Spoiler alert: It's awesome.
I have always been a big fan of Beauty and the Beast. It's not my favorite Disney movie, but I would rank it near the top --- for the record, I think this is how it would go:
Tie for #1: Tangled & Aladdin
#3: Beauty and the Beast
#4: Sleeping Beauty
#5: The Emperor's New Groove/Finding Nemo/Up! -- I can't pick one.
I think B&tB would beat Aladdin if not for the Genie. He's my favorite.
Anyway, when we were picking restaurants and I was getting ready to make dining reservations, I was hearing all of these things about the New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom and I knew, JUST KNEW, that I needed to go to Be Our Guest.
Luckily, we were able to snag reservations for 4 in the afternoon - so we had breakfast that morning, split a lunch around 1, and that held us over until our dinner - even though our reservations were at 4, we probably didn't get in until around 4:15. Which was fine. We waited outside the restaurant on the bridge with the gargoyles and I took some fun pictures of New Fantasyland while we were there:
Beast's (Prince Adam's) castle
Prince Eric's Castle, seen from the bridge to Be Our Guest
Our buzzer malfunctioned, so our waiter Christopher actually came out calling our last name. When he led us into the restaurant, all of the other hosts/waiters/bussers were standing in two lines, forming a tunnel of sorts, and clapped for us as he led us through. That was pretty sweet. The lady at the end was actually French, according to her nametag, and wished us a "bonjour." : )
The first thing we saw was the Grand Ballroom. I. Can't. Even. I just wanted to stand there. It's modeled after the ballroom where Belle and the Beast dance in the movie, complete with chandeliers built to scale - like, 12 feet wide.
This is not my picture... I couldn't get a picture that did this room justice. It's gorgeous. It's so accurate right down to the paintings on the ceiling.
Unfortunately we did not get to eat in the Grand Ballroom. Instead, we got to eat in the West Wing. Immediately I said to the waiter, "Are you sure we won't get in trouble for that?" and he said, "Oh no, the Master knows about it." I LOVE DISNEY WORLD SO MUCH.
The West Wing was complete with slashed bed curtains and the slashed portrait of Prince Adam pre-transformation hanging above the mantle, as well as the Enchanted Rose. I am completely aware that I am nerding out right now just typing this, so just try to imagine me in person. A. was struggling to hold in his laughter because he knew I was geeking out so much at the time. He's a good sport. : )
Every once in a while, the music in the room would change, it would thunder a lot, a petal would fall from the rose, and you would hear a kind of roaring as the lights flickered - and if you looked quickly enough, you could see the portrait of the prince change into the beast and back, once or twice.
Like I said. Geeking out.
So, besides the atmosphere, let's talk food. The food was SO GOOD.
First of all, when we sat down, our napkins were folded into roses:
We got our appetizers. I ordered the French Onion Soup, which one of my students had told me was necessary - and when a second grader tells you to order French Onion Soup, well, you have to go for it. A. got the Potato Leek Soup, which I actually liked better than the French Onion, but that was just me. : )
For our main course, I ordered Pan-Seared Salmon on Leek Fondue served on creamy saffron-crushed potatoes:
Perfect. It was sooooo delicious. I wish I could have eaten all of that salmon, but unfortunately I filled up too fast. Just looking at it right now I want to eat it again. The potatoes were so good, and while "leek fondue" doesn't sound like something I'd ordinarily attempt, it was pretty amazing.
A. got Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops served in a puff pastry with a creamy lobster sauce:
I don't remember even getting a bite of his, so it must have been good... haha. He said this was his second favorite meal of the week, next to the dinner we had at Fulton's Crab House.
Even though we were both stuffed, for dessert our waiter rolled over a pastry cart full of assorted cupcakes, and we could pick which kind we wanted. I got the Triple Chocolate Cupcake - chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and chocolate ganache. (Can't go wrong with that, right?) A. got the Strawberry Cream cheese Cupcake, which was vanilla cake, strawberry mousse filling, and cream cheese icing.
You'll notice the plate in the middle of the table:
I have to take the opportunity to say that our service was incredible - Christopher, our waiter, was extremely attentive and he had a great sense of humor.
When we were done eating, we were allowed to wander the restaurant to take pictures and investigate the other rooms. Other than the Grand Ballroom and the West Wing, there is also the Rose Gallery, with a larger-than-life music box featuring Belle and the Beast dancing. The story is that Maurice built it for them as a wedding gift:
Then we had our picture taken with the Beast before we left. I made sure to thank him!
Overall - the restaurant was gorgeous, the service was fantastic, the atmosphere was great, and the food was delicious. I only wish I could have eaten it all. : ) We'll be back in the future!!!
If you're stressed - it's fine dining we suggest! Be our guest, be our guest, be our guest!