Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament has opened the doors to its 10th castle located at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Talking Stick Entertainment District. Whether guests are celebrating a birthday, organizing a company outing or simply looking for the newest entertainment experience in the Valley, the 80,000-square-foot castle offers an electrifying show that combines jousting, weaponry, horsemanship, falconry and a grand feast.
“The Arizona castle is our first in ten years, so it’s been amazing to see everything come together,” said Drew Barnes, marketing and sales manager for the castle. “From three months of knight training, to transporting all 27 of our horses from our ranch in Texas, we’re excited to finally hear nightly cheers in the grand arena.”
Tickets include a four-course meal and a two-hour jousting tournament featuring six courageous knights, real weapons, beautiful horses and a live flight of the royal falcon. Dinner includes two rounds of select beverages and coffee, garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes and the dessert of the castle. A vegetarian option is available and the castle can accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions.
“The Medieval Times experience begins as soon as you cross the draw bridge,” continues Barnes. “While the tournament takes place in the grand arena, the grand hall is host to more fun. Worthy guests can become knighted by one of the Queen’s Knights, while the history of medieval torture devices is revealed in the castle’s dungeon.”
After checking in, the first thing guests see is Arizona’s longest bar nestled far beneath the towering ceiling of the castle. On one side of the hall, the Queen’s Royal Gift Shop offers a range of wooden swords, dragon statuettes, knight and princess costumes, among much more. On the other side, the Queen’s throne sits empty until after the tournament when guests have the opportunity to meet her highness in person.
While the Queen may rule over the tournament, it’s the horses that steal the show. Medieval Times is the largest breeder of Andalusian horses in North America and is dedicated to the preservation of the white steeds, raising them from birth on a 230-acre ranch in Sanger, Texas. The first three years of their lives are spent on the ranch getting accustomed to human interaction and receiving basic training.
Each castle has a Master of Horse who oversees 20-30 horses. The horses receive 24-hour care and are fed the highest quality alfalfa. The Master of Horse also oversees advanced training, in which a strong bond is formed between the horses and qualified riders. Each horse also is trained in the art of classical dressage. When a horse is ready to retire, each is transported back to the ranch in Texas to live out their days in the serene environment.
Prices start at $35.95 for children (12 and younger) and $45.95 for adults (not including taxes, processing fees, gratuity, or upgrades). Package upgrades are as follows:
• Queen’s Royalty Package: Priority castle access, VIP first row all section seating or second row in center section, priority seating access, cheering banner, VIP lanyard, framed entrance group photo
• Royalty Package: Priority castle access, VIP seating, priority seating access, cheering banner, VIP lanyard
• Celebration Package: Priority Castle Access, VIP seating, priority seating access, cheering banner, VIP lanyard, group photo for each member of the party, slice of birthday cake for each member of the party, personalized announcement during the Show