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Do you like jousting, swordfighting, beautiful princesses, brave knights, falconry or feasting? If so, the Baltimore/Washington D.C. Medieval Times may be for you. The castle is located at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Maryland. It features a 2-hour show with a set 4-course meal. The standard meal consists of a bowl of soup, piece of garlic bread, half a roasted chicken, one spare rib, half a baked potato, some type of pastry or cake, 2 mugs of Pepsi or unsweetened iced tea and a cup of coffee if you want it. There are also vegetarian and kosher plates if you require them. As you are going back in time to a period where silverware did not exist, your dining utensils are your hands and mouth. You use your hands to eat the bread, chicken, rib, potato and pastry and you slurp your soup. Lots of napkins are provided as well as a hot towel at the end of the meal. The castle seats 1,009 people and has seating available for those who have difficulty going up stairs.
The storyline is of a kingdom located some where in 11th century Spain. A great battle was fought and King Alphonso the Conqueror was triumphant. However, the King's brother the Prince who was the King's Champion was killed in the battle. A new champion must be found so King Alphonso proclaims that a tournament will be held to find a new champion and to honor his people's courage. All people attending the show are treated as nobles coming to the tournament and court. All men are addressed as milord. All women are addressed as milady. All boys are assumed to be squires (future knights) and are addressed as such. All girls are assumed to be princesses and are addressed as such.
Guests are asked to check-in 90 minutes before show time in order to get the best possible seats. Seating is first come, first served. You can buy your ticket in advance but that only guarantees you'll get in. You don't get your actual seat till you check-in at the check-in table located between the two stone lions at the entrance to the castle. Once you have checked in, your seats are secure. If you want to guarantee yourself a really good seat, you might be interested in the Royalty upgrade. For $10 per seat, you are guaranteed to sit no worse than 3rd row (there are 5 rows of seats in the castle). If you check in when the gates open, you have an excellent chance of being seated in the first row which is the one that borders the arena (closest to the action). In addition to preferred seating, you receive a souvenir program, a DVD showing the highlights of the show as well as what goes on in producing the show and a souvenir banner to cheer your knight on with. You'll receive your program, DVD and banner at your table. Please note: seating with the Royalty upgrade is still first come, first served. If you want the very best seats with the Royalty upgrade, you need to be there when they open the gates. However, the upgrade guarantees you won't sit any worse than 3rd row. The castle also offers has a Loyalty program. The program rewards those who see the show more than 3 times in one year. Those who join the program may receive a free Royalty upgrade and or other possible gifts (these are at the castle manager's discretion) for each visit after the 3rd visit. For further information on what you may receive through the Loyalty program, please contact the castle.
If you find out you forgot something and need to go to your car or wish to buy something in the mall before the show, you can leave the castle with one stipulation: you must have the seating card you were given when you checked-in. When you return to the castle, as long as you show the seating card to one of the castle guards or security personnel at one of the castle entrances, you will be allowed back into the castle.
Note: You are not allowed to bring any food or beverages into the castle. The only exception to this rule is if you are bringing a birthday cake for someone in your party. Please see the note below about birthdays.
Things to do in the castle before the show include watching one of the two knighting ceremonies before the show or get knighted yourself. The basic knighting ceremony consists of the knight or dame (female knight) wannabe coming up, kneeling on the royal cushion, having the royal cloak placed around their shoulders, being tapped on both sides of the shoulders by King Alphonso with the royal sword and being cheered by all those at court. A photo is taken of the occasion which is included with the price of the basic ceremony ($20 plus tax, please double check with the castle concerning the price) as well as a scroll proclaiming the guy or gal a knight or dame of the realm. Also, during the show, the Lord Chancellor who announce again whatever the knight/dame's special occasion was (often a birthday). Upgrade knighting packages are available. In addition to the basic ceremony, the would be knight or dame would be given a goblet, light wand, princess hat or real sword by his Majesty King Alphonso. The cost of the upgrade depends on the item the purchaser wishes to have given to the future knight or dame. If you are interested in being knighted or having someone knighted, you need to see the Scroll Mistress. She can show you the various knighting packages as well as the times for the two knighting ceremonies. She can be located at the counter to the right of the bar. If you are unsure where she is, please ask one of the castle staff, they'll be happy to direct you to her.
The castle also has a dungeon which is a small museum of torture. Admittance to the dungeon costs $2. Tickets for the dungeon can be bought from the merchants in the gift shop. Parents are advised that children under the age of 18 may find some of the devices in the museum disturbing. Blood or guts are not shown in the museum but one can figure out what the devices would've done. You can check out the well stocked gift shop where a princess can buy herself a princess hat or fan and a squire can buy a wooden or real sword and wooden shield. The shop sells other items with a medieval theme including wax seals and sealing wax, fantasy figurines and scented oil burners.
