EatTheGreatWideSomewhere: Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant Review! Most of my posts have revolved around races, running, weight and food.  I thought I might to start sprinkling in a few that are Disney focused without the runDisney twist.  Let me know if you like the addition!

Today, I want to highlight my two (yes two) back to back nights at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.  We went to Disney for a whole week at Thanksgiving because:

  1. We have Florida resident seasonal passes and they don’t black out that week;
  2. I love the holiday decorations they put up;
  3. They changed the public school calendar this year to give the kids and teachers the whole week off.  I’ve got a high schooler and my husband is a teacher so the school calendar rules our life!
  4. Our youngest turned three in December so we wanted to squeeze out the last of the free visits for him.
  5. My 40th (yes, I admit both my weight and age on here) birthday happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year.  It seemed like a sign that we needed to do something extra fun.

I went into crazy pre-planning mode way in advance for this trip.  We booked a week at the Cabins at Fort Wilderness and I set my alarm to get our ADRs (advance dining reservations for the uninitiated) 180 days in advance of our check in.  I had a few that were must-haves and the top of my list was Be Our Guest.

I knew I’d want everyone to get to experience eating at Disney’s newest and hardest to get into restaurant but I didn’t want to subject us and the other guests to Eli’s craziness at dinner in a fancy setting, so I planned to do two different reservations, the first on the night before Thanksgiving for me, my mom and my older son and the second on my birthday and Thanksgiving for just me and my husband.  Yes, you may have noticed that the birthday princess scheduled herself to get to go twice.  I’m not ashamed to admit I had a bit of a diva moment, but I don’t regret it at all!

I was lucky enough to snap up both reservations that first morning and breathed a quick sigh of relief and then settled in for a six month (!) wait to get to enjoy that special experience.  And, as generally happens, time passed and suddenly the big day(s) were here!

It was crazy cold the first night and we hustled up to the check in area which is on the park side of the bridge and got our special buzzers to wait.  Yes, I took a picture of the buzzer:

We waited on the bridge for a few minutes and then, because it was so cold and icky out, they hustled us inside to wait in the lobby.   The second night, it wasn’t quite as bad out although it was still chilly.  That night they had a footman bring out a big container of hot apple cider and he handed it out to everyone which was a really special touch.

The view from the bridge is gorgeous so even though it was cold, I was glad to get to linger on it for a little while the next night!

  
Once they let us inside the lobby, this is the first thing I saw.  An outstandingly gorgeous mural!
 Little special touches everywhere.

Tapestries:

When it was our turn to be seated, the hostess gave me a magical Lumiere to help guide us to our table.

 

And then we were seated, both times inside the main ballroom.  The restaurant has three main dining rooms.  The ballroom is the central one and is my favorite.

Here’s the gorgeous place setting.

The ceiling of the ballroom had these massive chandeliers and a renaissance style (ok I’m not an art student, don’t be offended if that’s the wrong reference!) painting.  The cherubs had an oddly realistic look and I have my own suspicions that they were based on actual babies, maybe imagineers as babies or their own children.

They already had the holiday decorations up and they were gorgeous!

The Christmas tree was luminous and huge and honestly just breathtakingly beautiful!  Great job, Disney!

And the most magical feature of all is the falling snow outside of the windows in the ballroom.  It is mesmerizing, the flakes fall in gentle patterns and then the “wind” blows up and it looks more intense and then returns to a calmer snowfall.  If I were a billionaire, my windows at home would do this!

I don’t really do many restaurant food photos, but we had different things both nights.  Thanksgiving had a special menu with a traditional turkey and sides option that was delicious.  The food was good, but honestly not as good as several other Disney restaurants.  The atmosphere was so magical and lavish, that I would have happily eaten a PBJ sandwich and still wanted to go back!  One special treat is that this is the only place in the Magic Kingdom where you can be served alcohol, so that was fun.

