It’s time to make another visit to Be Our Guest Restaurant! And this time, we’re dining in Beast’s Castle for dinner. Yay!
While I’ve had several opportunities to enjoy lunch at Be Our Guest, a dinner advance dining reservation is always a little tougher to get. Dinner here is currently the most difficult Disney World restaurant reservation to snag, requiring hopefuls to book at exactly six months out or take their chances with walk-up availability or cancellations.
That said, once you’ve been to Be Our Guest for dinner, there’s really not all that much reason to go back. See, the menu and actual dining experience at this must-do restaurant haven’t changed all that much since our very first, Eat All the Food, multi day experience when the restaurant opened in 2012.
But during my recent Epcot Food and Wine pilgrimage, I decided pretty last minute to attend a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party one night. And it just happened to be the night Disney decided to open up Be Our Guest to dinner reservations during the party. I was able to grab a dinner reservation for 10PM, but was actually able to go early and be seated around 8:30PM. Most likely this was because not many people knew the restaurant was open, so walk-ups were fewer.
So let’s head on into the Beast’s castle for dinner at Be Our Guest!
Before we dig in, let’s take a look around. Because if you haven’t dined at Be Our Guest, you should know that this restaurant is nearly as much an attraction as it is a place to dine.
When you arrive, check in at the “podium” to the left of the walkway to the castle.
There are three dining rooms at Be Our Guest (more about those later), and you can request your favorite at check-in. It’s not guaranteed, but they’ll do their best to seat you there.
When your name is called or your buzzer goes off, you’ll be directed down the main walkway into the Beast’s Castle. Be sure to take in all of the detail along the way.
Guests familiar with the film Beauty and the Beast will recognize the stunning recreation of many elements of Beast’s Castle as they make their way to the main entrance.
The feeling is eery, austere in places, and beautiful throughout. As you enter through heavy wooden doors, you’re greeted by one of Be Our Guest’s most famous elements — the gorgeous Beauty and the Beast mosaic.
At this point, you’ll check in with another cast member at another podium (FYI, they’ll be using some French pleasantries since you are now in France) and may need to wait a few minutes before you’re taken back to your table.
That’s OK, though, because there’s even more to take in! To your left, you’ll see a gallery flanked by suits of armor. Pay attention; they’re enchanted of course, so they’re whispering to one another.
The suits of armor hallway is usually used during breakfast and lunch — both counter-service meals — for guests to wait in line to put in their orders in the Beast’s library. As a dinner guest, you should be able to walk through the suits of armor hallway prior to your meal and take photos, but the Beast’s library is reserved for the Beast himself at the evening meal. The cast members request that you wait until after your meal to visit with the Beast. Once you’re finished speaking with him, you’ll walk out of the restaurant through the suits of armor hallway. Confusing? Yep. But it’ll all make sense when you’re there.
So, now it’s time to be taken back to your table. Get ready to ooh and aah.
There are three main dining areas at the Beast’s Castle. The Ballroom is the largest of the three, and is centrally located. This is the first room you’ll walk through when taken to your table, and the only room that all guests are taken through.
Regardless of the time of day outside, it’s always evening in the area surrounding the Ballroom. Snow falls softly on the castle grounds, and you can catch a glimpse through the floor to ceiling windows.
Something interesting about this snowfall — it actually uses the same animation that you’ll see in the film itself! Talk about authentic.
Don’t you love the frosty details on the French doors?
The ceiling is always a conversation starter. The cherubs are likenesses of children of the imagineers who worked on the project.
To the left of the Ballroom, you’ll find the mysterious West Wing. Tattered remains of material hang from the ceiling, and reveal that this is the room where Beast spends his time, tormented by the Enchanted Rose.
Speaking of the Enchanted Rose, you’ll be able to see its petals fall throughout your meal.
While this is happening, there’s also a gathering storm in the West Wing. Every 20 minutes or so, a large peal of thunder rips through the room, and the portrait hanging over the mantle changes for an instant from the clawed-through likeness of the Prince to the Beast. Watch closely if you’re seated here through a meal.
Special effects and low lighting in The West Wing can make for a frightening experience for small children. Keep that in mind as you’re being seated.
If it’s a particularly crowded time of day, you may also have the chance to sit in the Rose Gallery. While this room doesn’t appear in the film, Imagineers have done a terrific job creating a space that feels like it very much could have been part of the castle.
Portraits in rich, gilded frames line the walls. Be sure to take a look at these pictures, which fill in the story of how Belle and the castle inhabitants filled their time.
The main focal point in the Rose Gallery is a large — nearly life size — music box of Beast and Belle dancing. It’s said to have been a gift to the couple from Belle’s father, Maurice.
And don’t forget to check out the details on the floor and ceiling.
During my recent dinner visit, I was seated in the Ballroom. It’s a lovely room, and a favorite of many guests. The only problem that I have with it is that it can get very loud and echo-y…and the lighting is horrible for taking pictures ;-D.
While breakfast and lunch are counter service options, dinner is table service. When you’re shown to your seat, you’ll find an elegant rose napkin at each setting.
And now, if you don’t mind, I’ll take Lumiere’s advice and tie my napkin around my neck, as the dining room proudly presents…my dinner. 🙂
The food at Be Our Guest has always been French-inspired — for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And the menu for dinner is very typical of the “standard Disney restaurant,” meaning there are one or two each of beef, chicken, fish, and vegetarian options. Nothing too crazy or trendy. Nothing out of the ordinary or remarkable.
