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!
We first told you about the FastPass+ system a while back, when Erin Foster had the opportunity to test it out.
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.
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.
I could even pre-order drinks and desserts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can also read up on the way things work here if you’re still a little confused 🙂
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.
At that time, you’ll be given your rose.
And this is where the two experiences meet up! From there, I went to the drink station, which is self-serve during lunch.
Don’t you love the fancied up fountain drink station?
I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. Real silverware and plates make a Be Our Guest lunch just a little more special. Pick up your flatware, napkins, and condiments on the way to your table.
During lunch you have your choice of places to sit. You can choose the beautifully themed but extremely loud Ballroom.
But if you decide to pass, at least look around — especially at the snow outside!
With its lower ceilings, the West Wing is much quieter. But because of the incredible themeing here in the Beast’s lair, it will probably be crowded. (There wasn’t a single table available on my visit this time.)
Still, duck in long enough to catch a glimpse of the Master’s portrait as he slowly transforms from Prince to Beast!
This is where you’ll find the Enchanted Rose as well.
I chose to sit in the Rose Gallery this time, however. This room is used mostly for lunchtime crowds, although sometimes it’s used at dinner during busy times.
While other rooms in the restaurant are brought to life straight from the film Beauty and the Beast, the Rose Gallery is not. But it has a story of its own. (Of course it does!)
The enormous, rotating music box that dominates the room is said to be a gift from Belle’s father, Maurice, to the happy couple.
It wasn’t long after I found a table that my rose worked its magic, and my food found me. It’s delivered to your table via these beautiful, glass-covered carts.
I began with the Potato Leek Soup. The classic dish is surprisingly light, yet flavorful. It’s been good since the restaurant opened, and I still highly recommend it at both lunch and dinner.
We also tried the Carved Prime Chuck Roast Beef Sandwich which comes with a side of crispy Frites. This replaced the steak sandwich, which was on the original BoG lunch menu.
Served on a warm, crusty Baguette, it’s topped with a Horseradish Cream Sauce that wasn’t overpowering. In fact, I could barely taste it.
Overall, this sammy was less than incredible. I likely wouldn’t order it again. However…
…even though I had enjoyed it before, I couldn’t pass up another chance to try the incredible Braised Pork. The dish is so rich and tender that it’s practically impossible to believe that you’re eating at a counter service restaurant while you enjoy it.
The potatoes are great. The green beans are crispy and perfect. Seriously, this dish is a winner every time.
Now, on to dessert! We began with the Master’s Cupcake — this was my first time trying it!
Moist, Chocolate Cake is crowned and filled with a healthy helping of The Grey Stuff — except not really. You see, The Grey Stuff originally was a whipped Cookies and Cream Panna Cotta…and maybe it still is when it comes out as a special event dessert. But this topping was much lighter and more “whipped creamy” than the panna cotta was on my first few visits.
Maybe I’m wrong — I’m sure some cast members will let me know if it’s the exact same recipe as before — but this seems like a cheaper, thinner version of the original. Anyone have any info on that?
But I also tried the Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake — a favorite of mine for its awesome cream cheesy frosting, of course! This one is a must-try.
But we had also heard rave reviews about the Chocolate Cream Puff. So of course, I had to try it as well.
Filled with airy Chocolate Mousse, it was the perfect ending to a rich meal.
And with that, another excellent meal at Be Our Guest was in the books!
Be Our Guest Restaurant continues to be an excellent addition to Magic Kingdom’s lunch offerings, and I really enjoyed the enhanced experience of the FastPass+ option for lunch. It was great to be able to plan ahead, but still have some flexibility. With the option to change my mind about any part of my order when I arrived, and the option to change my dining time, I felt like it was the best of both worlds.
If you haven’t had the chance to eat at Be Our Guest yet, really, carve out some time and do it soon. It such a beautifully, immersive experience. And the food is incredible, too!
And absolutely, if you have the chance to try out FastPass+, don’t pass it up.
Would you love the chance to try FastPass+ for Be Our Guest lunch? Leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts!