Be Our Guest Restaurant
I recently realized I jumped around a bit here. Chronologically, the infamous evening where we tried to go to Big River was on Wednesday, while our Animal Kingdom/Boma day and Downtown Disney evening were on Tuesday. On Thursday we spent another day in the Magic Kingdom and had dinner at the crown jewel of New Fantasyland, the Be Our Guest Restaurant.
At this point in the trip we had done everything Fantasyland (new and old) had to offer except Peter Pan’s Flight and Gaston’s Tavern, so it’s probably a good time to discuss the changes.
Moving Dumbo was a great idea. It really opens up the area behind the carousel and feels much less like a mass of humanity is piled into there. This problem still exists a bit down the old Fantasyland corridor with “it’s a small world” and Peter Pan’s Flight.
Also, the Dumbo carousels themselves seem much nicer with the new paint and the water features. We didn’t really get to experience the wait in the tent as we rode Dumbo very early and they were just sending people out to the carousels.
The New Fantasyland theming is very well done, from the castle wall all the way through Storybook Circus and the Mermaid ride. Also, the Tangled area is really nice even if you can see the tower from the Haunted Mansion entrance (which I still don’t like).
My oldest daughter was picked to play the Beast in Enchanted Tales with Belle. Maybe that’s why I really like this attraction now. However, I didn’t like the line for the attraction nearly as much, which was long, out in the open most of the time, and hot.
Despite all the “new” in New Fantasyland, I didn’t feel like it added a whole lot to do in the Magic Kingdom. The only new attractions are Enchanted Tales with Belle and Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coming next year. A counter service and a table service restaurant were added, and everything else was moved around and/or refurbished. I also question calling it an expansion when most of this was built on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Mickey’s Toontown sites. On the other hand, something needed to be done with the 20,000 Leagues space.
Overall, New Fantasyland is very nice but lacks a bit of substance that hopefully the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will add.
Be Our Guest Restaurant is across a large bridge in New Fantasyland with lamp posts with gargoyles on them. Check-in for Be Our Guest is at a booth just to the left of the bridge, where we were given a pager. A wrought iron gate sits at the far end of this bridge, and for dinner service the gate is essentially shut and no one is allowed in until their pager goes off. This bridge, like the line for Enchanted Tales with Belle, is essentially out in the open. When it’s over 90 degrees, the bridge could use a bit more shade.
Once your pager goes off, you head up to the gate where a host or hostess leads you to your table. We were seated in the main ballroom which looks exactly like the ballroom in Beauty and the Beast.
Yes, there are even cherubs in the painting of the sky on the ceiling. If they cleared out the tables, they could film a live-action version of the ballroom scene in here.
One slightly awkward thing about Be Our Guest is that it doesn’t know what time period it exists in as it relates to the story. I really can’t envision dining in the Beast’s castle prior to the conclusion of Beauty and the Beast; however, the Beast (not the prince) is the host and walks through the restaurant every so often. He also takes pictures with guests as they leave in the library. The west wing is still dark and spooky and the Beast’s rose is on display. This may be nitpicky, but it doesn’t seem consistent. Then again, Beauty and the Beast is a fairly inconsistent movie as far as time is concerned.
We were seated and given dinner menus as well as a beverage menu. The only beverage menu in the Magic Kingdom. I had a pretty good idea of the beer I’d be getting before I even sat down, but a beverage menu in the Magic Kingdom is a bit of a novelty. They had added Castelain Blonde Biere de Garde from France to the menu but I decided to stick with my original plan.
However, we also had another beverage at the restaurant. Over on Pleasure Wineland I wrote all about Charles de Fere: Cuvée Jean-Louis, Blanc de Blancs Brut that my dad ordered to celebrate my sister’s engagement so head over there for that bit of the meal.
As for the Saison Dupont, it was served in a bottle with a large pilsner glass. It pours a golden liquid with tall white head. Fresh scent with belgian yeast. Light peppery taste with a little Belgian funk and some lemon. Very nice on a hot day in the Magic Kingdom.
When I was writing this, I found this little comment added in:
** Jenn’s commentary… had a Saison in BoG also and loved it
So that makes two who really enjoyed a Saison Dupont at Be Our Guest Restaurant!
A number of us had the pan seared salmon on leek fondue served with creamy saffron-crushed potatoes. It was delicious! The salmon was cooked well with a nice sear but tender and juicy in the middle. The potatoes were ridiculously good; creamy (as the menu said they would be) and delicious.
The kids ate well too; one had the kids’ fish, one had the grilled chicken that was a bit like chicken parmesan, and the third had steak. All three enjoyed their meals very much.
After everyone finished their entrees, the server brought the dessert cart by. Now my son asked for this chocolate cake thing, and the waitress just gave it to him. I was a bit annoyed that she didn’t ask an adult whether he could have it. We ended up sharing it, but a little courtesy here would have been nice.
I also prodded my sister to ask about the “gray stuff” (she’s the one who just got engaged, after all), and the server said she would take care of it. When she came back, she brought a very large plate of the gray stuff instead of a single dollop. We also passed this plate around, and while the gray stuff is good, it’s lightly chocolate flavored frosting. The hype it’s received is over the top. Of course, when a dessert is named after a mysterious substance in the movie, I suppose it’s going to be hyped up.
As far as I can tell, Be Our Guest Restaurant is easily the best dining in the Magic Kingdom. It certainly puts the Crystal Palace to shame. Of course, all this comes with a price and the salmon alone was $23. One alcoholic beverage will run around $8. $31 per adult before tax and tip isn’t anything to sneeze at (and if you want dessert, add that in too), but the theming is wonderful and the food is quite good.
On the way out we noticed the screens used to order lunch have sheet music on them. The sheet music is “Be Our Guest” with the lyrics in French. Each screen has a different page of the music. Another one of those neat touches.
I have a few more stories from our last Disney trip coming up, but in the meantime, check out some photos I took in Animal Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom Lodge as well as one I like to call IllumiNations: Reflections of Black and White.