Over the years, I’ve had many opportunities to participate in fun family activities with my husband and kids, and I’ve noticed that there are some outings that are more popular than others. Medieval Times is one place that we’ve been to on several occasions but I can guarantee that my family will be excited and eager to go each time. This past week, I was invited to a media night (along with my daughter) to enjoy the new show, meet and chat with the Queen and Head Knight, and even tour the stables to meet the real stars of the show – the horses! Our meals and entertainment were covered, but all thoughts and opinions and photos are our own.
I must say – after seeing the “old” story line half a dozen times or so, I never got tired of the show. However, seeing a totally new story line this past week totally kept me on my toes! It was exciting and action-packed, and it felt like a natural progression to the show I’d seen so many times before. Don’t worry…I’m not going to spoil anything for you if you haven’t been to Medieval Times recently. Just know that the Queen is WONDERFUL (a true leader!) and there IS a twist at the end that is the perfect way to wrap up the knights’ competition.
About the New Show at Medieval Times
For the first time since 2012, Medieval Times has just unveiled a new storyline, featuring a Queen, at its castle located in Hanover, Maryland at Arundel Mills. The Maryland/DC castle is the 8th Medieval Times location in North America to roll out the new show. This new story line is a major break from Medieval Times’ 35-year tradition of casting a king in the show’s lead role. The queen is now in charge and sole ruler of the land, and inherited the throne after the passing of her father, the previous king. She is a firm but kind ruler, respected throughout the kingdom.
The decision to change the story line to feature a queen was based in part on guest feedback that they would like to see women having more significant roles in the show.
What else is new at Medieval Times?
We love Medieval Times for the hot, four-course feast (eaten with your hands!), jousting, swordplay, and the horses (of course!) – and those elements are still there in abundance. Some of the changes, in addition to the updated script are:
• More than 700 new costumes for all nine castles’ performers, including horses, all of which are custom-designed and handmade at a dedicated costume shop in-house.
• The new suits of armour, shields and helmets are custom-designed and handmade at a dedicated armoury in-house.
• Over 200 team members and 20 horses trained and rehearsed new interactions and fight scenes for three months while still presenting the former show.
• For the first time, audiences will see a Queen riding horseback in the Castle.
• New music was composed by Dr. Daniel May, composer and jazz pianist who scored “Everest” and other films and who worked with Sting, The Moody Blues and others. He directed and recorded Medieval Times’ new show composition in Kiev with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. He directed the choir in Ukraine with lyrics written by poet and choir member, Solomia Gorokhivska, solo cellist, Gloria Caceres, and violinist, Maksym Grinchenko, concertmaster at the National Symphony of Ukraine.
Behind the Scenes at Medieval Times
I loved seeing the horses “backstage” after the show. They are so much bigger up close than I imagined they would be! We were reminded that these horses are work horses – not pets – and at over 1000 lbs each, they are not animals to play around with.
I loved the attitudes of all of the head knight and head horse trainer. They said that the horses didn’t volunteer for this job, so they try to make sure that the horses are treated very well. The horses get more “vacation” days than the people involved in the show – they get to spend a lot of time at the ranch about 15 minutes away from the castle.
Horses used in the Maryland/DC castle, as well as the eight other working castles in North America, are bred and raised on a 280 acre ranch in Texas. Did you know that all of the horses seen at Medieval Times are stallions? They start training at the castles at around three years old, and they practice and exercise every single day. They are athletes and would not be happy if they weren’t exercised regularly.
I can’t wait to go back to Medieval Times again! Have you been? What was your favorite part?
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