Since its debut at the tail (or tale) end of 2012, the Be Our Guest Restaurant has been one of the most coveted reservations on Walt Disney World property. After the expansion of Fantasyland, guests were introduced to two new “castles” in both Prince Eric’s castle from the Little Mermaid and the Beast’s castle from Beauty and the Beast. While the effect of the castle is achieved using forced perspective, the visual impact is still quite stunning. The Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is housed inside the Beast’s castle is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. With this review, we’ll be looking specifically at dinner.
And now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the dining room proudly presents…your dinner…review of the Be Our Guest Restaurant. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)
Guests are invited to dine in the Beast’s castle for dinner. Each of the three rooms offers its own unique feel, providing a level of immersion that is unmatched by any other Disney restaurant (in my humble opinion). The draw of the restaurant is its theming, but there is a robust menu to match the décor.
Dinner at the Be Our Guest Restaurant is now a prix fixe 3-course menu including an appetizer, entrée and dessert for each guest. Reservations for dinner run from 4pm until the park closes. As this is one of the most iconic restaurants at Walt Disney World, reservations can be hard to come by. Reservations for the prime dining hours (5-7pm) tend to be booked at the 180-day mark, but it never hurts to look for a last-minute reservation as cancellations do tend to occur. The capacity of this restaurant is quite large, increasing your odds of getting a reservation, but if you’re hoping to dine here, it’s best to get a reservation as soon as possible.
With the prix fixe dinner comes an opportunity to meet your host for the evening…the Beast. In years prior, dinner guests were invited to head to meet the Beast after their meal and not everyone would take advantage of that opportunity. Because Be Our Guest is prix fixe, Disney wants to make sure every guest has a chance to meet the Beast. Prior to being seated, guests are directed to a “drawing room” of sorts, where they will meet their host, pose for a few photos (PhotoPass photographers are present) and then led to their waiting table.
It’s a nice touch, to meet the Beast at dinner time. The fact that you meet him before your meal helps the logistics of the restaurant flow as Disney knows when guests are to be seated, but can’t necessarily guarantee when they will finish dining. To avoid a possible traffic jam and longer wait-times, meeting the Beast beforehand is the simpler solution.
There are plenty of guests who would wish to meet Belle as well, in this instance. Sadly, we can’t imagine a scenario where this will ever happen since she is typically busy dazzling guests over at Enchanted Tales with Belle (with a rare appearance at Cinderella’s Royal Table).
The Be Our Guest Restaurant is all about esthetics. Where you are dining matters just as much as the food on the menu. While the décor exudes a level of maturity, make no mistake, Be Our Guest is meant for groups of all ages. The atmosphere lends itself well to everyone, from couples looking for an elegant dining experience to the family whose kids just happen to be big fans of the movie.
Speaking of which, I would say that a prerequisite for dining at the restaurant has to include watching Beauty and the Beast. Without the context of the movie, it’s hard to truly appreciate the level of accuracy in the details scattered throughout the restaurant.
The entrance to the castle starts with the enormous wooden doors. Stained glass above the doorway depicts the enchanted rose and the door itself is guarded by two lion-like statues on either side. Once you pass through the doors, you are met with two stone creatures with the unenviable task of holding part of the castle up. Beyond this point, Be Our Guest is divided into 3 separately-themed dining rooms: The Castle Gallery, The Grand Ballroom and the West Wing.
The Castle Gallery
The gallery is home to an array of beautiful paintings of Beauty and the Beast characters adorning the walls. In the centre of the room, statues of Belle and the Beast dancing in their ballroom attire slowly rotate atop a pedestal. Of the three rooms, this tends to be the quietest in terms of noise travelling throughout the space. There is plenty of upholstery to help absorb some of the sound and the space itself feels a little more intimate.
The West Wing
The West Wing is fairly movie-accurate as the ceilings have shredded fabric draped between the intricately carved joists. On the wall is a half-covered painting of the Beast as his former self. Over time, the painting slowly transforms his face into that of the Beast. There are, of course, the claw marks slashed across the face of the painting. In the corner, next to the window with a blue glow (it’s always nighttime in there), sits the enchanted rose. The rose also glows brightly and if you stick around long enough, you’ll see a petal fall from its bloom. This can be a tad scary for some of the younger dinner guests as the lighting is dim and a pseudo-thunderstorm takes place outside of the main window.