One of the biggest hubbubs of the year leading up to Be Our Guest’s opening was the the announcement that Be Our Guest would serve wine and beer at dinner. Walt Disney himself had always stipulated that Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom would be dry and no alcohol would be served (save for Club 33 in Disneyland). Many fans speculated that the move to offer a beer and wine menu at Be Our Guest would provide a slippery slope, and soon the formerly dry Magic Kingdom would rival Epcot and other parks in their alcohol offerings.
But that hasn’t happened. Be Our Guest — and dinner, only — is still the only spot where you can imbibe in the park.
The wine list includes selections from both France and California, and nearly all of the selections are available by the glass.
A list of Private Label Champagne and Wines is new since our last visit. Want to try more than one of the selections? Go for the Be Our Guest Private Label Wine Sampler.
The number of varieties on the Beer List has increased slightly, and now includes a Cider selection as well. All of the options are still French and Belgian.
Naturally, there are also non-alcoholic selections as well.
A quick first look at the Appetizers Menu showed that not much had changed on that front since our last visit.
But the Entrees Menu did offer a few updates.
After we placed our order, we began our meal with some Rolls, which were served with a pat of Salted Butter.
These are the rolls that many long-time guests will remember used to be served at just about every single Disney restaurant. Now there’s a bit more variety at other locations, but these tried and true dinner rolls are reliably served here at BOG.
To begin our dinner, we chose the Seasonal Salad Trio. The three salads were the same as our last visit: Green Bean, Tomato, and Roasted Shallot Salad; Roasted Beet, Gold Raisin, and Orange Salad; and Watermelon, Radish, and Mint Salad.
This is a nice, refreshing, summery choice for those of us who have possibly been making some less-than-enviable food choices during the day! ;-D It’s light and simple, but offers some more interesting flavors than a standard dinner salad.
Next, I decided to sample the French Onion Soup once more. It’s prepared in a classic style with Croutons and Gruyere Cheese broiled on top.
I was disappointed in this one in meals past. It is an entirely vegetarian soup — no beef broth here — but that’s not the problem. My tastings of this previously were…well…pretty tasteless. I didn’t get much flavor or richness from the soup at all. But on this visit, that changed. I was impressed with the savory flavors I got from the soup, and can now really recommend this one.
Of course, the Potato and Leek soup here at Be Our Guest is always a winner as well!
We also chose the Mussels Provencal, which are prepared with Pernod, Tomatoes, Garlic, Onions, and Herbs, which differed a bit from the White Wine and Butter Sauce we enjoyed the last time.
I’m not a huge mussels fan, but I will say that I preferred the white wine and butter sauce to this new recipe.
Soon, it was time to turn our attention to our entrees. I chose the Pan Seared Chicken Breast. It was served with Wild Rice, Blistered Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Wild Mushrooms, and a Citrus Beurre Blanc.
While I often avoid the “chicken option” at Disney restaurants (it’s often overdone and rubbery), this one was delicious. Savory and not too well-done at all. The skin seasonings were lovely. I’d highly recommend it. And the rice pairing with Buerre Blanc (natch) was perfect.
I also ordered the new-to-me Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops. This one has definitely undergone some changes. Previously, it was served in an edible bowl made of puff pastry. This time around, the dish incorporated Pappardelle. The creamy Lobster Sauce was just as rich, however, and Sauteed Spinach added color to the dish.
This was wonderful. My server explained that they wanted to add a pasta dish, so just transformed the scallop option into this. And I give them two thumbs up. The dish was flavorful, but somehow still light. Highly recommended.
Desserts at Be Our Guest are all presented tableside, and tend to be more like a portable pastry than a plated dessert. These are all the same desserts that you can get at lunch, so they’re not super exciting. My favorites are the strawberry cream cheese cupcake and lemon meringue cupcake.
Since I hadn’t tried The Grey Stuff Brownie, I opted for it this time. I really loved the seasonal Halloween Sprinkles that decorated the top. For those who haven’t experienced it, the Grey Stuff is a cookies and cream panna cotta and it’s absolutely delicious.
And with that sweet ending, our dinner at Be Our Guest drew to a close.
I was very interested to have dinner at Be Our Guest once more. After all, this spot represented so much that was completely different from other Magic Kingdom table service restaurants when it first opened. The menu had to be French, but approachable. And while the food was fairly fancy upon opening, I wondered if they’d be able to maintain that feel.
For the most part, they have. While you don’t see a lot of variation in the menu, that probably makes sense, owing to the volume they do here. The restaurant has been open now for nearly four years, and it’s still just as busy as ever. It remains one of the toughest tables to get in all of Walt Disney World.
Since opening, Be Our Guest has begun offering breakfast in addition to lunch and dinner in an effort to meet the demands of guests who want to experience this special place. We’ve enjoyed breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have always found lunch to be the sweet spot in terms of value and menu options.
While I enjoy dinner here, I still think lunch is the best meal at Be Our Guest in terms of price and experience. The high-volume crowds and the noise keep this from feeling like a “fancy” place. The biggest draw of the restaurant is the themeing; it just feels like an attraction. And to me, it makes more sense to enjoy lunch here.
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But now, I really want to hear what you think. What’s your opinion of Be Our Guest Restaurant for dinner? Leave a comment and let us know!