Thanks to my colleague Zanna DiMarzio from Zannaland, for sharing her lunchtime counter-service experience at Be our Guest Restaurant. We love her honest take on things at the Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant. To read a Be Our Guest Restaurant Dinner Review, click here.
I have been lucky enough to walk through the Beauty and the Beast-themed Be Our Guest Restaurant a few times since “Dress Rehearsals” first began for New Fantasyland. Although with each visit, even though I saw a bit more of the space, I was still missing out on seeing the two additional dining rooms as well as actually eating there.
That all changed today, when I got to enjoy the Be Our Guest Restaurant Quick Service lunch and venture into the West Wing and the Rose Gallery dining rooms. I was just a little bit excited!
Before we get to the food, however, let’s discuss exactly how things work at Be Our Guest for lunch.
Atmosphere and Mechanics
When you walk in to the restaurant, you are directed down the hallway to the right, flanked by three suits of armor on each side. These suits of armor are, of course, enchanted, and actually speak to each other, sing a little, snore a little, and sneeze every now and then.
For the time I was standing in there, the knights ribbing each other and talking back and forth reminded me of the main Tiki Birds joking with each other. It was really fun.
As you wait, menu screens in the center of the hallway switch to show you photos of the food you are about to order, making it much easier to decide.
Check-In and Ordering
Soon, you are at the check-in area, and a Cast Member asks how many people are in your party.
This room is themed after the parlor in Beauty and the Beast, with the fireplace and huge wing chair that Beast sits in.
The Cast Member then gives you a magical “rose”, which tells Cast Members where to bring your food, and is activated by a Mickey head on the side of the check-in desk. This will come in handy later…
You proceed to a register and place your order. There are some self-service kiosks for ordering, and some stations with Cast Members to take your order.
We were sent to a Cast Member, who patiently took our order.
It was a little frustrating trying to decide, because the menu screen in front of you kept changing every few seconds to the kids menu.
There is a menu board on the wall behind you, but it’s harder to see.
Definitely pay attention in that hallway room and try to decide what you want from the pictures on the screen, so you’re ready to go.
The cast member made sure our info was sent to the rose, and gave it back to us.
We were told to put the rose in the center of our table. Well, since this is a new establishment and experience, we kind of wandered for a while. We decided where we wanted to sit (it was a tough choice between the West Wing and the Rose Gallery!) and we were stopping to take photos and just admire the details.
As a result, we ended up being tracked down by a Cast Member who asked to see our receipt. We soon realized it was because our food was actually already trying to find us and by not setting our rose down, we were wreaking havoc with their system.
So, if you plan to take photos or just wander, make sure you find a table first and have someone in your party stay with your rose.
Choosing a Dining Room
As mentioned, there are the West Wing (to the left) and Rose Gallery (to the right), in addition to the vast main ballroom area to choose from when you pick your table. During the Be Our Guest Restaurant Table-Service dinner, only the West Wing and main Ballroom will be opened. The Rose Gallery is a lunch-exclusive space.
The Rose Gallery is so named because is is actually a gallery of lovely painted portraits and scenes from Belle and Beast’s adventures.
The centerpiece of the room is a giant wooden music box figure of Belle and Beast, a gift from Belle’s father, Maurice, on their wedding day. The figures turn and dance around while music-box versions of the soundtrack you hear throughout the restaurant play. Be sure to walk around the whole display, each side has a different front detail.
The portraits within the gallery are fun, too, some displaying familiar scenes from the movie, while others show characters in ways we may not have seen them before, like a dozing Lumière.
It’s a bright, warm room, and we loved dining here. Definitely a good choice for those who may be a little frightened of the West Wing, or who need better lighting for food photos!
The West Wing is truly an amazing setting. You walk in and you know it’s unlike any other dining area.
The lights are dim, the tapestries and walls are shredded and clawed (surely you remember that scene in the movie!), and you’ll see a familiar portrait on the wall and a shimmering rose under a glass jar. Lightening and thunder flash and crash around you. You are in the West Wing!
For those who have visited the Sorcerer’s Workshop in Disney California Adventure and seen Beast’s library, you’ll remember how his portrait and the room changes when the last petal falls from the enchanted rose on display there.
Similarly, the Prince’s portrait also changes to Beast here in the West Wing, however it is roughly every 20-30 minutes, and as of now, when it changes, it is for just seconds.
Since it happens very quickly, it’s more like a fun treat for those actually dining in the West Wing, versus a constant novelty as it is in California. It really is a wonderfully themed space.
Food Delivery, Drinks, and More
So we chose to dine in the Rose Gallery, and this brings us to our next stage — bringing the food out. It is done in an absolutely adorable fashion, wheeled out in fancy glass-covered rolling carts. The hot food is under glass, and cold items are on the next shelf down. (Remember, the servers find you based on your magic rose!)