The Grand Ballroom
This is the signature focal point of the restaurant. The marble pillars and walls give a forced perspective of a towering ceiling. A second-story balcony wraps around 3/4 of the room, only stopping where the floor-to-ceiling windows provide a beautiful view of the snow-covered castle grounds. Outside the windows, it perpetually snows, so even on the hottest of Florida summer days, you can still feel transported to this particular moment in the story, where it is Winter. Across the ceiling are 3 large chandeliers and a fresco painting, which depicts a multitude of cherubs in the clouds above. The ballroom does tend to be quite loud as its immensity doesn’t do much to baffle the sound in the space.
There’s something to be said about the freedom of choice that a prix fixe menu offers. For one price, this 3-course dinner allows you to choose whichever appetizer, entrée and dessert is speaking to you in the moment. That being said, a price tag of $62 USD per adult and $37 USD per child (3-9) can be tough if you’re looking at the food alone. Tax and gratuity are not included in those prices either.
If you try to break down the costs of the adult price, I’d say there’s likely about $3 – $5 for the fact that you get to meet the Beast and dine in this signature restaurant. Appetizers are likely to cost between $10 – $12 and the dessert trio would probably show up on a regular menu at $8 – $10. That means the entrée is (roughly) around $35 – $37.
I know, not everyone needs to see their meal broken down like that, but I think it helps those of you who are looking to get the furthest for the money you have spent. That being said, there’s a time to get your money’s worth, and there’s also a time to just order what you want in the moment. At a certain point, you have to make sure you enjoy your experience.
For guests on the Disney Dining Plan, the Be Our Guest Restaurant dinner will cost you 2 table service credits, since it’s considered Signature Dining. Even before you get to the end of the review, I can tell you right now that Be Our Guest dinner is a bad use of those 2 table service credits. You are much better off paying out of pocket for this particular meal.
Of course, the Be Our Guest Restaurant couldn’t consider itself Signature Dining in Disney without offering a unique menu for guests. Prior to its signature status, the menu offered an array of French-inspired dishes. The same can be said for the current menu, but the dishes have been kicked up a notch, so to speak. There’s some refinement in the construction of each dish, but the French influence remains. You can always find the current menu here.
One of the signature dishes for the restaurant can be found as an appetizer. The French Onion Soup is a general crowd-pleaser given its (what only can be described as) thick mountain of cheese on top. The good thing about this particular menu item is the fact that you can find it on the quick service lunch menu as well. Having experienced it at lunch in one of our prior journeys, we opted to try a couple of the other options.
Lauren was drawn to the charcuterie plate…the “Assorted Meats and Artisanal Cheese Selection”. I’m all for cured ham and Chorizo sausage, but the strong cheeses are Lauren’s game. She found it to be a good portion size, but not necessarily enough to share (depending on your level of generosity). I opted for the Maine Lobster Bisque, which was a warm, rich, creamy and comforting way to kick off the meal.
Anyone feeling adventurous can try the Piment d’Espelette Spiced Tuna, or the Escargot. The latter is a favourite of the curious diner.
When it comes the entrées, there really is something for everyone. The current menu offers pretty much one of every major protein: Pork Tenderloin, Lamb Chops, a Filet Mignon, Sea Scallops and Chicken.
This particular night, Lauren ordered the Smoked Ricotta and Corn Tortellini. It’s definitely worth noting that this dish has since been modified and is now the Roasted Corn and Spinach Tortellini. When Disney began ensuring that there were plant-based offerings at each restaurant, the new Roasted Corn and Spinach Tortellini now falls into that category.
I, on the other hand, went for a classic Centre-cut Filet Mignon with Robuchon (mashed) Yukon potatoes, seasonal vegetables, cipollini marmalade with a red wine glaze. While it certainly wasn’t the best steak I’ve ever had at Disney, it was still extremely satisfying and I really had no complaints. The flavours on the plate are subtle, but the cipollini marmalade and the red wine glaze underneath were welcomed additions. The restaurant is still catering to a wide variety of palates, so there can’t really be anything too adventurous about the dish.
Your dessert is already chosen for you, unless you request the plant-based offering. The Dessert trio gives you a macron (flavours can change seasonally), a dark chocolate truffle and the centrepiece – a white chocolate “Chip” cup filled with the Grey Stuff (it’s delicious).
Dessert is a nice variety of flavours and allows each guest a chance to try the Grey Stuff. While I won’t get into the psychology of eating a chocolate version of the character “Chip”, it’s a nice presentation and a great way to finish off the meal.
