Knowing that there's AMAs with the knights other various castles, I thought it might be cool to do a AMA from a serf (aka the staff you actually talk to when you go to Medieval Times). Ask me about tips, trivia, and/or fun (and/or) embarrassing stories! If you've worked at a Medieval Times as well, feel free to join in!

My short bio: Worked at the Schaumburg, Illinois castle for just about 4 years, where I did a variety of tasks. While I was mostly in Gift Shop, I also did Sound and Lighting, some Bar running, and once upon a time, I was trained in Photo.

My Proof: http://imgur.com/PvyNRuQ

EDIT: Thanks for all the questions! I'll be periodically back to check to see if more questions pop up, but I'll leave you with some quick tips/trivia.

Q1. What do you think is a reasonable price for tickets? A1. No more than $40. There are sales on tickets all the time even on MedievalTimes.com-no Groupon or anything! If you are paying full price you are doing it wrong!

Q2. Are any of the upgrades/packages/knightings worth it? A2. Definitely skip any of those upgrades and packages-the "better seats" they advertise is just plain stupid as every seat is pretty good-I actually don't prefer the 1st row as it is waaaaayyy too close to the horse's ass. VIP entry-seriously, what rush are you in? Everything else can be bought separately. Even the cake that's in the Celebration package can be ordered separately, but chances are you'll be too full for that by the time you get to it.

Q3. How are the winner of each show determined? A3. Before each show the head knight makes a schedule on who's which knight, who fights who, and of course, who wins. This sheet is given to the Sound and Lighting department and the staff who divide up the seating. Normally the staff who divide up the seating will not honor requests on specific sections, but if you're really nice they might. Besides those groups no one else in the castle will know.

Q4. Favorite job and most hated job? A4. Favorite job-Sound and Lighting light board duty. I did a bunch of tech crew in high school and am still actively involved in theater in college, so naturally, being paid to do something you love is pretty awesome.

Most hated-Greeter cart for Gift Shop. You know that flashy cart that you see right after you take your photos that has a bagillion overpriced glow swords and wands? Yeah we hate it too. Since we are responsible for keeping inventory on the cart, if a kid comes up and steals a toy without us knowing, we are responsible for making it up or we get in trouble (aka losing our job). Super stressful, especially when there's a sold out show and we have to say "welcome to the castle" to 1,500 people.

Q5. What are the best souviners? A5. The flags ($5) and banners ($2) are great for kids and adults alike. For adults, most of the glassware and clothing is fairly reasonably priced ($25/2 shirts, glassware is around $10 for a shotglass and $10-$20 for a mug). For kids, avoid headwear ($20-$30 for a thin piece of fabric). The wooden shield & sword combo is pretty cool ($25 together-$12 for sword and $17 for shield if seperate), and the glow wave/long light up sword, while expensive ($18) is extremely durable since there is no moving parts, and can change to any color you want.

Also, employees are authorized to give discounts of up to 25% off, so if you ask really nicely and you're purchasing a lot of stuff, maybe ask for a small discount?

Okay that's it! Hope it helps make your experience even better!

Comments: 51 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

ld4323316 karma

Does your dental plan reflect the dental care of the time period? A mixture of nothing and pure horror?

medievalthrowday30 karma

There is no dental plan for part time employees, so yes, yes it does reflect the dental care of the medieval ages XD

Scaryfood7 karma

How do you enjoy the job and experience? I've always wanted to go to one Medival Times, but my dad used to tell me it wasn't worth. Now I'm too old to go without a kid.

medievalthrowday12 karma

Well, let me put it this way: the job sucks. I wanted to get a job just for some experience when I was in high school, and Medieval Times was like 5 minutes away from my house so I applied there, but I could have applied to any grocery store like 99% of the high schoolers do. It's very tedious work and can be very stressful at times on busy days, but the reason why I kept going back to work, even though the job sucks (shoving a $22 glow toy into every parent's eyes and trying to convince them to buy it is not fun), it's the people there. I've made some amazing friends there that I would not have met otherwise, and everyone in your department becomes a family, abet a very dysfunctional family.

If you're "too old", my recommendation is that if you're over 21, go there with several friends and get completely wasted there. Yes it will be expensive (possibly pregame?), but I've seen so many adults do it and have a blast. The best times to go if you want to do that is probably the 7:30pm show on a Saturday, since there's a lot more groups of adults that just want to get drunk with their friends and have fun and a lot less families.

