The Bottom Line
- Entertainment acts -- dancers and musicians -- were fun.
- Beer and wine (and water and iced tea) are included and were refreshed often.
- No seat backs. Seating is arranged U-shaped so you are sitting next to the person you came with.
- No menu choices.
- I didn't like the red wine. I didn't try the beer.
- Like meat? You won't be too happy with this meal.
- The price for the Arizona Renaissance Festival Pleasure Feast ticket includes tax but not 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.
- Few of the Pleasure Feast courses look anything like they are depicted on the official website.
- 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 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 light, or rather crude and raunchy. But in a good way. I think.
The menu is not a secret; (you can see it online). Whereas the Pleasure Feast food used to be promoted as a covering a tour of Europe’s royal kitchens, it is now entitled La FESTA del PAESE, loosely translated as Country Festival. There was good and not-as-good news about the food. The antipasti is at your place as you are seated and it is, indeed, "delizioso" with cheeses, olives, grapes and bread. The Potato Leek Soup was fine as the next course, followed by an uninspired salad with Italian dressing. The main course includes salmon, flank steak, pasta and vegetables. My salmon was a bit dry, and I opted not to fight my flank steak to cut through it or chew it.
The real issue for some (not me) with the meal is that there is little flexibility. It's a fixed menu, no condiments, with a choice of water, tea, beer or wine. The dessert was simple and small, not at all like it has been pictured in promotional materials.
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, but I did feel rushed through the main course when I was still eating and dessert was being served.
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 the Tonight Show, but it keeps people smiling. The juggler is a nice warm-up for the belly dancers and the bagpipes/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.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.