We braved the crowds this holiday weekend and took the kids to a bonafide local attraction. Medieval Times Buena Park is is a dinner show near Disneyland in Anaheim, catering to local families and visitors with an action-filled jostling tournament featuring decked-out royalty, horses and knights.

father and son at Medieval Times Buena Park

It's been on our list for awhile, but we were waiting for Some Boy to be old enough to at least sort of appreciate the action.

Medieval Times preparing for duels

The show features well-trained performers who really appear to love their job. And who wouldn't? Getting paid to rough around in the dirt is every 20 to 30-year-old guy's dream gig. It was really fun to see them getting into their play-fighting roles.

Medieval Times

The animals were definitely a highlight of the show for me, with horses and an astonishing live falcon circling the ring. The horses are clearly well cared for, with Quarter Horses, Friesians, Menorcans and Pure Spanish Horses taking the spotlight. Each horse is bred specifically for Medieval Times and spends just a few years in the spotlight before returning to their 241-acre ranch in North Texas.

Top Tips for Medieval Times Buena Park

  • Sign up for email specials. Medieval Times Buena Park offers seasonal and birthday discounts to subscribers.
  • Upgrade your seats. For an additional $10 per ticket, you can get reserved seats in the first two to three rows along with a commemorative DVD and special cheering banner. $16 gets you all that plus slices of birthday cake and photos for the whole party, and $20 gets you the best seats in the house along with commemorative photos. The reserved seating – at least in the first two or three rows – is well worth it for a better view. Plus, you won't feel the need to rush and fight the crowds to snag your spot.
  • Print your tickets at home to avoid a long line.
  • Bring cash. Gratuities are not included, nor are the alcoholic beverages which are on the pricey side.
  • Leave the stroller at home. There's no room for it by the seats, and you're better off baby-wearing.
  • There is a gift display directly through the main entrance and maidens running around selling commemorative ware. If you want to cut down on souvenir costs at Medieval Times Buena Park, make sure to gear your kids up ahead of time with light-up swords and shields.

medieval times meal

The food is plentiful and surprisingly tasty at Medieval Times Buena Park. It reminded me of the hearty kind of food we eat at home every day: plenty of meat! Just be aware that you'll be eating it all without the assistance of utensils, which can get a little messy. They bring out wet wipes at the end, but you may want to tote along some of your own if your child has a propensity to stick their grubby hands on everything in sight.

Not that I have any idea what that's like.

clapping at Medieval Times

What was most thrilling to me, of course, was seeing Some Boy get in on the action. He clapped excitedly when the audience clapped, cheered when they cheered, and pointed with a loud, “Noooooooo!” when his favorite knight was thrown from his steed.

Medieval Times knight

Have you ever taken your family to a dinner show?