You'll Want to Be a Guest at This Stunning Beauty and the Beast Restaurant
I dined all across the Walt Disney World Resort in search of the most magical, delicious experience. Across all four parks, Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom is the clear winner in my mind. The Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant features insanely accurate settings portrayed in the movie like the forbidden West Wing and the stunning ballroom. Half the fun is digesting the gorgeous decorative details because it's nearly impossible to resist gobbling up the tasty French cuisine.
Now, before these photos completely convince you, remember that Disney World reservations open 180 days before your planned visit at 6 a.m. EST. Do yourself a favor and sign up online and book them ASAP! As one of the most popular restaurants at Disney World, you better believe reservations go quick, and there's nothing more disappointing than missing out on a dining experience you had your heart set on. If you're having a hard time finding any availabilities, you can also try calling (407-WDW-DINE, 407-939-3463).
Travel and expenses for the author were provided by Walt Disney World for the purpose of writing this story.
Although it looks life-size from afar, it's actually quite small up close. Many Disney-goers refer to it as Belle's castle, even though it's technically the Beast's.
Be Our Guest Restaurant Location
The restaurant is in Fantasyland, nestled in what looks like a rock formation under the castle.
Beasts Greet You
Is it a ram or is it a lion? The entryway of the restaurant has some scary sculptures to greet you.
Mosaic From the Movie
As with every Disney restaurant, there's a story. Above the entryway, you'll see the same mosaic that appears in the animated movie. The selfish prince is about to be transformed into a beast by an enchantress.
Entering the "Castle"
You'll feel like Belle the first time she entered the Beast's castle. The dark walls, lined with armor, are unsettling!
Though reservations are required, this restaurant is quick service, meaning you order and pay for the items at a cash register before seating yourself inside. Standing in line doesn't seem so bad when there are decorative items to look at, like these medieval-looking chandeliers.
There's the Fireplace Too!
It's as if you are Maurice. All you need is a footstool and a warm cup of tea from Mrs. Potts, and you'll be transported.
The ballroom will make your jaw drop — I went back and watched the movie right after visiting the restaurant, and the details couldn't have been more accurate. The expansive cherub fresco on the ceiling, the elaborate brass chandeliers, the arched windows, the royal blue banners, the marble floors and columns. It is the Beast's ballroom. The chairs even look like the ones in the movie. They are grand, wood-carved, and throne-like. Although it's stunning to look at, it's also very crowded and noisy. After marveling at the beauty, I opted to dine in a different room.
The Side Room
This room showcases scenes from the film, framed on the wall as if to show the development of the Beast and Belle's budding love. Though it's not as spectacular as the other rooms, the lights are on brighter, and there are fewer people dining.
Belle and Beast Dance Above You
There's also a rotating sculpture of Belle and the Beast in the center of the room on a tall pedestal.
Waiters with old-school dolly carts (outfitted with new-school touchscreen technology) deliver the food. As you wait for it, you can help yourself to tea, coffee, and an assortment of soft drinks. During the dinner service, you can even order wine and beer, a privilege in the almost-dry Magic Kingdom.
The Forbidden West Wing
If you are extremely hot, opt for the West Wing room. The dark room has thunder and lightning, and the portrait of the prince turns into a picture of the Beast with a particularly intense crackle!
Glance at the rose hologram and watch as its petals fall.
Breakfast: Croque Madame
While I can't vouch for lunch or dinner, I found the breakfast to be one of the best meals I had at Disney World. I started with the Croque Madame, an open-faced ham sandwich topped with a fried egg, grueyere cheese, and bechemel sauce. Yes, fruit comes with it, but when you're at Disney, who eats healthy things like fruit and vegetables? I ate every bite of the centerpiece. The bread tasted freshly baked, like a crusty sourdough. The egg yolk poured out (it was the first easy egg I had seen all week!). The crispy ham with the melted cheese and creamy sauce left me wishing I had ordered two. I would make reservations half a year in advance just to eat this dang breakfast again.
While you can feast on a croissant doughnut at Epcot, you'll find it dressed up at Be Our Guest. The flaky fried doughnut comes with a banana caramel sauce (traditionally served over Mickey waffles), pastry cream, and chocolate ganache. This dish is best served divided into quarters and shared with a group. It's decadent!
Feast à la Gaston
Though it seems a little strange to bring Gaston's name into the Beast's castle, it makes sense given the contents of it. Perfectly scrambled eggs, ultracrispy bacon, nicely roasted potatoes, sausage, and fresh fruit adorn the plate. In other words, it's protein-rich. If I ordered it again, I'd double up the bacon. I mean, look at it . . .
Yes, you receive a free dish of pastries at breakfast. Muffins, croissants, and danishes help you carb load before your big day at the park.
A Happy Ending
As you leave, you'll see the mosaic of the transformed Beast with Belle. Though I've only had breakfast, I'm definitely looking forward to returning for lunch and dinner service. I've heard the Beast makes a special appearance during dinner — I can't miss it!