Our Behind the Scenes Tour and Evening at the Tournament
To say we were excited to be invited to tour the Medieval Times facilities in Buena Park would be an understatement! It is a sight seen by few of the general public so we were so honored when we were given the opportunity this past week. And of course my gal HAD to dress appropriately, she never misses an opportunity to dress up.
Our behind the scenes tour started with the stables that house the gorgeous stallions (the show features only stallions, the foals and mares are all in Texas at the Medieval Times Ranch we learned) Here in the stables where the horses are kept, groomed, bathed as we saw, fed and prepped for the show. They were stunning up close, almost seamed unreal how still and calm they were.
Next stops were the main hall and then the arena where the knights were in full training mode. This was awesome, they interacted with my daughter and even let her hold their sword. Since they were playing up their battle moves she was laughing (I think it kind of confused her as to if it was real or pretend, this is a perspective taking /autism issue) The noise level at first was also an issue for her, we left for a brief time (to seek out the princess) then returned after adjusting to the loud clashes and we could then enjoy the arena and the knights practice.
So during our brief break from the arena, we took the time to track down the princess to allow my daughter to adjust to the noises and my daughter was insistent that we find her anyway. In the middle of preparing for the show was how we found the princess so my girl was able to try her crown and grill her as to why she was not fully dressed (nothing gets past her) I explained that her lady in waiting must have stepped out.
We finished our tour with taking our picture with the king and my daughter with the princess (this time fully accessorized) and then waited for the tournament to begin! Lucky Gals or what?
Okay so this was not our first time to Medieval Times for the Dinner and Tournament, third to be exact counting this time. We have had mixed experiences each time, mainly sensory issues (loud noises basically) but overall, great thus the reason we keep coming back. My girl asked for the black and white knight on our last visit and did so again on this visit! Autism and things always having to be the same.
Dinner is served! My daughter had the baby dragon, I mean chicken, rib, potato with bread and tomato bisque soup and I played the part of a vegetarian for the evening. My dinner consisted of a hummus plate with veggies and a stew made with potatoes, rice and beans along with other veggies. Both were very filling and very Delicious.
As the tournament got underway my daughter seemed a bit uneasy at first with the noise level but once things got going she was all cheers and rooting the tournament on, whew! "Bring on the castle bread" and "Go black and white Knight!"( She's 6 mind you) and as the evening progressed she REALLY wanted a flower, I feared with us being so high up she wouldn't get one, so I stood her up, waved a napkin and PLOP! right on her chair landed a red flower! MADE her night. Oh and I knew then he would win....and he did. Perfect ending to a perfect day with my gal, the kind memories are made of!
I would sincerely like to thank everyone at Medieval Times for their generosity and their time in taking us on the tour of their beautiful facilities, just a great group of people I have to say. We had met a few of them at a previous Autism events and can only hope we see each other again to spread awareness again soon.
Autism/Special Needs Pros and Cons:
If waiting in the Main Hall for the tournament to begin is too much stimulation, noise or the crowds are overwhelming you can ask to use the handicap entrance and be seated a few minuets before the rest of the public at a separate entrance. Just explain your situation and they will be more than happy to accommodate your party. We used this option and it was a HUGE help.
Be aware that the tournament has loud noises and flashing lights. Seating your party to the end of your row allows you to leave for breaks if needed(this is where the early seating option comes in handy), The show runs approximately 2 hours.
If eating with hands is a concern (tactile/sensory issues) I would say bring your own utensils (plastic if that is acceptable for your family member) or your normal flatware. I would advise your server of your situation as well.
Have any other concerns/needs just give them a call!
General note: The arena is a bit on the cool side, so bring a light sweater.
Last but not least enjoy the show!