Behind the Scenes at Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ!
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What’s better than a delicious meal? Um, a delicious meal AND an entertaining show! South Jersey Family is part of the Royal Bloggers Program with Medieval Times, so we got to enjoy Our Meal with the Queen! Dinner & a Show at Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ earlier this year. We all had a blast and enjoyed the dinner and show (the boys were thrilled/confused that they had permission to eat their meal with only their hands! Too funny!) and have reminisced about that experience many times since. If you haven’t already, definitely give that article a read so that you know what to expect during a visit to Medieval Times. Recently, we got to make our second trip to Medieval Times for an experience I’m sure we’ll never forget: we got to go behind-the-scenes! We got to meet the knights, take part in some “training,” and ask all sorts of questions before enjoying our delicious meal and show. Did you know that it takes 40,000 pounds of sand (!!!) to safely fill the arena for the knights and horses?! That’s a TON of sand, right? Hang on with me for a sec so I can tell you all about our behind-the-scenes experience!
The Torture Devices
Before we got to go inside the arena to meet the Knights, we all had the opportunity to walk a set of rooms that housed replicas of medieval torture devices. Participation for this viewing was totally optional, but, knowing my boys and since it was educational, we decided to walk through. I’m all about learning and adding bits of education to any sort of experience, but please use your own discretion when deciding whether or not to partake in this optional exhibit. When we visited, it was an additional $2 per person for entry, but I feel like the value far outweighed the cost. The lights are pretty dim in this exhibit, so I was unable to take quality photographs, but a quick Google search for “medieval torture” will bring up images of devices that you may see. Believe me, it’s one thing to see these devices through photographs, but it’s quite eery and somewhat shocking to see them merely feet away from you. Again, my boys (ages 5 & 7) were totally ok with walking through and seeing the devices, but do use your own discretion.
After we walked through this exhibit, we got to go into the arena to meet the Knights, ask them a few questions, and even get some basic “Knight Training.”
Weapons at Medieval Times
My boys absolutely love to watch the sword fighting scenes unfold before their eyes. They look so REAL and so dangerous! And, you know what? They totally are!
- Medieval Times does not use fake weapons in their shows, but, instead provides their knights with real weapons made from titanium. Not only is titanium a strong metal, but, when one titanium weapon strikes another, sparks literally fly and make the whole sword fighting experience even more exciting for you and your family!
- Medieval Times Knights use two different types of swords in the shows: the Espada and the Mandoble. The Espada sword is a one-handed short sword that can be used while on horseback or can be used in conjunction with another weapon or shield. The Mandoble is the longer and heavier sword that is used by knights on foot. The Mandoble delivers powerful blows and is maneuvered with two hands.
- During the jousting scenes (my favorite!) the Medieval Times Knights use a lance in an effort to knock their enemy off their horse. A Lance is a long piece of wood attached to a metal handle and, the Lance usually shatters after striking a target. In addition to the sword, the Lance is used by knights as an offensive weapon.
- Medieval Times Knights on foot may use an Alabarda. This weapon is a cross between a battle-axe and a spear (read: could do lots of damage!) and is used to help keep enemies at a distance. There is a point at the back of the weapon so, if the enemy isn’t struck with the first attempt, they could be stabbed with a backward thrust.
- The Medieval Times Knights may use a Mace (a heavy metal quatrefoil-shaped head with a wooden handle) to deliver a blow to an opponent’s armor with a single strike.
Training at Medieval Times
Training is NOT taken lightly at Medieval Times. After all, the Knights in the show need to know how to use the weapons safely and properly so that they don’t actually get injured or injure another Knight.
- Before becoming a Knight, training to become a Squire is necessary. Squires aid the Knights by handing him weapons during battle and preparing his horse.
- It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years before a Squire can become a Medieval Times Knight. Intense, right?
- After passing the Knighting test, Squires first become a Knight’s Apprentice. While a Knight’s Apprentice, they learn how to practice advanced techniques, such as falling off a horse, safely.
Other Information we Learned
- The Knight’s horses are exercised every day and are always practicing and learning new skills
- With each performance, there is a different winning Knight. Prior to becoming part of the Royal Bloggers Program, we had always wondered if the winning Knight was always the same. The boys and I are so glad there’s always this element of suspense to each and every show.
- Knights change their outfits with each performance and represent a different “house” each time!
- The Medieval Times show typically changes every 4-5 years.
Have you been to Medieval Times yet? If not, definitely make plans to attend! Located in Lyndhurst, NJ, it’s about an hour and a half drive from our office in Cherry Hill, NJ. The drive is pretty easy and direct, but you may consider making it an extended getaway because it’s so close to New York City!