LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Be Our Guest Restaurant in Fantasyland magically takes Magic Kingdom Park diners into the splendor, elegance and fairytale charm of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” with a setting right out of the classic animated feature film: the magnificent castle of the Beast, where guests dine in three richly appointed rooms that bring the story to life.
Be Our Guest Restaurant is the next step in the evolution of dining for Disney theme park guests: more than ever, designers and chefs used storytelling and creativity to create this immersive dining experience.
The storytelling starts with a forbidding castle situated in the hills above the Fantasyland “countryside.” Guests pass through the ruins of an old gateway to a stone bridge and through massive wrought-iron gates flanked by six beastly figures – the first of many design elements that reinforce the story of the Beast’s transformation.
The restaurant’s spacious interior re-creates the look of the film in great detail. Lunch guests enter through the Armor Hallway, where six suits of armor stand along the wall (listen closely for an occasional whisper from the metal figures), and into the Beast’s Study to place lunch orders on five guest-activated terminals. For dinner, guests enter directly into the majestic Ballroom for sit-down table service.
There are three dining rooms: the stately Ballroom, the forbidden, dramatic West Wing and the delicate Rose Gallery.
The Ballroom conveys the elegance of the film’s memorable scene in which Belle and the Beast whirled around a dance floor. A coffered, 20-foot ceiling painted with fluffy clouds and cherubs, sparkling chandeliers and a terrazzo floor sets the scene. At the far end of the room, 18-foot-tall arched windows look out to the French countryside, where a light “snow” falls through the starry sky, adding a touch of magic.
The “forbidden” West Wing dining room is darker and more mysterious, with the glass bell jar containing the enchanted rose slowly dropping petals as time runs out for the beast.
Over the fireplace, a portrait of the young prince in human form is slashed by the claws of the Beast. As lightning flashes, the image in the portrait transforms, changing from prince to Beast.
The Rose Gallery dining room features a large music box centerpiece nearly 7 feet tall with Belle and the Beast slowly twirling atop. Along the walls are paintings and tapestries that celebrate the characters from the story, with four of the tapestries inspired by background art from the film. Throughout the room, decorative roses are featured.
Music is an important element throughout the restaurant, with musical themes from the film adding to the ambience. In the Ballroom, guests will hear music from the film recorded by a 50-piece orchestra. In the adjacent Rose Gallery, special music box arrangements were recorded of the same pieces heard in the Ballroom, in perfect synchrony, so that guests moving from room to room will hear the same tune transformed from one style to another. In the West Wing, a somber, melancholy arrangement creates yet another mood.
Servers complete the picture, dressed in a style inspired by European fashions from the 1400s to the 1600s: a royal purple embroidered doublet, or vest, over a shirt with knickers that reach just below the knee. For evening service, a jabot or ruffle, buttoned at the throat, is added.
The restaurant seats 546 for lunch and 340 for dinner (when the Rose Gallery is closed).
A team of Disney chefs, including longtime Disney Chef Roland Muller, a native of Alsace, France, developed the French-inspired dishes, creating both a quick-service menu for breakfast and lunch, and more elegant table-service menu for dinner.
“Our role is to finish the story,” said Walt Disney World Concept Development Executive Chef Lenny DeGeorge.
The fast casual breakfast menu has a decidedly French touch. Entrée options include Feast a la Gaston with scrambled eggs, bacon and chicken sausage with pastries and fresh fruit; assorted cured meat and cheese served with marmalade, fresh fruit and a toasted baguette; Croque Madame sandwich; open-faced bacon-and-poached-egg sandwich with Brie. Lighter dishes include scrambled egg whites with roasted tomatoes, multigrain croissant and fresh fruit; or vegetable quiche with mushroom, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and chive, served with seasonal fruit.
DeGeorge describes lunch as more of a French bistro, with dishes such as a classic Croque Monsieur (ham, Gruyere cheese and béchamel), braised pork coq au vin style, vegetable quiche and a tuna Niçoise salad.
Guests order at touch-screen devices and head for tables where high-tech touches ensure that food quickly is delivered to each table.
Dinner is a more elegant affair with starters such as mussels Provençal, French onion soup and charcuterie (cured meats with cornichons, pickled onions and toasted baguette). Entrées pay homage to a castle feast in the 1400s with a roasted lamb chop, grilled strip steak and sustainable fish. Gourmet cupcakes – including strawberry cream cheese, triple chocolate and lemon meringue — and mousse-filled cream puffs are finished tableside. And the “Grey Stuff” made famous in the film is also a dessert option.
And just for dinner, select wines and beers are offered that complement the French-inspired cuisine.
As part of the overall theming, wines enhance the guest experience and complement the French-inspired cuisine, with vintages focused primarily on France’s famous wine growing regions including Champagne, Alsace, Loire, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux. The menu also offers the leading French beer, Kronenbourg 1664, and Belgian beers.
Just for Kids
For lunch, the kids’ menu includes grilled steak or seafood, turkey meatloaf (shaped like Mickey Mouse) and chicken brochette.
“We’re even making the ketchup from scratch using carrots,” said DeGeorge. “And the meatloaf also has vegetables, so kids are getting their vegetables and don’t even realize it.”
Guests can make reservations via DisneyWorld.com/dine, the My Disney Experience app, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Advance reservations are encouraged. Disney Dining Plan is accepted, one QSR entitlement for breakfast or lunch, and one TSR entitlement for dinner.
Disney dining has evolved to meet the discriminating taste of its guests, offering innovative, fun and healthful dining choices. Disney delivers everything from stellar, award-winning dining experiences to immersive dining that transports guests into cherished stories. There are more than 450 places to eat at Walt Disney World Resort, including fine dining in unforgettable settings, Disney character dining and quick-service restaurants. Behind-the-scenes innovation leads the way with allergy-friendly menus at up to 120 quick-service and table-service locations. Walt Disney World Resort also is one of the largest single-site purveyors of wine, with more Level One sommeliers than any other company in the world. Each year, Disney’s culinary team creates fresh dishes and new beverage choices for special events including the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. For more information and to make reservations visit www.disneyworld.com/dine.