4510 West Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee 34746
(800) 229-8300; (407) 396-1518
Admission: Free with tickets to Medieval Times
Hours: Daily, open 1 hour before show time at Medieval Times
Location: At the Medieval Times dinner attraction
What’s a medieval castle without a village to supply all its needs? Fortunately, the owner of Medieval Times, the popular Kissimmee dinner attraction, is a Spanish count. So it wasn’t too much of a stretch for him to clear out the attics and barns of his estates, buy up an old village on Majorca, and ship the whole lot to Central Florida.
The result is an intriguing re-creation of a twelfth century village, complete with a cadre of artisans and craftspeople plying their trades in much the way their medieval predecessors did. The buildings are modern construction, but the doors, the wooden windows, the furniture, and many of the other objects to be found in the village are all originals, some of them 800 years old.
The tiny village is set around a small courtyard and cobblestone street. Much of it is given over to a series of workshops and ateliers, including a basket shop, a carpenter’s workshop, a metalsmith, and a blacksmith creating chain mail armor one link at a time. There is also a cloth weaver working at an 800-year-old loom. Many of the items produced here can be purchased in the gift shop.
One of the more interesting displays is “The Dungeon,” a collection of implements of torture. A sign outside cautions that the display may not be suitable for small children and it is advice well worth heeding. The implements themselves (all apparently genuine) are ghastly enough but, for those with poor imaginations, mannequins have been added to illustrate the hideous uses to which these bizarre inventions were put. It may not be the best thing to see before sitting down to a meal and a night’s entertainment.
Admission to the village is included in the price of your ticket to the dinner attraction (see Chapter 10), which is one of the best in the Orlando area. Whether the village is worth the admission if you are not seeing the show will depend on your interest in things medieval. There is a fair amount to see here, but much of it is unidentified and unexplicated. The artisans who “inhabit” the village, however, are friendly and knowledgeable and are a great source of information about the strange objects you’ll encounter.
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