Why Breakfast is BEST at Be Our Guest

Be-our-Guest-WindowThinking about dining at Be Our Guest?  Can’t decide which meal to choose?  Here are FIVE reasons why…

Breakfast is BEST at Be Our Guest

  1. The Perfect way to start the day in Magic Kingdom – You’re fresh, wide awake, looking your best, AND you can get into Magic Kingdom early!  Think of the possibilities for great pictures!  You can eat before getting a jump on the day with your favorite rides and attractions.Beast's-Castle
  2. Experience the incredible atmosphere at your leisure – Early breakfast not only means a less-crowded Magic Kingdom, you can also tour Beast’s Castle on your own while waiting for your food to arrive (or after you finish eating).  Be-our-Guest-CeilingThe details and theming are well-worth at least one visit to this very unique and magical restaurant.  Feeling rushed would certainly diminish the overall experience.Be-our-Guest-Tapestry
  3. The Food is good!  Compared to lunch and dinner, we enjoyed breakfast the most.    Raymond ordered the Croque Madame “Open-faced Ham Sandwich topped with a Fried Egg, Gruyere Cheese, and Béchamel served with Fresh Fruit and a selection of pastries.”  Be-our-Guest-BreakfastI opted for the Scrambled Egg Whites “Scrambled Egg Whites with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Fresh Fruit, and a selection of pastries”   Be-our-Guest-EggsThe flavor, preparation, serving sizes along with the “selection of pastries” was very filling and tasty! (We felt obligated to try some of each pastry selection for research purposes.)Be-our-Guest-Breakfast-Pastries
  4. Relatively reasonable price for two adults – Breakfast for two totaled about $44 before tax.  Be-our-Guest-ReceiptOur lunch was about $50 for the two of us (one soup, two entrees and two desserts plus soft drinks).  Dinner was WAY more expensive (we added a bottle of wine) and dinner involves adding a gratuity.  Preview the menu here.
  5. Convenience – We booked our ADR and took advantage of the option to pre-order our food.  Be-Our-Guest-Check-inUpon arrival, we checked in outside and were directed right on in.  Once inside, we checked in again, paid for breakfast and received our “rose” (looks like a yellow hockey puck).  Then we grabbed our drinks at the self-service beverage station and were free to sit in whichever room we liked.  That magical hockey puck rose directed a Cast Member right to our table with our food when our order was ready.   Be-our-Guest-Grand-BallroomOn this visit we chose the Grand Ballroom having already dined in the other two rooms (the Castle Gallery and the West Wing, both shown in the next two pictures).  Be-our-Guest-Dining Be-Our-Guest-West-WingFYI – that West Wing is kinda creepy and very dark for an entire meal.  You’re welcome to roam the rooms and take pictures, so don’t worry about missing out on all the cool details.

Yes, you should definitely eat at Be Our Guest!  It’s pricy but the experience is fantastic.  Which meal you choose will depend on your plans and the amount of time you have available, but now that we’ve tried all three meal options, we both unanimously recommend breakfast as the best option.Be-our-Guest-Gargoyle

Have you eaten at Be Our Guest?  What did you think about it?

Walt Disney World – Just Back, Trip Recap!

Clam-mobile-selfieWe had a great time at Walt Disney World!  We always have a great time, so this comes as no surprise.  What DID surprise us was the exceptional, unexpected delights along with a couple of equally surprising minor disappointments.  You know me – fair and balanced (usually) is my M.O. and today’s no different.  Please bear in mind that in anticipation of the extreme crowds to be expected between Christmas and New Year’s, we made an unprecedented number of dining reservations.  Now let’s get to it!

Walt Disney World – Just Back, Trip Recap!

