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Guest Review: Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney’s Magic Kingdom

The uber-popular restaurant, Be Our Guest, serves a quick service lunch and table service dinner at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Sharing her dinner experience, guest author Rebecca Elliott takes us inside the Beast’s Castle!

Atmosphere

My family and I have always been big Beauty & the Beast fans. Which made it such a surprise that, prior to the grand opening of the new Fantasyland in 2012, Disney World didn’t have a whole lot of Beauty & the Beast attractions.

All that changed with the opening of Be Our Guest, a spectacularly themed restaurant set in the Beast’s castle. It’s almost as if Disney is trying to make up for its previous lack of Beauty & the Beast material by creating this over-the-top, lavish dining experience.

A View of the Castle from Across the Bridge

A View of the Castle from Across the Bridge

As you can imagine, dinner reservations are hard to come by. Guests staying on site are able to make advance dining reservations (ADR) 180 days in advance. Since our plans came together rather spur of the moment, we attempted to make a reservation about 60 days out. Of course, none were available. However, we kept trying several times over the next week and, unbelievably, someone must have cancelled and we got our reservation for 6:30pm.

Gargoyle Outside the Castle

Gargoyle Outside the Castle

Atmosphere

Hats off to the designers and Imagineers that brought the Beast’s castle to life. Every nook and cranny of this restaurant makes you feel like you’re in the movie. We checked in at the desk at the foot of the bridge outside of the restaurant, then crossed over and waited outside the castle until our buzzer went off.

It was fun to take in the details even the exterior of the building had to offer. Giant lion statues flanked heavy wooden doors with a tile mosaic above the threshold featuring the famous enchanted rose. (Roses became almost like Hidden Mickeys; they are featured consistently throughout the décor. It was fun to find them everywhere, from the napkins, to the chairs, to the sculptures and more).

The Entrance of Heavy Wooden Doors with Rose Tile Work

The Entrance of Heavy Wooden Doors with Rose Tile Work

Even the Napkins Carry Out the Rose Theme

Even the Napkins Carry Out the Rose Theme

Entering the castle is truly like entering the movie. Theming in Disney restaurants has always been ambitious, but Be Our Guest is their best interpretation of a film in real form. Don’t rush to the restaurant – you’ll want to take a closer look at the gargoyles holding up the archway. Even more, you don’t want to miss the tile mosaic of Belle and the Beast dancing, which is a re-creation of the very last scene in the movie.

This Guy’s Got a Tough Gig – Holding Up the Castle

This Guy’s Got a Tough Gig – Holding Up the Castle

Belle and the Beast Tile Mosaic in the Entry

Belle and the Beast Tile Mosaic in the Entry

We were greeted by a cast member at the inside host desk who informed us we would be eating in the West Wing. I nearly fainted. I had no idea where our reservation would be, and I certainly didn’t think it would be in the West Wing. We were very, very excited!

It is perpetually evening in the castle, no matter what time of day you go. To get to the West Wing, the cast member guided us through the Ballroom. Holy smokes! Stepping in there was like stepping into the scene of Belle and the Beast dancing, with Mrs. Potts singing, “Beauty & the Beast” in the background. The ceiling is painted with cherubs and clouds, the crystal chandeliers let off a soft, warm glow, and when we looked out the windows overlooking the terrace, it was snowing! We had read about this, but until we saw it, we didn’t realize what a truly magical effect it was.

The Dramatic Ballroom

The Dramatic Ballroom

The Hand Painted Ceiling in the Ballroom Takes Your Breath Away!

The Hand Painted Ceiling in the Ballroom Takes Your Breath Away!

Snow Falls Outside the Windows, Setting the Scene for an Enchanted Night in the Castle

Snow Falls Outside the Windows, Setting the Scene for an Enchanted Night in the Castle

We made our way to the West Wing, which was equally dramatic. The setting is a dark and stormy evening. Thunder and lightening can be heard and seen in the background. There is the painting of the Beast as a young man, complete with claw marks, just like in the movie. (Tip: Keep an eye on the portrait; it changes into the Beast himself with a flash of lightening!)

