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.
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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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
Wanna see what I mean? Here’s a view from the pre-ADR lunch days. Yikes!
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.
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.
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.
These Enchanted Suits of Armour whisper, crack jokes, and generally just have a good time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An additional pop-up menu for the Kids’ Meal gave us the opportunity to change up any beverages or side dishes.
It’s at this point that you pay. Once payment is taken care of, you either receive a Rose if you’re not using a MagicBand, or your MagicBand acts as your party’s locator.
Cast Members kindly instruct you to find a table and have a seat, so that your food can “find” you.
For the busy lunch hour, there are three main dining rooms open. Let’s take a quick look around the largest one, the Ballroom.
As you enter, Silverware Carts are stationed to each side, so that you can help yourself to the utensils you’ll need. Note that you enjoy real silverware at Be Our Guest! It sounds like a little thing, but anytime I can cut my meat with a real knife instead of a plastic one, it’s a good day!
On the side of the expansive space, there are Self-Serve Drink Dispensers, which are nicely fancied up, befitting their palatial setting.
Once again, the themeing here is pitch-perfect. If you’ve ever seen the film, you’ll be blown away by the surroundings.
Since we’re eating and not dancing, you do find tables here ;-). Tabletops are durable yet elegant, and chairs are substantially padded. This is where the lunch crowd definitely benefits from the dinner table service setting.
While you await your food, if you’re sitting in the Ballroom, be sure to take in the details, like the Ceiling and the large Arched Windows at the front of the room. Those babies? Yep, they’re real people. The cherubs depict the children of the imagineers (and some imagineers themselves!) who worked on the project.
Peek out on the nighttime garden scene, and you’ll glimpse gently falling snow. The animation here is the same as it is in the film!
There are also two other areas to choose from. I’ve enjoyed sitting in the incredibly popular West Wing many times.
It can be hard to find a seat in here, especially if you’d like to sit near the Enchanted Rose or the Portrait that changes from the Prince to the Beast.
Remember that the West Wing is under attack by a constant thunderstorm, and the lightning and thunder can get pretty realistic if you have a little one in your party.
You can also choose to sit in the Rose Gallery. When the restaurant first opened, this area was available to accommodate larger lunch crowds, but was normally closed for dinner. With Be Our Guest’s continuing popularity, the dining room is now often available for dinner seating as well.
Once again, seating here is comfortable, and is centered around the room’s main focal point — a life-size, revolving Music Box, depicting Belle and Beast dancing.
The piece is a gift to the couple from Belle’s father, Maurice, given to them on the occasion of their wedding.
While the Rose Gallery isn’t a room that’s taken directly from the film, it’s still a charming space. In addition to the music box, walls are lined with portraits of the film’s characters. Many are depicted in scenes not found in the movie, so it’s fun to take a moment and check out each one.
Faster than you might expect, your food will magically find you, and it will be time to dig in! Let’s take a look at the dishes our party enjoyed during this visit.
Even though I’ve experienced it a number of times, I still find Be Our Guest’s delivery at lunch to be a charming experience. Throughout each dining area, busy servers are constantly wheeling these large, beautiful Trolleys, containing guests’ food.
When ours arrived, you can see that we had our hands full sorting everything out! Let’s take each dish one at a time to give them each their due.
I’ve sampled both soups at Be Our Guest — the Potato Leek Soup is packed with flavor, and remains one of my favorites. But I opted for the other choice on this visit — the French Onion Soup.
The soup is picture perfect, but it is a bit lighter than other versions I’ve had. I mean, it’s still covered with that rich crust of bubbly cheese, but this version is vegetarian. The broth isn’t beef-based as is traditionally the case, so the flavor is a little lighter than you might expect. That said, it’s quite good.
It had been a while since I had enjoyed the Carved Prime Chuck Roast Beef Sandwich, so I decided to try it this time. (This sandwich changes on the menu regularly, from a steak sandwich back to roast beef.) Piled high with thinly sliced Roast Beef, the sandwich is served warm on a Crusty Baguette with a side of Pommes Frites.
