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Review: FastPass+ Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

I had an awesome weekend in Disneyland, but today I’m headed to New Fantasyland with a lunch review of Be Our Guest Restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

The restaurant has taken the park by storm. Even after being open for more than a year, it’s still one of the top draws in New Fantasyland. If you want to eat lunch here, be prepared for long lines!

But on a recent visit to Walt Disney World, I had a little surprise awaiting me in my email inbox — the opportunity to use FastPass+ for a lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. No way was I passing up the opportunity to eat lunch here without waiting in line. Come along with me across the bridge to the Beast’s Castle!

Atmosphere

We first told you about the FastPass+ system a while back, when Erin Foster had the opportunity to test it out.

Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Erin found the whole process to be practically flawless. So I was anxious to see if they had streamlined it even further since that early testing phase.

Booking the FastPass+ reservation was similar to making a regular advance dining reservation. I thought the FastPass+ option for Be Our Guest was still an invite-only opportunity, but if you see the comment by a reader below, it looks like anyone with a resort reservation can book it. I haven’t tried, so let us know what your mileage is.

Once I’d logged in at the special website, I was offered several different times to dine. The time window works like a regular FastPass — you have a specific window of time in which to show up and use your FastPass. I chose a late lunchtime, but I was really hoping for an early option.

And here’s a TIP: I preferred an earlier dining time, so I checked back the next morning and an earlier spot had opened up! So be sure to secure a table, any table. There’s a good chance you can change your time later. In fact, you can change your time up until arrival.

FastPass+ Ordering

Choosing the Time for Your FastPass+ Reservation is Easy

I took advantage of the opportunity to order online. The menu that popped up looked similar to the ones I had used during my previous lunch visit.

I could even make alterations to the entrees — leave off a sauce, for instance — and the menu would show me the nutritional information changes for different choices.

FastPass+ Ordering

Ordering an Entree Via FastPass+

I could even pre-order drinks and desserts.

FastPass+ Ordering

FastPass+ Dessert Ordering!

On the day of my reservation, I arrived a little early and checked in at the same spot where you confirm your dinner advance dining reservation. The cast member gave me a rose — the customary red one, not the yellow ones that were used during earlier testing — and directed me to a FastPass+ line that was right beside the regular line.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Check-In Area

Be Our Guest Restaurant Check-In Area

And speaking of lines, they’re still long. Real long. Like, back to The Little Mermaid long. It was spring break though, so I’m hoping it’s not always so crazy.

But if you really want to eat here, be encouraged by the fact that the line generally moves pretty quick. It took about 30 minutes for me to get in the last time from the back of the bridge.

Line to get in to Be Our Guest Restaurant for Lunch

Line to get in to Be Our Guest Restaurant for Lunch

Once in, I went to the podium via the FastPass+ line and was directed to a regular pay kiosk. The cast member confirmed my order and I paid there.

Checking in for my Reservation

Cast Members Help Guests with Ordering

It’s important to note that I could have changed anything or everything about my order at this point — from my selections, to leaving some of the trimmings off of my sandwich.

Normally, I show you the menus closer to the food, but the ordering process is a little different at Be Our Guest, so let’s take a look at them here.

Main Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Main Menu — Click to Enlarge

You can also read up on the way things work here if you’re still a little confused :-)

Desserts and How Things Work at Be Our Guest -- Click to Enlarge

Desserts and How Things Work at Be Our Guest — Click to Enlarge

If you aren’t visiting Be Our Guest for lunch via a FastPass+ invitation, you will still be directed to a cast member or kiosk to place your order.

Banner Over Ordering Kiosk

Banner Over Ordering Kiosk

Kiosk Where You Place Your Order

Kiosk Where You Place Your Order

At that time, you’ll be given your rose.

Rose That Tells My Food Where to Find Me

Rose That Tells My Food Where to Find Me

And this is where the two experiences meet up! From there, I went to the drink station, which is self-serve during lunch.

Drink Station

Drink Station

Don’t you love the fancied up fountain drink station?

Drink Station -- Up Cloce

Drink Station — Up Close

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. Real silverware and Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: April 13, 2014

Want to hang in Epcot after hours? Then you’ll want to check out the Epcot After Hours Wind Down!

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Yep, you heard right! AFTER you’ve enjoyed IllumiNations and with a ticket to Epcot After Hours Wind Down, you’ll get to hang out at your choice of four hot spots for a beverage and light snack in World Showcase! Then, imagine strolling around the Epcot pavilions until 11PM (with no crowds)!

