Medieval Times in Scottsdale is the newest attraction to join the Phoenix area and welcomes the entire family! This is the tenth castle to be built, and joins others in Dallas, Chicago, Orlando and more. Per it’s name, visitors can expect a rousing medieval experience that invites you to cheer for your knight while enjoying a feast.
Our family visited with friends on opening weekend in early August and were so impressed. The towering castle walls are viewable from the main road, and welcoming employees (in character, of course, per Middle Ages garb and speech) direct you where to enter. We arrived 70 minutes before the show began and there was already a line! Thankfully, the wait was not long and we had an entertaining knave to chat with the children. After receiving our assigned seats, we were presented with our crowns and had a photo taken with the queen! (Note: no private photos or videos allowed. You can purchase the group photo separately.)
There are a handful of things to do while you wait out the 60 minutes before show time. We enjoyed browsing the two gift shops – lots of medieval type accessories for sale, like swords and beautiful flower crowns, and various memorabilia. You can also pay to have a family member or friend knighted by the queen herself! We enjoyed watching this event. The bar is open for drinks, both alcoholic and non, with a variety prices. Grab a slushee for the kids! Tables are available by the gift shops.
The museum of torture is also a paid extra. This is not for young children. The displays are basic and tastefully done, with a simple plaque and small photo alongside the item. It’s just the premise of a museum solely devoted to torture devises that made us opt out for our children. If medieval history is up your alley, this museum may interest you more.
Note: after all this, we still had 20 minutes before the doors opened. The kids (ages ranged from 6 months to 8 years old) were a bit restless. We found a corner to let them run around, and made use of the restrooms. Next time, we would bring simple quiet activities to pass the time.
The show was scheduled to begin at 4:30pm, and fifteen minutes before the announcement was made that the queen was ready to welcome us all to the feast! We found our assigned table easily; the setup is a three sided arena with five levels. The first three rows were for VIP reservations, we were on the fourth row. Our servers brought out water, tea or lemonade. You can also purchase alcoholic drinks from them. But be prepared to pay a pretty penny too. The Maiden’s Kiss (think frozen margarita like) was $15 + tax, in a regular cup. Crazy prices.
And then the tournament began! Complete with music and colored lights, each knight and his company were introduced. Cheering for your knight is highly encouraged – our kids loved being able to make noise and wave their homemade flags! There is a mixture of dialogue from the queen, the lords, and the announcer; we had difficultly following the “storyline” at times, but there was never a dull moment.
The tournament included beautiful horse showmanship, a falconry display, and of course the knights, both on horses and on foot, displaying skill and bravery to compete for the title. The jousting especially was phenomenal. We don’t say much more! It all runs like a choreographed play performance, and a highly entertaining one at that.
During the tournament, the servers are busy bringing you the four course meal. We started with tomato soup and toasted bread. Next was huge portions of chicken, corn on the cob, and a half baked potato with seasoning. So yummy. No utensils here! Use your fingers and dig in. Of course the kids were thrilled. (Maybe it was the adventurous atmosphere, but we were surprised how the kids tried every food and even found new favorites – like tomato soup!) The dessert was a huge let down, as it was simply ice cream in a cup. The coffee was average as well. It didn’t match the quality of food from the appetizer and main course. But we were stuffed and kids always love ice cream.
After the show, the knights were in the main hall for photos. This is free! Of course we had to meet our favorite Yellow Knight and tell him he fought well. The gift shop, photo center and museum were open as well. Total, we spent about 3.5 hours at the castle.
Medieval Times in Scottsdale is an experience you won’t forget. Tickets are $45.95/adult, and $35.95/children ages 12 and under. (Ages 3 and under are free if they lapsit and eat from an adult plate.) This price includes the four course dinner and 2hr tournament show, and all participates receive a crown.
All food portions are the same. Vegetarian options are available upon request. Group discounts for birthday parties, corporate events, field trips and more are available. Shows are Wednesday-Sunday, usually at 7pm on weekdays, and twice on weekends, 2pm or 4:30pm or 7pm. Doors open 75 minutes before the show. See website for exact times!
Please note: during the show, there are flashing lights, fog, and loud music/sounds. This may not be the place to visit if your child is sensitive to these. Also, the sword fighting and jousting could be considered violent, but we found it minimal and it did not bother our children in any way. They were wide eyed and entertained by most of the tournament!
There are three upgrade packages to purchase if desired:
- Royalty Package: priority castle access, VIP seating, priority seating access, cheering banner, VIP lanyard. $15/person
- Celebration Package: all of the above in the Royalty Package AND group photo for each member of the party, slice of birthday cake for each member of the party, personalized announcement during the show. $20/person
- 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. $25/person
The upgrade packages may be a fun addition if you are celebrating a special event, like a birthday. But the basic package will provide a wonderful experience too, and the early access/seating does not add much. Seating is first come, first served basis. So yes, you buy tickets ahead of time to guarantee a spot, but then you need to get assigned a seat. For this reason, we recommend arriving as soon as the doors open. But there isn’t really a bad seat in the house. Medieval Times does a good job making sure everyone enjoys the show!
Other extras are:
- Flag to match color and crest of knight: $5/person
- Museum of Torture: $2/person
- Alcoholic beverages: range from $6-$25/each
- Knighting ceremony
- any purchase from the shops, including souvenir photo
Safe to say, this is not an inexpensive experience. For our family of five (with a free lap child), we paid just under $200 for the dinner and tournament. And one admission to the torture museum. We bought three drinks, which added $40. And left a $10 tip. So total, we spent around $250.
If you’re interested in saving, here are some suggestions:
- Sign up for their newsletter! Other castles offer a free birthday admission, and we hope this comes to Scottsdale soon, as well as other discounts.
- Visit with a group for lower admission.
- Drink a beer or two before you come. Skip the alcohol at the castle.
- Make or purchase little flags for your children before arriving. Also consider stopping at the Dollar Store for light up wands.
- Make it a date night! Enjoy dinner and a show without the kiddos.
Is it worth it? We would say yes! The atmosphere is so unique. And think of it as a dinner theatre, where you’d pay $50 for a meal and a 2hr play. Or consider it an educational experience for children. We are so excited to welcome Medieval Times to Scottsdale and wish them well on their quest!