Just got back from a trip to a rather unique dining experience. It was featured in a Jim Carry Movie once, Where he puts the chicken skin on his face and re-inacts the Silence of the Lambs. I'd always wanted to go to one of these ever since I first found out about it on a visit to Orlando, Florida. I never managed to get to Kissimme though but I'm lucky to live relatively close to one of the newest of the 9 medieval Times Locations. It's fairly expensive, about 50$ a person, but as they were running a special me and a few others managed to pool our resources and go.
If you've never been, or heard of it. It's sort of a faux medieval castle, with an indoor horse arena. They do jousting with balsa wood spears, sword fights and you eat with your hands. There are also of course comely wenches to serve you refills of your favorite soft drinks. It's all pretty kitschy, but at the same time you can't help but have fun. Though, if you were a kid it would be even more fun. Fun for the kid anyway, certainly not for their parents wallets. They do everything possible to separate you from your cash, and have no compunction against leveraging your children against you in this pursuit.
The food of course is nothing like would have been eaten in medieval Europe, it's fairly typical American style fare. Especially, New World, considering the meal contains both a Potato dish and a Tomato dish. But it's tasty if not particularly inspired. If you went in for the food though you would be missing the whole point. It's essentially dinner theatre, an extremely elaborate one more akin to a Universal Studios show or one of the wild west stunt shows they have at theme parks. I imagine it would be a very interesting place to work.. like a climate controlled Renaissance faire.
If you get the chance and are in one of the cities where they have one, you should absolutely go. They generally offer discounts on their website so don't let the cost deter you. If you keep your wits and go in with a cynical eye towards marketing gimmicks its quite affordable. You don't go to the movie theatre to buy posters or action figures do you? It dosen't hurt to buy a flag though to supplement the cheering as the louder the crowd gets the more the performers ham it up. If you get lucky enough to get the Heel's section you are in for even more fun.
A some what similar thing I've found out about, though definitely geared even more towards kids than Medieval Times, is Magi-Quest. It's sort of a take on Lasertag except your a wizard and you zap monsters with your magic wand. They have one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It's not something I'd personally feel comfortable going too as I don't have any relatives the right age to take. Though by far the coolest thing about Magi-Quest is that Ritchie Blackmore, of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night.. did the soundtrack for it.
Kid's these days just don't know how good they've got it.. even if they will get stuck eating cat food when their "retire" from work at age 80 due to the national debt having ballooned to 90 bajillion dollars.. might as well have fun while they can.
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