The website has published a number of reviews of dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom, including one of the first on the internet, all the way back in November of 2012. But it’s been a while and I thought it would be prudent to return given some recent menu changes.
This review is from the evening of May 4, 2017.
I’m assuming most people are familiar with the layout and atmosphere of the restaurant, but it is indeed enchanting as we take a look at the ominous West Wing at the conclusion of dinner service.
Of course, the main ballroom is where most guests will sit. It does continue to have a bit of a cafeteria vibe with the openness, but if there were fewer tables it would be all the more difficult to score a reservation.
Available bookings here remain scarce, as demand continues to outstrip supply, even given nearly five years of operation. But cancellations are constantly happening. We booked our dinner for two about ten days in advance after seeing some availability open up.
But steady demand makes some sense with the popularity of the live-action film and the relative dearth of good sit-down options at Magic Kingdom.
I like Skipper Canteen a lot, but it isn’t for everybody, and kids probably respond a lot better to the Beast’s Castle than some dad joke about water or reference to some obscure Disney short from 1887.
Not much has changed on the appetizer front, though the Mussels are now “Marseilles-style” rather than “Provencal.” We’ll try them in a bit.
The entree list has seen a number of changes.
Though the Steak is still mostly the original presentation. The following few pictures are of the previous offerings.
The Shrimp and Scallops entree is now served over pasta rather than inside of this puff pastry. I always thought the pastry was on the dry side and didn’t really add anything to the dish.
The Chicken is also no longer Provencal and now arrives with a Roasted Garlic Aioli.
It always seemed strange that the Braised Pork from the lunch menu was also available for dinner at a higher price point. The above has been switched out for Braised Beef.
The Lamb used to be served with a “Stone-ground Mustard Demi-glace.” Now everything about it is different with a “Red Wine Gastrique.”
Also different, the Pork of Yesteryear was thyme-scented with a Red Wine Jus. Now, you’ll find a Cherry-Mustard Sauce.
The Ratatouille is the same, at least in description.
The “Seasonal Sustainable Catch” should still be salmon, here placed elegantly on a bed of leek fondue.
But let’s focus on the present.
The meal starts with what I think is a surprisingly good bread course with warm rolls and nicely salted butter.
Maybe it’s the magic of Beast’s Castle, but they “feel” a little lighter and fluffier than a lot of other restaurants and are similar to those served at Hollywood Brown Derby, which I also like.
Be Our Guest offers an extensive wine list:
The Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label is a reasonable value, relatively speaking, and the Duboeuf is too if it’s actually the Emile Beranger.
My favorite wine on the menu is the Lasseter Family Paysage. John Lasseter is, of course, the head of Pixar and a bottle of his Paysage will run you $62 retail, plus shipping.
It’s a steal at $75 and has been since the restaurant opened. Don’t tell anyone.
I would again ask you to excuse the quality of the pictures as lighting inside the restaurant is challenging, to put it mildly. This is the $15 “Marseilles-style Mussels –
Steamed in a Smoked Tomato and Saffron Broth served with a Garlic Crostini.”
About 18 meaty mussels arrive with an order and I appreciated how light the sauce was – flavorful with saffron, tomato, garlic, pepper, fennel, and white wine. The floral saffron against the spice of the peppers worked particularly well and the tomato broth did a nice job of mellowing everything out. Served piping hot, I thought they were fantastic and are easily shareable. The crostini were lightly toasted and had that nice crispiness around the edges with a softer, buttery center with a strong punch of garlic. The bread dipped nicely into the excess sauce.
Erin ordered the $9 “French Onion Soup topped with a Crouton and Gruyère Cheese,” which is a vegetarian favorite as the broth doesn’t use any beef, as is often the case. But it’s still incredibly flavorful with a rich, cheesy, onion-y flavor. The soup is served almost too hot to eat at first and the incredible amount of gooey cheese on top does a nice job of insulating the broth underneath for the short time that it will probably last in the bowl. Another highlight.
I ordered the $32 “Braised Beef – Served with Seasonal Vegetables, Baby Potatoes, Balsamic-Caramelized Onions, and crispy Potato Curls.” I did not think this was a particularly intelligent choice, but in the name of research, went through with it.
And I think my instincts were right. This is basically fatty pot roast for just three dollars less than the steak. If it were around the $24 price point of the pork, I could see some value here. But if you’re in the mood for beef, you might as well order a better cut in the steak. With that said, the portion was large and the beef was incredibly tender. The potato curls and crispy onnion offered a nice textural contrast to the soft meat and crunchy asparagus, which you know I appreciate. The potatoes also did a nice job of soaking up the rich red wine sauce, in addition to adding some more heft. It was a filling meal and “not bad” necessarily, but I think it’s the worst entree on the menu and I don’t see it making the next menu cut.
Erin’s $29 “Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops with Lobster, Mushrooms, and Seasonal Vegetables in a creamy Lobster Sauce,” on the other hand, was fantastic. The pappardelle noodles were buttery smooth with a broadness that helped soak up the robust sauce that was rich, but surprisingly light, much like the one that arrived with the mussels appetizer. You should pick up on some olive oil, white wine, and garlic notes with a lingering tomato flavor that’s really comforting. It was also packed with seafood – three large scallops, around six decent-sized shrimp, and several sizable chunks of lobster. It was easily two meal’s worth and you might consider sharing it alongside an appetizer or two. I enjoyed the leftovers the next day.
I knew that “The Grey Stuff – Chocolate Shell, Cookie Crème topped with Lumiere’s special Grey Stuff” had changed again recently, so we put in an order for one of the 5-dollar desserts. And I like the current version, which has a crunchy cookie crust around what tasted like largely vanilla cream inside. It benefited from a really nice creamy texture with the chocolate pearls adding some crispiness. It was a really nice way to end the meal for just $2.50 each. You want one.
Overall, Be Our Guest Restaurant is worth doing at least once for dinner and it also affords the only opportunity to meet Beast in his study after. The pace of the meal is much more relaxing than lunch. The only time I typically recommend the breakfast is if you can do it before the Park opens because of the touring benefit it affords in getting to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight early. I have a full review of that experience here in case you’re unfamiliar.
Couples may want to request the more intimate West Wing, which is much smaller than the ballroom. The Rose Gallery may or may not be an option and if it is, you’ll see a lot of servers and other cast members heading in and out as that’s where they do a lot of staging. I’d probably not request that.
We had reservations for 9:25pm with Wishes at 9pm and a 10pm close.
I thought that would afford an opportunity to watch the fireworks from in front of Cinderella Castle in my favorite spot. That’s in the middle of Main Street in the vicinity of Casey’s Corner.
Handheld fireworks shots…
I’ll miss the show’s powerful narration. It was probably time for a change and Happily Ever After is a much more technically impressive show with a surprising increase in the number of bursts, but Wishes will always have a special place where my heart should be.
The late reservation also offers an opportunity to enjoy exiting Magic Kingdom with far fewer people around. This is the scene just after 11pm when you use a backpack and trash cans as a tripod:
Overall, it ended up being an incredibly enjoyable evening – Wishes, Be Our Guest dinner, and a pleasant stroll out of a beautiful Park at night with just a handful of other people around. I’d recommend a similar experience for anyone able to swing it.