Dinner at “Be Our Guest” restaurant in The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World – Review

If you’re one of those lucky enough to book a reservation to the “Be Our Guest” restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park, you’re in for a special treat! The food, service, and atmosphere are among the best dining experiences in all of Walt Disney World and your meal will certainly become one of the most treasured memories of your Disney vacation.

Grand Ballroom at Be Our Guest restaurant

Grand Ballroom at Be Our Guest restaurant

Our dining experience got off to a shaky start as we waited in the check-in line for about 15 minutes in the hot Florida summer sun. Disney would do well to add an awning or some other shaded area for guests as they go through the check-in process. It was also somewhat disorganized as one line was for walk-up customers and the other was for those with reservations. The reservation line split into two separate lines as you approached the booth which caused some confusion. To play it safe, mom and dad split up, one in each line, to see who would get to the front first.

Waterfall near the Beast's Castle

Waterfall near the Beast’s Castle

When we finally made it to the front of the line, the hostess pointed out that we were ‘a little late’. She was nice about it and said it was not a problem when I noted that we were in line by 4:00 for our 4:05 reservation.

The check-in process went pretty quickly for us which made us wonder why the line had moved so slowly. We requested seating in the West Wing, home of the ‘Enchanted Rose’. We were told our preference would be noted, but that seating in the West Wing could not be guaranteed. The party in front of us requested West Wing seating as well, but with three small children they were discouraged from dining in that area. The West Wing is smaller, more elegant, and generally a quieter setting and Disney is hoping to reduce the chances of a screaming baby or toddler ruining the atmosphere for the 50 or so guests seated there. Also, the thunder and lightning in the room tend to scare the little ones. (More on that later.)

After check-in was complete, we were handed a pager and asked to wait on the bridge leading to the Beast’s castle. The bridge offers scenic views of the castle and surrounding grounds, but little shade. This was not an issue as the ‘Gatekeeper’, one of the Beast’s servants, summoned us within minutes. I barely had a chance to snap any photos!

Grand Ballroom - Snowy windows

Grand Ballroom – Snowy windows

As we walked through the Grand Ballroom en route to our table, we were floored by the beauty and opulence of the setting. The mural on the ceiling is truly a wonder to behold and the crystal chandeliers are the perfect touch. One thing we did notice is that the main dining room is quite loud. The high ceiling and vast expanse of the area create an auditory assault on your ears. We were glad there was seating available in the West Wing which was quite a bit quieter and more intimate.

West Wing at The Beast's Castle's Be Our Guest restaurant

West Wing at The Beast’s Castle’s Be Our Guest restaurant

Our meal began with delicious fresh-baked bread. Pretty standard fare, but delicious nonetheless. There are also a variety of appetizers offered such as Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages, French Onion Soup, Mussels Provencal, and Potato Leek Soup. We elected to pass on those and head straight for the main course!

Before I get to that, it should be noted that through some ‘Disney Magic’, Be Our Guest is the only place in the Magic Kingdom where alcohol is served! There are a variety of beer and wine offerings available. We elected to pass on those options and selected good ole’ ‘Florida Tap on the rocks’ as our beverage of choice.

Although the menu is somewhat limited, there should be something for everyone. The menu options include choices of pork, chicken, beef, a couple of seafood options, and Ratatouille as well. There are also the standard ‘kids menu’ options for the little ones.

Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops

Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops

At our table, we tried to order a variety so we could try (almost) everything. I had the Grilled Strip Steak ($29.99), a couple of us had the Rotisserie Rock Hen ($15.99), and my oldest son ordered the Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops served with a Puff Pastry and Creamy Lobster Sauce ($22.99). Our youngest had the Steak Tips off the kids menu, which looked pretty tasty too!

Grilled Strip Steak

Grilled Strip Steak

The presentation of all of the dishes was outstanding, and we all agreed that Be Our Guest was probably our tastiest meal of all the great food we enjoyed during our 13-day Disney vacation. In fact, one of the boys declared it was the “best meal I’ve had in my entire life!”

