I’m a bit of a Medieval Times Super Fan. Ever since I first experienced the Toronto show, as a young girl, I’ve been excited to return to the castle. When family from overseas visits, it’s one of my favorite attractions to take them to; when a birthday is coming up, Medieval Times is always in the running and this year we even celebrated Father’s Day at the castle. I’ve been taking Elowyn with me since before she was able to enjoy the feast, but even as a baby in arms she always loved the show.
When Elowyn was old enough to walk, Medieval Times was the only place she could last in for dinner for more than thirty minutes because of the engaging entertainment. It was our opportunity to have a memorable night out as a family where we could all enjoy our meal. Now it’s even more adorable, watching her cheer on her knight with a drumstick in hand!
What is Medieval Times?
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is an attraction located near Exhibition Place in Toronto. Guests will enjoy a 4 course meal and 2 hour live show complete with jousting, weaponry, falconry, and horsemanship. Upon entering the castle, your group will be given coloured crowns to wear that indicate which knight you will be supporting in the tournament. You will then be seated in your knight’s cheering section.
Having sat in both the front row and the very last row I can guarantee that your view will be great wherever you’re seated.
The Toronto castle also includes a dungeon with Medieval torture devices, a chance to see the horses and falcons before the show and the opportunity to purchase a knighting ceremony. The meal is fantastic, starting with tomato soup and garlic bread, followed by corn, herb-basted potato and a roasted half chicken and finishing off with ice-cream and birthday cake if you’ve upgraded to the celebration package.
The New Show
In the past, a King ruled the realm and his daughter’s hand in marriage was a prize awarded to the champion of the tournament. Now, for the first time in the company’s 34 year history, a Queen has taken the throne! The new story features all new costumes, armour, fight scenes and a spectacular musical score. Doña Maria Isabella is the sole ruler of her kingdom and impressively stands her ground when men try to undermine her authority and question the effectiveness of her rule. The show’s newest protagonist helps empower young women to stand up for their beliefs and stay true to their values.
While I appreciate the new show’s message, what I miss from the old script is the threat from a challenger outside the realm. If you had spent the night cheering for a knight who was ultimately unsuccessful in winning the tournament, it was nice to unite in celebration of a knight from our realm defeating an outside challenger. Despite who you went in cheering for, you felt like a winner by the end of the tournament. Since the new show does away with the outside threat, one group ends up forced to support the sexist knight who defies the Queen. Perhaps the plotline with an outside challenger will return in future versions of the Queen’s show and then it’ll be the best of both worlds.
Is it only Entertaining for Kids?
The short answer is absolutely not! Although the show is family friendly, there are just as many couples and adult groups in attendance. When your children are young, it’s fantastic to be able to go out as a family for a memorable experience where the kids are entertained by a live show and you get to enjoy your meal. If they’re young enough to sit in your lap, and don’t need their own meal, babies and toddlers are free. Going with friends is a great time too and there are plenty of cocktails and add-ons if you’re celebrating a special occasion.
Doors open 75 minutes before the show and you’re encouraged to arrive early!
You’ll have a chance to see the horses and falcons, visit the dungeon, and get your picture taken with the Queen or Royal Chancellor. The show itself is entertaining for all ages. It’s fun to get in the spirit and cheer for your knight, boo their adversaries, eat with your hands and watch the excitement of the tournament unfold. The horses are breathtaking and perform impressive feats and the falcon expertly soars over the audience!
Is it Worth the Money?
In Toronto, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the city that offers a full meal and two hours of entertainment for less than fifty dollars. The dinner is genuinely tasty with unique touches like the corn on the cob being steamed with soy butter and spiced to perfection.
It’s a generous portion of chicken and sides that will definitely leave you satisfied.
The jousting tournament is exciting for all ages and when your knight succeeds in one of the challenges, he’s given flowers to throw to audience members. A Queen of Love and Beauty is also selected from each section of the crowd and given a special sash. Seeing Elowyn happily cheer for our knight and marvel at the various aspects of the show is worth every penny to me, especially since I remember how magical my first visit to the castle was as a child.
Do I have to Dress Up?
There’s no pressure to don your finest apparel, but keep in mind you’ll have the opportunity to take a group photo before the show and to pose with your knight after the show. I’ve seen outfits range from comfortable casual wear to semi-formal; guests won’t feel out of place no matter what they choose. Since I wear workout clothes almost every day, I like to glam up for Medieval Times and Elowyn decided to wear her princess dress. We got some great family pictures!
Not all Toronto attractions are just as fun in the winter as they are in the summer, but Medieval Times is a fantastic option year-round. It’s not only for tourists, though I do enjoy taking visitors to the castle because it’s a unique experience. When Elowyn was at the age where she refused to sit still in any restaurant, Medieval Times was the only spot where we could all enjoy our meal and a special night out. A great option for all ages and an experience to remember. It can’t get much better than that!
Author: Sofia Martimianakis