We received complimentary tickets to the Renaissance Faire via US Moms Connect. This post is 100% my own opinion.
I had never been to a Renaissance Faire before, but had known about the ones that occur in our home state of CT. One of my husband's cousins has been very involved with it in the past and had told me about the entertainment, the costumes, acting the part with accents and historical information.
The drive from Surprise is about an hour plus, but once RT 60 is no longer a highway, traffic backs up. If you are coming from the Phoenix area, you will want to be in the right hand lane. We didn't know this and ended up cutting people off (sorry)!! The backup started about 4 miles from turning into the lots. The parking was tight if you have a smaller vehicle. It is in a dirt lot so don't bring your low riders! There are attendants to help park and maximize parking efficiency. Bigger vehicles (minivan and bigger) went to the right and smaller sedans went to the left. I really have no idea how people were going to get out of the spaces if they were in the sedans.
Tickets to the Renaissance Faire are expensive, in my opinion. However, I was really excited about the village they have because there is actually permanent structures including bathrooms.
There are a lot of options to get reduced ticket prices-if you go I highly suggest looking into Living Social/Groupon and Fry's has them too.
I have to say I was reluctant to write this post because I wasn't really thrilled with the Renaissance Faire. To be "fair" however, I'm not one for large crowds of people, and it was crazy crowded. They also have a policy of not letting full water bottles in the park, which they let us go because the water was for the kids and I honestly was not in the mood to dump out water in kids water bottles! I understand they want us to purchase things in the park, but when tickets are $24 each for adults-I think they need to be a little more flexible with water. Supposedly you can bring in factory sealed water but ours were in our kids sippy/camelback cups. There was a water fountain right inside the gate so if they had made me dump it out I would have just gone and filled it up.
Anyhow, the buildings are super cool looking. There is a lot of stuff for sale. The advertisers are not joking when they say "marketplace". Lots of things for sale. I understand that there are people trying to sell things and this is their business, but we were heckled and treated badly for passing people by. I felt like we were in a mall with those kiosk people who hunt you down. There were a few "activities" that kids could do-a castle with a slide, a jacobs ladder to climb without falling, a dart board, and a few shows that were free. If you want to see the shows, you pretty much need to line up before the previous one ends so you can get a seat-and then wait there. There were a few shows we passed by that were in progress and my kids weren't very interested. Dancing and drums were the two we passed by.
Most of the actors are volunteers. So, they were also begging for money as they were going around which made me feel kind of uncomfortable. They weren't "acting" just begging. At first I thought my husband was joking when he said he was approached when we were in the bathroom, but he wasn't.
There were many event goers that were dressed up in costume. Some were appropriate and some were far from appropriate. I'm a modest gal, I admit, so some of the things were more from a catalog of nighties than actual appropriate wear for the 1400-1500s. (No, guys, I didn't take pictures!!).
Honestly, if you like food, drinking, shopping or watching theater productions from the Renaissance time period, you might love this place. I was pretty disappointed because I thought it would be an educational experience for my children and was looking for an experience other than just to shop and eat.