Scaryfood2 karma

Wow, never knew adults without kids actually went there. Just seemed way too campy, but I see why that would be fun as hell for a person my age.

medievalthrowday3 karma

So many couples and adult groups. Like, I was shocked when I started there. For the 7:30 show on Saturdays I would almost say that it's a 50-50 split between families and adult groups. Hell, we get an engagement request at least once a month, sometimes even once a week!

MaggotCorps9995 karma

Is Medieval Times like a Renaissance Faire? My wife worked the PA RenFaire for 13 years.

medievalthrowday9 karma

Sort of. I know plenty of coworkers that go to Renaissance Faire. It's a dinner theater focused on knights on horses with jousting, fighting, and various horseback games. So from what I've heard it's a portion of what Renaissance Faires usually have, wrapped up in a 2 hour show.

MaggotCorps9991 karma

Oh, sounds like a fun dinner.

Let me correct myself, my wife WORKS at the PA RenFaire, last year was 14 years. She knows the owners (of the winery it's held at) and the people who run the shop she works at (also own the blacksmith) want her to move to management. She's a redsmith (copper smith).

GreenStrong2 karma

Medieval times is cool. The setting, and the "plot" they act out are pretty cheesy, but the horsemanship is top notch. The knights and horses are highly skilled athletes who put on an amazing show.

medievalthrowday2 karma

I would recommend going there at least once in your life, preferably with kids or with other adults who want to get drunk. You're not going to get Broadway style acting, the fighting is definitely choreographed , and the food is not always the best (I still love it though after 3.5 years), but overall I think it's a fun experience with the right people.

Ginker782 karma

PA Ren Faire is 10 better than midevil times. It's become a little commercialized, but the shows and music are still high quality.

MaggotCorps9990 karma

I can't speak for comparison (never been to Medieval Times) but we go to RenFaire every year. We get in free and my wife knows pretty much EVERY BODY. And we live like 15 minutes away from the grounds now.

medievalthrowday3 karma

I've always wanted to go to the Renaissance Fair near me (Bristol Renaissance Fair) but it's always during when I'm at school or something, but I look forward to whenever I can go!

Plague_Walker4 karma

How does one get into these kinds of jobs?

medievalthrowday7 karma

You have to apply in person. They don't list their jobs on the website, but almost all departments in the castle (at least the Schaumburg castle) have openings for part-time (they always need people!). Most of the time the Administration office entrance is separate from the main entrance (in Schamburg, the main entrance is to the right of the parking, while the offices are to the left). Once you enter ask the receptionist for a job application, and they'll be happy to explain to you the different departments available.

memeeater563 karma

What was the craziest thing that happened?

medievalthrowday11 karma

Hmm, I'll answer your question with two different stories, one story related to customers and one story related to staff.

Customers: One time a few years back it was thought that Medieval Times should hold a beer tasting event. Great idea on paper. Guests would pay a few extra bucks on top of their admission and get to taste all kinds of beer from all over the local Chicago area.

What actually happened was that basically a bunch of people got drunk real fast. Since it was after the show when the beer tasting happened, most of the staff was gone, so there was only at most 10 employees that were actually from Medieval Times that was there. Apparently when maintenance came back the next morning to get the castle ready for the show that day, they found curtains ripped straight out of the wall, display cases that were broken, basically the castle was in shambles. There was a couple there that broke up during the beer tasting event, which was really funny for my manager at the time to watch since she's seen so many couples get engaged at Medieval Times, and it was refreshing to see one just fall apart.

Staff: Once worked with a coworker who didn't know what to say and what not to say. So once it was so cold that the sprinkler system pipe burst and set off the fire alarm. Naturally, we started evacuating everyone outside (which was hard enough since it was like 0 degrees that day), but this one coworker thought it would have been funny to run around and yell "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!" at all the little kids, which of course made them all cry.

That coworker was later fired for trying to steal a bunch of My Little Pony plushies.

spoida4 karma

That coworker was later fired for trying to steal a bunch of My Little Pony plushies

Male or female? This information will help with my imaginings

medievalthrowday3 karma

Male.

gabe_myheart3 karma

Funniest story?

medievalthrowday5 karma

Not the funniest but it sticks out because it happened the day I started. So we have a lost and found drawer in gift shop where if servers from arena find things left over, they'll bring it to us (btw if you lose something, check with gift shop). Someone lost their phone and it was sitting in the gift shop until it started ringing. So one of my co-workers, a normally really quiet kid, picked it up and said, "Hello, this is the abortion clinic, no featus can beat us." and hung up. What made it worse was that he said that in front of my manager at the time, who was helping other customer. My manager said very quietly, "Get out". And I never saw him again.

