Beast’s Castle on a Budget
Since opening its wrought iron gates in 2012, Be Our Guest has been a staple of dining at the Magic Kingdom.
Known for stunning visual storytelling — and the infamous ‘Grey Stuff’ — the restaurant remains a Fantasyland hot spot, even with the recent transition to a Signature, prix-fixe dinner menu in July 2018. While the dinner fare has changed, guests are still able to enjoy everything that the Beast’s Castle has to offer while still remaining budget-friendly.
When I traveled to Walt Disney World for the first time in 2018, our party was lucky enough to snag a lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. I had heard a lot of great things about the dining experience, and I can say for certain that it did not disappoint. In fact, it ended up being one of my favorite quick service meals!
When we arrived for our lunch reservation, the first thing that we did was check in with a Cast Member near the entrance. Once we had been ushered inside the castle, we joined a line of guests filtering through the Armor Hallway. At first glance the line looked long, I won’t lie, but it did move surprisingly quickly. Or maybe it seemed quicker because I was immediately distracted by all of the sights and the suit of armor that had begun to snore to my left (I guess even suits of armor need a sleep-in now and then).
After ordering with a cashier (Be Our Guest also offers self-serve screens and My Disney Experience app pre-orders), our party received an ‘enchanted rose’, and we were off to find a place to sit.
Immediately when we stepped into the ballroom, I felt transported into the world of Beauty and the Beast. Sure, I had looked at photos of the restaurant leading up to our trip, but they didn’t do it justice. There are three dining areas that guests can choose from during Breakfast and Lunch: The Ballroom (which is by far the largest), the dark and mysterious West Wing, and the Rose Gallery.
While I could lie and say that we wandered around specifically to check out all three rooms, the reality is that it was very busy, and we had to poke around a bit to find a table for the three of us. Of course, even if that were not the case, I would have wanted to see all three areas regardless.
The West Wing is dark and gloomy but packed full of details from the film. Guests can see the enchanted rose encased in its bell jar (remember, no touching!) as well as a large portrait that alternates between the Beast and Prince Adam. To add to the ambiance, there are sporadic bouts of thunder and lightning. Spooky!
The Rose Gallery is a very different atmosphere. In the middle of the room, there is a massive, 7-foot music box featuring Belle and the Beast dancing. If you pay close attention, the music in that room is perfectly in sync with the music in the Ballroom but, instead of the orchestra, you get the tinkling sounds of a real music box playing the scores. Disney does really think of everything, sometimes!
We ended up sitting in the Ballroom, which is almost identical to how it appeared in the film. I couldn’t stop staring at the painted ceiling or the massive chandeliers. Visually, the whole place is a work of art!
What I will say, particularly about the Ballroom area, is that it is quite large and open. Given that Be Our Guest can accommodate up to 550 guests, this means that it can get a bit loud. If you are like us, and so starving that you don’t have time to speak, then it isn’t much of an issue, that is for sure!
When it came to the menu, everyone in our group was clearly on the same page as we all ordered the Carved Turkey Sandwich.
The sandwich itself is pretty basic; it is served on a nice baguette with a Dijon mayonnaise and some greens for a bit of added crunch. However, what the sandwich may lack in creativity it certainly makes up for in execution. I consider myself to be an adventurous eater by nature, but this sandwich was simple yet very satisfying.
To finish off the experience we had — you guessed it — The Grey Stuff.
During lunch, guests can still experience the Grey Stuff in the form of The Master’s Cupcake. This sweet treat is a chocolate cupcake topped with ‘the grey stuff’ — a cookies and cream pannacotta. Not only is the cupcake picture perfect, but it’s also delicious (and I didn’t even need to ask the dishes).
Though, speaking of dishes, they are one of the many things that set Be Our Guest apart. While at other quick service dining locations we received paper plates and plastic utensils, Be Our Guest brings your order right to your table on a French-style trolley, and you eat with ‘real’ forks, knives, and plates.
At the end of the day, Breakfast and Lunch are both a great value at Be Our Guest. For one quick service credit, you can experience all of the Beauty and the Beast movie magic, enjoy a tasty meal, and get a chance for some great pictures!
My tips? First, get a reservation! Yes, even though it is a quick service option by day, Be Our Guest does take reservations, and they are strongly encouraged. Even if you can’t get the day or time you want at your 180-day booking window, keep checking back. You never know when a table will pop up, so if you see it, snag it! Next tip — if you’re not a fan of noise, try to get a reservation for an off-peak time. While it still may be busy, you might be able to get a table in one of the smaller, quieter dining rooms. And lastly? Enjoy it! The beast’s castle is full of intricate details and Easter eggs, so savor your time and take in everything that Be Our Guest has to offer.