Places to Go - Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament (Hanover, MD)

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Within 45 minutes of arrival at Medieval Times, I began crafting an incredibly negative review in my head. In fact, I was so miserable I wanted to leave. But then, against all odds, I ended up sort of loving the place. First of all, the beginning - Medieval Times is located in a mall (a very crowed mall), which resides next to a casino, as well as several chain restaurants. And at 4 pm on a Saturday the parking situation is positively medieval. I've never witnessed anything like it (and hope to never witness anything like it ever again). Who goes to malls anyway? Don't people know about the internet. Anyways, after I dropped Dan and the kids off, it took 40 minutes to find a parking space (and really the fact that I found one at all is sort of a miracle), granted the spot was located on the top floor of a parking garage and was so small that I thought for sure the car next to me would key up the minivan, but at least I could park.

While I searched among about a million cars for one little parking spot, Dan and the kids stood in a 40 minute line in order to pick up our "reserved" tickets (we bought a Living Social Deal, but called two weeks ahead for assured seating). We then reunited to stand in another long line to enter the venue (we arrived at 4 and were seated around 5). The posted start time was 4:30, but due to "full capacity crowds", they delayed the show for thirty extra minutes.

Finally, they decked us out in cheesy paper crowns and managed to seat our family. You know I'm at my limit when Dan needs to keep reassuring me "calm down. we're here now. let's make the best of this." And then . . .

I wanted to hate our waiter. Simply because at this point I wanted to hate everything. But he was so nice and he had to carry such big trays. Then the soup came (tomato bisque) and I wanted to hate it too, but it was actually quite good (there are no utensils so you sip it from the bowl), especially when paired with the garlic bread. And, well, when the arena filled with smoke and glorious white horses came out from behind closed doors, all while my kids waved their flags and screamed "red and yellow" at the top of their lungs - I had to admit I was actually beginning to enjoy myself.

Knights competed. Theatrical lighting and fake fog created an air of mystery and suspense. Flags waved. More food came, more than any one person could really eat (potatoes, chicken, ribs). And it all tasted quite good (I know, crazy right?). Flowers were thrown into the air. Our king confronted a warload (or at least something like that happened, I was too busy eating to pay attention to the details). My kids seemed entranced.

And, yes, I was happy.

Eventually jousting occurred. And the actors did a great job of keeping everything suspenseful and Disney-esqe believable (mood music and dramatic lighting helped). Our knight was the first eliminated (probably because we were at the end of the (incredibly long) line, I've heard those seated first receive a winning knight). But even that didn't spoil the fun. Yes, we had fun. Cheesy family fun. A "wench" brought me wine (for an extra fee). And F loved the dessert pastry so much she asked me to email the establishment for the recipe.

So despite an awful beginning to the night, I recommend Medieval Times. Just don't drive there.

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1 comment:

  1. So awesome! I love that you wanted to hate it, but kept getting thwarted!!



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