Pleasure Feast at Arizona Renaissance Festival

A Dining Experience

At the Pleasure Feast
Judy Hedding

A Pleasure Feast ticket at the Arizona Renaissance Festival costs $69.95 plus tax per person. That includes entry into the Renaissance Festival, valued at about $24. So for $46 per Feast ticket you get 1-1/2 hours of food and entertainment. When I figure that I spend more than that for a baseball ticket, parking at the stadium, a hot dog, a Coke and a frozen yogurt, I think this is an acceptable price. If you like beer or wine, it flows freely during the meal making the cost of a ticket an even better value.

Did I mention a gift that you can take with you? Yes, you get a gift, too.

The following comments relate to my visit in 2014.

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Pros

  • Entertainment acts -- dancers and musicians -- were fun.
  • Beer and wine (water, iced tea, soft drinks) are included and were refreshed often.
  • In past years I didn't like the wine, but I thought it improved in 2014. I didn't try the beer.
  • I liked the new menu.

Be Aware

  • No seat backs. Seating is arranged in a rectangular shape so you are sitting next to the person you came with.
  • No menu choices.
  • Few of the Pleasure Feast courses look anything like they are depicted on the official website.
  • Our dessert was not as described on the website menu.

Description

  • The price for the Arizona Renaissance Festival Pleasure Feast ticket does not include tip. Bring cash to tip the servers.
  • There are two Pleasure Feasts scheduled on every day of the Arizona Renaissance Festival.
  • When weather is good, tickets sell out. On those days, if you have a ticket, you can expect the seating to be a little tight.
  • If there are still tickets available, you can purchase them at the ticket windows at the Arizona Renaissance Festival.
  • If you eat and drink a lot at the early seating Feast, you may be too drowsy to enjoy the rest of the Festival after.
  • The humor can be risque and, at times, vulgar. However, it is usually delivered in a manner that children (and some adults!) won't comprehend.
  • Be prepared to yell, pound your fists on the table, and laugh at the tawdry humor provided by the Feast Master.

Guide Review - Pleasure Feast at Arizona Renaissance Festival

My primary objective on this visit to the Arizona Renaissance Faire was to gorge myself -- er, I mean -- partake in the Pleasure Feast. I hadn't been in a few years, and some significant changes were made since my last visit in 2011. First, let's cover the basics. The Arizona Renaissance Festival Pleasure Feast is a 1-1/2 hour, five-course meal with raucous (if you've been, you know what happens at the mention of this word!) entertainment. The Feast Master is the master of ceremonies, and he'll tell you what to do, when to do it, and if you are doing it correctly!

He keeps the action lively and is the primary jokester. Humor is often suggestive or downright crude.

The menu is not a secret; (you can see it online). The Pleasure Feast menu has varied over the years, and while I miss the original turkey legs and grilled sausage skewers that seemed befitting the occasion, the 2014 The Duchess of Fairhaven’s Favorites exceeded my expectations. The antipasti is at your place as you are seated and it is, indeed a "Perfect Start" with cheeses, tapanade, grapes and bread. The soup was fine as the next course, followed by a salad much improved over past years. The main course was chicken piccata, moist and tasty, along with a slice of tender prime rib, served with au jus, potatoes, and baby carrots.

The real issue for some (not me) with the meal is that there is little flexibility. It's a fixed menu. The dessert was simple and small, not at all like it has been pictured in promotional materials. No coffee was offered, but if I had asked, they probably would have accommodated.

The Pleasure Feast used to be a two-hour affair, but was shortened starting in 2011, probably to leave the kitchen time to recuperate and regenerate before the next Feasters are seated. I was fine with the half hour less. Service is very good, but some were rushed as courses were delivered before they had finished the previous one.

Don't let me give you the impression that I didn't enjoy myself, because I did. I'm sure that most people do, because they realize that this is not a restaurant, it is an experience. The entertainment probably won't make it to television, but it keeps people smiling. The dancers were a nice warm-up for the and the bagpipes and drums, which was, for me, the highlight of the Pleasure Feast entertainment.

There are some logistical issues about the Pleasure Feast that you should know before you go, and I outline them in a list of tips that I put together so that you know what to expect.

I estimate that about half the people at our Pleasure Feast had attended before. Not a surprise. I might not want to go every year, but in two or three years, I know I'll be hankerin' to wear a dopey hat, hear the Pleasure Feast Master use the word "raucous" and rise to greet the next course.

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy. All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice. 02/14