Fun for Date Night or Family Night
ACTIVITY: Dinner and a Show. Medieval Royal Tournament featuring Horses, Knights, Skill and Jousting
TYPE: Indoors. Dinner theater.
LOCATION: 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville GA (about 25 min north of Atlanta)
WEBSITE: Medieval Times
So we’ve driven past Medieval Times often and finally decided to give it a try. My wife was always a bit leery about the experience because she’s a vegetarian and she wasn’t sure it would be worth the admission for that meal.
I’m happy to report that while the meal isn’t 5 star worthy, the overall dinner and a show experience was well worth the price of admission.
First off, from what I could tell, there are no bad seats in the house. It’s a fairly tight arena and whether you sitting in the “end zones” or along the “50 yard line” you’re going to have a great time. The Royal VIP folks get into the arena 5 minutes earlier than everyone else. We did not opt for that. But I will say that we ended up with front row seats and that was especially cool, as the riders and horses are right in your face.
Secondly, they recommend you arrive 1 hour before the start of the show. In reality, you don’t have to. For the first 50 minutes you simply hang out in the main lobby area where there is a HUGE bar and a HUGE fireplace along with the gift shop and a “dungeon.” It’s all nice to look at but you don’t need to hang out here for 50 minutes.
If you want to get a drink before the show, arrive 30 minutes early and you’ll have plenty of time. I ended up ordering a Maiden’s Kiss drink which was kind of like a frozen strawberry daquiri but with the addition of peach.
Quite good. And all of the frozen drinks are kid friendly, they simply add the alcohol for the adult versions.
The tables are all family style essentially as you are sitting in a long row with folks on either side. You are simply assigned a color and row and you fill in every available space along that row. For us it was Blue Row 2, which was actually the front row for our section. So our seats were near the “end zones” but we had a perfect view of everything that happened and the riders were essentially at eye level with us. It was great to interact with our Blue Knight throughout the evening.
I’ll describe the meal first and then the show. You’re served on metal plates, just like the medieval times, and there are NO utensils so you get to eat with your hands from start to finish. That’s fun! As I mentioned previously, my wife is a vegetarian so her meal started out with a veggie and hummus appetizer which was good. Then she got a bowl with brown rice, potatoes and red beans along with a spoon. She said the bowl was a bit bland at first, but then she added the two packages of hot sauce provided and said that made a huge difference in the flavor. My meal started with a tomato soup that was decent. Then the main meal was roasted chicken, roasted potato half, corn cob and garlic bread. The chicken was outstanding, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected it to be dry with so many people to serving, but it was incredibly fall-off-the-bone moist. The potato was great too, but the corn was a bit overdone and drowning in butter. For dessert we were served a very moist pound cake that had a great lemony flavor. The coffee was terrible, but didn’t expect much on that front. But overall, a really good meal and outstanding table side service. The wait staff really hustles to make sure you have a good meal and can enjoy the show.
The show itself is just fun, don’t overthink it. At times it’s beautiful, at times it’s corny, and at other times it’s incredible demonstrations of amazing horsemanship.
You are assigned a knight via the colored section you’re sitting in and it’s your job to cheer your knight and jeer the other 5. We were in the Blue Section, thus assigned the Blue Knight.
There’s a lot of echo in the theater so when there is a lot of dialogue it’s a bit hard to follow along with the story because it can be hard to make out what they’re saying. My favorite part was actually the ring game where the Knights ride at full gallop and try to spear very small rings onto their jousting poles. That takes a lot of skill to capture such a small ring while on a horse with an 8 foot pole. The finale of course is the Joust and Battle. The most impressive thing for me, beside the actual jousting, was the skill of these riders to simply jump off full speed horses. Having ridden horses only a few times, I was amazed at how easily they could jump off, roll and jump right up.
The entire dinner and show comes in at just about 2 hours. So it’s a three hour experience including the 1 hour ‘pre-show’ in the lobby.
Whether you’re 3 or 93, this is a fun night. Take a date or take the whole family.
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