We can’t wait to try out this new option at Epcot! Find out how to get tickets for Epcot After Hours Wind Down here!

Click on the links below for more information on this new hard-ticketed event and more food news from Disney!

Disney Food News

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, updates, and more!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Here’s one of our favorites — Fried Chicken (minus one piece ;-D) from Disneyland’s Plaza Inn sent in by Reader Sis. YUM!

Plaza Inn's Fried Chicken

Plaza Inn’s Fried Chicken

And how about a new beverage from L’Artisan Des Glaces at Epcot! Check out this Iced Cappucino menu sent in by Reader Sue.

Cafe Glace

Cafe Glace

Thanks for sharing your favorites and finds with us!

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book Deal

The fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 450 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subjects — food and dining in Walt Disney World.

miniguide_0114_3d

It’s guaranteed to help you navigate your way to delicious dining on your next trip! And if you’re ready to get yours now, head on over to DFBGuide.com to pick it up!!

For our Grand Launch Sale, use code: 2014 to get a $4 discount for a limited time! And at the end of this post, we have details on even more savings!

Here Are Just Some Of What You Get With Our 2014 Guide:

  • Over 450 Pages of Disney Dining and Planning information, tips, reviews, and recommendations!
  • An in-depth Disney Dining Restaurant Reviews section, covering all Disney restaurants, food kiosks, bars, and lounges
  • An updated Disney Dining Plan section and price analysis for 2014
  • NEW Disney food and restaurant photos
  • An updated Disney Snacks chapter, including our list of dozens of must-try snacks AND our Top 11 Must-Have Snacks for 2014.
  • An updated section on birthday parties and specialty cakes in Disney World
  • A comprehensive, 10-page chapter of What’s New in Disney World in 2014, including new restaurants, menu updates, and more
  • Details about how the My Magic+ Planning System and FastPass+ will affect your vacation planning
  • Our picks for the 11 Great Snacks you must try this year
  • Scavenger Hunts, Trivia, and Top 5 List updates
  • Bingo Cards
  • Updates on all pertinent facts such as dining hours, prices, resources, phone numbers, and restaurant closures/openings
  • All new restaurant additions, closures, refurbishments, and added dining experiences
  • And much more!

But, of course we’re offering a discount for our Grand Launch week!! Again, to celebrate the launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the Guide for $4 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now at DFBGuide.com and use code: Continue reading →

Top 5 Restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in Disney World when I’m in it. The themeing is incredible. I could wander around just looking at things there for days! But the other thing that keeps me coming back to Animal Kingdom again are some seriously awesome restaurants. This place has it all!

Let’s take a look at some of our favorites — and what sets them each apart from the crowd.

Tusker House

If you haven’t booked a meal at Tusker House, then you’re missing out.

This sprawling restaurant sits on the main thoroughfare in Harambe village within the Africa section of the park. And with some of the best immersive themeing anywhere at Disney World, it’s hard to take in all of the intricate details and imagineering here with just one meal.

Tusker House -- Outside View

Tusker House — Outside View

But it’s not just the surroundings that are interesting. Tusker House has some incredible food as well. Inspired by the flavors of Africa, you’re in for a treat, whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We especially love the Spit-Roasted Meats. And taking advantage of the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet may save you on other meals during the day.

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

But if you’re still looking to add a character dining experience to your list of advance dining reservations, be sure to book the breakfast or lunch, as characters don’t appear at dinner.

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

Seeing Your Favorite Disney Friends in Safari Garb at Breakfast and Lunch is Super Fun!

It’s always a kick to add pics Mickey and Friends in different outfits, and at Tusker House, they’re dressed to go on a Kilimanjaro Safari with you!

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Looking for something exotic with an Asian twist? Then check out Yak and Yeti Restaurant. You can’t miss the big purple building in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom!

Themed as a grand home that’s been converted to a hotel, guests to the town of Anandapur are guaranteed to find

Continue reading →

News!! Epcot Introduces “After Hours Wind Down!” Booking Open Now!

Update: We’ve added some additional menu information for Spice Road Table and Tutto Gusto, in addition to the La Cava del Tequila menu!

We have got BIG news for you today out of Epcot!

We all love sampling and drinking our way around Epcot’s World Showcase, right? Well, things just got a little more interesting on that front, with the introduction of After Hours Wind Down!

Evening at Epcot is Extra Magical!

Evening at Epcot is Extra Magical!

