Be Our Guest is the newest Walt Disney World restaurant and is located in the newly expanded Fantasyland. Guests experience a unique, immersive, and innovative restaurant, but does the food live up to the environment? Quick service dining is offered for lunch and full table service in the evening. I experienced a few test lunches this week.
As you enter, you’ll queue up to begin your experience. Immediately, you can see the ballroom and begin to hear the wonderful background music. The details from this dining experience are amazing from the moment you enter the Beast’s Castle.
The first hallway is guarded by suits of armor along each side. Be sure to listen carefully because periodically you can hear a knight snore, sneeze, or sing. In the middle, there are multiple podiums with electronic book menus.
The first one listed the kid’s menu options. (Smart…figure out what the kid’s want and everything else is easy!) The middle one had all menu items with photographs. The third flipped through the entire menu for everyone and included desserts.
Next you are greeted by a Cast Member at the first podium who requests your party size. After registering this information into the computer, the Cast Members hands you your magical rose. This rose will become very important to ensure the magical kitchen can get the food to your table. More about the rose in a moment. From the podium, another Cast Member directs you to a register area. There are both traditional registers with Cast Members and also self-order menus. Each one offers the latest in technology when it comes to Disney registers.
The traditional register has a Cast Member who helps walk you through the menu. The one I encountered shared great information when asked. For a quick service place, he knew that menu!
The self-order menus are very detailed. If you experienced the first versions at Taste Pilot’s Grill at Disney California Adventure or Captain Cooks at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – this one is steps above it in terms of technology. This interactive menu board can be updated internally by the Chefs within the hour. The magical rose is your starting point and you either swipe your Key To The World Card or pick an alternative method of payment.
You’ll order with the touch screen menu for each guest beginning with starters, entrees, drinks, and then desserts. Once complete, you select your form of payment and your receipt prints out. It’s all very easy to figure out.
Disney Chefs are excellent at many things, including assisting guests with special dietary needs and allergies. This is something that the new restaurant, has been set up to excel at. In fact, many of the menu items have been developed with these requests in mind. When ordering, there are dedicated signs about special diets at each register. If you notate that you have an allergy to a particular item, all items including that ingredient have been removed. This leaves you with only options that you can safely order which do not include the ingredient you have an allergy to. The allergy order is sent to the kitchen for the Chef or Manager to assist with. They are still involved, as they assist in bringing your food item(s) out to your table. Also, a Chef is still available if you prefer to speak with one or if you have multiple allergies, but this does help streamline things.
As you checkout, the cast member returns your rose and directs you to find a table. Once you have selected your table, place your rose and receipt down and visit the beverage island in your respective room. The main room is the Enchanted Ballroom, the West Wing is off to the left, and the Rose Gallery is to the right.
The beverage island includes all of your standard options, but is also well themed. You can barely see the actual drink dispensers for any of the fountains, hot chocolate, etc. A little cart accompanied the beverage island with silverware and napkins. The cups for the drinks are readily available in a setup similar to Roaring Forks at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. Since our receipt was over at our table, we were definitely on the honor system to get what we ordered. (Or perhaps this was due to the testing we were participating in.)
Now is where the magic really kicks in. As you wait at your table, you can finally enjoy the well themed dining room area. You’ll see the Cast Members walking around and magically helping the food find the correct tables. The Cast Members are walking around with fancy meal carts and hooked up with headpieces attached to iPod-like devices which display food orders and status. Amazing.
The rose is a miniature computer filled with your order information. Once you place it on your table, it immediately sends the information, along with your location to the kitchen. The table itself works as the mothership for the rose to send the information. The technology in the magical rose is the same that will be utilized for the Disney FastPass+ system.
Cast Members bring each table’s meal out from the kitchen on carts. As guests leave and the tables are cleared, you’ll notice that the Cast Member will place their iPod-like device directly onto the table. This registers that the guests have left the restaurant and the table is ready to be seated with new guests. The system also communicates with the Cast Members at the podium to let them know if there is a wait time for tables and how many tables are available. It’s all quite advance and really a marvel of technology.
Now, on to the food itself, which I’ve got to say was a real step above for quick service dining.
French Onion Soup – ($3.99)
The soup was well presented. The cheese was toasted on top ad quite thick. But it also proved to be slightly difficult to eat as a result. There were no soup spoons available, only standard spoons, which seemed odd. But by the next day, soup spoons appeared at the restaurant, so Disney clearly got the message from guests.
Potato Leek Soup – ($3.59)
Tuna Niçoise Salad – ($10.79)
Warm Seared Tuna Steak with chilled Green Beans, Potatoes, Olives, Roasted Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, and Hard Boiled Eggs
The tuna was a nice cut and was accompanied with a wonderful mix of salad. The salad featured mixed greens, eggs, peppers, and a delicate champagne dressing.