For those celebrating birthdays, guests can bring a birthday cake which the kitchen staff will gladly slice and give to the birthday party at the appropriate time. The castle can also provide a birthday cake for a fee. Should you be interested in buying a cake, please see the Scroll Mistress at the castle. In addition to a cake, the scroll mistress can arrange for a fee to have the birthday celebrant knighted or have a special announcement made during the show citing the special occasion.
The castle also has a well stocked bar selling a number of fine beers and ales. They also sell non-alcoholic and alcoholic smoothies as well as various wines. From those wishing stronger stuff, the bar also has a fine selection of various liquors. You must be of legal age to buy anything alcoholic.
Approximately 15 minutes before the show starts, guests will be directed to one of two sets of double doors. Then, they will be called into the 1,009 seat arena by the color of their crowns and directed to their table by serving serfs and wenches. Once everyone is seated at their table, their serving serf or wench (you can actually call her that during the show) will start serving your meal. Barring unforeseen delays, the show will start on time.
During the show, you will see six knights battle it out to become the new King's Champion. You will see various maneuvers done by his Majesty's Andalusian stallions. You will see a display of falconry where a live lanner falcon will actually fly in the arena and demonstrate the technique of lure flying. Lastly, you will see displays of fine horsemanship by the King's Guard Quadria and his Majesty's Master of Horse. Guests are welcome to yell and scream all they want in the arena. The only restrictions are that guests are asked not to bang their mugs, plates or bowls as this may frighten the horses. Guests are forbidden to use any device that uses some kind of laser as these devices could blind the castle's horses. Guests are also asked not to wave their hands or try to distract the falcon when its flying. This could cause the falcon to go up into the castle rafters and delay the show. Lastly, guests are not allowed to throw anything into the arena.
Guests are welcome to take photos inside the castle providing the camera doesn't have some type of laser (see note above about lasers) device. If a guest wishes to take their picture with one of the castle guards, the castle guard will be very happy to oblige. Guests will be given an opportunity to have their picture taken with either King Alphonso or Princess Esperanza. The castle staff will take the photo. The castle staff will then offer the guest a photo package consisting of two photos: one with either the King or the Princess and one of the person(s) by themselves. The cost of the photos is $20. It is a great memento of your visit to the castle.
There is no dress code for the castle. Those who wish to dress up in Renaissance or Medieval dress are welcome to do so.
As the castle is located at the Arundel Mills Mall, there is ample parking for cars and buses.
The entrance to the castle can be found inside the Arundel Mills Mall. Please don't attempt to enter the castle through the moat door. Guests are not allowed to enter the castle that way.
If you should lose something during your visit at the castle, please contact castle security as soon as possible. Castle security handles all lost and found items. All items that are found are held for at least 90 days. If no one claims the item during that period, the item is disposed of. The castle is not responsible for any items lost at the castle.
Price for the show and dinner is $48.95 for adults and $36.95 for children under the age of 12. Tickets may be bought from the Medieval Times website at http://www.medievaltimes.com, over the phone at 1-888-935-6878 or at the ticket booth located next to the castle. For show times, please check the Medieval Times website or call the number above to find out when the next show will be. Once a ticket is purchased, they are non-refundable. The castle does offer group discounts. Please contact the castle to find out how much these are.
For educators, the castle puts on a special matinee show that teaches about the Medieval period while providing an entertaining show and feast. The first 30 minutes of the show is given to instruction about the age by various members of the show cast. Once the instruction completed, the show reverts back to the normal show minus the maneuvers demonstration and the horsemanship demonstration by the Master of Horse. This is a great way for students to learn about the age while having a lot of fun. Please contact the castle if your interested in your school attending such a show.
The castle is also capable of hosting meetings and other special events. Please contact the castle if you wish to hold an event at the castle.
To reach the castle, take exit 10 on Maryland 100 or take the Arundel Mills Boulevard exit on Maryland 295. If you take the Maryland 295 exit, drive along Arundel Mills Boulevard to the 3rd traffic light (one of these isn't operational at this time). Turn left at the 3rd light going toward the mall. The castle's two towers should be very clearly visible on your right.
Lastly, the show cast will appear in the bar area of the castle after the show (except if there are multiple shows, if there are, the cast will appear after the day's last show). This is a great time to get an autograph from his Majesty the King, her Royal Highness Princess Esperanza, the Lord Chancellor, the King of Arms or one of the six great knights. You can also take pictures using your own camera or have your picture taken with your knight for a fee. During this time, the show cast will be glad to answer any questions you may have.