The Beast’s Portrait in the West Wing, Appropriately Scarred

The Beast’s Portrait in the West Wing, Appropriately Scarred

The most dramatic element of the West Wing is the enchanted rose. It floats beneath a glass dome, its petals falling. I have no idea how they created this effect (hologram?), but again, it is just like the movie.

The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing Was Truly a Sight to See

The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing Was Truly a Sight to See

My daughter and I decided to take in the Rose Gallery. Here is where things got a little confusing. The Rose Gallery is huge – not as big as the Ballroom, but certainly bigger than the West Wing. And it was empty. There were a couple of tables with guests, but the rest of the dining room remained unseated. This was perplexing, because reservations were so hard to come by. It looked as if the few tables that were seated were overflow from the main dining room. The rest of the tables weren’t even set. I understand this room is typically full at lunch. Why not utilize it at dinner? (Editor’s Note: At dinner, the Rose Gallery is often used as a food preparation area instead of a seating area.)

Belle and Beast Take Center Stage in the Rose Gallery

Belle and Beast Take Center Stage in the Rose Gallery

Tapestries Depicting Scenes from the Movie Hang in the Rose Gallery

Tapestries Depicting Scenes from the Movie Hang in the Rose Gallery

More Tapestries

More Tapestries

I should mention here another feature of the dining room. About every 15 minutes or so, a clock chimes and you can hear the Beast being introduced. Because we were seated in the West Wing, we saw him make his entrance into the dining room. He walked out, waved to the diners, and made his way to the picture taking spot at the other end of the restaurant, greeting guests along the way.

We thought this was a fun touch. The picture area is the quick service ordering spot during lunch. On our way out, we had our picture taken with him. He was very kind and accommodating.

Beast Making His Way Through the Dining Room

Beast Making His Way Through the Dining Room

Guests exit the restaurant through a hallway lined with suits of armor. I was reminded of the scene in Beauty & the Beast when Cogsworth gives Belle a tour of the castle. They walk through a similar hallway. Make sure you listen closely – some of the suits of armor talk!

Suits of Armor Line the Exit Hallway

Suits of Armor Line the Exit Hallway

Some of the Suits of Armor Were a Little Chatty!

Some of the Suits of Armor Were a Little Chatty!

Eats

We were seated and promptly greeted by our server, who informed us that Be Our Guest offers beer and wine, the first restaurant ever to do so in the Magic Kingdom. We don’t drink, but noticed several guests were taking advantage of this new offering. Instead, all three of us ordered the all-natural lemonade sweetened with organic cane juice and topped with wildberry foam. It was delicious. (FYI, even though this drink is non-alcoholic and we didn’t order it in the commemorative chalice, there were no refills and it is not considered a fountain beverage.)

All Natural Lemonade with Wildberry Foam

All Natural Lemonade with Wildberry Foam

The menu at Be Our Guest is French themed, thought not authentic French. Still, it was one of the better meals we experienced on our trip. We were participating in the Disney Deluxe Dining plan, so each of us ordered an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert.

To start, I selected the assorted cured meats and sausages. Please note, this dish serves two, but I made a pretty good dent in it all by myself! It is served with a whole loaf of bread, some delicious pate, cured meats (prosciutto, ham), sausages, mustard, cornichons, some tart jam, and cheese. I truly enjoyed this dish. A lot of Disney food tends to the mildly seasoned. This dish was bursting with savory flavors and a variety of textures. It was very satisfying, and could easily serve as an entrée.

Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages

Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages

My daughter tried the Continue reading →

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Preview: Patagonia and Canada

The 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be here before you know it! If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for September 19 through November 10!

food and wine festival logo

And around here, we think that making plans for the festival is big fun! We don’t want to miss a thing, and we know you don’t want to, either.

There are endless numbers of Special Events and Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars. But our favorite draw continues to be the Marketplace Booths throughout World Showcase.

So today, we are kicking off our previews of this year’s Marketplace Booths with two that you’re sure to love — The new Patagonia Booth and a returning favorite, Canada.

Patagonia Marketplace Booth

The Patagonia Marketplace Booth, new for 2014, will combine the flavors of Chile and Argentina. While we are still awaiting our first pictures of what the new Patagonia Marketplace Booth will actually look like (soon!), we are excited to see some returning favorites from the 2013 Argentina Booth join some brand new dishes!

