Review: Counter Service Lunch at Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom



By Dave Shute

LUNCH AT BE OUR GUEST IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM’S NEW FANTASYLAND

Chocolate Cream Puff at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomOn our third trip to Walt Disney World after the restaurant opened, I finally had the courage to brave the lines and do counter service lunch at Be Our Guest.

Be Our Guest is the all-new Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant that opened late last year as part of the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland.

It’s the second best thing in New Fantasyland–Enchanted Tales with Belle is the best of what’s opened so far–but I remain concerned that menu limitations make it not a great choice for many first time family visitors with kids.

So I’ve chosen not to add counter service lunch at Be Our Guest to this site’s itineraries…though Be Our Guest for lunch has enough positives that I am still thinking about suggesting it as an option.  Putting it in as an option works because you don’t need–and can’t get–lunch reservations, so families can make the choice on the day of a visit.

REVIEW: BE OUR GUEST QUICK SERVICE LUNCH

Be Our Guest is an innovative restaurant that opened at the Magic Kingdom in late 2012. It serves lunch as a “counter service” or “quick service” meal, and dinner as a “table service” meal.

For those who have eaten tons of counter service meals at Disney World, the distinction between table service and quick service is blurred by Be Our Guest.

Unlike almost all other counter service venues, you seat yourself before you have your food, your food will be brought to your table, and it will be served on real plates and eaten with real flatware.

The Lunch Order Screen at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomThe way this works is that you order your food on a computer screen…

Magic Rose at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom…have your order linked to your group via a red thingy that Disney calls a “rose”…

Food Delivery Trolley at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom…then choose a table and put your rose on it–and your order will be rolled out and served to you by a cast member.

This works really well. In particular, not having to carry all your family’s food around while looking with quiet desperation for an open table is a real boon for worn-out parents. (The staff won’t let you order until they know a table will be available–part of the reason why the lines are so long here.)

Moreover, the menu is much more interesting and adventuresome than at any other quick-service option at the Magic Kingdom…or anywhere else at Disney World for that matter.

Quinoa Salad Entree and French Onion Soup at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomRather than the standard fast-foodish offering that you’ll find in many other settings, Be Our Guest serves for lunch a French-inspired selection of  seven entrees, ranging from Tuna Nicoise to Coq au Vin-style braised pork.

(Full menu here; displayed is the Quinoa Salad and French Onion Soup.)

There were four of us, and among us we tried both soups, four of the seven entrees, and four of the six desserts.

Compared to off-site dining at the same price, the soups and entrees were so-so.  They came out a little cool, and would have been much better were they hot.  But compared to other counter-service offerings at the Magic Kingdom, they were spectacular!

Cupcakes and Cream Puffs at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomWe each also ordered a dessert.  We didn’t really want to, but I insisted we do so, for the benefit of you, dear reader.

Leftovers from Desert Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomWe kind of liked the desserts a lot.


Suits in the Menu Room at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomThe setting is also spectacular.  You begin your journey to dessert in a room filled with comically muttering and snoring suits of armor…where you also get to review the menu.

Ordering Room at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomYou then order in another lovely room–self-service, but with cast member help…

…and then find an open table in one of the three dining rooms.

The Ballroom at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomThe dining rooms are starkly different.

  • The Ballroom (shown above) is lovely, and has charming snow effects outside the “windows,” but is a little too large and busy for the tastes of some
  • The West Wing–which I was unable to adequately photograph even by my low standards–is intimate but very dark, and includes some fascinating effects with the Beast’s Rose
  • The Library, where we ate–very photograph-able, but all my shots are blurry–is well-lit, with many charming Beauty and the Beast pieces of art on the wall, and Belle and the Beast dancing, music box style, in the center of the room

You need to see all three, and pick that which suits.

So what’s not to like?  Why shouldn’t Be Our Guest now be the lead counter-service option at the Magic Kingdom?

Well, a couple of things knock it down: a thin kids’ menu, and long waits.

Lines for lunch at Be Our Guest have been over thirty minutes–and often much longer–since it opened, and show no signs of fading.

It seems to have taken on some of the flavor of Toy Story Mania. At Toy Story Mania, everyone who does any research learns that if they don’t get fastpasses first thing, they’ll be gone for the day, so everyone gets fastpasses first thing…and they are quickly gone for the day.

Ditto for Be Our Guest…everyone knows you have to get in line, so everyone gets in line.  This is why it took three trips for me to try it out…We got in line on a low-crowd Saturday in early March at 1.15p, and were at our table by 2p. Our food came out shortly after.

Forty-five minutes is a long time to ask your kids to wait in line for lunch…especially if there’s not anything they want to eat.

Kid's Menu at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom v2The kids menu will be a problem for some youngsters. (Click it to enlarge it.)  There’s not a whole lot of familiar comfort food here–and even what looks like might be, the Macaroni, comes with Marinara sauce and veggies. Yuck.  This is not mac n’ cheese.

Now that said, a lot of younger kids on the Dining Plan (who have to order from the kids’ menu if one is available) become heartily tired of mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets, limp little burgers, and the like. They may welcome the different offerings.

So definitely check with your kids on a Magic Kingdom counter service lunch day, and show them the menu, including the details such as marinara and veggies. (Search for the kids menu online first, as it may change without notice…though likely not much so long as Be Our Guest is packed to the gills.)

If they are game, and your day allows you the waiting time in line, then absolutely give Be Our Guest a try!

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

RELATED STUFF

23 comments

1 Tom { 03.12.13 at 9:42 am }

Dave,

thanks for the review! It sure looks like a great place but I was afraid of waiting in line for almost an hour with a not that friendly kids menu. Perhaps next time!

But it really looks gorgeous!

2 Wendy { 03.12.13 at 11:50 am }

Now that you have been to the counter service section – would you recommend waiting in line here or getting a reservation in the other section. Price is not really an issue…and I am a planner, so I should be able to get a reservation. Would it take less time with the reservation in that section? We will be with kids – 5, 7, 8, and 11. Thanks!

3 Dave { 03.12.13 at 12:57 pm }

Thanks, Tom!

4 Dave { 03.12.13 at 12:59 pm }

Hi Wendy, you can reserve dinner–it’s in the same space, not another section. Bookings open 180 days ahead of time, and dinner has mostly been selling out within a week of bookings opening. You’ll still have a wait, but not nearly as long as at lunch!

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

5 Jenny Smith { 03.12.13 at 5:01 pm }

We ate here for lunch 2 times on our trip last month. We thought it was great. The self service drink station was awesome. The atmosphere was awesome. The West Wing area is a bit dark and scarey for little ones. We did not sit in there but walked through just as a toddler was screaming in fear. A tip about the line…. Not everyone has to be with you until you actually enter the restaurant. Have someone stand in line for your group while others play. When he/she gets to the front, they will just wait to the side for everyone to get there. It is still a little bit of a wait from there but it frees up some of the time. I’d say its the best place to eat in Fantasyland. (The Plaza wins for the best in the MK)

6 Dave { 03.12.13 at 5:43 pm }

Jenny, great point–we did it more or less that way too!

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

7 Jennifer { 04.14.13 at 5:10 pm }

We are staying for 8 days in October and I haven’t been able to get a reservations for Be Our Guest for any of the days we are staying. I called at 7am on the first day of our 180 countdown, and still nothing. I have been checking online and calling everyday, still booked. I am really bummed. Any suggestions?

8 Wendy { 04.14.13 at 7:19 pm }

Just an idea – maybe split your party into smaller groups? Maybe then you can find a table? I read that comment from another person – have not tried it myself…worth a try?

9 Dave { 04.15.13 at 7:46 am }

Bummer Jennifer. You have two options: waiting in line for lunch, or just to keep trying, hoping for a cancellation at dinner…

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

10 Dave { 04.15.13 at 7:47 am }

Wendy, I like it, especially if your party is bigger than 6!

11 Jennifer { 04.17.13 at 9:33 pm }

Yep, I did that. I tried all different party numbers. Do you think online or calling is the better way to stalk?

12 Dave { 04.18.13 at 7:42 am }

Jennier, I dunno…I’d vote for chekcing at 6a online, though, since online bookings open an hour earlier than telephone bookings…

13 Matt { 05.31.13 at 12:32 pm }

Does BoG stay open for dinner on the nights of MVMCP? I have read other places that they closed last year during the party but it could have been attributed to it’s recent opening.

14 Dave { 06.02.13 at 7:58 am }

Matt, I don’t know but will try to find out.

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

15 Matt { 06.03.13 at 9:53 am }

My 180 days was this morning and I was up bright and early to get all of my ADRs done. I would like to give a word of advice that I have read other places and experienced, myself, this morning. Be Our Guest is the hardest ADR to get at this time and if you want to have dinner here try to plan it towards the end of your trip. We are staying Nov30-Dec7 and I tried to book an ADR on Dec3 and there was nothing available at 6:01 this morning. So for curiosity sake I tried every other day (party of 4) as well and I could only get in on the day we were leaving! BoG was booked solid 186 days in advance during a slow time of the year! If you are staying offsite, forget about it. But, there is some good news. Since Be Our Guest is a pre-paid CC ADR some reservations will be cancelled closer to your visit. I intend on checking everyday for an opening to see if someone has cancelled. I’m not counting on it for my party (11 ppl) but a family of four could probably find time to squeeze in. On the bright side I managed to secure my Cindy ADR as well as all the others I wanted. Happy hunting for your BoG ADR!

16 Dave { 06.03.13 at 3:48 pm }

Thanks, Matt–great points!

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

17 Kristi { 02.02.14 at 9:58 am }

Possibly a very silly question but I’m gonna ask anyway… the menu was indeed a turn off when my kids reviewed it when we made our ADR’s; would this be a place to just go for dessert just to see the place or would that be too much hassle?

18 Dave { 02.03.14 at 7:12 am }

Kristi, not only would the wait be just as long, but also there’s some prospect that the cast members would glare at you (it happens, I’ve hear) because tables are so scarce that the want the m to be used by people having a full meal

19 Kristi { 02.05.14 at 1:25 pm }

Then we’ll be crossing that idea off our list … Thanks for saving us from the glares, Dave! ;)

20 Dave { 02.05.14 at 3:02 pm }

A hundred dollar tip will make the glares go away…

21 Barbara { 04.06.14 at 10:34 am }

Do you know what time lunch ends and dinner begins? I think we will be going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, do you think a late lunch (so it can be our quick service meal that day) would be a good idea?I was thinking of trying for Be Our Guest for dinner our last day, but now I’m wondering if we will regret not going to Cinderella’s Royal Table since is probably going to a once in a life time thing. Thanks!

22 Dave { 04.07.14 at 6:56 am }

Barbara, 2 and 4. Showing up around 1.30p can work really well…

23 Barbara { 04.07.14 at 9:04 am }

It won’t work then, because I think we can’t enter the park with our Halloween party tickets until 4. Back to the drawing board . . . .

Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem Easy Guide Banner

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2014 . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.