This is it, my first review for a restaurant outside of Tallahassee. I can’t think of a better place to start with. Full disclosure: My fiancée and I are Disney fanatics. We have been traveling there together since 2007. Being a Florida resident, it isn’t that hard for us to find an excuse to get down there. I even proposed to my fiancée in Downtown Disney. Disney in general, is a special place to us.
Beauty and the Beast also holds a particular place in my heart. One of my other passions (outside of food) is acting. I have been acting for most of my life. In high school, my school was chosen as one of the first to do Beauty and the Beast as play. We were lucky enough to get some original costumes from the Broadway production. Our set and actors were top notch. We entered the play into state competition and were chosen to perform the show at Morsoni Hall in Tampa, Florida for all the other competing high schools in Florida. This is a huge honor. Hundreds of schools enter and less than ten are selected. Performing at states was the only time I have ever performed on a professional stage. There were 2,552 people who saw us perform that show and many that got turned away (we sold out). It is an experience I will never forget.
Don’t let it fool you though. This isn’t a biased review. When we went to dinner at Be Our Guest, we also brought my sister, niece, nephew, and brother-in-law. We all had the same opinion.
For those of you who don’t know, Be Our Guest is a new restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. It’s part of their “New Fantasy Land”. During the day time, Be Our Guest is a quick service restaurant. At night, it becomes a sit down restaurant. This Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant is modeled after three different parts of the Beast’s castle.
The main dining room is modeled after the ballroom. The main difference being that this ballroom has tables for people to eat. It looks exactly like the movie right down to the art on the ceiling. Disney really spent their time working on the details. The coolest part of the room? Towards the back is a large window. It takes up the entire wall. Through the window you can see mountains. There is also a dynamic snowstorm occurring. It looks very real and ensures there is always something neat to look at.
The other dining room is significantly smaller. However, it is just as cool to look at. This dining room is modeled after the west wing. The west wing is dark, moody, and complete with the rose from the film. If you watch the rose long enough, you will notice that the pedals fall. My favorite part of this room was the painting of the beast as a human. It has fresh claw marks on it.
The final room is the study. The decorations are nice (lots of books), but that isn’t the pull for this room. Once an hour (or so), the beast enters the restaurant to take pictures and sign autographs. He walks through the ballroom and into the study.
Each (dinner) meal starts off with complementary bread and butter. It’s the same rolls that every Disney restaurant serves. The rolls taste good, they just aren’t anything special to this restaurant. You can get them at virtually every sit down restaurant in Disney.
French Onion Soup
Let me start by telling you why I appreciated this soup. Often time’s restaurants will substitute the traditional gruyere cheese that gets melted on top with swiss cheese. It happens because swiss cheese is significantly cheaper than gruyere cheese. Disney did not cut corners. This soup was covered with gruyere cheese. Underneath was an intense beef an onion broth, lots of caramelized onions, and a crouton. The other problem I usually have with French Onion Soup is that it is usually way too salty. Again, not a problem with this soup. It was the perfect level of seasoning. Overall, this soup was very good.
Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops
This was my main course. It is served inside a puff pastry with lobster sauce and vegetables. It wasn’t what I was expecting. The menu referred to the lobster sauce as “creamy”. This made me think the sauce would be cream based. It’s actually a tomato based sauce. Don’t get me wrong, the sauce was delicious. It had a strong lobster flavor. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. The vegetables included were spinach, carrot, mushroom, and onion. They were soft, but had not completely lost their original texture. The puff pastry was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The shrimp and scallops were seasoned well. The shrimp was cooked perfectly. The scallops were a bit overcooked. Overall, I would order this again. However, I will try something new next time. I want to experience more of the menu.
Triple Chocolate Cupcake
The dessert is served tableside. Your waiter brings a lit cart to your table with each dessert already loaded. The server will explain each item to you. Once you have chosen your dessert, the waiter will layer a plate with a sauce and place your dessert on top.
At first I was disappointed. The French are known for their desserts and there were only two types of desserts at Be Our Guest. You can choose one of three cupcakes or puff pastries (for a total of 6 options).
I ended up choosing the triple chocolate cupcake. I choose the cupcake because my fiancée makes the best cupcakes in the world. I figured this would give me a good reference point.
The chocolate sponge cake was moist. It was filled with an airy chocolate mousse and topped with a creamy chocolate ganache. The cupcake also had an impressive
Be Our Guest” chocolate on it. This cupcake hit every note. Easily, the world’s 2nd best cupcake.
It’s also worth mentioning, if you tell them it’s your birthday. They will bring you grey stuff. It’s delicious (chocolate mousse). Don’t believe me? Ask my niece.
Now for the negatives:
1. It isn’t cheap. This isn’t surprising. The food and atmosphere are both top notch. It’s also a theme park. It isn’t as bad as you might think though.
2. Be prepared to make a reservation if you want dinner. This restaurant is popular. Depending on the season, you might need reservations months in advance. The good news is they take reservations up to six months in advance and they are free to make. You won’t need a reservation for lunch (when it’s quick service). If you go for lunch, go early. The wait can get quite long.
3. The restaurant is dark. It has to be, it’s part of the atmosphere. I am counting this as a negative because your pictures will not come out as nice as they could. Unless they are in the study with the beast, that room is lit normally.
4. I would have thought there would have been some sort of performance piece. I half expected there to be a rendition of Be Our Guest every 2 hours or so. I am being nitpicky here. It would have been nice though.
5. There’s a big continuity error with the restaurant. If the Beast is still a beast, why are his servants (the waiters) human? How is this possible? I’m kidding… this is obviously a fantastic usage of Disney magic.
Quick Note: The menu is supposed to be seasonal. Items will change a few times a year based on what’s fresh.
What can I say? Be Our Guest nailed it. The food and atmosphere are fantastic. Going to Be Our Guest is an experience. In high school, I had what I thought was a once and a lifetime experience being in that production of Beauty and the Beast. I never thought I would get the feeling back of performing that show in front of all those people. While I didn’t feel like I was back on stage, I did feel like I was back in Beauty and the Beast.
Be Our Guest
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
New Fantasy Land
Hours vary based on park schedule.
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