When the New Fantasyland expansion opened at the Magic Kingdom in 2012, its most popular element was arguably the Be Our Guest Restaurant. Be Our Guest is a table-service restaurant themed to the 1991 Disney animated classic Beauty and the Beast. Ever since it’s opening, Be Our Guest has been one of, if not the most popular restaurant in Walt Disney World, with reservations being booked up almost immediately as soon as they become available. I finally had the opportunity to dine there for dinner in late July, right before the dining format changes (more on that later). Here are my thoughts and observations:
When you first enter Be Our Guest Restaurant, you are greeted with the massive ballroom.This is truly a sight to behold. The theming is incredible and really does put you right in the middle of the story. Because of this, the ballroom is where everyone wants to be seated. You can try to request a table in the ballroom, but there are no guarantees and I don’t recommend it since the cast members almost certainly get this question all the time. The one negative with the ball room is that, due to its size and design, it is the noisiest area in the restaurant. Not to say that the other rooms are going to provide a quiet dining experience, but since the ballroom is the largest and is always filled up first, the noise level can get to be very high in there. The next room, named the Forbidden West Wing, is where I dined. The West Wing is also very well themed. The red rose from the movie is located in the corner of the room and you can watch the rose petals fall every 7 to 8 minutes. When they all fall off, you will hear a loud crash of thunder and the portrait on the wall will change from the the prince into the shadow of the Beast. The only negative with this room is that it is very dark.
It is dark enough that most of the members in my party had trouble reading the menu. Luckily, I was seated directly beneath a light, so it was no problem for me. It is also worth noting that is the room located closest to the kitchen, so you may get your food quicker and hotter than others. The final room is the Rose Gallery Portrait Room located on the right side of the restaurant. This area is themed to a room full of paintings of Belle and The Beast, and has a sculpture of them dancing in the middle. Sadly, this room is by far the most disappointing of the three. There isn’t anything that interesting about it, and it isn’t really from the movie either. Personally I would’ve much rather preferred a recreation of the library which actually serves a role in the movie, but I digress. After all, The Rose Gallery was not available at dinner when Be Our Guest opened. It still holds some of the best theming you’ll find in any theme park area, let alone restaurants.
Now for the most important of any dining review: the food. No theming in the world can save a restaurant for me if the food isn’t at least decent. How does the menu at Be Our Guest hold up? For starters, no one in my party had any interest in appetizers, so we went straight into entree’s. I ordered the Braise Beef and vegetables, which our server assured me would be extremely tender.
The beef lived up to my server’s praise and was able to be cut with just a fork. It was very flavorful as well and I could’ve easily ate more. The vegetables on the side were very good as well; I really enjoyed the asparagus! I usually don’t like asparagus, so it gets points for getting me to like it. My brother got the Shrimp & Scallops pasta, but with no scallops. However, the dish includes lobster as well. I had a few bites of the pasta, and it was very tasty. Not quite as good as the beef though. My cousin got the steak on the menu, and while it had some flavor, it was ordered medium well so it was ruined. Therefor, I can’t fairly judge it here in this review. For dessert, I tried 2 of the cupcakes that are options at Be Our Guest. The triple chocolate one was my favorite, since it was incredibly rich and chocolaty. That said, neither were anything special to write home about.
I’ll also talk about the service in this review. I found the service at Be Our Guest to be about average. Our server Roberto was a nice guy and was fairly attentive, but far from the best I’ve had at a Disney restaurant. Check-in was fast, and we were quickly seated. We didn’t have to wait long for our food either. Surprisingly I didn’t feel rushed, but this may be different if you order a full 3 courses.
I teased at this earlier, but the dining format of Be Our Guest restaurant will be changing soon. Currently, Be Our Guest is a 1-credit Table Service restaurant on the Disney dining plan. On July 27th it will go to a fixed menu where you will pay a set price around 50 or 60 dollars and each person will be guaranteed 3 courses for that price. It will also become a 2-credit Table Service restaurant on the Disney Dining plan. This will hopefully open up availability at Be Our Guest, because it is such a hard experience to obtain in its current state.
Overall, this was a good dining experience. Not the best meal I’ve ever had at Walt Disney World, but I probably would put it in the top 10. The theming (in the main two rooms) simply can’t be beat, the food ranged from average to above average, and there were no service issues when I was there. Now for the scores:
Theming: 8.5/10 (High marks but the Rose Gallery brings it down)
Food: 7/10 (Good but not great)
Service: 7.5/10 (What I expect from Disney but nothing above and beyond)
Overall: 8/10 (I recommend it, but don’t go nuts if you can’t get a reservation)
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