ladyyoushotme3 karma

I read that ordering bottles of wine is the most economical way to get drunk at MT. Can you confirm?

medievalthrowday4 karma

I think wine is usually $9, beer is $7, and the mixed drinks it depends. I can tell you that the mixed drinks is the FUNNIEST way to get drunk. If you ask them to make it strong, they usually will, and it is very easy to get woozy quick. My favorite is the Royal Knight.

dwdm3 karma

Do you serfs or knights fool around with the wenches?

medievalthrowday4 karma

Well counting that the "serfs" and "wenches" are just coworkers that you see pretty much every day for up to 10 hours a day, yes, there is plenty of fooling around going on wink wink nudge nudge.

And with that comes a crap load of drama. Holy cow. But that's a whole other rant right there.

ImTheGreatCoward2 karma

Would you make a career from it?

medievalthrowday4 karma

Well, you have two options if you want to make dat money at Medieval Times (well there's more, but these are the more common options).

Option 1) Become really good at your job and become a "lead" in your department. A lead assists the managers with many of the front-of-house work and often takes over as manager whenever the manager isn't there. The pay is definitely better than a typical front-of-house worker, and maybe, maybe eventually you might get a manager spot if there's a spot open and the timing is right.

Option 2) (and the more common one): become a server. Because you're often serving at least 30 people per show, servers usually can make around $100 a show from tips (so roughly $20/hour) (BTW if you go to a show, please for the love of god tip! A good amount is generally $5/person), which is a lot more than what a typical part time job will get you. Of course, servers generally have the hardest work and also deal with most of the crap, but if you're good at you're job, you could make a living with that.

EDIT: Forgot to answer your actual question. Unless something opens up for administration, I don't see myself actually making an career from it since it has nothing to do with what I'm majoring with.

Kziz132 karma

How hard is it to become a knight at your Medieval Times? And what is the pay and workload like?

medievalthrowday3 karma

It's not hard to apply to be a SQUIRE. You apply like any other position, go through some tests, and bam, you're a squire. The hard part is to stay as a squire long enough to become a knight. It's really freaking hard work in the sand (running around and carrying weapons is that much harder when you're in sand), so you have to be in tip top shape. Not sure about pay, I've heard it's somewhere around $20/hr for knights, and less for squires, although you will most likely be working most shows, so you'll definitely be getting the hours.

bozobozo2 karma

What is your favorite dinosaur?

medievalthrowday3 karma

The brosaurus rex. Obviously,

Jwkdude2 karma

How often do you say Ale?

medievalthrowday5 karma

Almost never, we usually just say the names of the beers we serve like "Would you like a Newcastle, my lord?" or "Did someone here order a Angry Orchard?" or "Who the f*** orders a Miller Lite with Bloody Mary?" - okay maybe we never said that out loud to a customer but we do get plenty of interesting drink requests.

mychem7211 karma

hey i went there a few years ago with school, maybe i saw u or something. this is probably asked all the time, but did you like working there, and what was your favorite part of the job?

medievalthrowday2 karma

My co-workers. These people I work with are the only reason I came back to this job. As much as I want to say something like "My favorite part is helping guests with their purchases" or something like that, my co-workers help keep me sane when shit hits the fan. I love them to death and they are why leaving Medieval Times was so difficult.

Brian_Peppers_Lives1 karma

Do you ever actually get laid because of your job and if so is it just with the brutal chicks that are too busted up for the knights to bother with?

medievalthrowday1 karma

...no.

KanisBlack1 karma

I'm taking a group of students to Medieval Times. Any tips on making the experience less difficult for the staff?

medievalthrowday5 karma

Absolutely. Here's a few: 1) Make sure everyone is together at all times and knows what's going to be happening. It helps us get people into their seats faster-if you yourself ever need any help, feel free to ask anyone for help. 2) If the kids have money to purchase souviners, have them purchase souviners before the show (recommendation: $20). If they do not have money, or have restrictions on what they can buy, let someone in the gift shop department know before the show so that we don't bother you with stuff your students can't buy. 3) Let your server know the number of vegetarian and/or special meals you need as soon as possible. This will help the server and the kitchen prepare and serve everyone faster.

I'll let you know if I can think of anything else!

that_is_so_Raven0 karma

What's your first crush up to these days?

medievalthrowday3 karma

Knowing very well that my previous co-workers may be on this subreddit, I'm going to say pass on that question XD