Fan Favorite Beef Empanadas Will Take Up Residence at the Patagonia Booth!

Fan Favorite Beef Empanadas Will Take Up Residence at the Patagonia Booth!

In addition to past favorites like the Beef Empanada, guests can enjoy wines selected from both Chile and Argentina.

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Patagonia Booth Menu

  • Beef Empanada
  • Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée (gluten free)
  • Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri (gluten free)
  • Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
  • Terrazas Reserva Malbec
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier
  • Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé

We’ve tasted the Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri. It’s sure to be a hit with guests this year!

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimichurri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimichurri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

And the Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée is always a crowd pleaser!

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée

Canada Marketplace Booth

The Canada Marketplace Booth is a mainstay of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Stop here for Continue reading →

Dining in Disneyland: New Treats at the Jolly Holiday Bakery

Spending some time at Disneyland?  Head on down Main Street USA and take a pit stop at Jolly Holiday.  There are some delicious new treats that have been recently added the bakery case.

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Mary Poppins and her penguins have obviously been busy in the kitchen.  There are several new baked goods in the case, all which look practically perfect in every way.  Most of these new treats are fruity flavors, which are my biggest weakness. I’d choose fruity over chocolate any day (GASP, I know!)…  I ordered 5 different new treats and hope to go back soon for the ones I missed. But for now, here’s a little sampling of the new offerings.

New Treats in the Bakery Case

New Treats in the Bakery Case

Let’s start with the Mickey Macarons.  These were rumored to be hitting Disneyland quite some time ago and appear to be very different than the macarons featured at Walt Disney World.  (Note that in Disney World, the signage on these was Mickey “Macaroon”; yes, we’ve had the “macaroon vs. macaron” definition discussion on the food blog many times before and it just doesn’t seem to be consistent across the Disney parks ;-D.) I’m not sure why it took so long, but HERE THEY ARE!  Priced at $4.99, the Mickey Macarons are very generously sized.  As of now they come in two fruity flavors; Passion Fruit and Raspberry Rose.

The Passion Fruit Mickey Macaron was very sweet; passion fruit cream sandwiched between two super soft Mickey Macarons.  I love the metallic purple swipe across the top.  I know it’s just decorative, but I’m a sucker for shine and sparkle. Especially purple shine and sparkle AND especially when it’s edible!

Passion Fruit Mickey Macaron

Passion Fruit Mickey Macaron

The Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron was

Continue reading →

Tour: Temporary Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

In June, we reported that the Intermission Food Court at Disney’s All Star Music Resort would be undergoing a major refurbishment from August 1 to December 20, 2014. Well, time sure flies, and the renovation is underway!

Intermission Food Court Sign

Intermission Food Court Sign

Guests staying at All Star Music have a few options available to meet their dining needs. Full access to End Zone Food Court at All Star Sports and World Premiere Food Court at All Star Movies will be available (as always) with the addition of dedicated bus transportation to either location.

Intermission Food Court Refurbishment sign

Intermission Food Court Refurbishment sign

For the duration of the refurbishment, Note’able Games Arcade has been changed to Note’able Grab ‘n Go.

Note'able Grab 'n Go sign

Note’able Grab ‘n Go sign

The name says it all… this is your All Star Music stop for grab and go snacks, beverages, and meals. There is a small table seating area upon entry, in front of a section reserved for Continue reading →

Review: New Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari at Namaste Café Food Truck in Downtown Disney

When the Namaste Café Food Truck made its debut in Downtown Disney’s West Side last November, we happily sampled the Butter Chicken (BUTTER CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!), a favorite dish of ours from Sanaa.

The dishes at Namaste Café were chosen to reflect some of the best cuisine to be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I remember thinking, “Cool… now, if only we could get a little of Sanaa’s fabulous bread service, we’d be set.”

But I didn’t really think it would happen. I just didn’t think the setting was conducive to it.

Well, apparently I was wrong, because IT HAS ARRIVED… kind of! Introducing, the Namaste Café Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari!!

Namaste Cafe Menu

Namaste Cafe Menu

Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari on Menu

Samosas and Naan Dipping Safari on Menu

Now, we’re talkin’!!!

Before we “dip in,” I should let you know where I found Namaste Café, because the Food Trucks are still moving all around Downtown Disney as they await their ultimate destination in the upcoming Food Truck Park.  On this most recent visit, I found it right outside of the World of Disney Store in the Marketplace.

Namaste Cafe in the Marketplace

Namaste Cafe in the Marketplace

A few Continue reading →

Where can I find THAT Chocolate Dessert at Walt Disney World?!

Food pictures can be SOOO enticing! Here at the Disney Food Blog, we totally get that. We’ve been getting lots of questions about a chocolate dessert featured on the Walt Disney World site. Today, I want to share the recipe AND where you can find it on your next trip.

Chocolate Espresso Torte

Have you seen this picture while browsing through the Disney World site?

Chocolate Espresso Torte in Disney World

Chocolate Espresso Torte in Disney World

If so, you may have wondered where you can find it. The chocolate espresso torte is served at the Turf Club restaurant at Saratoga Springs Resort!

Since this location serves dinner only, you’ll want to plan your Advance Dining Reservation accordingly. And note that the dessert menu can change at any time!

Speaking of, if you’re not able to get it at Turf Club when you visit, you can always make it at home!

Recipe

Here’s Disney’s Turf Club Chocolate Espresso Torte, courtesy of Continue reading →

Review: Cherry Cobbler at Port Orleans, Riverside Resort

It’s gotta be said… Port Orleans – Riverside has a lot going for it.

It just might be my favorite Disney World Resort – at the very least, it’s in my top three. So it’s entirely possible that my total bias towards all-things-Riverside may be coming into play when I think about the food options.

But, c’mon! This is the home of the great River Roost lounge, made all the greater thanks to our friend Yeeha Bob. (Oh, and those unreal Prime Rib Sliders don’t hurt, either. Trust me.) Aaaaand it’s got Boatwright’s, serving up Louisiana favorites like Jambalaya and Chicken and Andouille Gumbo.

And last, but not least, is the Riverside Mill Food Court.

Riverside Mill Food Court

Riverside Mill Food Court

It’s rustic-meets-comfy, and somehow — for a place with huge amounts of seating – manages to feel at least a little bit cozy, with its abundant natural light and mismatched chairs.

Riverside Mill Seating

Riverside Mill Seating

Riverside Mill Seating

Riverside Mill Seating

But the best part might be the slowly turning water wheel that you can view from inside.

View of water wheel

View of water wheel

In my head, it looks like this… totally sepia-toned!

Water wheel... in sepia!

Water wheel… in sepia!

Today we’re here to try a treat I’ve had my eye on for a while now (and I’ve only ever seen it at Riverside Mill). It’s the Cherry Cobbler, coming at you from the Bakery section!

Riverside Mill Bakery section

Riverside Mill Bakery section

The Cherry Cobbler doesn’t pop up on the menu until the evening, typically around 5:00 pm.

Bakery Menu at Riverside Mill Food Court

Bakery Menu at Riverside Mill Food Court

I’ve wanted to try it since the first time I saw a huge, bubbling pan-full!

Batch of hot Cherry Cobbler

Batch of hot Cherry Cobbler

What I received was definitely heavy on the cherry, but not so much on the cobbler.

Cherry Cobbler

Cherry Cobbler

That’s unfortunate, because every time I bit into some of the crumbled topping, it was Continue reading →

SOLD OUT! October 14th DFB Snack Attack IllumiNations Dessert Party at Epcot!

This event has SOLD OUT. If you would like to be on our waiting list, please send an email to support@DFBGuide.com. We will only contact waiting list names if a spot becomes available.

Looking forward to seeing everyone who signed up!
_________________________________________________________________________

Now’s the Time!

I’m pleased to announce that tickets for this year’s Disney Food Blog Snack Attack Illuminations Dessert Party are now available for purchase. Scroll down and click the ticket button to snag yours today! :-) Tickets are limited, and are first-come, first-served.

View of Illuminations for Snack Attack -- Super Close to the Action!

View of Illuminations for Snack Attack — Super Close to the Action!

About Snack Attack

The DFB Snack Attack is an exclusive, VIP event featuring a menu full of our favorite Walt Disney World snacks — all in one place – AND an incredible, private view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth in Epcot!

Click here to see a review and photos from a DFB Snack Attack last year!

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth -- And Your View from Snack Attack!

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth — And Your View from Snack Attack!

The event features a dessert buffet with some classic Disney Food Blog favorites!

Epcot Norway School Bread at Snack Attack

Epcot Norway School Bread at Snack Attack

We are still working out the details of this year’s menu, but you can be assured that it will include plenty of DFB Favorite Snacks, like School Bread from Kringla Bakeri og Kafe and Continue reading →

Review: Lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We’re dining with the stars at THE place to “see and be seen!”

Welcome to The Hollywood Brown Derby! We’re enjoying lunch while taking a trip back in time to the elegance of the “golden age” of Hollywood. For fans of classic films, even within Hollywood Studios this signature restaurant is a destination in its own right.

A replica of the original Hollywood Brown Derby  (a fine dining establishment for the likes of Clark Gable, Lucille Ball, and Bing Crosby back in the day), the Derby of Hollywood Studios offers park-goers a touch of refined elegance in the midst of a busy park day. In fact, I’d say that once you enter the doors of the Brown Derby, it’s a little bit difficult to remember that you’re in a theme park at all.

Let’s step inside…

Atmosphere

I mention taking “a trip back in time” because I feel as though the setting of The Hollywood Brown Derby transports guests to another place and era better than just about any place in Disney World, starting with the outside entrance.

Brown Derby entrance

Brown Derby entrance

Brown Derby entrance

Brown Derby entrance

A plaque on the outside gives guests a tiny bit of the history and inspiration for the Hollywood Studios location, though many may stroll right past and miss it.

Plaque noting the inspiration for the building

Plaque noting the inspiration for the building

There are two defining features, I think, to the Brown Derby. One is Continue reading →

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 3, 2014

Ready for your 2015 trip planning?

View of Illuminations for Snack Attack -- Super Close to the Action!

View of Illuminations for Snack Attack — Super Close to the Action!

Now you can get all the latest details on the 2015 Disney Dining Plans here!

And the DFB Snack Attack is BACK! Due to popular demand, we’re staging our Fourth (or Fifth? I can’t even remember!) Annual Epcot IllumiNations Dessert Party…featuring a custom menu of AWESOME desserts from around the “World”…on October 14th. Grab your tickets tomorrow!

You’ll find all the news on Disney food below; happy reading!

Disney Food News

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, Photo Package Update at Cinderella’s Royal Table, 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!

Cheese-lovers, check these out! This week we’re sharing two delicious menu items that you’re sure to enjoy.

From Walt Disney World, we have the African Chili-Cheese Dog from the Mara at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Tweeted by @braindud92, this hot dog features sweet African spices.

African Chili Cheese Dog

African Chili Cheese Dog

And from Disneyland, we’re drooling over the Jolly Holiday Combo (a Toasted Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Basil Soup). Shared by Reader Adam: “Tried the Jolly Holiday Combo last night per @DisneyFoodBlog many reviews! Well worth it for sure!”

Jolly Holiday Combo

Jolly Holiday Combo

Thanks for sharing these gorgeous entrees!

DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Last week, we announced the grand launch of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book! With over 220 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial!

2014 Food and Wine Guide 3D

As we continue our celebration, we have a discount option for DFB readers. You can get the new mini-guide for $3 off the regular price for a limited time — just use code MENUS at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book features all the info you need to know before you attend the Food and Wine Festival this year, from what’s NEW this year to touring strategies — and a new section with top tips on how to use MyMagic+ at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

And with the Epcot Food & Wine festival rapidly approaching, the time is now! Booking for festival events opened July 31st, and our exclusive daily schedule of events is the most efficient way to plan your festival strategy. (Did you purchase a pre-order of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival and not receive your book? Let us know at Support@DFBGuide.com!)

With a detailed schedule of seminars and events for every single day of the festival, it’s a quick, easy way to decide what activities and events you want to book! Don’t waste time flipping between web pages, PDFs, and websites — just find the date you need and we’ve got it all right there in front of you. Just like that!

Find Everything That’s Going On During Your Visit in our FULL Daily Schedule of Events!

As always, we’ve made this guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with Continue reading →