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

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was an overnight sensation, and has stayed at the top of every Disney fans’ must-get-a-reservation list.

The crazy to get a table has reached epic proportions and has resulted in an unprecedented move: this counter-service-at-lunch spot now offers Advance Dining Reservations. (Previously, Be Our Guest tested lunch Fast Passes. See more information on the move to ADRs here.) Dinner, which continues to be table service, also requires ADRs just as soon as your 180-day window opens.

And now, after hearing rumors forever, Be Our Guest just started testing Breakfast Service. We had a chance to try it for ourselves the very first morning it was served!

Be Our Guest Restaurant sign

Be Our Guest Restaurant sign

I’ve enjoyed all three meals here. The food has been good to great, and the impeccable themeing make this a must-do experience at least once.

Gargoyle Light Post and Waterfall

Scenery Begins Before You Ever Enter the Castle: Gargoyle Light Post and Waterfall

But I never like to assume a place continues to be awesome — especially a spot as busy as this. It’s very easy for busy restaurants to nose dive in the quality department, and to trade on their fame alone. And so, it’s become pretty important to me to check in with Be Our Guest periodically to see if I’d still recommend that you fight the good fight to get a table here. And that’s just what I did on a recent lunch visit.

Join me, won’t you?

Atmosphere

Be Our Guest has taken a hybrid approach to service since day one. While dinner is a table service meal, lunch continues to be…not so much counter service, as upscale quick service. But now there’s officially a twist to lunch — you can (and totally, totally should) book an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR for short). So you’ll check in for lunch much the same as you do for dinner.

Check In for Be Our Guest Restaurant

Check In for Be Our Guest Restaurant

My, how things have changed. Thanks to ADRs (and the fact that standby waiting often isn’t even available), the routinely crazy-long line for lunch doesn’t start up at the crack of 10AM anymore.

Be Our Guest Entrance

Be Our Guest Entrance

Wanna see what I mean? Here’s a view from the pre-ADR lunch days. Yikes!

Lunch Line at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Lunch Line at Be Our Guest Restaurant

But don’t get any ideas that you’re just going to stroll in for a quick look-see. Nearly the only ticket that will gain you access to Beast’s Castle is an ADR.

Entrance Into the West Wing

Entrance

Once you’re through the entrance (woo! You made it!), be sure to take in every detail. Be Our Guest is truly a gem, and a stunning example of Disney’s ability to imagine and bring to real life the animated worlds that they’ve created.

To your left, you can see just what I mean. Fans of the film will remember the backstory of Beauty and the Beast at the beginning of the film, told through a series of stained glass windows. And in the final scenes of the film, a new window is shown — with Belle and her Prince. You’ll find the scene immortalized in a mosaic at Be Our Guest.

Belle and Prince Stained Glass Window

Belle and Prince Stained Glass Window

But to get your lunch party started, you’ll actually head to your right, down the Gallery. The narrow passageway is lined with shining suits of armor standing at attention — and it’s one of my favorite spots in the restaurant.

Whispering Suits of Armour

Enchanted Suits of Armour

These Enchanted Suits of Armour whisper, crack jokes, and generally just have a good time.

More Whispering Suits of Armour

More Enchanted Suits of Armour

I’m going to take you a little out of the normal DFB sequence here so that we keep the order of how things work at Be Our Guest. Once you leave the Gallery, you enter the ordering area. And this is why I don’t call Be Our Guest a counter service spot. Here, you can see to the right the Digital Menu Boards that feature lunch items.

Digital Menu Boards

Digital Menu Boards

And directly ahead, there are kiosks. Some are manned with Cast Members who can take your order, and others are available for guests to enter their information directly. I chose the self serve option.

Instructions for Ordering

Instructions for Ordering

From there, the detailed menu took me through each stage of ordering. Here are the adult options. A “1” over the item indicates that it is part of our order. Because I had a FastPass to dine at Be Our Guest (this was before the restaurant changed to ADRs), I pre-ordered, making the ordering process slightly faster once I got there. It was just a matter of confirming our choices.

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Entrees

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Entrees

And here’s a screen which shows you Kids’ Meal options. We had pre-selected a meal for the child in our party as well.

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Kids' Meals

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Kids’ Meals

An additional pop-up menu for the Kids’ Meal gave us the opportunity to change up any beverages or side dishes.

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Kids' Picks Options

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Kids’ Picks Options

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu -- Kids Picks Options

Digital Touchscreen Kiosk Menu — Kids’ Picks Options

It’s at this point that you pay. Once payment is taken care of, you either receive a [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: December 1, 2013

There’s another new food truck at Downtown Disney!

We stopped by and couldn’t wait to share our review!

We also found some of our new favorite Disney food souvenirs…perfect stocking stuffers!

Follow the links below for more delicious news!

Disney Food News

  • Namaste Cafe Food Truck, featuring Animal Kingdom and Sanaa-inspired dishes, joins Superstar Catering in Downtown Disney Orlando!
  • True-to-life food magnets pay homage to iconic Disney snacks!

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!

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!

A new menu item — Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich — from Trilo-Bites in the Animal Kingdom was tweeted by Reader Jeff.

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich

Facebook Friend Robert shared the Braised Pork from Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

Braised Pork at Be Our Guest

Thanks for sharing your Disney Food Finds!

The “DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013″!

Tis the season for the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2013 e-Book!