Mickey Meatloaf – ($6.39)
Turkey Meatloaf, Broccoli Florets, and Zucchini served with Orange “Stuff” for Dipping
The Mickey Meatloaf is definitely a healthy option. The turkey meatloaf had a nice flavor, but overall was somewhat dry on my visit. The kid’s sides for this meal are broccoli and zucchini slices. It is supposed to be accompanied by what they call “Orange Stuff,” but sadly it was missing during my visits. Overall, this makes for a very healthy kids meal, but I wonder how many plates will actually come out of the kitchen with healthy vegetables as French fries are a substitutable option. Anyone want to take a guess on this.
Every kids’ meal option meets the ‘Disney Nutritional Guidelines to Complete Meals’ if no substitutions are made. The exception to this is the Slow-Cooked Pork.
Braised Pork (Coq Au Vin Style) –
Eight Hour Slow-cooked Pork with Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots, and Bacon served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Jardinière
I’m happy to report that, it’s as good as it sounds. The pork was absolutely a wonderful surprise. It was tender, savory and delightful. The plate was filled with an abundance of potatoes and green beans. I’d absolutely order this again. In fact, I have a craving for this dish as I’m writing this.
Carved Turkey Sandwich – ($8.79)
Served warm on a Baguette with Dijon Mayonnaise and Pommes Frites
The baguette was hard on the ends, but soft toward the middle. The roast turkey with Dijon Mayonnaise had plenty of spring mix greens inside was a nice upgrade for this dining experience. The frites were your standard Disney French Frys.
Lemon-Raspberry Cream Puff No Sugar Added – ($2.39)
Filled with Lemon Custard
The dessert is topped with a fresh raspberry and chocolate which features the “Be Our Guest” gold print. The custard inside was very enjoyable. It was not over-powering in raspberry taste as I would have expected and hoped for; I still enjoyed it. Interesting to note: in addition to being no sugar added – this item is also gluten free.
Chocolate Cream Puff – ($2.39)
Filled with Chocolate Mousse topped with Whipped Cream
The pastry puff is similar to the raspberry; however, it is more tough because it is made from wheat flour. The mousse filling is very rich and creamy. It was really sweet and chocolaty.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake – ($2.39)
Vanilla Sponge Cake, Strawberry Mousse Filling, and Cream Cheese Icing
The Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake is very sweet to the taste. It is held in by a decorative paper baking cup. This paper was attached well and can be very misleading for diners. Instead of cutting through it, you have to tear through it to get to the goods. At one point this proved to be quite difficult.
The Elegant Ballroom –
This is a very large dining area. There’s no doubt that it’s elegant and detailed. But it becomes quite loud as it fills with guests. It can also be quickly filled with cart traffic from the various kitchen entrances. The Cast Members are quick to say, “excuse moi” or anything else polite and French. The blue chairs provide a lovely accent against the cream walls in this room.
In the far back of the ballroom is a small “balcony” with falling snow.
The West Wing (the Beast’s lair)
This room is dark and gloomy at first glance, but as you continue in you quickly see the charm. In the far corner is the infamous Beast’s Rose. This room is far less feminine that the rest of the restaurant, for those of you who have had your fill of frill and princesses.
In this room, there are tapestries and a portrait bearing the scars of the Beast’s claws. Soon, thunder and lightning appear and appear again, louder with each crack. A petal slowly falls down from the Beast’s Rose, you sense this is building to something. With another lightning strike, the final petal falls from the rose and the portrait flashes from the Prince to the Beast, but only for a quick moment. This reoccurs approximately every 20 minutes. The traffic in this room from Cast Member carts felt really high due to the intimacy of the setting. But it is also a much less noisy environment – except for the thunder of course.
The Rose Gallery –
This room is filled with various sized paintings and tapestries of Belle and Beast representing different parts of the tale. In the center of the room is a large music box, which is the main focal point of the room.
One Cast Member came up and asked us if we knew the story behind the center piece of the room. He then explained that inside the Enchanted Tales with Belle meet and greet, we will find blueprints to this giant music box that Maurice built as a wedding present for Belle and Beast. And if you really like it, you can visit Village Gifts and purchase your own replica of it. Synergy in motion.
The green chairs and cream walls reminded me slightly of 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, only with a slightly different color scheme. This room is reported to only be open for lunch hours.
The Grey Stuff –
It’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes!
This dish is a not just a wonderful thematic detail, it’s also actually delicious. It is not available on the menu, but may magically appear at your table.
Be Our Guest Restaurant is scheduled to open to guests on Monday, November 19, 2012. Reservations are now available, so be sure to call 1-407-W-DISNEY to book your spot – or, call your Travel Agent to make a reservation to enjoy this much sought after experience. New Fantasyland’s official opening is Thursday, December 6. This will make the entire area very congested. With the large holiday crowds expected, you can anticipate long waits for this gorgeous new restaurant. The entire experience was definitely amazing. I can guarantee that this restaurant will be in high demand and that guests are going to rave.
Are you excited about this dining opportunity at the Magic Kingdom? Which menu item are you the most interested in trying? What is it about this new dining experience that you are most looking forward to?