The VERY BESTPolynesian-Villa-Studio

Our Polynesian Village Resort DVC villa!  You can read that review here.  We were so happy with our location and how comfortable and luxurious our room and its amenities were!  Would we stay here again?  In a heartbeat!DHS-Osborne-Lights-Sign

Saying Goodbye to the Osborne Lights – Bittersweet, but we made the most of the opportunity and were happy at the end of the day.  I guess we could call it closure.Skipper-Canteen-Jungle-Cruise-Sign

The New Skipper Canteen – A full review of this fantastic new Magic Kingdom eatery will be coming up within the next few days, but let me say – If this is the future of Disney’s theme park dining, I’m ecstatic!Jiko-Exterior

Jiko – It’s been a few years since we’ve eaten at this Signature restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge because we had to work Boma and Sanaa into our vacation dining rotation.  It was every bit as wonderful as every other time we’ve eaten there.  Again – full review coming soon.Shula's-Steakhouse-Exterior

Shula’s Steakhouse – Ever since we tried (and were delighted by) Il Mulino at the Swan, we’ve been hoping to fit dinner at Shula’s (at the Dolphin) into our plans.  Perfectly perfect in every way.  Guess what?  Yup – there’s a review coming up soon!Morimoto-Asia-Sushi

Morimoto Asia – Another place we were dying to try and brand new to boot.  Located in Disney Springs, we planned a morning around having lunch at Morimoto Asia before an afternoon at Epcot.  What a great meal!  We shared every course hoping it would keep us from eating too much – HA!  We left completely stuffed and loved the sake flight offered there as well.  You know?  I believe I’ll write a review on this place too!  (So check back!)

The Really GoodJingle-Cruise-Sign

Jingle Cruise – We love Jungle Cruise in it’s usual configuration so chances were that we’d be thrilled with the ride’s holiday overlay.  And we were.  Skipper Patrick was from our home state of Louisiana and he was a true master at pun-delivery!  If you’ve not had the chance and are visiting Walt Disney World during the holidays, do make time to experience this fun and funny seasonal treat.Be-Our-Guest-Restaurant-Sign

Breakfast at Be Our Guest – We’d eaten both lunch and dinner at Be Our Guest before, so we thought, why NOT see how breakfast is.  Hands down, this was our favorite meal at this unique and amazingly-themed restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland.Tonga-Toast-Kona-Cafe

Breakfast at Kona Café – We’d never had Tonga Toast before!  We had to knock that off our Disney to-do list.  While the toast might have been a little sweet for us, we loved the omelet we shared, plus the coffee and the service were both excellent.  Those to-go coffees our server offered us were just the ticket for making sure we were wide awake when we got to Magic Kingdom.Chewbacca-Meet-and-Greet

Meeting Chewbacca – He was everything we hoped he’d be!  Tall, furry, friendly, and photogenic!  The Launch Bay, where fans can meet both Chewbacca and Darth Vader, is packed with enough Star Wars information and memorabilia to make every fan happy.Star-Tours-Queue

The New Star Tours – We weren’t sure what to expect with the new Force Awakens tie-ins, but they were just right – seamlessly included in the storyline. (Nope, no spoilers here!)

The DisappointmentsBluezoo-Exterior

Bluezoo – This Todd English restaurant at the Dolphin was someplace we’d really looked forward to trying.  We’d heard such great things about the menu and service.  The service was as expected – excellent.  The disappointment came in the form of our $42 entrees.  We each ordered something different and we both found the food lacking in interest and flavor.  There are tons of other places in that price range at Disney World, no need to waste money here.Flying-Fish-Exterior-2015

Flying Fish – The last time we ate at Flying Fish was in May, 2014 and it was one of the best dining experiences we’d ever had.  The food, the service, the ambiance – all of it created such a fantastic vacation memory.  Raymond and I were expecting the same thing this time.  Not so much.  Lackluster (at best) is what we got.  It started with the hostess who would not make eye contact or smile – just shoved a pager at Raymond and said (without looking up), “We’ll call you when we’re ready”.  Flying-Fish-Interior-2015(2)The young lady who led us to our table when our pager blinked was equally un-Disney-like.  Our server went through the motions, but never talked about the menu or made recommendations of any kind.  He was pleasant enough yet made us feel like a chore he needed to finish quickly. Flying-Fish-Interior-2015(1) I have a theory.  Flying Fish is getting ready to close for an extended refurbishment.  I asked and the server told me they were all being reassigned to other places.  I believe they’ve all checked-out and mentally moved on, knowing that at the end of January their work family will be divided up among many other Disney restaurants and they’ll each have to learn the ways of a new place.  I’d be willing to go back again after the refurb and give Flying Fish another shot.

Have your recent experiences been different than ours?  What has been your most favorite recent Disney dining or attraction experience?