Lift the bun, and you’ll spy some Horseradish Cream and a generous bed of Arugula. (Disney Chefs love this stuff.) The flavors all work beautifully together on this large sandwich, although a little extra Horseradish Cream wouldn’t hurt.
One of my favorite dishes (probably my all-time favorite) at Be Our Guest lunch is the Braised Pork. I am still in awe that you can get a dish like this at lunch time! The meat is rich, tender, and perfectly seasoned. The Mashed Potatoes underneath are a well seasoned accompaniment, and snappy (not at all limp) Green Beans are a delicious way to get a serving of veggies. It’s been perfect every time I’ve enjoyed it.
Something new for me was the Tuna Niçoise Salad. This is a gorgeous dish, with all of the traditional components on hand. The Seared Tuna, Hard Poached Eggs, Fingerling Potatoes, and Olives atop a bed of Spring Mix make this salad something hearty and special. I’ll still get that Braised Pork every time, but I’m glad they have this lighter option on the menu. The tuna wasn’t fishy, and the searing offered good flavor.
We also ordered the Vegetable Quiche, served with a lightly dressed Side Salad. The Quiche is a flavorful mix of Mushroom, Zucchini, Bell Pepper, Onion, and Chive. It’s a decent, French-inspired meatless dish.
Note — if it sounds good to you, you can also enjoy it right now as a breakfast option.
Finally, the littlest member of our crew went for the Mickey Turkey Meatloaf, which was served with Zucchini, Broccoli, and Peach Applesauce. Since we ordered it with all the Mickey Check recommendations, it qualified as a Mickey Check Meal.
This was…cute. But the flavor was less than spectacular. While I reeeeeeallly appreciate Disney’s commitment to healthier food, I think they need to keep working on flavor. Because truly, healthy and delicious can exist on the same plate. But they aren’t there yet, in my opinion.
Our table also decided to sample many of Be Our Guest’s lunch dessert options — all of which are single-serving pastries.
We started with one of my favorites — the Master’s Cupcake.
Chocolate Sponge Cake is topped and filled with the Grey Stuff — a Cookies and Cream Panna Cotta Mousse. The cupcake itself is on the small side — or rather, it’s regular-sized, and not the jumbo versions you see out and about in the Parks. I like the cake to fillng ratio here. And who are we kidding? It’s just super awesome to go to Be Our Guest and eat Grey Stuff.
We also went for the Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake, another one of my very favorites.
Vanilla Sponge encases Strawberry Mousse, and Cream Cheese Icing tops this one. While I would have enjoyed a little more filling, this one was delicious, too.
Finally, we tried the new Eclair a l’Orange.
I’m a huge fan of the flavor combo of Chocolate and Orange, and I thought this was a great addition to the dessert menu. It was a little on the small side (as is the case with all of the Be Our Guest desserts), but it’s jam-packed with Orange-Flavored Custard, which was something everyone really appreciated and enjoyed.
Okay, so we totally needed a nap after that meal. 😉 But it was so worth it.
Be Our Guest continues to be strong. This place is really something special. We all know — they serve thousands of guests in the space of a week. But every time I’ve visited, the service has been friendly, helpful, and efficient. And the food has been consistently delicious.
Part of me would love to tell you not to bother with the hassle of Be Our Guest. After all, it’s no small feat to snag an Advance Dining Reservation here for Lunch or Dinner (though breakfast seems to be a bit more open). But the truth is, I think you do need to eat here. Sure, the atmosphere is spectacular. But it’s so much more than this. This is really terrific food, especially at lunch. In fact, if you aren’t on the Disney Dining Plan, splurge on a big lunch here, and eat lightly for breakfast and dinner. It’s the French way, and you may just save a buck or two.
If you haven’t been to Be Our Guest, I encourage you to try it. And if you’re wondering if you should bother with a second (or third or fourth) visit, my answer is…probably yes.
Have you enjoyed Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner at Be Our Guest? Tell us what you think of this super popular restaurant in comments below!