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 [Read more…]

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

UPDATE: Please note that as of February 25, 2015, FastPass+ is no longer available, as Be Our Guest Restaurant began to accept Advanced Dining Reservations for lunch. For further information, please click here

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 [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: October 13, 2013

For those of you who have been waiting for more Grey Stuff goodness from Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant, check out the Grey Stuff Brownie!! Debuting during the Halloween season, this should be on the menu as a regular item going forward!

Grey Stuff Brownie

And are you headed to the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Check out our review of the brand new Parisian Breakfast.

But there are even more events taking place — we love the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic! Or treat yourself to the Flying Fish Cafe’s Instructional Luncheon. Read more below!

What else was in the news this week? Read on…

Disney Food News

Catch up on your reading!

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 a Trick or “Tweet Up” for Give Kids The World, Price Increases for Disney Cruise Line’s Palo restaurants, 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!

Twitter friend Norma shares “@DisneyFoodBlog Thanks for letting us know about the cheese dispenser at Casey’s Corner. It made a great addition!” Yay for Plastic Cheese, Norma!

Cheese!

Reader Oli tweeted “GAWRSH I’m addicted!” Me, too, Oli!!

Goofy's Assorted Sour Balls

Thanks for sharing!

The DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book THIS WEEK! With over 190 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial. And just in time to make your plans — the festival is under way!

This week, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the mini-guide for $3 off the regular purchase price — just use code TRAY at the check-out!

As always, we’ve made this mini-guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices.

It’s a PDF guide with over 190 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items to help you get the best experience possible.

Want an Even Better Deal?

We’ve got it! For an even bigger discount, head over to the DFB Store and check out our e-Book Bundles!

All the Guides Bundle, Including Food and Wine: Planning a big trip and need the low-down on Disney Food across the board? We’ve got it all for you in this steeply discounted e-Book Bundle, which includes the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Guide and the Holidays at Disney World Guide!

Food and Wine Bundle: Another chance to pick up two of our very best-selling guides! Get a significant discount on our 400-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013, and the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — together! This Food and Wine Bundle offers all of our insider tips and tricks for the Festival AND the rest of your Disney World visit!

For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival, head over to DFBMiniGuides.com/foodandwine!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix features a cute Mickey Mouse Teapot for One

Studios Central spots Halloween Treats in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Gorillas Don’t Blog features vintage photographs of a “No Picnic Lunches Allowed” sign and an old-fashioned popcorn cart!

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups stops by the Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Treats for Caramel Apples.

All Ears attends a Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party!

The Daily Disney looks at the enhanced marketplaces at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.

PortOrleans.org discovers new menu items at Boatwright’s in the Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

The Disney Blog showcases the new beverage menu at the California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Review: Halloween Desserts and New Dinner Menu Items at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Please welcome back DFB author Wendy with a review of Halloween at Be Our Guest Restaurant!

It’s time to dine once again with the Beast in his Castle for dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

Even though Be Our Guest will celebrate its first birthday next month, it’s still fun to take in the sight of the Ballroom (especially for that hard-to-snag Advance Dining Reservation!).

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

Chandelier in Ballroom

No matter where you’re seated, you should definitely take a minute to stroll a bit and take in all of the amazing detail. Now it is, of course, October -– the month of ghouls, goblins, and all things foreboding — so it seemed somehow fitting when our party was placed in the West Wing, the only room that was off-limits to Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

West Wing Dining Area

This room is darker than the others, with dark tapestries and ornate seating.

West Wing Table

Fans of the movie will remember that this is where the Beast’s Enchanted Rose resides. Guests can watch the rose slowly losing its petals throughout their meal!

Enchanted rose

I love some of the touches unique to dinner at Be Our Guest, from the [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 29, 2013

I’ve been tasting my way around the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, so be sure to check out all the NEW photos from the marketplace food booths!!

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Plus, we have full Epcot Food and Wine Festival menu listings that include Disney Dining Plan snack credits and prices!

Don’t forget to check out our Disney Food Blog Bingo challenge for this year’s Festival! It’s a great way to get the whole family in on the fun!

Still hungry? We’ve got more sweet news…

Disney Food News

New treats!

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 a Murder Mystery Dinner Show at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, 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!

DFB Reader Mandi has us salivating with these phenomenal pictures of delicious eats! First up: Cream Cheese wontons, skewered with fresh pineapple and served with fresh strawberries and spearmint leaf, drizzled with a warm vanilla honey sauce from Yak & Yeti in the Animal Kingdom.

Cream Cheese Wontons

Of course, stopping by Captain Cook’s in the Polynesian Resort for unique food is always a good idea. And we LOVE Tonga Toast!

Tonga Toast

Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!!

The DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-Book THIS WEEK! It’s almost time for the festival to begin! With over 190 pages and multiple bonus items, it’s pretty substantial. And just in time to make your plans — the festival is under way!

This week, we have a discount option for DFB readers (as always!). You can get the mini-guide for $3 off the regular purchase price — just use code TRAY at the check-out!

As always, we’ve made this mini-guide instantly downloadable for your convenience, and easily installed on your mobile devices. It’s a PDF guide with over 190 pages of detailed information about the Festival as well as photographs and customized bonus items to help you get the best experience possible.

Bonus Items

The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival includes customized bonus items that go above and beyond any other Food & Wine Festival coverage currently available. These include:

  • A full, daily schedule of events for every day of the festival
  • A printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist that you can use to plan, and easily bring with you to the festival
  • Themed World Showcase booth crawls (there’s even one for the kids!)
  • Food and Wine Festival customized Touring Strategies for One Day visits, Budget-Conscious visits, visits with kids, and more
  • A chapter dedicated to all “New for 2013″ events, menu items, booths, and more
  • Full food, wine, beer, winery, and chef indexes, including dates and locations of where you can find your favorites
  • Epcot Food and Wine Festival recipes
  • And more!

Want an Even Better Deal?

We’ve got it! For an even bigger discount, head over to the DFB Storeand check out our e-Book Bundles!

All the Guides Bundle, Including Food and Wine: Planning a big trip and need the low-down on Disney Food across the board? We’ve got it all for you in this steeply discounted e-Book Bundle, which includes the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Guide and the Holidays at Disney World Guide!

Food and Wine Bundle: Another chance to pick up two of our very best-selling guides! Get a significant discount on our 400-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013, and the DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival — together! This Food and Wine Bundle offers all of our insider tips and tricks for the Festival AND the rest of your Disney World visit!

For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival, head over to DFBMiniGuides.com/foodandwine!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix suggests hiding your cookies in this Snow White Evil Queen Cookie Jar!

Evil Queen Cookie Jar

WDW for Grown Ups features the Chase Cardholder VIP Lounge at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival!

Studios Central pays homage to Annette Funicello with a close-up look of the “net full of jello” in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Main Street Gazette sips a Bamboo Backscratcher at the Tambu Lounge in the Polynesian Resort!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World enjoys lots of great eats around Walt Disney World, including a stop at the Cabana Bar and Beach Club at the WDW Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Disney Parks Blog showcases a brand new restaurant — Carioca’s — coming to Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic.

Disney Parks Blog celebrates Halloween with themed treats at Walt Disney World!

 

New! The Grey Stuff Cupcake and Other Menu Updates at Disney World’s Be Our Guest Restaurant

Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland in Walt Disney World is home to the uber-popular Be Our Guest Restaurant, and we’ve got some awesome menu updates for you today!

Be Our Guest Restaurant!

The Master’s Cupcake — A.K.A. The “Grey Stuff” Cupcake!

Beauty and the Beast fans will recall that Lumiere encourages Belle to “try the grey stuff, it’s delicious, don’t believe me?, ask the dishes!”

Since the restaurant opened, guests have been able to try “the grey stuff” as a special celebration dessert.

The Grey Stuff

But now they’ve created an entire cupcake celebrating this sweet surprise! Check it out!! [Read more…]

Guest Review: Disney Fairy Tale Wedding Reception Food and Wedding Cake

Guest author James Armstrong first shared his Disney Wedding Tasting with us. Now, James returns with a magical review of his Disney Fairytale Wedding! We wish Meghan and James a lifetime of happiness (and fabulous Disney vacations)!

James and Meghan at their Fairytale Wedding!

The food has been chosen and the big day is here. There is nothing to do but wait. After the food tasting we waited six long months for the big day.

Rehearsal Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

It all started the day before our wedding day with our rehearsal dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant. They did not have group reservations open yet when we had to book, so we made a reservation for 14 and trimmed the list to the bare minimum.

They actually divided our table up into two groups of seven. We sat in the main ballroom and had an excellent meal.

The best part was they brought out six orders of The Grey Stuff for everyone to share at the table.

The Grey Stuff!

The Big Day!

The big day was here and it was starting to get real.

Disney’s execution of the wedding was excellent! They took care of everything and if there were any issues, they were never brought to our attention and were handled behind the scenes.

Bridge to the Wedding Pavilion.

Aisle Runner inside Disney's Wedding Pavilion.

Altar overlooking Cinderella's Castle!

After the ceremony, while we took formal pictures, our guests attended the cocktail hour. Our guests were more than happy to report to us that the food was excellent. They had [Read more…]

Review: Be Our Guest Restaurant FastPass+ System

UPDATE: Please note that as of February 25, 2015, FastPass+ is no longer available, as Be Our Guest Restaurant began to accept Advanced Dining Reservations for lunch. For further information, please click here

I took a quick trip to Walt Disney World last week and had the opportunity to experience several new technological initiatives related to Dining at Disney World.

