Since New Fantasyland opened on December 6, 2012, seats for lunch and dinner at the new Be Our Guest Restaurant have been highly coveted yet once you’re inside, tech savvy innovations make ordering a breeze to ensure that guests are able to enjoy a delicious meal quickly. During my recent trip to Disney Social Media Moms, we happened to be the recipients of a lucky ticket given to us as we entered the Magical Express line to board our bus to The Contemporary that allowed us to serve as beta testers to test out their new online reservation and meal selection process. This allowed us to bypass a 3 hour line outside the restaurant especially since we didn’t mark our calendar 180 days from our trip to call or go online to make our reservation.
A special URL on the back of the ticket directed us to a dedicated website where we entered our reservation number. Since our reservation number includes the number in our party, as well as names and ages of those with us, this information was pulled into the online portal we used to make our reservation.
Next we selected our preferred dining date. Based on the date, the site provided us with available 15 minute windows where we could arrive for lunch. Upon selecting a reservation time, we clicked on boxes next to photos of the French inspired cuisine and prices to select among the lunch offerings.
Ordering entrées was fairly seamless but we encountered some difficulty with the kids menu items, especially as far as drink selection was concerned but this was easily remedied once upon arrival.
When we arrived, we presented our special ticket on the left side of the bridge where Cast Members with iPads checked us in, gave us a donut-sized magic rose, and ushered us over the footbridge and into the castle. We were escorted past the line where other park guests had been waiting for almost three hours, bypassing screens that allowed them to preview the menu as they waited, and into a room where touch screen kiosks were set up for ordering purposes.
We explained our difficulty in ordering the kids’ meals and our original selections were deleted. We re-entered our order quickly and were given a different rose to take to our table.
During lunch, park guests have the opportunity to sit anywhere inside Be Our Guest. There is the main ballroom whose high ceiling is painted with clouds and adorned with glittering chandeliers as faux snow falls outside the tall curved glass windows, a room to the right where a rotating statue of Belle and the Beast dances atop a high backed banquette, and on the other side of the ballroom, is the famed West Wing that is the home to the Beast. The West Wing is definitely worth a look as it has a much darker feel than the rest of the restaurant but is the home of the famous red rose that drops petals under its glass dome. Lights are dimmed, the walls are dark, tapestries are made to look like they’ve been slashed by the Beast, and the occasional clap of thunder and bright flashes of lightning punctuate your meal, tending to scare young guests.
Even though the restaurant was busy, it wasn’t too hard to find a table for a family of four in the West Wing. We set our magic rose down on our table, helped ourselves to silverware and drinks in the corner of the room, and within 5 minutes our food rolled out on a fancy cart and appeared tableside. Our server lifted the clear domed lid and presented hot food on china, rather than paper plates.
At lunch, Be Our Guest is designed to be a quick service restaurant where you can get great food fast. The portions were much larger than I expected them to be and prices seemed to be in line with other quick service restaurants around the park.
I appreciated the ability to sit in a gorgeous setting and dine on china as a nice respite from a busy day at the Magic Kingdom. I can see how when fully implemented, the ability to make a reservation and select entrées online will allow park guests to minimize the amount of time they wait for their meals, thus enabling them more time to enjoy the park.
I don’t know when this online reservation and ordering system will be fully implemented. My guess is that it is being tested now to roll out with the new MagicBand system that are starting to appear in park entrances and rides throughout Disney Parks.
Oh, and if you’re on the hunt for hidden Mickey’s during your visit, be sure to look for enchanted roses throughout Be our Guest. They’re everywhere!
- Disney Park’s What’s it like to Be Our Guest has an in-depth look at the experience of dining at the restaurant.
- For another perspective on dining at Be Our Guest, visit DisneyFoodBlog.com’s review.
- To look at other quick service locations at the Magic Kingdom and get an in-depth price comparison, visit EasyWDW.com.
- Make a reservation at Be Our Guest by calling 407-WDW-DINE or visiting www.disneyworld.com/dine up to 180 days in advance of your trip.
Disclosure: I attended this year’s Social Media Moms Celebration Conference and as an attendee, I paid a conference fee, additional travel expenses, and our meal at Be Our Guest but received perks at a substantially-reduced rate. I was not asked or required to publish content related to the conference or Disney. All opinions are my own.