Explore behind the scenes of Medieval Times

Even if you’ve never been to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, you know the deal. Dinner and a show, raucous cheering for the knight representing your section, a lack of utensils, and so on. But behind the scenes, there’s far more happening than meets the eye.
You may not be aware of the fellowship that unites the performers, the care that goes into maintaining the stables, or the volume of freshly prepared food served every day. You don’t know these things, however, for now you are merely a squire. With some training and insight, you will share knowledge with the greatest of knights. To give you a sneak peek, let this guide serve as your own personal training for knighthood!

Noble steeds

A knight cannot do battle without his trusty horse. Your training begins with getting to know the horse you shall ride into the arena.


Medieval Times features three types of horses, including the esteemed Pure Spanish Horse. There are 30 horses at the Buena Park Medieval Times, with 12 to 16 performing in each show. That allows the horses to get plenty of rest, even as the kingdom hosts shows every day of the week.


When the horses aren’t riding into battle, they live the good life. They're groomed and exercised every day, with visits from a veterinarian and a farrier. If you expect your horse to take care of you in the arena, make sure to treat him well throughout the week.


Medieval Times horses benefit from early retirement. It can be exhausting to spend years in the tournaments, sometimes with multiple shows per day. Around age 18, the horses retire near Dallas, Texas, where Medieval Times has its own ranch. This is where the horses are born and where they return after a fulfilling career of fighting bad guys.

 Wardrobe & armor

You can always trust a knight with fashion advice. From the hottest attire (no, really, it gets hot in there) to sensible accessories, these warriors know how to earn the title “knight in shining armor.” As the next step in your training, it’s time to suit up.


The knights start with a basic shirt and tights, then they add English riding boots and a protective armadillo pad over their torso. A helmet and extra padding make up the final layer before it's time to equip their weapons.


The knights’ accessories are authentic at Medieval Times. They use real wooden lances that shatter upon impact during the competition; knights go through about 10 per performance. They also are equipped with authentic shields that are hand painted to restore their luster when they get too beat up. People often ask how the knights make the sparks and splinters look so real. The answer is simple: They are real!


You’ll have to master some basic combat skills if you want to make it as a knight. Did you know that all the fights you see at Medieval Times comprise three offensive moves?


Each battle includes variations of the attacks—on a horse, from an angle, etc.—but they all boil down to moves that target the head, shoulders, and legs. Watch the Red Knight demonstrate a strike to the head.

A champion's diet

If you’re going to dine with the king, you deserve only the finest fare. All of the food served to guests at Medieval Times is prepared in house daily. Enjoy a feast that includes roasted chicken, garlic bread, buttered corn, and more. If you have dietary restrictions, there’s no need to worry. The friendly staff can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals. 


There are also plenty of libations for the over-21 crowd to choose from. To add even more flavor to your Medieval Times experience, enjoy a Royal Knight or Executioner signature cocktail before and during the show. AAA reminds you to consume alcohol responsibly.

Surroundings to study

You get the royal treatment no matter which Medieval Times kingdom you visit, but each will bring a unique experience. The Buena Park castle, for example, is the only location that features an outdoor courtyard for pre-tournament mingling. 


Next to the courtyard, a torture chamber awaits guests. Inside, you'll learn about the gruesome torture methods of medieval times. This area may not be suitable for young children, but it’s a good way to make your older kids grateful that they only get grounded. You can also buy real armor from the in-house armory.


Your training is almost complete, young squire! The only thing left is to actually see the battle at Medieval Times.


Upon your arrival, you can sign up to get knighted. While the crowd waits to enter the arena, you can kneel before the king to receive your knighthood, damehood, or whatever honor best suits you. Then take home a picture to commemorate the historic event. Congratulations, my liege, and enjoy Medieval Times!

Save on a visit to Medieval Times

Use your AAA membership for up to 25 percent off admission when you buy tickets over the phone or at the ticket window.