Florida frequently has rain. My husband and I found ourselves in one of these gully-whopper frog washes. Unfortunately, it was before our long-anticipated reservation to the exclusive Be Our Guest Restaurant at Disney World.
Behind the iconic Cinderella’s castle at Magic Kingdom sits a smaller castle on top of a hill. Soaked to our skivvies, we walked up the bridge moat to the foreboding door of the castle. Beastly lion statues stand guard on both sides of the massive wooden door with a colorful stained glass arch featuring the Beauty and the Beast rose.
It felt like we were Belle’s father seeking shelter from the elements, although the squeaky squish of my shoes wrecked the seriousness of our intrusion.
There is a restaurant inside this replica castle. My mother-in-law made reservations six months in advance. (Our waiter confirmed that six months is the minimum time you need to get in. Unfortunately, she was unable to make it, but my husband and I were able to assume her reservation. I was told that depending on the restaurant at Disney World, if you don’t cancel your reservation within a certain time frame you may be charged a fee. So, it’s important to plan this reservation into the Disney trip.)
Instead of imprisoning us in the dungeon like Belle’s father who wandered in, the hostess graciously allowed us entry. My husband asked if we could be seated in the West Wing since he read online it was more exclusive, but it would have been a half hour wait and we were hungry. Before the hostess took us to our table she gave us a small Lumiere candlestick. The solid metal was cold and heavy. She advised us to carry it to our table and set it down. It is a signal for a server to come to the table, and they remove it after taking the order.
We were seated in the ballroom of the castle and from the cherubs painted on the ceiling to the sky-high windows, every view was designed to suck us into the tale as old as time. Snow flakes fall outside the windows and try to convince that guests are not in hot Florida but rather are wintering in France.
The price for most entrees was around $35, which is slightly higher than the basic Disney restaurant. Still, this restaurant was the nicest place by far that I have been to there. I peeked through a window of a room off the side of the ballroom and it looked like a character meet and greet for the Beast.
The table napkins were rolled up to look like a red rose on each plate. The servers were friendly and eager to please. I can’t say the food was the best I have ever had, but it’s good. (My husband ordered a steak meal and it’s the same as the one they serve in the Underwater Coral restaurant at Epcot). However, it is the atmosphere that makes the place great. Whenever the beast wanders to the West Wing, there is a roar. He came to
the ballroom and everyone stopped what they were doing for his processional.
After the meal they bring a cart full of desserts. Of course, we had to try the “grey stuff” from the Be Our Guest song since they claim “it’s delicious, don’t believe me ask the dishes.” It’s $5 per dessert. The grey stuff had sort of a frosting texture and it was on top of a chocolate pastry cup. It had edible “pearls” all over. I thought it was very tasty and I have never had anything like it before. My husband is convinced we need to find a recipe hack somewhere online so we can try it again.
When we were finished with our meal, we were allowed to explore. The West Wing was dark and had a picture of the prince that was slashed by claws. Of course, a rose hologram was floating inside a glass dome by the window with heavy drapes. Rose pedals will drop occasionally. The West Wing is more tattered, and I was glad we ate in the ballroom instead. My only complaint is that I wish I was more dressed up instead of wearing a rain soaked shirt and shorts.
By far, this was my favorite place in all of Disney World and Disney Land to eat. To top it, we may have to try Cinderella’s castle, but I’m told it takes a year or longer to get a reservation. Perhaps we should start planning our reservations now then.