Jolene eats at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Even though Disney's Magic Kingdom is far from being my favorite Walt Disney World park, I still had some enjoyable food-related experiences, including an enchanted dinner at Be Our Guest.
Before I get to the grey stuff, I'll point out some honorable mentions, including my favorite Instagram-worthy treat, the Maleficent Waffle Cone, a lime soft-serve in a black waffle cone. I don't normally favor lemon or lime, but this soft-serve was incredibly refreshing and perfect for a hot day in Orlando! Jennifer got its soft-serve counterpart, the Peter Pan float, lime soft-serve with sprite and a chocolate feather. These treats are available at Storybook Treats, not too far from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Another honorable mention goes to the Pub Tots at Friar's Nook (right next to Storybook Treats). At this point in our day, we were preparing to stuff our face with dessert at the Fireworks Dessert Party, but didn't want to only have the sweet stuff. We needed a satisfying, savory bite, and I remembered I'd read about this option on a Disney food blog. We were definitely not disappointed! Crispy tater tots, cheese, and bacon? What more could you need?
One last honorable mention goes to the breakfast waffle sandwich I got at Sleepy Hollow, located in Liberty Square. The waffle was lightly sweetened, heavy on the vanilla (the way I love baked goods), and wonderfully light. It was topped with ham, cheese, and a fluffy omelette. It was the perfect brunch, with a great view of the castle. I highly recommend grabbing a waffle sandwich at Sleepy Hollow, sweet or savory.
Now, onto the "main course" - Be Our Guest, a restaurant modeled after Beauty and the Beast (BATB).
Like I always try to explain, this is my opinion, and not an objective review. My experience may not be representative of the general dining experience at Be Our Guest Restaurant.
There is an insurmountable amount of hype surrounding this restaurant, probably because it is one of few BATB-themed experiences. Growing up, Belle was my favorite princess, and I always watched the "Be Our Guest" scenes with all kinds of envy. I wanted to have an enchanted meal! I wanted to try the grey stuff! I think there are many like me, who love Disney but are starved of BATB content and can only dream of eating at a place like Be Our Guest.
I spent literal weeks trying to get a reservation at this restaurant, checking the app at least once every hour, and I scheduled our Disney World week around when I was able to get a reservation at Be Our Guest. Can you tell I was excited?
About a month before our trip, Be Our Guest changed their dinner structure to be a prix fixe menu where guests choose an appetizer, entree, and all guests receive a trio of desserts at the end of their meal. This only fueled my desire to get a dinner reservation, as breakfast and lunch are both counter-service meals. After a few weeks of trying, one dinner reservation opened up and I snagged it!
On the day of our reservation, we approached the podium situated at the beginning of a stone walkway headed toward the castle perched atop a mountain. Even before entering, the scene is impressive. I loved the mystery of it all, and not being able to see in at all. In fact, the podium is not at the entrance of the restaurant.
When our table was ready, we were directed down the walkway, past sculpted gargoyles and large stones. We arrived at the foot of a large, wooden door that looked straight out of a fairytale, complete with a gorgeous mosaic above it, reminiscent of the stained glass in the film. We only waited a few minutes, when a cast member emerged from the door and literally announced us.
Our announcer walked us into the restaurant, and gave us a mini-tour before ultimately seating us in the Rose Gallery Room. Part of me was a little disappointed we didn't get seated in the Ballroom or the West Wing (the Ballroom was spectacular), but I did appreciate how much quieter and less crowded the Rose Gallery was. Though it is not featured in the film, the Rose Gallery is full of large paintings (supposedly chosen by Belle) and a huge music box in the middle of the room.
I chose the escargot for my appetizer, and Jennifer ordered the charcuterie. Both were satisfactory, but somewhat of a letdown after our mouth-watering meal at Animal Kingdom. I generally like escargot, so this was not a new experience for me, but I was not thrilled by this particular dish. One of my favorite parts about escargot is using the leftover garlicky, buttery oil to dip bread in. This escargot was breaded, so it wasn't overrun by the golden garlicky goodness I usually look forward to.
For my entree, I chose the saffron-infused seafood bouillabaisse with seasonal fish, Maine lobster, shrimp, confit potatoes, and baby fennel. Although it wasn't as mind-blowing as the lobster I had at Tiffins, I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Be Our Guest didn't skimp on the seafood, and everything was pretty well seasoned. The flavors were more subtle than bold, but I still enjoyed it.
Lastly, we enjoyed, drumroll please, THE GREY STUFF!
Guess what? IT'S DELICIOUS. Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!
I chose not to test my luck with the macaron (I have a nut intolerance), but I loved the grey stuff and the dark chocolate truffle. The dessert trio was just enough to top off our meal. The grey stuff is a cookies and creme whipped panna cotta served in, you guessed it, a white chocolate Chip!
One of the perks of eating at Be Our Guest is getting to meet the Beast. Every so often, he visits every dining room to welcome his guests, and afterwards you can find him in his study. Before we greeted the Master of the castle, we wanted to poke around a little bit. We were encouraged to explore the restaurant and take photos - in my opinion, this has many pros and cons: One pro is getting able to see all of the rooms, but one con for guests is having a constant flow of guests walking around while you're trying to have a nice dinner.
The details were amazing, and even though the West Wing gets a lot of rave reviews, I was enamored with the Ballroom. It was exceptional.
I'd also like to mention that walking around the Ballroom made me appreciate where we were seated. The Ballroom was loud. Even the West Wing was loud and dark.
We finally made our way to the study, but the Beast wasn't there. We were totally confused, but the cast members told us to hold tight. A few minutes later, we heard thunder, then applause. The Beast was first making his rounds before entering his study to greet guests.
On the way out, there were plenty of cast members offering to take our photos with the gorgeous mosaic at the exit. I did love how the staff encouraged us to enjoy the atmosphere and take plenty of photos.
It was definitely an enchanted dinner, although I can't say it was my favorite Disney meal. I'd recommend it though, if you can get a reservation!
Until next time,