I’ve written these up in several posts for DFB, and today we’ll cover my review of the new FastPass+ system being rolled out at Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Stay tuned over the next week to see more new technology innovations that are affecting Disney dining in Disney World!

Be Our Guest FastPass+

First up, I was invited to test a FastPass+ reservation to the Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest restaurant at lunch. The invite came via email with a link to the WDW website.

The email told me to log into my My Disney Experience account and enter my resort reservation number. Once logged on, I was allowed to choose which day I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity.

Choosing which day to dine at BOG.

Then we were allowed to choose whether we wanted “FastPass+ Expedited Arrival” or “FastPass+ Direct to Table.”

Expedited Arrival allows you to skip the line into the restaurant. “Direct to Table” allows you to completely order your meal in advance so that it is ready for you when you walk in the door. I chose “Direct to Table” — more on that in a sec.

Then we selected which of the available dining times we wanted. The only times presented to us during the test were early (before 11:50 a.m.) or late (after 1:45 p.m.) My guess is that Disney is trying to offload guests to less popular times.

Because I had selected “Direct to Table,” I was brought to a new set of screens where I could choose to order meals for my husband (my traveling companion for this trip) and me individually or as a group.

We then saw the restaurant’s menu, just as if we had been ordering from one of the touch screen kiosks in the standby line.

I ordered the Tuna Niçoise Salad and a helpful screen popped up asking me if I wanted my dressing on the side or tossed into my salad in the kitchen.

There was even a link to [Read more…]

Review: NEW Disney World MyMagic+ Touch To Pay System — and MagicBand Disney Food Bling!

I took a quick trip to Walt Disney World last week and had the opportunity to experience several new technological initiatives related to Dining at Disney World.

I’ve written these up in several posts for DFB, and today we’ll begin with the new Touch to Pay system that accompanies the unrolling of MyMagic+ in the parks — as well as take a look at some fun foodie bling that you can add to your MyMagic Band!

Stay tuned over the next week to see more new technology innovations that are affecting Disney dining in Disney World!

Tableside Touch To Pay Pads

In addition to the previously installed “Tap to Pay” pads located at the WDW quick service and snack locations, Tap To Pay Pads are now being used in many table service venues at the parks and resorts.

During our stay, some of the restaurants we dined at were Artist Point, Territory Lounge, Citricos, Raglan Road, and Tutto Gusto. At each of these locations, when we asked for our check, our server appeared at our table with a small touchpad, about the surface area of an iPhone, but much thicker.

Our server with a Touch to Pay device at Raglan Road.

When it was time to pay, the server scanned my MagicBand to link our restaurant bill to our WDW charge account. You could also use the Touch to Pay pad with an RFID-capable Key to the World Card.

Our server at Artist Point scanning my Magic Band for payment.

After the MagicBand or KTTWC is scanned, you enter your personal PIN code.

Hubby entering PIN at Raglan Road.

That was all super fun and easy. However, there were two points in the process that needed a little work. First, the system is [Read more…]

What’s The Best Walt Disney World Park for Dining?

There is so much to love about the parks of Walt Disney World.

What's the Best Disney World Park for Dining?

The rides and attractions. The sense of history — both in the parks, and the memories that we’ve all made in them. The incredible themeing that greets you at every turn.

But of course, what do we love the most? The FOOD!

I’m serious about eating when I’m in Disney parks. And I know you are, too! But which Disney World park is the best when it comes time for eating?

This is a question I get asked a LOT; and it’s always tough to make a choice. Sure — Epcot has the largest number of fantastic restaurants, but there are some snacks that can’t be beat in Magic Kingdom; and the other parks offer some not-to-be-missed items, too.

There are some seriously awesome, edible reasons to visit each park — and I’m going to share some of my favorites with you today!

Get ready, because I want to hear your point of view, too! What’s your favorite Walt Disney World Park for Dining…and why?

Magic Kingdom

Eating your way through Magic Kingdom seems to me to be one part fantasy food, and one part pure nostalgia. It would be hard to imagine not carving our a few days on my menu for some of my favorite stops here!

Nutella and Fruit Waffle Sandwich at Sleep Hollow

For brunch or lunch, I can never pass up the chance to have a Waffle Sandwich at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. Choose from Nutella (!!!) and Fruit, Spicy Chicken, or Ham, Prosciutto, and Swiss.

Seriously delicious — and enormous. I like to get two and split them among friends for a little variety.

Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich

We can’t go very far in this conversation though without discussing [Read more…]