It was barely past 10 o’clock in the Magic Kingdom when Becky suggested we make our way towards the new Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant in Fantasyland. I had skipped breakfast and figured we would be first in line. We made our way over a stone bridge and were greeted by a line of 25 people. The line quickly grew behind us until it stretched onto the street. While waiting for the doors to open a cast member passed out menus. Be Our Guest’s French inspired lunch consisted of soups, sandwiches, salads and items for the kids. While trying to contain Miss Julia from wandering too far I noticed items included potato leek soup, a grilled steak sandwich served with pomme frites, and braised pork.
At precisely 10:30 a.m. the double dark colored wooden doors opened and the guest streamed into the restaurant’s interior past two stately lions. We passed through a hallway lined with suits of armor before coming to the area where the orders are placed. Terminals were scattered about the room and cast members directed guest how to use the touch screen menus. A key component was a over sized rose that looked like a fat coaster. Touching it to the pad began the ordering process and, we were told, would serve as a beacon for the servers to find our table. I ordered the tuna Niçoise salad, while Becky opted for the béchamel covered croque-monsieur sandwich. We got the kids a turkey sandwich to share along with drinks and a strawberry cream cheese cupcake.
Walking out of the ordering area we entered the expansive Grand Ballroom. Miss Julia was in awe and we took a seat near the windows. The room looked like it fell out of the movies and into Lake Buena Vista. The space was oval shaped and filled with tables surrounded by high backed wooden chairs upholstered in the color of the Beast’s blue jacket. While we waited for our food to arrive the kids explored and were mesmerized by the flashes of “lightning” that periodically occurred behind the large floor to ceiling windows. Keeping one eye on the kids I filled our drinks at the self serve soda fountains that lined the right hand wall.
Within ten minutes our lunch arrived in a fancy glass domed wooden pushcart. I was impressed with how well the rose locator worked and was interested to see my tuna Niçoise salad. My expectations were low since I have never been impressed with amusement park food. The salad arrived on a rectangular white ceramic plate. Four thick slices of seared tuna were accompanied by a selection of mixed greens, haricot vert, tomatoes, olives and a hard poached egg. A tangy vinaigrette was served on the side pursuant to my ordering instructions.
I took a bite of the tuna. It was perfectly cooked and tasted fresh. I was happy to see Be Our Guest did not skimp on the quality or portion size of tuna. The egg was nicely cooked and the greens were fresh. The haricot vert added a nice crunchy texture to the salad. I was impressed and for $13.00 it actually was a decent value. Becky enjoyed her roque-monsieur while the kids were more concerned with taking in the atmosphere than eating their turkey sandwich. When it was time to share the cupcake however, they became interested again. The vanilla cake was fluffy and the strawberry cream cheese frosting was sweet without being over powering. It was a very nice ending to our lunch.
Before we left we explored the other two rooms. To the left of the Grand Ballroom is the West Wing. It was tattered and had the Beast’s claw slashed painting framed along with the famous rose. It was a bit scary for our two little ones ages 2 1/2 and 4. To the right of the ballroom was Belle’s Library. In the middle of the room the Beast and Belle danced above the patrons. It was more our kids speed and had a more intimate feel than the expansive ballroom. I am happy we got to experience the Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurant and our experience at Be Our Guest was a pleasurable one. For those with young children and on a budget, lunch is the way to go to check out the restaurant’s unique interior without springing for the more expensive dinner menu.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: