So after the long wait, I finally got to eat at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom last week. I had seen how long the line for lunch was earlier in the week, so when we got to Big Thunder Mountain at about 11:40 a.m. and discovered it was a 40 minute wait, we opted for FastPasses and hightailed it back to New Fantasyland.
Upon arrival, the line extended beyond the bridge and curved around towards Gaston's Tavern. A cast member announced it was a 1 hour wait from our position, which didn't matter much to me, I was not leaving Disney without having eaten there. :D Here is a pic of where we were in the line:
As we got closer, I could see the area where guests can make their dinner reservations (lunch is quick service, dinner is table service). Here is what it looks like:
As you can see pictured above, the cast member is holding a stack of menus, she would come around to the line offering them for us to look at while we waited. If you can't get your hands on one of these, there is a fixed menu set right below the Be Our Guest sign:
The line moved pretty quickly, but I was able to get some pictures along the bridge and at the entrance:
Despite the 1 hour warning, it only took us about 35 minutes to get to the entrance. Once we entered the main doors, we were greeted by this arch, leading into the dining rooms. The artwork is incredible and the details are just amazing.
We headed right, following the crowd (and velvet ropes) into the hall of armor.
Listen carefully as you can hear the knights speaking with French accents.
The next room is themed after Beast's Library and has a podium where a cast member will ask how many in your party and then give you an electronic device that resembles a rose. When they tell you it's okay, you'll proceed to one of the empty kiosks to place your order.
Now this is where it can get a little tricky. Since my mother was dining with us but needed a separate bill, she should have been given her own rose. That was not explained when we entered but a cast member that walks around and assists those having trouble with the ordering was able to grab her one.
First thing you have to do is tap the rose against the RFID pad and then select your items. You order for one person at a time. So, Guest 1 chooses an entree, sides, beverage and dessert. Then, Guest 2 and so on. There are a few issues with this I noticed. Two of us wanted water but only bottled water was listed as an option (besides soda and other drinks) so we had to pay for it, which was fine. But later, I discovered in the dining room that cups and water were available from the fountain drink area for free. :/ We had no way of knowing this beforehand.
Another thing, is that my mother likes her food plain and we had to press a few buttons before discovering she could omit the garlic-herb butter from her sandwich by selecting "Details". But there was no way to note that she did not want tomatoes. If you press "Ingredients" you will see the items listed but there is no way to uncheck them like with the butter. This may be a problem for those picky eaters or with food allergies/special requests.
The third problem, was the amount of time spent at the computer screens. Large groups of families are gathered around each one, asking what they want, how they want it, and all of this takes time. The cast members are there to try to hurry you through so the next group can get in and order. When it was time to pay, the system wouldn't take our Key to the World Card after we selected Key to the World and swiped it so the cast member told us to try pressing "Debit/Credit Card" instead and the KTTW worked (of course, it did). It reminded me a bit of the self check-out lanes at Walmart. Every time you get stuck you have to flag down an employee to get your through. Now you see the reason for the long lines?
Here are some pics. Sorry the second one is blurry but I was so frazzled with trying to get everyone's order right and rushing through there:
Exhausted yet? Finally, we can move on to the dining rooms. The next few pics are what I've been waiting for. It's the whole reason I came to dine here. The ballroom. Can you hear the choir of angels singing??
The picture above shows the front of the room. You enter through the lit hall near the back left.
The picture below shows the back of the room with the large picture windows.
Isn't it beautiful? I was in awe as I looked up at the ceiling and chandeliers. It was everything I had ever imagined. I was in the fairy tale - until I looked down.
Ma chere mademoiselle, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure
that we welcome you tonight...
Many of the tables were covered in leftover plates and cups long after the guests had departed. We walked up to at least five empty tables to discover they hadn't been cleared. As we were standing by one, a (not-so-pleasant) cast member stopped to say "If you want a clean table, go to one of the other rooms." Then she rushed off.
*POP!* That was my bubble bursting. I had waited so long to dine in the BALLROOM, not the West Wing and not the Rose Gallery. We saw a (very) young cast member who was "earning his ears" (in training) come to bus one of the tables so we stood nearby to grab it when he was finished. He said, "There are clean tables in the other room." My husband politely told him we'd wait for that one. To which he stared at us like we were bothering him.
And now we invite you to relax,
let us pull up a chair...
After a few minutes, the first cast member (who I believe was training him), came up to ask what was going on. He told her we were waiting for the table to be cleaned, to which she repeated, "There are clean tables in the other two rooms, you can go in one of those."
Heavens sakes! Is that a spot?
Clean it up! We want the company impressed...
At this point, my mother was tired of her rudeness and said, "Why can't we eat in this room? They are celebrating their anniversary and would like to eat in here." The woman said, "That's fine, but you'll have to wait." My mother asked how long and the cast member replied, "Ten minutes."
