Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review & Giveaway : Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament ~ Chicago, IL

If you ever read the review blog, you know that I absolutely love anything to do with Lords & Ladies.. Knights , Kings, Princesses..  It just makes me happy like no other :-)

So when I was offered the opportunity to go to Medieval Times, I leaped at the chance!  I've been there many , many, many years ago and quite honestly have vague memories of eating in the dark w/ some horses running around..  Yeah, it was a long time ago and I do not have an elephant's memory.

We decided to take the two little boys on our trip because neither of them have been there before and it seemed like something they would really enjoy.  Off we went, packed & traveling for the weekend to Chicago!  Let me just say it was the best weekend in a long time!

If you aren't familiar with Medieval times, let me share just a little bit about them (courtesy of their website ) before I begin my review and giveaway.

BRIEF HISTORY: 
Medieval Times' founders first launched their unique idea for an 11th century-style dinner attraction on the Spanish island of Majorca in 1973.  This imaginative new entertainment spot was inspired by the true medieval tradition of royal families inviting guests to a festival and feast to watch knights compete on horseback.

During the early years in Spain, the show's authentic display of classic equestrian skills and medieval pageantry took place in outdoor arenas, a far cry from the climate-controlled castles of today.  There, the conventions of today's shows were established.  Guests were seated in sections named for the regions of Medieval Spain and encouraged to cheer for the Knight representing their region.

As Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament has grow in popularity both in Spain and North America, some things haven't changed-- like the commitment to the accuracy of weapons and costumes.  Others have" the characters and storyline of our show evolve every few years, keeping the experience fresh and exciting for generations to come.

THE SHOW: 
Just beyond the great doors of our Hall of Arms waits the celebration arena, the heart of each of Medieval Times' nine castles.   From high above King Philippe and his daughter-in-law, Princess Leonore preside over a delicious four-course feast.  Below, privileged royal guests are transported to witness an authentic medieval tournament for the Battle of Champions-- with the help of Hollywood caliber special effects, of course.

THE HORSES: 
Some of the most talented Medieval Times cast members are our horses.   Nearly all of the more than 400 horses are raised at Medieval Times' Chapel Creek Ranch in Sanger, Texas.  Opened in 1991, the 241-acre ranch is home to Quarter Horses, Friesians and Menorcans, as well as the Pure Spanish Horses we breed.  The Purse Spanish Horse was prized by medieval royalty for it's astonishing strength, agility and even temperment.  After a few years in the spotlight, the Medieval Times horses move back to Chapel Creek Ranch.  In the serene setting, we make sure our horses live our their lives in royal treatment.

THE FOOD:
During the two-hour Tournament a four-course medieval feast is served to all guests including Garlic Bread, Tomato Bisque Soup, Roasted Chicken, Spare Rib, Herb-Basted Potato, Pastry, and Beverages.  A vegetarian meal is available upon request. 

Locations : Buena Park, CA ;  Orlando, FL ;  Schaumburg, IL ; Hanover, MD ; Lyndhurst, N.J. ; Myrtle Beach, S.C. ; Dallas, TX ;  Atlanta, GA ; and Toronto, Canada


We live about 3hrs from Chicago & were given the opportunity to visit  one of Medieval Times' most memorable castles - the gorgeous, expansive Schaumburg Castle ! With it's colossal stone tower and beautiful lawns, it is just what you would expect when planning on going to a Tournament of Knights!

We arrived at the Castle about 1 1/2 hours before showtime so we would have plenty of time to get in and view everything.   Now typically depending on the time you arrive, there can be a line to get in.  No worries, they have plenty to look at while you make your way inside.



Yes, I was the person walking around and asking you to move so I could get a picture.. I love this stuff!

Our tickets were waiting for us at the entrance -
Woohoo baby, Front Row seats!  Let me just say, front row is the way to go!  It was beyond amazing being so close up to the action!  Now remember, there are 6 knights to cheer for- so lots of front row seating.  We got the Black & White Knight.  And oh my , our section was amazing in the cheering!   If our knight could have won merely by popularity, I'd say we would have had it in the bag!

We wandered around looking at the various items for sale and decorating the walls.

This guy here ?  I want him for my front steps - should I ever win the lottery and have a huge castle of my own.  The boys were beyond excited about simply everything.

Finally, we got our seats and the real excitement began !

We were given our crowns and flags to wave..  A note of warning- if you happen to take two very rambunctious little boys, whatever you do= Do NOT sit between them.  Flag waving and cheering can be a very dangerous sport !

I believe this is Dimple's knight or king stance.. I'm not quite sure.. lmao.  I don't think he sat down the entire show.  He was cheering and having a blast!  It was amazing for me to see him so enthralled with something like that !

As the show begins, you own serving wench will bring you drinks (Pepsi, diet pepsi or water) and then the food slowly begins trickling in.

Our server announced that this was Dragon's Breath soup ~ Fishing Pole was a little hesitant to try it for a few moments. Then he drank ½ his and was proud that he drank Dragon's Breath! lol !

Do you see that huge piece of chicken:?  O.M.G.  Let's not forget that I still had a spare rib, roasted potatoes & pastry coming.. I may have wobbled my way out after the show.   The only downfall is that you are given no silverware -- hello, they ate with their fingers back in the 11th century.  While this is normally fine, if you have a sensory kid (hello, Dimples) then you might want to sneak your own silverware in a ziplock baggy in your purse.  Just sayin.   Dimples loved the food but I had to hand feed him b/c he will not eat it if he has to touch it.

So the food was awesome, but my favorite part was definitely the horses..

Absolutely Beautiful !

kneeling down

 As much as I loved the action of the knights jousting and other tournament games, I could have watched the horse above in all his beauty the entire 2 hours and been happy! ;) 







The King and all the knights came out together.. Can you tell how close we were?  At one point they put down a net to keep the audience safe, Dimples was able to reach out with his flag and touch the netting! lol!  He was beyond thrilled to discover that :)

 One of Fishing Pole's favorite things was when each individual knight came around and tossed flowers out to their section of audience.   Fishing Pole really really wanted a flower but obviously the knights were throwing to girls. So I waved and held my hand out.. Lo and behold, he tossed me the flower above!!  Fishing Pole was beyond thrilled but then insisted I keep it b/c the knight threw it to me! lol :)



All the knights standing in a line. Our was the zebra striped one (the black & white knight).

And just because I couldnt' resist sharing this one :



The dude who kept photo bombing me every.single.time I tried to get a picture off to the side.  I can't even say how many pictures I have of his head.  He would sit back until I leaned forward to take a picture and then BOOM there he is.. ARGH. 


All and all we had a wonderful time!  It was an experience to remember!  Dimples is still talking about the horsies  while Fishing Pole is insisting that we simply MUST take the lil girls to the castle!

And now , what you've all been waiting for --

GIVEAWAY TIME :


I am pleased to be able to offer a family 4 pack of tickets to the Schaumburg, IL  Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament!   The tickets must be used by the end of April, so spend some spring break time at the Castle!   Reminder- this giveaway is for tickets only!  Transportation is not provided. Enjoy and GOOD LUCK !




xoxo,

3 comments:

  1. So hard to pick! I'd be most excited to see the knights I think!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I want to see the Knights in shining armor.

    ReplyDelete

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