Epcot After Hours Wind Down!

After you enjoy Illuminations over World Showcase Lagoon (yep — AFTER the park closes!), purchase a ticket and choose from four of World Showcase’s hottest spots for drinks and small plates! (We’ve got a sample menu for you at the bottom of this post, so keep reading!)

Tickets are available today for dates starting Thursday, April 17, and running through mid-September on select nights.

Choose from the following spots in Epcot:

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

Chips and queso at Cava del Tequila

This is a hard ticketed event. The price for admission to Epcot After Hours Wind Down is Continue reading →

Review: Lunch at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

We are back in Disneyland today with another fun look at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure!

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure's Cars Land

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land

This diner is a throwback to all that was good and cool about eating while on the Great American Roadtrip, when Route 66 was in its heyday. And since it opened, Flo’s has quickly become a favorite for its incredible themeing and terrific eats.

While breakfast is phasing out at Flo’s, we recently had the chance to take in lunch here as well, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Read on for all the details and lots of pics…

Atmosphere

Visiting Flo’s anytime of the day is a treat, because there’s just so much rich detail to experience. But we especially love the views at night, when the whole place is decked out in neon lights.

Flo's V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Disney California Adventure

There’s some fun lighting inside, too! The entrance, which is a rotunda of sorts, features soft lights that change colors. I caught this pic when the room was decked out in bubble gum pink. Check out the cool chandelier!

Period Chandelier

Period Chandelier

One thing to note about Flo’s — it’s enormous! And the seating areas all have different themeing, so be sure to schedule a little extra time for this lunch stop if checking out incredible Disney detail is something that you enjoy.

The restaurant is actually much larger than it looks from the outside. That’s because part of the seating area is themed as a car clinic — both inside and out. Here’s the outside view.

Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic

Ornament Valley Mechanical Clinic

And here’s the inside!

Mixed Seating

Mixed Seating in the Mechanical Clinic

Don’t you love the X-ray machine? It’s one of my favorite imagineering touches.

Diagnostic Machine

Diagnostic Machine

Much of the front seating section is decorated with touches that are a throwback to the 1950s, and a lot of the memorabilia centers around Flo — a member of the illustrious Motorama Girls.

The story goes that Flo gave up her glamorous career to settle down in Radiator Springs, where she opened up the coolest diner, ever.

I Love These Booths!

I Love These Booths! Check out the headrests!

The Mechanic Room is a tribute to Doc Hudson’s glory days as a championship racer. With rich details like dark wood and leather-esque booths, it has a more Continue reading →

News! New Menu at “Allergy” Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom (And You Can Still Get Babycakes!)

With the recent closure of Babycakes NYC in Downtown Disney Orlando, readers have been all aflutter with one question: Where will I get my gluten-free treats now??

And it’s a serious question. For visitors to Walt Disney World who follow a special diet, many were super thrilled to have access to the specialty bakery’s treats. The gluten-free, vegan baked goods meant that guests with food allergies and intolerances could have their cake and eat it, too. And guests who choose to follow a special diet for other reasons could indulge guiltlessly.

Well, we recently stopped by the Gardens Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and we’re happy to confirm that Babycakes NYC will continue to supply the stand as well as several Disney resorts with baked goodies that meet these criteria!

A Cast Member Provides a Guest with Information at the Gardens Kiosk in Disney's Animal Kingdom

A Cast Member Provides a Guest with Information at the Gardens Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Gardens Kiosk is located centrally on Discovery Island near Flame Tree Barbecue and the entrance to It’s Tough to Be a Bug. It serves to educate guests about the top eight most common food allergens, and cast members are stationed at the kiosk with resources to assist guests who need help with food choices.

But the spot also serves as a handy place to get grab and go snacks items that are free from the most common food allergens.

We noticed a few changes to the menu when we stopped by the other day. Most notably, you can now get Tofutti Ice Cream here! The dairy-free frozen treats will be a welcome addition for guests who are lactose intolerant or who suffer from milk allergies.

New Gardens Kiosk Menu -- Click to Enlarge

New Gardens Kiosk Menu — Click to Enlarge

But we also spied an expansion of the Continue reading →

Review: The New Napoleon at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France

You’ll never hear us deny it: we’re fans of just about every treat that comes out of Epcot’s France Pavilion.

