Recently, the famed dinner show was inducted into the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame, for winning the coveted Certificate of Excellence award five years in a row.
The medieval-themed tournament combines arena-style entertainment with a Bacchanalian feast befitting royalty; every night, four employees serve anywhere from 500-1,800 plates of food in less than an hour.
Each year, the Tournament of Kings kitchen serves more than half a million dinners, consisting of 32,240 gallons of Dragon’s Blood soup (tomato soup), 500,000 Rock Cornish game hens, 150,000 pounds of red russet potatoes, 85,000 pounds of broccoli, 500,000 biscuits and 500,000 apple toffee croissants.
The show begins with great fanfare as the seven kings and one dragon knight (representing evil), are announced. Their royal costumes are rich in color and design, their horses adorned with bright plumage. (The regalia was designed by Michel Fresnay, who was nominated for a best-costume Emmy in 1989 for the television production of Napoleon and Josephine.)
The kings then feast with King Arthur at the Round Table, after which a series of games, including a horse race, a jousting match, sword fighting and gladiator-style battles, commence. Audience members are invited to cheer on the king representing the “country” where they are sitting.
The show is a display of physical strength and agility and relies heavily on audience participation.
But beauty is ever-present in the show as well. Iranda Dyer, who rides the Andalusian horse, Nobilissimo, commands him in a performance of dressage, a routine in which horse and rider make precise movements as one harmonious team. The Andalusian breed is commonly referred to as “the horse of the kings.”