Restaurant Spotlight: Be Our Guest

The exquisite entry to the Be Our Guest restaurant just prior to opening in the morning.

The entry to Be Our Guest restaurant just prior to opening in the morning.

Is this the greatest themed restaurant ever? Quite possibly. Although eating inside Cinderella Castle could still compete for that title.

But like that other royal location, while it clearly is worth visiting at least once just for the theming alone – is it worth a return visit?

I’ll break down that answer into a few separate sections based on order of importance to me:

Theming:

I could have cried from happiness going into this restaurant for the first time – it was SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

One of the gargoyle lampposts outside of Be Our Guest.

One of the gargoyle lampposts outside of Be Our Guest.

From the entryway with its attendant gargoyles outside and in, to the massive stone foyer to the exit with the classic stained glass image of Belle and her Prince from the film – this venue was overwhelming and exquisitely designed. I could’ve taken endless pictures of the gargoyles and mythical statuary alone!

One of the beautiful statues inside the foyer.

One of the beautiful statues inside the foyer.

Walking past the hallway of suits of armor into the ordering area for the meal, it was wonderfully appropriately decorated for a castle.

But it’s entering two of the three eating areas here that will absolutely take your breath away!

Inside the ballroom near the windows.

Inside the ballroom near the windows.

First, is the immense ballroom with its gloriously high vaulted ceiling and the windows with their view of “snow” gently falling outside. Any second you expect Belle and her Beast to come waltzing in, with Mrs. Potts singing gently in accompaniment.

Second, is my favorite room – the one I simply had to eat in – the West Wing! That forbidden area of the castle that the Beast never wanted Belle to see is truly a wonder to behold.

The Prince’s portrait – watch it closely as the thunder rolls and lightning strikes…

The Prince’s portrait – watch it closely as the thunder rolls and lightning strikes…

Here it is always dark and stormy, and the lightning will periodically bring a magical Imagineering surprise to the portrait of the Prince.

The enchanted rose!

The enchanted rose!

Here, too, will you find the enchanted rose, which you can watch twirl as the petals slowly and inevitably fall.

This room is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been and I could’ve stayed there for ages more.

The third eating area is the least interesting to me.

The third eating area is the least interesting to me.

The third room, to me, is the only thematic disappointment. While it features portraits of Belle and her Beast in various stages of their relationship, along with huge rotating music box figures of the pair, the room is bright and pretty but irrelevant to the story that is told everywhere else in this location. A far better choice would’ve been the Library. I would’ve loved an option to have eaten in such a compelling location from the film rather than this more generically decorated one.

The only other design frustration was the small castle outside on the hill atop the restaurant, which looks clearly to be a miniature with its lack of effective forced perspective to give it a feeling of proper size. But, then, like many wonderful things in the universe, it turns out that it’s bigger on the inside anyway…

Food:

Dinner was a bit too frou-frou in its selections for my taste when I looked at the menu here and the new Prix Fixe breakfast was not an option when I went (although again, that menu doesn’t call my name either). No, lunch was definitely the right choice for me!

Fuzzy picture of the food, I know, but it was dark and hard to get any pictures to come out at all inside the West Wing.

Fuzzy picture of the food, I know, but it was dark and hard to get any pictures to come out at all inside the West Wing.

I opted for the excellent Roast Beef sandwich with fries (okay, fine, “pommes frites”, but really, only the masterpiece of that dish served at Disneyland Park’s Café Orleans owns that name as far as I’m concerned!). And I topped it off with a chocolate cupcake for dessert.

All were delicious. And I would order each of those again in a heartbeat, although several of the other lunchtime dishes tempt me greatly, too!

Service:

Mousertainment Tip: Reservations are a MUST at Be Our Guest as the meals fill up quickly, often the day that reservations are first available – six months in advance! If you want to eat here, this should be one of the first reservations you make when planning a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, as cancellations here are a rarity (though not a total impossibility).

Lunchtime is an odd one for Be Our Guest as it is the meal that is considered quick service rather than table service (ala dinner) or Prix Fixe style (ala breakfast).

Currently, both breakfast and lunch allow a pre-order option where you can choose your meal online up to 30 days in advance and then just show up at your reservation time and pay for your meal. This is a great option for the mega-planner, but most folks don’t necessarily know what they’ll be in the mood to eat a month in advance! So for everyone else, you can use the kiosks inside the location with the help and guidance of Cast Members and order your meal when you get there.

Once your meal is selected, it is assigned to either a “magic rose” or your MagicBand. Proceed to an available table of your choice anywhere in the restaurant and even though it is quick service, your meal will be delivered to you by the wait staff on a luxurious rolling cart. I found this presentation as fancy as plenty of the table service restaurants. But for the rest of your meal, such as getting drinks and such, it is self-serve.

Still, I found the Cast Members very helpful in both the ordering stage and the food delivery stage.

A magical moment with the staff of Be Our Guest at the restaurant opening.

A magical moment with the staff of Be Our Guest at the restaurant opening.

But probably my favorite moment was one I’m not sure if they do now that they serve breakfast in the early morning, however I wouldn’t be surprised if it still happens. When I went for the first seating of the day for lunch, the restaurant was not yet open. The chef and the entire wait staff came outside to line the entrance to truly invite us in to be their guest! It was a lovely ceremonial gesture that was such a touch of class and charm in beautiful Disney fashion!

Character meal:

I can’t actually personally judge this part as I opted for lunch rather than dinner, which is when the Beast comes out to Meet & Greet his guests at a designated spot in the restaurant. But given everything else offered at lunchtime – and the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to meet the Beast previously, this one is just a bonus as far as I’m concerned. I always enjoy a less common character Meet & Greet opportunity, though, and I’m sure this is a good one!

The beautiful iconic stained glass window from the film awaits you at the exit.

The beautiful iconic stained glass window from the film awaits you at the exit.

Overall, I found everything about this experience (except the stress of trying to guarantee a seating for the meal!) absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to do it again!  It’s so amazing to feel like you’ve walked right inside the set of a classic film due to such a high level of theming and Imagineering skill.  And it’s even better when the quality of the food is high and it’s well-prepared. 

In my opinion, one of the best places on property you can possibly eat and a definite favorite of mine!

Have you dined at Be Our Guest? What was your favorite part of your visit there?

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3 thoughts on “Restaurant Spotlight: Be Our Guest

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