Disney World Dining – Best 1-Credit Table Service Restaurants

RM-Be-Our-Guest-Stained-GlassOnce again, in the interest of full disclosure – I’m not a picky eater.  This is, you know, my blog and thus, my opinion.  I get asked a lot about the Disney Dining Plan in general and table service restaurants in particular.  Disney Dining Plans can be a great value (even if you pay for them and don’t get the free dining promotion), but to maximize your investment, you kind of need to choose wisely (if you care about such things).  There are some terrific web sites and blog posts that work out the details on where you can actually get the best value (Here’s a highly detailed great article from 2014) .  I’m not really into that per se.  I’m more about the overall dining experience versus straight up where-is-the-most-expensive-place-I-can-eat-for-one-table-service-credit.

Bearing in mind that these choices are based on my own family’s experiences – unless otherwise noted, we’ve actually eaten in every restaurant listed.  To make the list, we had to like the food, the selection, the service, and the ambiance as a whole.  Oh, and we’d have to want to eat there again.  So, if we’re all on the same page (HA!) here we go!

Disney World Dining – Best 1-Credit Table Service Restaurants

Exterior Rooftops / Animal Kingdom LodgeBoma Dinner Buffet (Animal Kingdom Lodge) – Boma’s also available for breakfast, but we haven’t tried anything but dinner.  We’ve eaten here several times because the variety of foods on this amazing buffet is simply unbeatable.  Soups, salads, breads, meats, stews, casseroles, kid-friendly fare, unique desserts – it’s all available at Boma.  As an added bonus, arrive early or stay late and enjoy the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s gorgeous lobby and savannah overlook for animal-spotting, entertainment, and educational opportunities. (More about Animal Kingdom Lodge for an evening out here.)

RM-Sanaa-BreadSanaa Dinner (Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village Section) – We recently ate at Sanaa for the first time and thought the atmosphere, service, and food were all excellent.  A bit more adult-oriented than Boma (our opinion), we adored the bread service starter and felt perfectly comfortable lingering over a leisurely dinner.  Romantic? Yes!

Olivia's at Disney's Old Key WestOlivia’s Café (Old Key West Resort) – We discovered this unique restaurant mostly by accident.  We were staying at Old Key West, but honestly had no intention of eating there!  At the very end of our vacation, we found ourselves starving at supper-time with no ADR (Advance Dining Reservation) booked.  Olivia’s welcomed us with open arms.  Great service, broad selection (for all tastes and appetites), and cozy, welcoming atmosphere – Olivia’s won us over!  (Full review here.)

‘Ohana Dinner (Polynesian Village Resort) – This place has wide appeal for the entire family.  All you care to eat, great setting, tasty Brazilian-barbeque-style dinner, decent service – you won’t leave hungry!  If you’re tempted to give this place a try, you must book your ADR 180 days out.  You snooze, you lose…if you want to eat at this uber-popular restaurant.RM-Be-Our-Guest-Sign

Be Our Guest Dinner (Magic Kingdom) – Out of pocket, I thought this was an expensive dinner (review here), but for one table-service credit?  Absolutely I’d book an ADR at Be Our Guest.  It’s gorgeous, the service is great, and the food is fine.  Best, most gorgeous dining room(s) in Magic Kingdom.  Let’s put it like this – if you must book a table service restaurant in Magic Kingdom, make it Be Our Guest where, no matter your opinion on the food or atmosphere, you can at least enjoy an adult beverage with your meal if you like. (Full review here.)IMG_0931

Rose & Crown Restaurant (UK Pavilion, Epcot) – We loved this place.  When we ate there (once so far), we were outside on a lovely evening with a great water view.  The service and food were both great.  We love the UK pavilion – enjoying dinner there is just one more great way to immerse ourselves in its awesomeness.

50’s Prime Time Café (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – This place is so cool!  The “props”, the atmosphere, the humorous servers, the comfort-food-based menu – it all adds up to a fun place for the whole family.  A good experience and value for one table-service credit.  I’m a notorious anti-fan of the Studio’s restaurants in general, but this place is a winner in my book.

