Our Chicago Vacation: Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in SchaumburgThanks to Medieval Times - Chicago Castle for providing my family with free admission to facilitate this review.
Without a doubt, the highlight of our trip to Chicago was experiencing the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Phoenix and Ariana were both very excited to go to a castle, see real knights, and watching the tournament. The massive castle entrance was massive and beautiful... and a great spot to take a picture. :)
As you can see, Phoenix and Ariana both arrived in full costume - Ariana as a princess, and Phoenix as a knight. They both got a lot of nice comments about their costumes that made them feel very special. The lady that checked us in even asked Phoenix if he was going to be fighting in the tournament! ;)
We arrived 75 minutes before the show started, just as our ticket stated, which was good, because there was plenty to do before the show started. We were able to buy a few cool souveniers, watch a few people get knighted, and even check out the horses that would be in the tournament.
Then, we were off to be seated. Perhaps getting there early paid off, because we totally lucked out, and got first row seats on the 50 yard line. :)
As far as food goes, I'm normally not easily impressed. Food has to really be something special in order for me to really like it. That said... the food at Medieval Times was amazing. I ordered the vegetarian meal, which included pita chips, carrots, celery, and hummus as an appetizer (pictured partially-eaten because mama needed some food!;)
A delicious bean & rice stew was the vegetarian main course.
Dessert was a crispy, light, and delicious apple pastry.
The other meal looked delicious as well. Omnivores were treated to garlic bread, tomato bisque soup,
herb-roasted potato,spare rib, oven roasted chicken, and an apple pastry. Check out part of the meal below, pictured with a bit of my vegetarian stew. Oh, and don't be fooled by the camera angle. This is truly an enormous amount of food. Oh, and fun fact: this photo was taken from Phoenix's plate - kids get the same full-size portions as the adults do! :)
Once we started to dig in, it was time for the entertainment. The show started out with an amazing horse demonstration, the royal falconer's performance, and an introduction of the knights. Watching each knight rid out with their flag in the air was a very cool moment. The knights were truly proud to be there fighting to win the Battle of Champions. It was at that moment that we truly felt we were back in the medieval times.
The first contest was for the the knights to grab a flag while they were riding on their horse... and our red & yellow knight nailed it.:)
Spectacular weapons battles and jousting matches followed. We were on the edges of our seats... this was more than just an act. The weapons were real. The strength and agility were real. The action was real. Everything about the tournament was real.
In the end, our knight, the red and yellow knight, emerged victorious!
I suppose that one of the things about our trip to trip to the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Schaumburg is that photographs don't do it justice. The video I took below with my ipod - front row, center, doesn't do it justice. Only attending the show can really do it justice. Being there is truly an experience you will never forget. You leave feeling like a different person than you were when you walked in.
If you've never been to Medieval Times, I highly recommend it. If you've been there before, go back and experience it again. We're already planning our next trip... this time to the Myrtle Beach castle. :)
So, have you ever been to Medieval Times? What did you think? Leave a comment below! :)