"Fine, we'll wait."
Put our service to the test...
The female cast member was obviously not too happy with us and grabbed a wet rag and began wiping down the table while the boy removed each dish in super-duper slow motion. My mother asked her a question about the drinks and she blatantly ignored her. They then moved on to one of the other half-dozen dirty tables. Now, given it was the lunch hour, I could understand the difficulty keeping up with the turnover, but honestly, they seemed understaffed (and unhappy).
Why, we only live to serve...
Oh, well. We took our seats. The table fit about 6, as shown in the photo above. Another thing no one tells you about is the drinks. You kind of just look around and do what everyone else is doing. The beverage station is along the wall and you serve yourself. If you have bottled water, then you get that when the food comes. Yep, you just go dry mouth until then. Or get one of the free cups of ice water. Argh!
You can also see from the photo above that the room is dimly lit. I left my flash off to capture the ambience of the room.
Now back to those picture windows. Look closely. Do you see what I see? Snow falling!!
Can you see it??
There is even faux frost on the windows and doors:
Here are a few more pics of the ceiling:
And yes, I'm obsessed with that chandelier!
As the dining room proudly presents...your dinner (or lunch, in this case).
The food comes around on this really cool serving cart. There is a small computer screen on the other side for the server to see as it's being pushed which leads me to believe the electronic rose that we were given is a GPS tracking device for them to find our table.
We all ordered the same entree: Grilled Steak Sandwich on a Baguette with Garlic-Herb Butter and Pommes Frites (French Fries).
Here's a closer look:
And here's a look at the inside:
Now, my sandwich came with two steaks while my husband's only came with one - so we swapped. The sandwich was delicious! But if you are looking for a thick, top of the line cut of beef, this is not it. The steak was thin and a "value" cut. I happen to like those and buy them often for pan frying or sticking in hoagies (Hey, they stole my idea!), so I have no complaints. It was tender and flavored well. The garlic-herb butter was hardly noticeable, in case you don't like strong garlic. I almost forgot there was tomato in it until I saw the tiny pink tidbits under the greens. You can barely see them peeking out above. The toasted baguette was good, except for the ends which were a bit hard. I simply tore them off.
I'm not a big fry fan, especially at Disney (with the exception of Casey's Corner), but these were quite good. They were thin and salty. Yum!
Course by course, one by one,
'Til you shout "Enough! I'm done!"
They served our desserts at the same time as our meal. Me, my mother and oldest son each got the Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake:
It was a white or yellow (it was hard to tell because it was so dark in there) cupcake with strawberry filling, cream cheese frosting and a strawberry on top. There are also candy crunch sprinkles and a chocolate "Be Our Guest" logo square. You can't see the chocolate square in this pic but it's the same as the ones shown below. It was delish!
My youngest son got the Triple Chocolate Cupcake:
A dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, chocolate candy crunchies,
a raspberry and a chocolate Be Our Guest square. Talk about chocolate overkill.
He loved it!
My husband ordered the Chocolate Cream Puff:
He tore into it so fast, I almost didn't get a pic until it was too late. :O
After the meal, I headed over to the other two dining rooms to snap a few pics. Here is the West Wing:
As you can see this room is extremely dark. I even had to up the exposure just so you can see the picture.
Below is a pic I took with the flash on:
Now I know this is Beauty and the Beast-themed, but with all the torn fabric, I couldn't help thinking about pirates. lol
As you remember from the movie, Belle was forbidden to enter the West Wing but did anyway and found the torn picture of the Prince. Every 20 minutes or so, lightning strikes and the image transforms to the Beast.
And this room is also where you'll find - the Enchanted Rose:
This was a 3-dimensional hologram inside glass. Sitting next to it was the Enchanted Mirror.
The last room is The Rose Gallery. Here are some pics:
Here's one with the flash on:
In the center of the room is a giant music box featuring Belle & Beast dancing.
There are also beautiful paintings and tapestries depicting scenes from the film and other special moments of the couple and their friends:
This last one is my favorite:
I had a nice surprise when stepping out of this room - this gorgeous mosaic tile rose:
And just as I was about to exit the castle, I saw this:
I couldn't imagine a more perfect way to end the experience than by seeing this stain-glass window
illustrating the "tale as old as time..."
My thoughts: I would definitely eat here for lunch again, and I'd order the steak sandwich or maybe try the Croque Monsieur and Lemon Meringue Cupcake. I'd also like to try eating here during dinner, just to see how it compares. Despite the moment of rudeness, the food and atmosphere more than made up for it. Besides, you can't let someone else steal your joy or experiences.
If you get the chance - eat here. Forget about the line out front, the hustle and bustle to get your order in, the chaos in the dining room. Just take a breath, look up at the beautifully painted ceiling of the ballroom and the snow falling outside the windows and let yourself be swept up in the magic of it all. That's what Disney is about and that's what keeps me coming back.