The Be Our Guest Restaurant has a lot of great things going for it. The theming of the rooms and the immersion into your surroundings really add to the overall experience. You get to see so many recognizable elements from the movie come to life, whether it’s meeting the Beast, seeing the enchanted rose or just really feeling that you’ve entered the actual Grand Ballroom. Everything from the moment you walk through the large wooden castle doors feels like it has an incredible attention to detail about it.
As a signature restaurant, there’s an expectation that the menu is going to deliver some great flavours and offer refined dishes. This particular menu, while it does deliver in terms of flavour and presentation, does seem to be missing something. I know that Be Our Guest is a very popular restaurant, and there are a ton of guests who come through those doors, but I just feel like the dishes are missing a memorable element about them.
Looking back on our dinner, there’s not a lot about the food that really sticks out to me. I know I enjoyed it, but it didn’t really wow us in the way that other signature restaurants have. I can tell you much more about the dishes I have experienced at California Grill at the Contemporary Resort or Monsieur Paul over at Epcot (which is much more authentic French cuisine, in my opinion). The dishes I had there were memorable. At Be Our Guest, I always remember more about the atmosphere that I do about the food.
There was another element to our dinner that I didn’t touch on…the timing. I assumed that when Be Our Guest became a signature restaurant, it would maybe limit the number of bookings it made and an emphasis would be put on the experience of the meal. For us, it actually felt like we (as a table of 2) were being rushed through our dinner so they could seat as many people as they could. All in all, we weren’t in the restaurant for more than an hour, from the time we sat down, to the time we left. That’s a pretty short window for eating dinner.
Now it certainly could have been a server having a busy, or an off-night, but by the time dessert was delivered to us, the bill was not very far behind. Lauren mentioned that she would have liked to be offered tea or coffee, but it just felt like we were taking up space and the goal was to get as many guests through the doors as possible. I get that the breakfast and lunch quick service at Be Our Guest is meant to accommodate a large number of guests, but dinner, especially a signature dinner, should offer guests a little more leeway in terms of its timing.
The big question here is whether or not the signature dinner at Be Our Guest is worth the cost. Now we have had the luxury of experiencing the restaurant for breakfast and lunch over the years, but I would want to still take the atmosphere into account here. If you have never experienced a meal in the Beast’s Castle, and the dinner menu looks more appealing to you, it can certainly be worth the cost. However, having experienced dinner here, I can’t say we’re desperate to go back again. I think we’d much rather visit other signature restaurants we have tried and maybe return to Be Our Guest for lunch instead.
Our dinner (however short) wasn’t bad at all. The food was comforting, the flavours were good and the theming around you is second to none. I wouldn’t try to dissuade anyone from dining here for dinner, but it may not be at the top of my list for recommendations. Depending on your menu choices, the meal is reasonably worth the $62 cost for adults. I’ll reiterate, it’s absolutely not worth the cost of 2 table service credits, so please pay out of pocket for this one.
In the end, I’m on the fence. After weighing all of the factors, I’d say it’s definitely worth trying once, but not a must-do every time you visit Walt Disney World. It’s also not something you would have to try on your first visit either. For first-time guests, I’d recommend lunch at Be Our Guest instead. Save your dinner experience for another trip.
Disney Dining QUIPS – Be Our Guest Restaurant (Signature Dinner)
Quick – Be Our Guest takes you inside the Beast’s Castle where dinner guests can enjoy a French-inspired 3-course prix fixe menu.
Unique – The three separate dining rooms, the Castle Gallery, the Grand Ballroom and the West Wing are all full of meticulous details from the movie (or are inspired by the movie). Dinner guests also get to meet the Beast prior to being seated.
Impressions – The theming is incredibly immersive. The larger rooms can be a tad noisy, but you can still carry on a conversation. The menu offers a good variety, but isn’t necessarily memorable.
Palate – There are great appetizers to choose from, like the French Onion Soup or the Lobster Bisque. Entrées offer a wide variety of proteins, but the Filet Mignon was quite good. A trio of Desserts finishes the meal with the Grey Stuff sitting front and centre here.
Skip or Stay – If you are looking to use Disney Dining Plan table service credits, skip it. If you are paying out of pocket, this is a Stay for us, but also consider the cheaper lunch alternative if the atmosphere is really the only thing drawing you to Be Our Guest.