After dinner, they brought around the dessert cart.  The rectangular ones were “The Grey Stuff” which consisted of a brownie/cookie consistency rectangle with the pudding/coolwhip consistency grey stuff.  The neatest part were the nonpareils that looked like hard pearls but were lightly crunchy and airy.  The server told us they were imported from France.  Fancy.  I ended up getting the grey stuff both nights because, well, it’s delicious.

After we finished our desserts, we explored the other two rooms.  The Portrait Gallery room is open and airy and has whimsical portraits on the wall of Belle and Beast during their happily ever after period.

And there is a life-sized music box in the middle of the room that spins around slowly.

This was my favorite portrait:

The final dining room is (dum dum dum dum…think menacing music) The West Wing!  It is a darker and more ominous feeling room but is really lovely in its own way.  I’d love to eat in there one day.

The central focus of the room is the raggedy curtains framing the magical rose.

It is a beautiful room and the theming is really detailed and well done.  I’d recommend that you might ask not to be seated in this room if you have kids that are easily spooked or weirded out by ominous surroundings. When we were there, there was a family with a young daughter who was steadfastly standing outside of the West Wing room and refusing to go inside to be seated.

Once every half hour or maybe every hour, there is a big fanfare and the Beast comes in and welcomes his guests.  He visits each room and then goes into another side room where you can get a photo op after your meal if you want.

It was a magical experience and well worth the effort of getting the reservations.  I’d love to go back and hope to visit at lunch sometime soon to see how the quick service aspect works. While the reservations tend to book up six months in advance, it’s worth it to check occasionally as your vacation gets closer because inevitably people have to cancel.  There’s always even a chance they can take you as a walk up, and there’s nothing to lose by asking nicely!

I hope you liked my review of Be Our Guest.  We had a lot of great experiences at Disney over the last year, so keep an eye out for the next non-runDisney writeup!

Comments

EatTheGreatWideSomewhere: Be Our Guest Restaurant — 18 Comments

  1. Yes,i like this addition! We generally don’t make ADR’s when we visit for Race weekends just because we never know how we are going to feel and don’t want to be committed to something, but I would like to see this place sometime. How does the quick dining work for lunch? Maybe we can try that one day.

    • Thanks! 🙂 There are two ways right now to do the quick dining for lunch. One is to just line up. The line can be super long, but I’ve heard that it moves quickly. The other is that sometimes you can use one of your FastPass+ allotments to bypass the line (or I guess fastpass the line) at lunch. I’ve never seen that option, but Julie at RunWalkFastpassRepeat had a good writeup on it. Great question, I’ll add her link to my post!

  2. Great post April! I like the addition! I’ve eaten at Be Our Guest for lunch when it first opened (we waited in line because it was my birthday and it moved pretty fast), but have been unable to get a dinner reservation. After reading your review and seeing how much they do differently I’m going to just make a reservation for the next available date and wait it out!

    • Some of the food was great and some was kind of so-so, but the atmosphere cannot be beat. And they encourage you to wander around and explore the whole restaurant after you’re done with your meal, so you get to see all the rooms no matter which one you’re dining in. And wine with dinner inside the MK is pretty nice too!

    • We made a reservation for August 2nd! I got to see the castle during lunch, but I’ve heard it’s a bit different for dinner, so I am excited to see that! I am also excited to order a glass of wine in the Magic Kingdom!

  3. Love this post, April!! Definitely keep the WDW posts coming – I’m looking forward to more Florida visits next year when I temporarily become an East Coaster so reviews like this are great!

    • Thanks! Living so close (about 2 hours away by car) is wonderful but can be bad for our budget since we can do impromptu weekend trips a little too often!

  4. That looks pretty neat. I feel like the character dining places are for kids. Since I don’t have any, I tend to stay away from them. It’s really pretty, though!

    • Although the Beast walks through and is available for photos, it’s really not character dining the way that say Crystal Palace is. He doesn’t go to each table or interact with the guests unless you go to his “study” after you eat. We chose to eat there without our preschooler and I’d say at least half of the diners were adult only parties. While kids are of course welcome, at dinner BOG isn’t really kid focused.