Character Dining:

 Meeting Minnie at Chef Mickey'sChef Mickey’s (Breakfast or Dinner Buffet / Contemporary Resort) – For years (and years!) we ate at Chef Mickey’s on every single Disney World visit.  First for dinner, then when the kids were older, for breakfast.  We’d eat there again – and probably will next time we’re all together on vacation.  The Fab Five and a decent buffet – especially during the summer, this combination at an indoor venue, for a meal, just a monorail stop from Magic Kingdom is a pretty good deal!  (Review here.)

1900 Park Fare / Drizella and Anastasia1900 Park Fare Dinner (Buffet / Grand Floridian Resort and Spa) – We loved meeting Cinderella and her Prince, but Lady Tremaine and the Step Sisters steal the show.  What this restaurant lacks in atmosphere, it makes up for in character-meeting experiences and a good variety of tasty food.  We saw families of all ages there and our family of four adults had a great time! (Check out all the details here.)

Honorable Mentions:  Places we haven’t tried, but are on our to-try list because we’ve heard great things:

  • Kona Café (Polynesian Village Resort)
  • Whispering Canyon Café (Wilderness Lodge)
  • Cape May Café Dinner (Buffet)
  • Tusker House Dinner (Buffet)

Your turn!  Which table service restaurants would you recommend?


Disney Dining – Be Our Guest Restaurtant Review

We always make sure to book our Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) exactly 180 days before our Walt Disney World vacations.  This most recent trip was no exception.  Usually, we book one table service meal per day, but because we wanted to make the most of the Food & Wine Festival offerings (food booths and special events), we only booked four dinners.  One of those was at Be Our Guest.RM-Be-Our-Guest-Entrance

Dinner booked, I was pretty excited to finally be able to go inside The Master’s lair and see for myself all those amazing Disney details and magical touches.  Then, about 24 days before our trip, we received THE email – the email from Disney inviting us to book a FastPass for lunch at Be Our Guest!  We were not sure if we should cancel dinner in favor of lunch, pass on the lunch, or do both.  I quickly posted the question to Facebook and Twitter and the advice we received was nearly unanimous – do BOTH!  And that’s just what we did.


So here’s the scoop.  I try to always give balanced feedback and today’s no different.  Be Our Guest is not perfect.  It’s very visually interesting and in most of the rooms, very beautiful.  It’s also a little gimmicky and regimented – there seemed to be a lot of rules, procedures, routines from which no deviation must occur.  I found that just a tad off-putting.  Perhaps if we had not been two adults alone we would have had a better time?  The food was hit and miss – for the price, it should be better.

Be Our Guest Dinner

The evening started by standing in line to check in (outdoors) at a booth on the outside edge of the bridge that leads to the castle.  Once we received our pager, we were told to just wait on the bridge – this made me wonder about bad weather and how RM-Be-Our-Guest-Gargoylemiserable it would be to wait in the rain.  We didn’t wait very long before our little device started flashing and we were escorted inside by a very cheerful and pleasant young lady named Sue.  Sue handed us a Lumiere toy to carry that was supposed to help light the way to our table – except Lumiere was not turned on. RM-Be-Our-Guest-LumiereLooking around I noticed that none of the Lumiere’s were glowing and I asked Sue why we were carrying them if they weren’t turned on and she informed me that they usually are turned on and she didn’t know why they weren’t working that particular evening.  Okay, so non-lighting Lumiere in hand, we followed Sue, who was very excited to tell us we’d be dining in the West Wing.RM-Be-Our-Guest-West-Wing-Ceiling

The West Wing is just as it appears in Beauty and The Beast.  Dark, decaying, with moldy-looking ripped curtains and shredded tapestries, the rose hovering by the window in its glass case. RM-Be-Our-Guest-Rose The West Wing is also really dark – as in pitch black, hard-to-see-anything dark.  We were seated not far from the room’s entrance and had a great view of the double doorways through which The Master made his entrances and exits during the evening.RM-Be-Our-Guest-PortraitAt dinner only, the Beast appears several times and makes his way to the library to receive guests – BUT only guests who have finished their meals are allowed to visit the library and meet The Master.  The announcer reminds guests of this repeatedly over the course of the meal.  Visitors are allowed to tour the other rooms in the castle to see them and take pictures at anytime during their visit (which I did).RM-Be-Our-Guest-The-MasterRM-Be-Our-Guest-Ballroom