Rotisserie Rock Hen

Rotisserie Rock Hen

As we enjoyed our meal, we made sure to save room for dessert. The dessert menu consists of a variety of ‘fancy’ cupcakes and cream puffs, and at only $3.99 each, you may want to sample more than one! Again, we went with a variety- a couple of us ordered the Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake, one of us chose the Triple Chocolate Cupcake, and one the Chocolate Cream Puff. I had the Lemon Meringue Cupcake which tasted as delicious as it looked!

Dessert selection at Be Our Guest

Dessert selection at Be Our Guest

Our meal was punctuated by loud claps of thunder and lightning as the rose petals fell from the Enchanted Rose in the corner of the room. Something else special also happens, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise….

Photo op with The Beast in the Library

Photo op with The Beast in the Library

During our meal, we had a surprise visit by our host- the Beast himself! He took a quick trip around the dining room, but didn’t stop at any tables. On the way out, we were surprised to discover a photo op with our host in the library, and we exited out through the area with the ‘talking knights’ which were pretty entertaining in their own right.

All in all, “Be Our Guest” was the perfect meal in every aspect and will likely be on our itinerary (if we’re lucky enough to get in!) for years to come!

Enchanted Rose in the West Wing of the Beast's Castle

Enchanted Rose in the West Wing of the Beast’s Castle

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Wishes Come True at Magic Kingdom!

A Magical afternoon at Magic Kingdom

We had a little bit of time to kill before lunch, so we decided to hang out around the main train station near the park entrance. If you go up the stairs at the station and head out to the patio facing Main Street, you can get some of the best views (and pictures!) of Main Street. Being up above the crowds gives you a nice panoramic vista of the Main Street U.S.A. section of Magic Kingdom.

Main Street USA & Cinderella Castle

A Great view of Main Street from the train station

After our delicious lunch at Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh & friends, we were off to enjoy the rest of our day at The Magic Kingdom. We like to spend our first day, and our last day at Magic Kingdom because it just feels right!

We headed over to Adventureland to ride another of our favorites, Pirates of the Caribbean. Even at the peak of the day (mid-afternoon) the wait was short, and we always enjoy it. Although we were tempted to ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin we decided to skip it and head over to Liberty Square and Haunted Mansion instead.

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

We never get tired of Haunted Mansion– it’s always a treat and never gets old. I think we ride it every day we go to Magic Kingdom. We hit a few more of our favorites on the way back to Main Street. At around 4:30, we decided to head back to the condo for a few hours before coming back for the evening fireworks. We did a little shopping at the Emporium on the way out.

Wishes Fireworks at Cinderella Castle

Wishes Fireworks show at Cinderella Castle

We probably stayed at the condo a little longer than we should have. We got caught in some traffic on the way back and didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do. We took the train around from the entrance back to Frontierland and had time to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain one more time. We rushed back to stake out our spot near the bakery on Main Street for the Wishes fireworks show.

The show was great (as usual), but they changed it a bit. Usually Tinkerbell flies down near the beginning of the show, but this time she (apparently) flew in during the projection show that directly precedes the fireworks. We missed her because we were still on our way back from Frontierland.

Still, the show was great (as always) and we headed to the bakery for our traditional ‘dinner’ of cinnamon rolls at the end of our day. What a great first full day of our trip!

Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom

You can’t miss the cinnamon rolls (and other yummy desserts) at Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom

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Disney Dining at Crystal Palace

Character Dining with Winnie the Pooh!

Crystal Palace restaurant at Magic Kingdom

Dine at Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh & Friends!

A trip to Disney or a day at Magic Kingdom is not complete without a trip to our favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World – a character dining experience with Winnie the Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace!

We go to Crystal Palace on pretty much every Disney trip. Usually we save some money by eating a late lunch which is quite a bit cheaper than dinner. Even at that, our late-lunch (2:15 reservation) for five ended up being over $160 including tip.

While definitely not cheap, the food is delicious, the service great, and nothing beats lunch with Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore too!)

