Be Our Guest at the newest dining experience in the Magic Kingdom
Be Our Guest is the Magic Kingdom’s newest dining location, part of the new Fantasyland expansion. This unique location, set in the Beast’s castle, serves a quick service lunch and table service dinner. Both meals serve French inspired cuisine, an appropriate recreation of the tale as old as time.
Beast’s castle looms above a rocky cliff in the new Enchanted Forest. Gargoyles guard the bridge spanning a stream, leading you to the castle gates. Once inside, you see castle décor such as suits of armor, mosaics and tapestries. The main dining room is a stunning recreation of the Ballroom, with snowy mountain scene outside the grand windows. To the left, the mysterious West Wing, where Beast guards his enchanted rose. To the right, Belle’s library features a beautiful, larger than life music box featuring herself and the Beast.
Lunch officially starts at 11:00 and continues until 2:30. This will be popular choice for lunch in the near future, particularly as we approach spring break and summer seasons. We recommend lining up on the bridge at little bit before 11:00 to help minimize your time in line. The bridge is not shaded, so don’t skimp on sunscreen and use your park map as a makeshift fan or sun shade.
Once you are lead inside, you’ll first have an opportunity to view digital menu boards. As you all decide what to order, don’t forget to admire the magical suits of armor lining the hall. You’ll next come to a host who will ask your party size, give you a magical rose, and direct you to the next available cashier or self serve kiosk. We found the cashiers to be faster, but knowing your order can help cut down your time at the kiosk.
After your order is placed, you are free to select a table from any of the three dining rooms. The Ballroom is larger, with some echoing noise, but full of splendor and enchantment. The West Wing has a darker theme, complete with thunder and roaring. The library is bright and cheerful, and a good choice if you’d like a quieter area.
Place your rose on your chosen table and get silverware, napkins and drinks, which are self serve. The rose will direct the food cart driver to your table, and he/she will take the rose after checking your receipt and delivering your food. This experience was both smooth and quick for us.
Tom started his lunch with French Onion soup, which he gives two thumbs up and says is identical to the soup at dinner. He had the Croque Monsieur (aka grilled ham and cheese) with French fries…I mean pommes frites. I had the Carved Turkey Sandwich and pommes frites. I was unimpressed by the turkey sandwich, and didn’t finish it. One of my favorite foods memories from real France is baguette sandwiches, so I might have been judging too harshly. I had a bite of the croque monsieur, and thought it was delicious. However, an entire croque monsieur and fries would be a heavy meal.
For dessert, I tried both the Lemon Meringue Cupcake and Lemon-Raspberry Cream Puff. Tom had the Triple Chocolate Cupcake, which he gives a thumbs up. I give a thumbs down to both lemon desserts. I like lemon, but the cupcake tasted off and while the cream puff flavor was good, it was unappealing from both a texture and proportion standpoint. Our friend also had a lemon cupcake and liked it, so maybe it’s just me!
After your meal, feel free to admire the other rooms you did not dine in. Trust us, you won’t be the only one wandering around with your camera! The new and unique factor will take a while to wear off here.
For dinner, first you’ll need to make a reservation 6 months in advance. Dinner reservations are popular and are gone quickly. Due to the restaurant’s popularity, the podium will not allow check-in any earlier than 15 minutes prior to a reservation. The podium is located at the entrance to the bridge. Once your pager goes off, you’ll be escorted through the castle gate and magically welcomed into the castle. Don’t loiter, as the magical doors almost closed on me, the last of 6 to enter.
At dinner, only the West Wing and Ballroom are open. We did not request a specific room, and were seated in the West Wing. This room is dark and foreboding, with torn draperies, a roaring fireplace, and of course the Enchanted Rose. There is a cycle of lightning, thunder and roaring which gets louder and more frequent until it reaches its peak. A petal falls from the rose, and the Prince’s portrait flashes into the Beast. If you’re sitting near the rose, be prepared for a parade of people coming by to (try to) take pictures of it.
Crusty bread and butter are brought to your table to start the meal. Tom had the French Onion Soup (yes, he eats a lot of it!) and I had the Seasonal Appetizer Trio. I’m indifferent to the green bean, tomato and roasted shallot portion, but I’ll admit I’m picky about green beans and tomatoes. The watermelon, radish and mint salad had a nice strong flavor and they blended well. I was iffy on the roasted beet, golden raisin and orange salad until I realized that the golden raisin was the star of the dish. With a raisin in every bite, it was my favorite of the three. Their sweetness is a great way to balance the earthiness of beets.
For entrees, Tom got the Pork Rack Chop with Red Wine Jus, Au Gratin Macaroni, and vegetables. Tom gives two thumbs up to all components. Unfortunately, I’m afflicted with a rather weird food intolerance to thyme. At a French theme restaurant, that meant the only entrée I could order was the ratatouille. Fortunately, it was quite tasty! I’d recommend it and would order it again.
Our dining companions enjoyed the Rotisserie Cornish Hen and Steak and frites. They give these entrees two thumbs up!
After your table has been cleared, your server will bring the magical dessert cart to your table. Our table had two chocolate, one lemon and one strawberry cupcake. Your server finishes the dish with a zig zag of chocolate sauce before presenting it to you. Having already discussed the chocolate (thumbs up) and lemon (one thumb up, one down), let me talk about this strawberry cupcake. Two big thumbs up! It was the perfect combination of sweet, strawberry and cake-y goodness. I wish I’d had three more. If you, gentle reader, would like to FedEx one to me, I’d gladly accept.
At various times throughout our meal, the Beast briefly appeared and walked through the Ballroom. After the meal, you enter the study (same room you place your order at lunch) for a picture with the Beast. Photopass is available, but no printed photos are offered. If you don’t purchased a Photopass CD, you may buy a printed copy or digital download of just this photo.
Overall, Be Our Guest is an exciting new addition to both quick and table service dining in the Magic Kingdom. If you can score a dinner reservation, we recommend it. Otherwise, go for lunch to experience the amazing themed environment and unique food choices. If you didn’t read this entire review, here are a few points to take away-
- Serves quick service lunch and switches to table service dinner. Dining Plan credits accepted at both.
- For lunch, spend your morning in Fantasyland and eat early to minimize your wait.
- Place your rose on your selected table and take turns getting drinks. Your lunch will come quickly.
- The West Wing is a dramatic and immersive experience, the Ballroom wins for splendor, and the Library is best pick for a quieter meal.
- You may meet the Beast, who appears at dinner only.
- Eat a strawberry cupcake.