It is really special, but we couldn’t help but wonder how that experience will be in the midst of a crowded summer day, with tables being served right and left, carts filling the aisles, and cast members trying to get by guests stopping to take photos.
I’m confident these are things Disney has taken into consideration, but they are just what crossed our minds as we appreciated the attention to detail we received.
Another thing we noticed was how the beverage stations worked. There are two stations that we could see, one in the main ballroom area and one in the Rose Gallery. It was entirely self-service, with the cups, hot and cold, left out for guests to take, fill and refill.
These stations are also where you get your real silverware, napkins, straws, and condiments.
And in addition to the “rose” telling Cast Members where to bring your food, Cast Members also use a special phone-like device to see which tables need clearing and other communication. It’s a little disconcerting at first, because it looks like the Cast Members are texting on the job, but you soon realize it’s official enchanted castle business.
It certainly is unlike any other counter service option in Walt Disney World, and perhaps the menu options will ensure that the lunchtime scene is not the same that you’d find at Pecos Bills or Cosmic Ray’s. I hope the unique service can continue.
And now, the food!
Being a newly initiated vegetarian (six months and counting), I was looking forward to the Be Our Guest lunch menu because of the TWO vegetarian options — one of which is quiche, which I’ve always loved even before switching to no meat. I had a guest with me to sample the carnivore choices as well as my four year-old, who tested out the unique kids’ options.
I tried the French Onion Soup and Vegetable Quiche, while my guest had the Braised Pork.
The French Onion Soup did not seem like a Quick Service option. Actually, none of the food did. The soup had a perfect melted crust of cheese with bread underneath, full of onions and a nice broth; not too salty.
The quiche was moist and flavorful, with a flaky crust. I loved it. The salad of field greens with Champagne vinaigrette dressing was a perfect complement.
My guest thoroughly enjoyed the braised pork, which is served in a bowl, like you’d expect a hearty provincial meal to be.
The mashed potatoes and side of green beans, caramelized onions, and red peppers sort of all mix together, with a brown mushroom gravy covering all. The braised pork is fork tender, no knives necessary.
Friends who also dined there that day enjoyed the Carved Turkey Sandwich and the Grilled Steak Sandwich, and both got great reviews.
The kids’ menu item we chose was the Carved Turkey Sandwich. My son is a verrrry picky eater and will rarely, if ever, venture outside of his favorites of plain pasta, hot dogs, pizza, and chicken fingers. He does eat turkey at home, but hasn’t made the connection that thick-sliced turkey is the same basic thing as the thin-sliced kind he has at home. I thought I could broaden his culinary horizons, but no such luck (I’ll keep trying of course).
The turkey sandwich looked lovely with visibly whole-grain bread, grilled with tomatoes and warm turkey inside. The sides for this item were roasted sweet potatoes and peach applesauce. My son loves applesauce, but the peach somehow rendered it evil and inedible for him. (It was pretty good, I tried it.)
The roasted sweet potatoes were rather strange. I’m not sure if this was because of testing mode for the restaurant, but the three huge wedges were almost cold, and a very odd, mushy texture. I love sweet potatoes, and I was not a fan of them in this fashion.
We asked about getting the pasta dish plain, but it is a batch-made casserole style dish where the sauce and cheese are already added. I’m sure other little townsfolk will love the options here, but for a picky eater, it was a challenge.
Now, did somebody say dessert? Well, there are some fun ones here. They are all a nice, small size, so you don’t feel too bad trying more than one.
We had the Chocolate Cream Puff and the Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake. They were almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
I am a huge chocolate fan, but I actually preferred the Strawberry Cupcake. It was so sweet and so delicious. Unlike a typical gigantic Disney cupcake, this is more manageable, yet still satisfies the sweet tooth. The cream cheese filling is more of a yogurt or custard consistency and not over-powering at all.
Other options include a Triple Chocolate Cupcake (on my list for next time!), a Lemon Meringue Cupcake, and a Passion Fruit Cream Puff. (The grey stuff is served at dinner!)
C’mon, everyone wants to know what the restrooms in a castle look like, don’t they? I snapped a couple of photos for you!
Overall, the Be Our Guest lunch service was nicer than any other theme park Quick Service I’ve ever experienced. Similar to the rave reviews Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors has received, Be Our Guest will no doubt be in a class by itself as far as lunch time options go.
The location itself is the perfect complement and you could really spend hours in there just exploring, discovering and enjoying your meal. I cannot wait to go back again, and just knowing that I can walk a few hundred feet from a Quick Serve burger to enjoy a nice quiche or a quinoa salad makes me very happy to be their guest in Be Our Guest.
Have you had lunch at Be Our Guest? Go ahead and make us jealous! Tell us about your experience in the comments below. And if you haven’t been there yet, what would you order?
Want to know what DINNER is like at Be Our Guest Restaurant? Read our first Be Our Guest Restaurant Dinner Review here.