And since we want you to save some cash right NOW, we have a steep discount for DFB readers (as always!). Get the brand new guide today for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited time! How? Use code JINGLE at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013 e-Book features 270 pages of all the info you need to know before you head to Walt Disney World for the holiday season, including NEW events and holiday happenings, over 250 photos, and an informative FAQ section. It includes:

  • Detailed descriptions and photos of every holiday event and activity happening at the parks and resorts this year — including tips on how to make the best use of your time and money when visiting!
  • A fully comprehensive holiday dining section with listings of holiday snacks, treats, meals, and menu items offered this year — from popcorn kiosks all the way to Signature Restaurants.
  • A clickable 3-Month Schedule of Holiday Events so you can see at-a-glance what looks interesting to you.
  • Our recommendations on ways to SAVE while you’re in Disney World this holiday season.
  • A section dedicated to all “New for 2013″ events, dining options, and activities.
  • A Preview of the 2014 Holidays in Disney World
  • And more!

For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013, head over to the DFB Store!

And if you want an even BETTER deal, snap up our DFB Holiday Bundle! This includes the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays AND our original DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013!

With a 100% 30-day, money-back guarantee on all of our guides, you have nothing to lose! :-) Find more great DFB Disney Dining Guidebooks at DFBStore.com!

Drink Me

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix highlights a beautiful Alice in Wonderland “Drink Me” ornament. Curious? Check it out!

disZine shares the online availability of the Disney Parks blends of Joffrey’s Coffees and Teas.

Passporter talks Disney holiday eats on their podcast this week! Guess who was a special guest!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World toured the galley on the Disney Fantasy and came away with some beverage recipes. Try the Eclipse Margarita!

AllEars attends the grand opening of the new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop! This shop replaces Disney’s Soda Fountain in Los Angeles.

Main Street Gazette stops by Captain Cooks at the Polynesian Resort for a Chocolate Beer Cupcake. See our review here!

6 New Things You’ve Gotta Try in Disney World!

So we all have our Disney food favorites.

You know them — the ones that would result in tears, anger, and staged protests if they ever disappear from menus. It’s okay. You can admit it.

Because I’d totally be leading the charge if they ever stop serving Dole Whip Floats.

But even with all the amazing favorites that give us warm fuzzies (and, in my case, cause me to go back to Disney parks over and over again), I still love Disney’s mission to surprise and delight guests with new offerings. It seems like every week, there’s something they’re debuting that I go nutso over — and off I go to add it to the next trip’s “must-eat” list.

Today, I’m offering a run down of the latest things that are on the list for my next trip. I’ve tried a few already, and others are completely new to me. And even though I’ll be in the ‘World smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, I’m saving room for these treats!

Gourmet Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe

You Guys. I have a new FAVORITE obsession. And this time, it starts with Cake. And ends with Cup. Instead of the other way around.

We brought you the first look at the new Gourmet Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe just recently. This spot in Fantasyland, formerly known as Enchanted Grove, has always been cute, but it’s never numbered among our “must-visits.”

But that has changed completely since they introduced these amazing treats.

Cheshire Cake Cup. The Stuff That My Cake Dreams Are Made Of. (Namely, Frosting.)

I mean seriously, you would think they picked up the phone, called me, and said, “AJ, we’re making a new treat, and you’re in charge of R&D.”

The parfaits are a topsy-turvy, whimsical take on a cupcake, turning the über popular treat into what it should be: a vehicle for frosting. I mean really, when was the last time you ate a cupcake and said, “Gee, that was pretty good, but I really could have used more cake.”

Um. Never.

And this cake cup got it RIGHT.

Look at All. Of. This. Frosting!

So it was a given that I made a beeline for [Read more…]

Review: Be Our Guest Restaurant Lunch

UPDATE: Please note that as of February 25, 2015, Be Our Guest Restaurant began to accept Advanced Dining Reservations for lunch. For further information, please click here

Last month I was so excited to bring you my “Everything on the Menu!!” review of dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant.

Today, it’s time to head back into New Fantasyland for my very first taste of lunch at this must-do restaurant!

Be Our Guest Bridge Entrance

Because Be Our Guest Restaurant differs greatly from the run-of-the-mill counter service spots around Disney, I’m going structure this review according to how you progress through the restaurant. Follow the headlines, and it should all make sense. :-)

We have a ton of great detail to cover, so let’s get right to it!

In Line!

Amid a backdrop of rugged, austere mountains of New Fantasyland, you find the bridge and gateway that ushers you into Beast’s enchanted castle, home to Be Our Guest Restaurant.

Now that the enormous eatery is officially opened, there are still extraordinarily long lines for lunch on many days, as guests await their turn to see inside and sample the food.

Line to Get into Be Our Guest for Lunch

Line to Get in From My Perspective

We know that Disney is testing a fastpass like system and a pre-ordering for Be Our Guest, so the lines may soon be a thing of the past. But, in the meantime, be sure you know when they begin serving lunch (usually around 10am or 10:30am) so that you can get there early.

Regardless, the line did move quickly (it’s about a 30 minute wait from the back of the bridge); and soon, I was walking into the castle.

Ordering Process

Once inside, you find pretty much exactly what you would expect: low-lighted spaces with beamed ceilings reminiscent of medieval European castles. Enchanted suits of armor guard the long entryway. At the end of the hall, you see the stained glass window depicting Belle and Beast’s famous dancing scene.

Suits of Armor in Entry Hallway (c) Disney

Listen closely, and you’ll hear the suits of armor murmuring to each other in French accents!

As you enter the ordering area, thoughtful touches tell you that you’ve arrived in the beast’s library!!

Ordering Area

This ornate room is home to a cozy fireplace and Beast’s enormous chair. You’ll also find the automated ordering areas masquerading as [Read more…]

Guest Review: Be Our Guest Restaurant Lunch in the Magic Kingdom

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.

Floor Mosaic at Be Our Guest Restaurant

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.

Suits of Armor in Entry Hallway (c) Disney

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 [Read more…]