As it turns out, so are lots of other people! So much so, in fact, that the well-loved Boulangerie Patisserie outgrew it’s original small space and reopened in early 2013 to better accommodate more guestsand more treats! (The original space, by the way, is now home to L’Artisan des Glaces.) Additionally, a large indoor seating area was added even while the charming outdoor seating remained.

When the Patisserie reopened in it’s new space as Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, we were so excited to see (and even more thrilled to taste) all the goodness this spot had to offer.

Les Halles

Les Halles

By and large, reactions to the offerings – from sweet to savory – were positive. Many favorites from the old Patisserie made it over to the new, and the expanded options were varied, impressive, and flavorful.

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

One alteration, however, that displeased some guests was a change to a much-loved pastry: the Napoleon. It had been updated with the reopening to provide a more authentic French culinary experience. Upon learning that people were unhappy with the change, the chefs in the France Pavilion recently made an update…to the update :) !

And here is the result:

Epcot France Napoleon

Epcot France Napoleon

The updated Napoleon is a

Continue reading →

Disney Dining Tips: The Disney World Restaurant Search Tool!

Have you ever wished that with the push of a button you could figure out the PERFECT dining spots for your next Disney vacation?

Well, guess what? We’ve got you covered with the Disney Food Blog Restaurant Search Tool!

We LURVE Dining at Disney World, and we know that you do, too! But – wow! – with SOOOO many choices of where to eat, how in the World (ha!) do you narrow it down and make a decision?

We have taken 18 important Disney Dining search criteria and created a tool that will give you selections for the perfect Disney dining experience. And once you’ve narrowed down your restaurants, you can check out reviews, menus, and expert tips for each of them! Let’s take a look at how it works…

It’s incredibly easy (and actually pretty fun!) to use this tool.

1. Choose Criteria

You have 18 choices, so you can be as specific or as general as you

Continue reading →

Photo Tour: The 2014 Grand Floridian Resort Easter Egg Display in Walt Disney World

Upon entering Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort, you’ll find something that may distract you from the sights of the lobby, as stunning as it is. From now through April 22, you can enjoy the Third Annual Easter Egg Display!

2014 Grand Floridian Easter Eggs

2014 Grand Floridian Easter Eggs

And it’s certainly something to see, because these aren’t just any Easter Eggs… these are 9-12 pound chocolate Easter Eggs created and crafted by Disney Chefs!

For those who may not be able to catch this display in person, we thought we’d bring it to you :) .

History of the Display -- click to enlarge

History of the Display — click to enlarge

As the sign states, the Grand Floridian Easter Egg tradition has held for 18 years; however, the eggs could previously be seen only in the Resort’s restaurants. But now, for the third year in a row, they are on display in the lobby for everyone to enjoy. It’s definitely a treat to see what the Bakery Team comes up with!

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

As you look at these creations, it’s fun to note that every egg is decorated with “edible products such as  modeling chocolate, fondant, sugar floral, royal icing, colored cocoa butter and sculpted sugar art pieces.”
Yep — it’s all edible!

Butterfly Garden Egg

Butterfly Garden Egg

Butterfly Garden Egg

Butterfly Garden Egg

Chefs are given a blank “canvas,” along with the freedom to bring to life whatever vision they wish. So, you’ll see that the decorated eggs range from classic Easter themes

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

Decorative Easter Egg

2014 Grand Floridian Easter Eggs Bouquet

Spring Bouquet Egg

… to the truly Continue reading →

New! DFB Podcast Episode 20: Disney Trip Traditions

Spring has sprung, Disney foodies! We’ve got some great news today for all you hungry commuters, walkers, runners, gym-goers, spring breakers, and other assorted podcast listeners!

dfb podcast

Our latest DFB Podcast episode has been released into the wild! The 20th episode of our DFB Podcast is now up and ready for downloading.

What’s It About?

About a year ago, we wrote about first-day-at-Disney traditions at Walt Disney World. We had so much fun reading your responses about what YOU love to do on your first Disney day that we wanted to dedicate an ENTIRE podcast to the subject! So think about it: What’s your first-day Disney tradition?

In this episode, AJ and Brad cover the latest Disney food news and discuss their favorite first-day-of-vacation traditions at Disney World and Disneyland! Give it a listen and let us know YOUR first-day tradition! We also answer two listener questions, give the answer to our Episode 19 trivia question, and reveal a new trivia question!

Here’s the Podcast page for Episode 20. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

A Lapu Lapu at Disney's Polynesian Resort is a great First Day Tradition!

A Lapu Lapu at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a great First Day Tradition!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! The podcast has its Continue reading →