also been unveiled at Medieval Times castles in Dallas, Chicago and New Jersey with an additional five North American castles debuting the new show later this year.
Medieval Times Buena Park Castle
7662 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA
Tickets for the dinner and show is $61.95 for adults and $36.95 for each child under 12. Royal options are available for upgrades.
Medieval Times’ Buena Park, California venue has entertained more than 15 million guests since opening in June 1986. The iconic Southern California castle performs more than 700 shows per year, the most of all the castles. From epic battles of steel and swordplay, to royal falconry and horsemanship – the royal courts offer memories to last for generations. Additionally, an elaborate four-course meal fit for royalty (including vegetarian options), and the wide variety of libations and spirits, make for a festive evening of food and fun.