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by Daisy Diva

The Be Our Guest restaurant has been one of the most popular restaurants, with one of the most difficult ADRs to score since it opened about 2 years ago.  It has also done a lot of changing since it opened.  Originally, it opened as a Quick Service spot for lunch and a Table Service restaurant for dinner.  Then as its popularity grew, Disney decided to try something totally new with this restaurant and made FastPass+ available for lunch during a short trial.  Then it was announced that while Be Our Guest would continue to operate as a Quick Service restaurant during lunch hours, guests could make advance reservations (and even place their order online) beginning February 25th.

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I found this final change pretty exciting, because I knew our family had a short Disney trip planned for April, and I was dying to give Be Our Guest a try.  So I was one of those crazy people up early on the morning of the 25th trying to snag that ADR.  And, to put it mildly, it was a mess.  I was clearly not the only person excited about scoring a lunch ADR.  The website and the app crashed with lots of people unsure as to whether or not they actually had a reservation.  But long story short, I was able to get a 12:35 reservation and was officially PUMPED!

I am kind of a compulsive planner, so the online early ordering was definitely a huge perk for me.  I knew from the word “go” that I wanted the Croque Monsieur.  I mean, come on—ham, cheese, bread, cream sauce—what’s not to love?  I had asked my kids, and they had made their choices.  My husband, however, was the wild card.  When he orders at restaurants, he tends to make what he calls a “game time decision”, so ordering 30 days in advance did not April 2015 085appeal to him.  If memory serves me correctly, his response when I told him he could order early was, “How am I supposed to know right now what I want to eat a month from now?”  I am loath to admit that he does made a valid point.  But the good news is that you can add to or alter your order up to five minutes before your reservation time, so I was able to add his meal to our order the morning of our reservation via the My Disney Experience app.  Ordering online was remarkably easy, can be done on the website or app, and you can customize your meals by leaving off a sauce, condiment, or topping.  The menu is mostly French-inspired to fit the theme, but even the pickiest eater could find something they love at Be Our Guest.  But enough of my planning craziness, here’s my actual review.

We arrived at Be Our Guest a little after noon hoping that they would take us a little early since we were at a good stopping point in our park visit.  However, I was informed that we would not be allowed to officially be checked in until 5 minutes before our reservation time.  So we took some pictures and killed some time until 12:30 when we checked in at the first of three stations—right by the Be Our Guest sign there are several cast members with tablets checking guests in.  They scan your ticket or Magic Band and check your reservation and order status.  Since we did not have Magic Bands, we were given a rose and told to head down the bridge to the left toward the restaurant.  There was a LONG line April 2015 087on the right side of the bridge which I originally assumed was people without reservations, but I later learned was people who had not pre-ordered online.  People, this line was over halfway down the bridge, and these fine folks had reservations.  Needless to say, I was glad I had ordered early.  So, we had to stop at the end of the bridge right outside the entrance of the restaurant at a second checkpoint.  There were only a couple of groups ahead of us, so we were called into the restaurant within a couple of minutes.  This was our final stop before we sat down, and it was where they confirmed our order and we paid.  Tip:  This particular station does not accept cash which was my intended method of payment.  The cast member informed me that he could not take cash.  I could go around the corner and pay with cash, but it would take longer.  So I just handed over my credit card (and promptly blew the cash on souveniers) and then we were told to choose our table and fix our drinks.

April 2015 086There are three dining rooms to choose from:  the West Wing, the Rose Gallery, and our choice—the Ballroom.  Each room is lovely and detailed perfectly to match the movie, but I just loved the idea of eating in the very room where Belle and the Beast danced!  And, it’s for real gorgeous—the chandeliers, ceiling artwork, and décor are perfect and jaw-dropping.  The tables and chairs were heavy and not at all “counter service-y.”  We chose a table right next to the drink station where you can fix your own drinks and get all the refills you want.

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April 2015 088I placed our rose and receipt on the table, fixed our drinks, and got ready for my meal to arrive—which was in no time.  The rose on the table served as a homing device that tells the servers where the food needs to go.  So our meals arrived in a fancy-shmancy rolling cart and looked divine.  As I mentioned earlier, I had ordered the Croque Monsieur, and it did not disappoint.  It was just flavorful and delicious, and filling, and I want one right now!  The pommes frites (better known to us English-speaking Americans as fries) were crispy and delicious.

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My husband ordered the Carved Prime Chuck Roast Beef Sandwich.  He dove in, so I wasn’t able to get a picture, but you can see it in the picture of the food cart.  Like my sandwich, it also came with pommes frites and had a creamy horseradish sauce on the sandwich.  It was pretty piled high with meat and looked quite filling.  My three-year-old had requested the child’s grilled cheese which came with tomato soup and a choice of another side—she chose the chocolate chip cookie, of course—and a drink.  She also dove right in, so I didn’t get a picture of hers either.  I recently asked my kids what their favorite food is that they’ve ever had at Disney, and this grilled cheese was her choice.  So it must be pretty tasty.  My six-year-old opted for the Whole-Grain Macaroni with marinara sauce, and he enjoyed it.  I was surprised to see that the sauce came separate from the noodles and cheese, but he thought pouring the sauce over the noodles was fun.  It also came with a side—again, the cookie was the winner here—and a drink.  He did pause long enough for me to grab a picture of his meal.

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I also added a dessert to our meal—The Master’s Cupcake, which comes complete with “The Grey Stuff” which is touted as “delicious” by Lumiere himself.  The cake itself was nothing to write home about—a little spongy and flavorless—but the grey stuff was super yummy, so I was glad I had ordered it.  I knew that we would be grabbing a snack shortly to watch the parade, so the kids and I shared the cupcake.  However, I wouldn’t really call the cupcake shareable—it wasn’t very big.  Another note, the paper around the cupcake is the actual cupcake liner, not just a decorative wrapper, and it was a PAIN to get off of the cupcake.  I thought I was actually going to have to eat the cake right out of the paper without unwrapping it.

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While our meals were delicious, we did have a couple of issues with our order.  I am 99% positive that when I placed our order online, I ordered apple juice for both of my kids since that is what they drink primarily at home.  But we were brought one juice and one milk which unfortunately my kids don’t drink very often.  Of course, our server was happy to return the milk for another juice box.  Both of my kids also had broccoli on their plates instead of the cookie I had ordered for them.  Once again, our server checked the receipt (which I had conveniently kept out on the table just in case) and gladly brought my kids their cookies.  I am not sure if the breakdown was due to our pre-order, or if there was an issue in the kitchen, but you might want to take a screenshot of your final choices if you do pre-order just to make sure you get what you want.  In my opinion, skipping the long line of people waiting to order outweighs the inconvenience of having to ask the server to make a couple of corrections.

I know that not everyone has a great experience at Be Our Guest, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at the Beast’s castle.  It’s tough to beat a table service experience with the cost and speed of a quick service spot.  If you are on the dining plan, this would be a fabulous choice for a quick service credit as the meals are slightly pricier than some of the other quick service meals, and you just can’t beat the beautiful atmosphere.  Basically, I can’t wait to go back and sink my teeth into another Croque Monsieur.

To book your magical vacation to Disney World, contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel.