It’s a 2013 throwback today on 50 Days to 50 Years. Perhaps the most anticipated newcomer this year was the expansion of Fantasyland. Along with its newest resident, The Beast. Let’s waltz back to Walt Disney Word 2013 and take a swirl around Be Our Guest Restaurant.
Walt Disney World 2013
The “New Fantasyland” expansion was eagerly awaited. Perhaps not for its rides, gift shops, or splash zones. But for its new “attraction”, but disguised as a restaurant! Located deep within the Magic Kingdom’s newest weenie, this was a much-needed new dining offering.
New Fantasyland (more on that tomorrow’s post that features 2014!) would bring multiple Disney classics to life, but none more than this beauty. Be Our Guest Restaurant is another ‘prince’ from Walt Disney Imagineering.
Though less than half as large as Cinderella Castle, Beast Castle looms large thanks to Disney’s famous forced perspective technique. Course by course, “feasting” will take place in three distinct areas.
First, you will step foot into the elegant two story Grand Ballroom. Depending on where you will be dining, you will enter the library/gallery the for the famous West Wing. Lastly, the Castle Gallery highlights giant dancing figurines of Belle and Beast.
What you will immediately notice is that this restaurant is massive. It offers seating for 550 Guests-which is some party! The rose motif is incorporated throughout, and in case you have forgotten the “tale as old as time,” this beautiful story is retold in the stained glass, murals and portraits.
Be Our Guest Castle
The Disney storytelling experience reaches new heights with Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland. From the very first step upon the stone bridge, with full view of the gushing waterfall that fills the castle moat, your every sense is enveloped in the Beauty and the Beast tale. As you pass through the grand entrance, you are physically stepping into the fairy tale, and are greeted by the solitary rose; the implied reminder of both the curse and the promise it holds for the Beast and Belle- and you! In the Be Our Guest Restaurant story, be mindful that the most exquisite of roses bears the sharpest of thorns…
Be Our Guest Restaurant
Open your “book” with a rose-covered menu. The Be Our Guest Restaurant tale is fully told through the smallest elements. Your surroundings and the culinary construction place you IN the story.
You are Guests of the Beast and food is part of the epic. Though presently only prix fixe menus are available, the choices continue to reflect the French influence of the chefs. (Though we do miss their authentic ratatouille!) From Center-cut Filet Mignon to Poulet Rouge Chicken, your meal is executed à la perfection. Of course, the highlight continues to be that “grey stuff!” The Dessert Trio includes the White Chocolate “Chip” Cup that is filled with the famous Grey Stuff. I dare you not to eat it and sing along!!
Be Our Guest Restaurant was THE first to offer alcohol in Magic Kingdom. Now, you can enjoy a glass of champagne, wine or beer for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner. (Please note, at this time, breakfast service has been suspended due to the pandemic.) while you read or peruse.
The beverage menu also represents the story. It includes private label champagnes, sparkling wines, red, white, and rose wines, beer and hard ciders. Varietals hail from regions in France and California. Most of these are offered by the glass or bottle. Beers and ciders are from Belgium, France, Florida, and New York.
Your interactive experience begins as you step through the massive Beast castle doors.
The tale progresses in the Grand Ballroom, where you can literally imagine Belle and the Beast dancing at their wedding reception. With a backdrop of snow gently falling over the Loire Valley mountains in the distance, this setting is ornate and splendid and fit for a ball, or a French-inspired meal fit for a prince and a princess!
Upon entering the West Wing, the enchantment escalates. Amid the tattered wallpaper, silks and tapestries (angry claws will do that, you know), hangs a portrait of the master. We wonder- is he a handsome prince or tortured beast?
Your meal progresses, and the famed rose that is housed in the West Wing study begins to shed its petals.
Suddenly, there is a culmination of claps of thunder and bolts of lightning. Be sure to look quickly! Finally we witness the transformation of the handsome prince in the painting to the Beast himself.
Furthermore, to fill your senses and set this stage, the recording of a 50 piece orchestra plays music from the film to accompany your feast. In this storybook, you are a player. Whether you are recreating your own version of the greatest love story of all time or just falling in love with your food.
Enough I’m done!
Long story short, this addition to the Magic Kingdom dining scene has a happy ending. Frustratingly, it is always the first reservation to ‘sell out.’ Be Our Guest Restaurant has become a must-do in Walt Disney World. Yes, it’s THAT magical.
Tomorrow, we look back at 2014 and the completion of New Fantasyland. We’re getting oh-so-close to that big 50th anniversary!!