There’s a new dining experience in town, ladies and gents, and it’s as revolutionary as it is tasty. Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant in Walt Disney World’s New Fantasyland, is not only a dazzling feat of construction and theming by Disney Imagineers, it’s also a new concept in the way dining works in the parks. Whether you’ve decided on a quick service lunch or a full sit-down table service dinner, here are the things you need to know to make your dining experience as magical as it can be.
What’s so “new” about the concept of eating at a restaurant?
Be Our Guest is the first Disney restaurant to serve a quick service meal at lunch and a table service meal at dinner. For those of you who don’t have a lot of experience with the dining plans, quick service is just as it sounds – quick food on paper goods usually picked up at a counter and carried back to a common dining room. Table service generally refers to a sit-down meal with a server and dishware. But Be Our Guest is shifting the whole dynamic! Lunch time quick service at Be Our Guest involves ordering at either a self-serve kiosk or an attended cashier station where you’re given a rose-styled RFID “puck” (it’s been compared to those used in hockey) that you use to associate your order with you by tapping it on the RFID reader at each station. If you’re at an assisted station, the attendant will activate your rose for you.
A self-order kiosk with RFID reader at Be Our Guest
Once you’ve ordered, you sit down in the room of your choice and your food is brought to your table, automagically! It’s also served on dishware which, while it may not seem important now, creates a really clean and much less chaotic quick service environment. At around 2:30 p.m., the restaurant closes until 4:00 when it’s reopened for dinner as a table-service location. Walls are closed so that guests don’t see the drink machines and condiment stations used at lunch, and the Rose Room (only used at lunch currently) is closed off as well. The menu changes to a more sophisticated offering and the cashier kiosk room becomes a den where guests can take photos with Beast after they’ve finished with dinner.
Okay, so how do I get in?
Lunch – The line for ordering lunch opens at 10:30 a.m. You’ll stand on the bridge outside the gates and move through the line to order before heading into the dining room. Don’t worry; the line does move fairly quickly at most times throughout the day.
Waiting in line for lunch on the bridge at Be Our Guest
You can line up for lunch until approximately 2:15 p.m. Sometimes the line is open later (2:30 p.m.) if the crowds are lighter. Closing time for lunch depends on several factors including how many Cast Members are staffing the restaurant that day.
Dinner – As with any popular Disney restaurant, it’s best if you have advanced dining reservations at Be Our Guest. If you’re unable to make them however, you can wait for stand-by seating at the host stand just past Enchanted Tales with Belle. Dinner is served starting at 4:00 p.m. Stand-by seating is supposed to start lining up at about 3:45, but people start lining up long before that. Stand-by seating is only available if there are no-shows or last-minute cancellations, so don’t be too disappointed if you can’t get in. Just try lunch the next day!
What do I need to know about lunch?
First, it’s recommended that you check out the menu before eating. This not only gives you an idea of what’s served, it also allows you to use the self-service kiosks when you order, which can be faster. Menus for both lunch and dinner as well as the kids’ menu can be found here.
While the food is fantastic, it’s definitely got a French flair. The kids’ menu is pretty mature with not a nugget in sight. Our party had the steak sandwich and the nicoise salad, both of which were excellent. The potato leek soup was also delicious. Reviews from various children around the room had the meatloaf a clear winner. At lunch, you can choose a table in either the West Wing (dark and foreboding), the Ballroom (right out of the movie), or the Rose Room (not open for dinner and totally gorgeous).
The West Wing, The Ballroom, and The Rose Room, from top left.
Once you’ve seated yourself and “activated” your table by placing the rose puck on it, a Cast Member with a fancy covered cart will arrive shortly to serve your meal. How long will it take? Well, I washed my hands in the bathroom after we ordered and by the time I returned to our table, our meal was there!
Strollers are generally not allowed in the restaurant unless your child is very small (infant) or sleeping. Drinks are served in quick-service paper cups so they can be taken from the restaurant with your last refill.
What do I need to know about Dinner?
If you’re dining at Be Our Guest for dinner, you’ll check in at the host stand where you’ll receive a pager. There’s not an indoor waiting area, so if the weather’s inclement, it could be somewhat inconvenient. Again, you’re left standing on the bridge. In good weather, however, it’s a really lovely view while you wait.
A view from the Be Our Guest Bridge
Once your pager goes off, you’ll be escorted into the gate and through the entrance by a Cast Member in a natty purple costume. You won’t be able to choose which room you dine in, but every guest is encouraged to roam and take pictures while inside. The West Wing is really dark and features thunderstorms and some other effects, so if you have small children who are easily frightened you may want to ask that you be seated elsewhere when you check in. Be sure to check out the enchanted rose in the West Wing even if your table isn’t located there for dinner. Once you’ve been seated your server will come around and your fantastic dinner experience will begin. Be Our Guest has some of the most experienced servers at World and ours was wonderful.
Again, it’s likely that taking a look at the menu will better prepare you for the fare at BOG, but I can say that the Grilled Strip and the Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops (served in a puffed pastry with lobster sauce) were delicious. We were seated in the Ballroom close to the windows and, while I was totally enthralled by the scenery inside, I admit that I spent several minutes watching it “snow outside” as well.
“Outside”, it’s always evening and always snowing. Beautiful.
And, at the end of your meal, if you’re not completely full (or even if you are), be sure to pick something off of the absolutely wonderful dessert cart. The desserts are made fresh every four hours and are fantastic. I recommend the strawberry cupcake which is also available at lunch.
And, if you’re celebrating something special, don’t forget to let your server know. You just might get to try “The Grey Stuff”. As you might have guessed, it is delicious.
Once you’re finished dining, you’ll be escorted into a separate room for a picture with Beast. For now, these are included in a basic Photopass package and do not require a Photopass+ upgrade. Don’t forget to snap a picture of the lovely tile mosaic on your way out of the restaurant.
All said and done our lunch (with bottled water and desserts) for a party of two was around $40. Dinner with two adults and one child, appetizers, entrees, and desserts for each (we ate on the Deluxe Dining Plan) was $125 with the tip. We’ll definitely be back, as the experience was everything that we know and love about Disney.
Morgan Crutchfield is a Disney Addict and cupcake fiend who would rather be at a Disney park than anywhere else. Follow her on Twitter @DVCMorgan or “Like” her Facebook page, DVC Central, for breaking Disney news, information, and tips.