Winnie the Pooh character diningThe Crystal Palace, located just off Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom is a beautiful restaurant inside and out. The architecture is gorgeous and the large atrium at the center of the restaurant is stunning… and don’t forget the all-you-can-eat buffet!

The lunch menu features chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese for the kids, but sadly Crystal Palace dropped pizza from the menu. The menu includes ham and flank steak sliced to order, ratattouilli, and assorted pastas and salads. The dessert bar is huge and includes various cobblers, pies, cakes, and other assorted baked goods, as well as a self-serve ice cream sundae bar! Yum!

Winnie the Pooh and friends circulate through the restaurant regularly, and you’re sure to get at least one visit from each during your stay. Be sure you’re at your table when the characters get close because you won’t want to miss meeting them! They’ll be happy to pose with you for pictures, and are you to offer a high-five, fist-bump, or a hug to the kids. Kids young and old will really enjoy this experience, and their trip to the Crystal Palace!

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Visiting Magic Kingdom

A Magic morning at Magic Kingdom

The first full day of our vacation was (of course) a visit to the Magic Kingdom! It’s our favorite park and we usually visit it the first day and the last day of our Disney vacations, plus a day in the middle for the longer trips!

Entrance to Magic Kingdom - Let the Memories Begin!

Let the Memories Begin!

This time we visited on Saturday. Having a light day when we flew in, we were refreshed and made it to the park earlier than we ever have. The park opened at 9:00 a.m. and we were parked and waiting for the monorail by 8:15! We were so early that we didn’t even need to take the tram from the parking lot. We were right there- Aladdin 38!

We tried a new strategy this year. We went straight to the main train station and took the train around to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! We got there in about the same amount of time as if we walked, but since we knew we’d be doing plenty of walking throughout the day, we figured we’d save our energy!

Barnstormer - Storybook Circus

Barnstormer featuring “The Great Goofini”

We rode both Splash Mountain (first) and Big Thunder Mountain with no wait. Then we took the Walt Disney World Railroad around the park to Storybook Circus in the NEW Fantasyland to ride “Barnstormer”! This the same ride that was formerly known as “Goofy’s Barnstormer” in the old Toontown at Magic Kingdom. It has been reworked to fit into the circus theme at Storybook Circus. The ride is lots of fun for both kids and adults, and not too crazy.

After a quick spin on the Barnstormer, we took a ‘hidden’ back sidewalk shortcut over to Tomorrowland for our favorites there- Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain. This is much quicker than going out through Tomorrowland and heading over that way. Just follow the sidewalk between the tracks at the Fantasyland station and the Barnstormer.

Shortcut to Tomorrowland

Take the shortcut from Storybook Circus to Tomorrowland

Maximum score on Buzz Lightyear!

Since Space Mountain already had a 30 minute wait at this point, we decided to grab a FASTPASS and ride Buzz Lightyear (which only had a 10 minute wait) first. For the first time ever, three of us maxed out our scores! 999,999! It was pretty fun, and we were excited to score so well.

Buzz Lightyear - maximum scoreAfter we were done on Buzz Lightyear, we rode Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) and checked out Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. This is the ride created for the World’s Fair… “…it’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…” Lots of fun.

By this time, we were ready to use our FASTPASSes for Space Mountain. We’ve packed a lot of fun into the day, and it’s not even noon!

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Can’t wait to get to Magic Kingdom!

Just a few short days and we’ll be wandering around Magic Kingdom! Can’t wait! There’s nothing like that first time you walk through the gates and can immediately feel all your troubles melt away. You leave the ‘real world’ behind and enter the the magical world that is Walt Disney World.

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

The weather’s sure to be a lot hotter than the last time we went, back in January. We’ll certainly miss the Poinsettias and all the beautiful Christmas decorations that Disney rolls out, but it will be nice to not have to worry about the long pants, sweatshirts, and even GLOVES that we had to bring the last time!

To find our more about Christmas at Walt Disney World, check out the Disney Christmas section of our main DisneyVacations4Families.com site.

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