We celebrated Joseph’s 6th birthday in Florida the weekend after his actual day. We drove down to Orlando, checked into a hotel, and traveled back to the 11th century at Medieval Times. It was our first experience, and one we aren’t likely to forget.
Not wanting to make it too late of a night, we made reservations for the earlier seating. We checked in at the castle, picked up our designated crown, and wandered around the Hall of Arms. Each child picked out a souvenir (there are plenty of opportunities to buy things, of course). Joseph was knighted in a little ceremony with the king. He was a little overwhelmed and extremely shy up there in front of a good-sized group, but super cute kneeling down on that big pillow.
When it was time for the dinner and tournament, we gathered in the big hall and waited for the trumpeters to herald us into the arena. The guests are separated and seated by color of crown, each color corresponding to a knight.
Then it was time to eat! It’s quite an exciting meal, consisting of four courses. The menu includes garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, corn on the cob, potatoes, and dessert and coffee. We added a bottle of red wine and drinks in fancy light-up cups (that Meme purchased beforehand) for the kids.
And you eat with your hands. Yep, it’s true. There were no utensils in medieval times and so they don’t provide them. They do, however, provide napkins and wet wipes at the end of the meal. Since I was a child, I’ve never liked having sticky hands, often getting up in the meal or as soon as I was done with the messy food and washing them. Hannah’s the same way. I’m not near as uptight now, so I could embrace the messiness, but Hannah took a little adjusting. Hands going from food to drink to wine glass and back again felt a little odd, but it was fun.
The pageantry began soon after we were settled in our seats. Horses thundered into the room and the tournament began. As the knights competed in the games and jousting matches, the spectators yelled and cheered. As entertaining as the show was, the faces of my children were my favorite part. Hannah got really into the competition, yelling and waving her flag while Joseph was just mesmerized, wide-eyed, completely enthralled by the action and sounds.
It was a fun night! And my little knight had a big time.
PS: If you go, definitely make a reservation, then get there early so you can explore. I think the doors open an hour and 15 minutes before the show. The gift shop is pretty big, with lots to choose from. Hannah picked out the headpiece and Joseph, the sword (specifically, the epee, my husband tells me). Both were less than $20.
As for photos, they will take a photograph of your group upon arrival. It’s dark in the arena, so it’s a little hard to capture good pictures (I also didn’t take a camera, so all my photos were taken with my phone.) The professional photos aren’t cheap, but we couldn’t pass up the group one and the one of Joseph being knighted. I also videoed that. 🙂
It was back to the hotel to rest up for a full day of play.
The next morning, we were up and moving, ready to take on Legoland. I did some blog-reading and asked some questions of friends that have been, but it was not near as daunting as a first trip to Disney.
We arrived at the park around 10am and stayed until 4. This gave us plenty of time. Not time to do every single thing, but definitely enough time for ample rides and fun. Actually, it never got too terribly crowded. That part was really nice. And it also wasn’t too hot. I threw some bottles of water and sunscreen in my backpack, and we were good to go.
We loved looking at all the Lego sculptures throughout the park. Seriously impressive!
As advised, we headed to the back of the park to the the flying, driving, and boating schools before it got too crowded. On the way there, we walked around Miniland USA.
I thought we would be able to get back there to look around some more – it is truly incredible how they replicated major cities across the country – but we ran out of time.
As you might know, Joseph has a affinity for giraffes and got several pictures with them along the way…
We did all there was to do in LEGO City, and then headed to Pirate’s Cove for the water ski show. You cannot miss this event. Entertaining for all of us.
we loved our time meandering through the old Cypress Gardens. Such a beautiful place!
The cypress tree in the back is breathtakingly beautiful. I have a thing for trees anyway…
We tinkered and tested our own Lego creations at the Imagination Zone. We ate lunch and checked out Ninjago World (not really knowing what that was all about), and then we made our way through the Land of Adventure.
Joseph is not real into riding rollercoasters, so he hung out with Meme while Joe and I took Hannah on a fun one.
Due to time, we didn’t do the Pharaoh’s Revenge attraction, but I did think this statue was pretty awesome…
The kids did the Royal Joust ride in LEGO Kingdoms and then we squeezed in the Quest for CHI at the World of Chima before leaving and I’m so glad we did. As with Ninjago, I’m not well-versed on the LEGO Chima thing either, but the ride was so fun. It’s an interactive thing were you shoot water cannons at targets…and spectators outside of the ride as well. Yes, you wet them and they can shoot water back at you. It’s a blast and we got WET.
Perfect thing to do last!
We dried off/changed clothes before loading up into the car.
My babies! It was a great day.
Oh, one more thing! I read about taking LEGO Minifigures to trade with the employees, who wear them on their brick name badges. I ordered a 10-pack from Amazon, the kids traded several, and this is what we came home with:
A happy, happy birthday trip it was celebrating our big 6-year-old.We love that little boy to pieces. So thankful to Meme for helping to make it happen and coming with us!