Wow! I had not been to the Arizona Renaissance Festival since I was in like third grade. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to even expect because all I could remember was walking around to different shops, getting a Renaissance princess hat, and some people performing shows I didn’t quite understand.
What a difference a couple decades makes! 😉
The Arizona Renaissance Festival (or “Ren Fest” and “Ren Faire” as I learned a lot of folks call it), was seriously so much fun. We were lucky enough to go with a large group and take a tour bus there, so it was even more awesome that we didn’t have to drive there or back considering it is a little far away from my house.
It is basically a medieval amusement/entertainment park with a 13-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, arts and crafts faire, a Jousting Tournament, and a feast! Lots of people dress in costume to attend and some don’t. It’s fun to see the outfits that people come up with! I went as a boring, modern-day person: in my jeans. I just didn’t have a lot of time to put together an outfit nor did I necessarily have time to buy anything. It totally didn’t even matter, though.
Once we got there, we bought ourselves an adult beverage and proceeded to walk around to shops. I was definitely thinking, well…. so far this is what I remember. At least I can drink this time around…so naturally, it’s already more fun and entertaining. Some friends tried on hats, some went off to try the chocolate (me!), and others went to look at swords. Hmm. It’s bound to be a great day!
We continued walking around for a bit stopping briefly to watch some of the performances that were going on, and before we knew it, it was time for us to check in for The Pleasure Feast!
We hemmed and hawed about whether or not we should spend the money for The Pleasure Feast but when we broke the cost down it only made sense. Start with the $25 to get in to the festival per person plus food and drinks or like $75 for admission, entertainment, a 5-course meal, and practically unlimited beer and/or wine while you’re in there. Totally makes sense to do The Pleasure Feast!
Plus, you get to keep a cool chalice that they serve your drinks in. I saw a similar chalice being sold outside of The Pleasure Feast for $19 that I personally would never have paid $19 for just as a souvenier. Total win. Do The Pleasure Feast if you go!
The Pleasure Feast meal was 5 courses and it was pretty tasty. I could barely eat everything they put on my plate. This year, the courses included the following:
- Course 1: Charcuterie board (including baked brie inside a homemade biscuit)
- Course 2: Salad Nicoise
- Course 3: Lobster Bisque soup
- Course 4: Prime rib in a stewed cherry, tomato juice & port reduction, duck leg confit with orange glaze, roasted fingerling potato & cinnamon roasted butternut squash with carrot wedges and scallions.
- Course 5: Chocolate Pots de Crème with Espresso Whipped cream and a Pirouette cookie.
- And, they send you off with a delicious butter cookie!
It was super tasty! Plus, there were humorous skits, bagpipes, belly dancers, and more for the entertainment!
Afterwards, we all continued to walk around in an effort to walk off some of our food. There are camel rides, elephant rides, a petting zoo, and all sorts of carnival-type rides that children can go on (of course, they all cost extra on top of admission). I thought this one looked fun:
We stopped by the axe-throwing booth. I got to throw three axes but didn’t stick a single one of them. Our friend stuck like 7 in a row. It was pretty impressive and she made it look super easy. It was not. Eventually we made our way to the jousting arena and watched the jousting tournament. It was a cool performance even though our Jouster lost and didn’t make it to the final dual.
All in all, it was a fantastic day and I would definitely go back! If you have young kids, I wouldn’t purchase The Pleasure Feast because you might not be okay letting them hear some of the humor in the skits. But, for teenagers, it’d totally be fine. The rest of the Arizona Renaissance Festival is kid-friendly and I don’t think it’d be an issue for younger children.
Wear (and bring extra) sunscreen. If we hadn’t gone inside for The Pleasure Feast for 90 minutes, I probably would have gotten burned and I applied sunscreen like 3 times that day. (I also burn easily). There just isn’t a ton of shade unless you’re close to the vendors.
While we went on the last weekend it was open for this year, you should definitely consider going next year when it opens. Let me know if you have questions or if you’ve been to the Arizona Renaissance Festival in the comments box.