Dining Review: Be Our Guest Prix Fixe Dinner
For the longest time, guests who wanted to dine inside a castle had only one choice at Magic Kingdom. It was Cinderella’s Royal Table or nothing. Then, Disney constructed a new castle that had but one purpose: providing guests with a royal meal. I recently got to eat there, and I have some thoughts. Here is a review of Be Our Guest’s prix fixe dinner.
What You Should Know about Be Our Guest
Having dined within Cinderella Castle and Beast’s Castle, I prefer the latter. I don’t expect that this is the consensus opinion, but I’m in awe of the Imagineering feats at the newer facility.
I’m clearly not the only one, either. Several years after its opening, Be Our Guest remains one of the most difficult reservations to attain.
In fact, Disney has played with the meal structure at Be Our Guest over the years. For a time, the restaurant served Quick Service meals for breakfast and lunch but then transitioned to an elegant Table Service dinner experience.
Then, Disney tested a lunch system wherein guests ordered their meals online rather than at the restaurant. This premise hinted at the arrival of Mobile Ordering, but it was also kind of a debacle for Disney.
For whatever reason, the restaurant lost countless orders and even some dining reservations, too. So, Be Our Guest ended this practice.
Currently, breakfast and lunch remain Quick Service meals, albeit ones where you’ll need an Advanced Dining Reservation on most days. Dinner works a bit differently. It’s now a three-course prix fixe meal, which actually mirrors the breakfast setup.
However, dinner at Be Our Guest is classified as a Signature Dining experience, which means it costs two Table Service credits per customer.
During the meal, guests will have their choice of appetizer and entrée. The dessert isn’t up to you, though.
Disney chefs have crafted a deluxe dessert sampler that each party member will receive. So, you’ll get to decide some aspects of your meal, but the finale is the same for everyone.
A Meal with Character
The regal nature of Beast Castle is readily apparent from a distance. It’s the latest man-made structure at Magic Kingdom, although this one hides a trick in plain sight.
The castle is actually only a fraction of the height that it appears. Imagineers employ forced perspective to make the building seem like it towers over New Fantasyland.
The restaurant isn’t actually in the castle, as it’s a standalone structure. Disney creates the illusion that you’re entering the castle via a bridge that ends at a cul-de-sac.
You’ll check-in for your meal reservation here and then wait for your name to be called. Then, you enter and officially become a guest of Beast.
Be Our Guest isn’t technically a character meal, though. Well, it’s not for dinner. Instead, Beast will glide across the main dining hall at random intervals throughout your meal. He just won’t stop to talk to anyone.
Beast does sometimes interact with guests in his study, although we’ve had better luck with this encounter at lunch rather than dinner. Other sources indicate that he’s easiest to find at dinner. So, either we’re the exception, or Disney frequently alters this meeting.
A Marvelous Setting
Whether you meet your host or not, you’ll feel awed by the appearance of the restaurant. The main dining hall, the Ballroom, features baroque windows that go from the floor to the ceiling. And elaborate paintings adorn said ceiling. They’re cherub drawings of the Imagineers who worked on the project!
While the ceiling is breathtaking, I favor the back of the Ballroom. This section simulates the snowy peaks of the mountain surrounding Beast’s Castle. The gentle blue light hints at what’s transpiring outside. It’s snowing at the restaurant!
The highlight of the side room known as the West Wing is the famous Enchanted Flower. As its petals recede, Beast’s chances of escaping a permanent hair condition dwindle. The effects of the rose are genuinely magical.
The other side room, the Rose Gallery, is where you may be seated if you’re not in the Ballroom. The paintings on the walls here celebrate some of the most essential moments from Beauty and the Beast. But the real highlight is the spinning Music Box where Belle and her beau dance in circles forever.
I fervently believe that the ambiance at Be Our Guest rivals any place at Walt Disney World…and I include Victoria & Albert’s in that. The interior of Beast’s Castle feels believably aristocratic in nature.
A member of our party, unfortunately, fell ill, leaving us with a party of four at Be Our Guest. While all of us had dined here previously, none of us had experienced the prix fixe meal yet. We excitedly took our seats and waited for instructions.
Our server for the evening took terrific care of us during the meal, making sure that we knew all of the best delicacies to sample. He also went out of his way to make a to-go box of desserts for our sick friend, an act of remarkable generosity that touched us greatly.
As for the food, the flavors were a resounding hit at our table. The youngest member of our traveling party ambitiously sampled escargot for the first time. She chose to love it, which speaks well of her palate and open-mindedness. I’m always grossed out by it.
The other appetizers at our table were French Onion Soup, Maine Lobster Bisque, and charcuterie. The soup has remained the same since the restaurant’s inception, and it stands the test of time as a decadent meal starter.
The lobster bisque didn’t impress anybody, but the person who ordered it lives close to the water. So, she has high standards for fresh seafood. As for the meats and cheeses, well, that one was mine. I’ve eaten at Be Our Guest many times, and this plate of food has never let me down. For those with limited palates, it’s the safest bet.
Entrees and Dessert
Be Our Guest has limited the number of options for each course. You’ll have your choice of five appetizers and six entrees. Our party selected the Rouge Chicken, Center-cut Filet Mignon, and two orders of Pan-seared Sea Scallops.
I don’t think my wife will ever look at me the way that she looked at those scallops. It was like an anime where her eyes turned into giant hearts. The other party member who ordered the scallops agreed. Be Our Guest does its fish right.
The chicken and filet mignon were less successful. Don’t get me wrong. We both liked our dishes, but we certainly didn’t have a SCALLOPS ARE MY EVERYTHING! experience. So, pick the scallops as your entrée.
The dessert trio is why people covet a Be Our Guest reservation. It’s a lemon macaron, a vanilla cake with lemon curd, a dark chocolate truffle, and the famous Chip Cup. Yes, I know that’s four things in the dessert trio. Don’t ask me for an explanation.
Anyway, the Chip Cup towers over the other options. It’s styled after Chip from the movie, only you devour him. The cup is 100 percent edible and incredibly tasty. Before you consume Chip, you eat what’s inside, and that’s The Grey Stuff.
While Be Our Guest has modified this dessert some over the years, it’s still in the conversation for the best dessert at Disney. This one dish will justify the price of the entire meal. I’m not even joking.
Overall, our party once again adored Be Our Guest. The exceptional service and delicious flavors reinforced our thought process about whether to eat here.
It’s become a tradition for our group to make dinner here the final Disney meal of our trip, as we want to have the best possible memory as we depart. That strategy paid dividends yet again, as we had a lovely time.
The one caveat for this trip is that we paid for the meal with the Disney Dining Plan. I wouldn’t recommend this practice unless you have dining credits to burn. It’s not a great use of entitlements. Your party would do better to pay out of pocket instead.