Friday, February 20, 2015

Be Our Guest Restaurant - Is It Worth The Hype?

Be Our Guest Restaurant has to be, hands down, the most popular restaurant at Walt Disney World, at this point. It is super hard to get Advanced Dining Reservations for dinner, they created a FastPass+ system for the counter service lunch, and the standby lines for lunch were crazy long!  Which is why the Magic Kingdom restaurant will be switching over to an all reservations for lunch system.  You see, beginning next week, on February 25, all guests visiting the Magic Kingdom can book a reservation via their My Disney Experience account to enjoy this restaurant's counter service option.

Guests be able to make reservations 180 days out and guests will need to submit a credit card to hold the reservation.  The card will not be charged unless the guest does not show up.  Also the restaurant will allow for walk-ups, if by chance they are available.

The question Be Our Guest Restaurant worth the hype?  Is it worth the trouble to get in just to dine there?

I would arguably say yes!  It actually is.  I've tried both dinner and lunch here (I was lucky enough to get a lunch FastPass!) and I have been consistently pleased with both options.

For dinner, I enjoyed the thyme-scented pork rack chop with the au gratin macaroni and cheese and seasonal veggies for $23.99.  While the meat was delicious, what I especially enjoyed was the au gratin macaroni and the green beans! The au grain was super cheesy and the green beans were nice and crisp.

For lunch, I sampled the braised pork, which consisted of slow-cooked pork with vegetables and bacon served with mashed potatoes and green beans jardiniere for $12.99.  Holy cow!  This was the best counter service meal I've ever had at Walt Disney World.  The meal was dinner quality was fantastic and that price was incredible.  The pork was fork-cuttable, the green beans had great flavor and the mashed potatoes were great too. 

Of course, I also had to have dessert both times.  At dinner, I tried the Triple Chocolate cupcake and for lunch, I had the Master's Cupcake. While both were chocolate and delightful.  I found the Triple Chocolate one took the cake....literally!  The best part...these cupcakes are also relatively reasonably priced!

Of course, part of what makes this restaurant so popular, is the fact that it's themed around the classic movie, Beauty and the Beast.  But to me, that isn't enough...I mean, look at another movie-themed restaurant, Tony's Town Square, in the same park.  Tony's should be extremely popular!  It's based off a great movie, however, the food is clearly lackluster. (I don't know how anyone manages to screw up pasta, but boy they certainly found a way!)

Overall, the Magic Kingdom is sorely missing the mark on restaurants.  I mean, there isn't a stand out period that guests are really excited for, for the most part.  (Many enjoy Crystal Palace...though the cost is insane, especially for dinner. Oh and for those who claim the price is justified due to it being a character meal, Be Our Guest does allow you to meet the there is a character component...even if it isn't advertised as a character meal.)

But honestly, if you want to dine at a great restaurant and you're at the Magic Kingdom, you're better to head to the Magic Kingdom Resorts instead. Every meal at the Magic Kingdom, is lackluster or stupidly expensive (or both) at best.

That was until Be Our Guest came along.  Be Our Guest changed things because not only do they offer food that actually is delicious and unique, but it's also not ridiculously priced.  Now I know that many will disagree with me, but I find both lunch and dinner costs to be pretty darn on the mark for a good Disney restaurant.

Yes, lunch costs more than a lot of other counter service locations, but I feel you are getting a much higher quality meal and some of those options are worth paying more for.  (Like my braised pork....honestly...that was more along the lines of something I would have had for dinner.  I could have eaten that for lunch and had either a very light dinner or snacked the rest of the evening and been happy...for under $15!  That's a bargain, especially for Disney!)  However, they also offer sandwiches that are more unique than you'd typically see at most other Disney quick service restaurants.

As far as dinner is concerned...I find the quality, again to be top notch, but when compared to something like Liberty Tree Tavern, which I find yummy, let's face it, isn't the most high-class cuisine you can have.  And ALL of the meals at Be Our Guest currently cost LESS than Liberty Tree Tavern's feast.  (Granted LTT's meal is also all you can eat, but still....I'm not typically getting more than one plate anyway.) 

Of course, with all the success, I'm actually rather shocked that Disney hasn't attempted to make this a signature meal.  Of course, with the rumored Adventureland Veranda restaurant coming, maybe they are using that to relieve the pressure off of Be Our Guest and once that one opens, will change Be Our Guest to signature dining.  (I'd actually bet pretty good money on that one.)

So, yes, Be Our Guest Restaurant is absolutely worth the hype...because it's honestly the only hypable restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.  I just hope Disney learns from the success of this restaurant and eventually applies it to some of the other Magic Kingdom restaurants too.  (Again...I'm looking at you Tony's Town Square. don't have to change much...just start serving edible food!) 

What do you think?  Is Be Our Guest Restaurant worth the hype?  I know many will agree, however quite a few of you will strongly disagree, so share your thoughts on the Facebook page or in the comments section! 

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Anonymous said...

This restaurant was a highlight from my trip last October. The braised pork was delicious and the surroundings are beautiful. Thankful we had a lunch fastpass. Will definitely make reservations for our next trip.

Unknown said...

So glad to hear you enjoyed your meal! :)

Brad P said...

I've been to dinner twice and will be there again in March. It is a fabulous restaurant. I've had two great meals in there and the theming is fabulous. It's a meal that I can ask my kids about and they always remember it. Great article, pretty much sums up my thoughts and I hope Disney uses this as a template for future park restaurants.