Our server was Michelle and she was cheerful and professional – the kind of Cast Member who likes her job and isn’t afraid to show it.  We liked Michelle very much.RM-Be-Our-Guest-Place-SettingShe took our order for a bottle of wine (oh, yes indeed – we felt so wicked imbibing in Magic Kingdom!) and an appetizer for two called “Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages” – turned out we were not fans of this starter!RM-Be-Our-Guest-MenuRM-Be-Our-Guest-AppetizerFor our main courses, we both ordered the “Thyme-scented Pork Rack Chop with Au Gratin Macaroni, Seasonal Vegetables, and Red Wine Jus”.  We both thought it was delicious.  I was completely happy with my entrée – the seasonal vegetable was green beans with red bell pepper and they were firm and crunchy and delicious.  Raymond doesn’t eat green beans (would starve to death first) but enjoyed the bell pepper, the chop, and the macaroni.  The Red Wine Jus was very delicious on the pork.RM-Be-Our-Guest-Porkchop

While we were eating, we noticed this big wooden cart with a giant glass domed top being rolled all round the restaurant.  I nicknamed it the battering ram of desserts.  When guests are finished eating, the battering ram of desserts is rolled over for their perusal of the dessert selection – this is NOT a dessert display!  The dessert you end up eating has been rolling around in the cart, at room temperature, and, I’m sorry – didn’t give the impression of being as fresh as it would have been if it had been brought straight from the kitchen.  We decided to split the chocolate torte topped with “Gray Stuff”.  We tasted it and left the rest alone.  As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and this dessert did nothing for me.RM-Be-Our-Guest-DessertAfter that, we visited with Michelle for a few minutes while we finished our wine, paid the bill (about $120 before tax and gratuity – food $70, wine $50), then made our way outside.

The very next day, we went back for lunch and our experience was very different!  We’d taken advantage of the ability to pre-order our meals.  Upon arrival, we checked in at the same booth-on-the-bridge and were told to go on inside and get in line.  Unlike the previous evening, the restaurants doors were wide open in welcome.  Once inside, we were directed to the right into a very well-themed hallway lined with suits of armor.RM-Be-Our-Guest-ArmorAs the lined moved slowly forward, it became clear that those suits of armor weren’t just for show!  They’re enchanted (and enchanting!) and a lot of fun.  At the end of the hallway, we entered a room full of payment booths where we paid for lunch and were told we could sit wherever we wanted!  Our lunch would be brought to our table shortly.

While we were helping ourselves to drinks, utensils and napkins, we heard a friendly voice ask, “Weren’t you two here last night?” – It was Sue the friendly Cast Member who’d showed us to our table at dinner!  Feeling very special after that, we chose the room with the giant Belle and Beast turning music box and found a table.  Our lunch did appear shortly after that, as if by magic (or magic BAND).  RM-Be-Our-Guest-French-Onion-SoupThe French Onion Soup was just meh.  The soup had no flavor, was a thin broth, and the soggy bread under the melted cheese was completely unappetizing.  Raymond ate his soup, I did not.  Entrees were a mixed bag – Raymond had the “Croque Monsieur on Millet Bread -Grilled Sandwich of Carved Ham, Gruyere Cheese and Béchamel on Millet Bread with Pommes Frites.”  It was a grilled cheese sandwich and fries – all of which was extremely mediocre to me (I had a taste).RM-Be-Our-Guest-SandwichI was VERY happy with my selection and happily ate the “Braised Pork (Coq Au Vin Style) – Eight Hour Slow-cooked Pork with Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots and Bacon served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Jardiniere.”  RM-Be-Our-Guest-Lunch-PorkAll of which was perfectly delicious.  Our desserts were the Master’s Cupcake (mine) and Crème Puff (Raymond’s) and were nothing either of us found exciting.  Lunch finished, a few pictures snapped and it was time to get outside and find a place to sit for the Festival of Fantasy Parade (my favorite!).

Be Our Guest – Counter Service by day, Table Service at night, is a magnificent display of all the Disney details we know and love.  I would eat there again, most likely for lunch if I could get in, and would just order the Braised Pork.  If you want to go, the atmosphere is what makes the experience rather than the food – keeping that in mind might make your meal, be it lunch or dinner, more enjoyable.  For current online menu information, go here.

Have you visited Be Our Guest?  What did you think about it?