When I was a kid, I loved the idea of going to France.
In high school, when it came time to pick a foreign language, there was no hesitation.
French was for me. I was lucky enough in high school to visit Paris, studied French in college and then went back a couple of more times when my wife and I were still young.
These days, for reasons other than my failing accent and lack of conjugation skills, if I want my French fix, I have to go to Florida.
I know EPCOT’s version of France isn’t terribly authentic. The Beauty and the Beast part of Fantasyland is even less so. It is, after all, named Fantasyland for a reason.
But I still enjoy the trappings. I enjoy getting to share a small piece of my love of France and the French culture with my family and while Beast’s Castle doesn’t exactly feel French, it does have a little taste of the Je ne sais quoi.
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Do characters come out at Be Our Guest Restaurant?
Characters, plural? No. But yes, a single character does … and it’s a significant one.
The Beast will come out and roam the dining room periodically to interact with guests – who are now asked to stay seated as the owner of the castle works his way from table to table.
He used to sit in a big room and let the guests come to him. After all, it is Beast’s Castle, but now the room sits empty and is used basically as a storage spot for overflow guests.
How often does Beast come out at Be Our Guest?
Often enough that he should be able to stop by your table at least once while you’re dining.
If you’re finishing up and haven’t seen the Beast, you might mention it to one of the members of the wait staff, and they can advise you.
Does Be Our Guest have characters at lunch?
Yes. But again, it’s only the Beast. If you want to meet Belle, you can try Enchanted Tales with Belle next door.
Where else can I meet Belle or the Beast?
Both are in the France Pavilion in EPCOT where Belle is – somewhat confusingly – the hostess of honor at the Royal Akershus Banquet Hall.
Why is Belle the main hostess in the Norway Pavilion and not Anna and Elsa? It’s hard to say.
Belle will also pop up at the other Magic Kingdom castle as one of the rotating band of princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
You can also see both Belle and the Beast at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage.
Needless to say, you will have many chances to see Belle on your Walt Disney World vacation.
Do you need a ticket to eat at Be Our Guest?
A park ticket? Yes – and most likely a reservation.
You might be able to slip in without reservations. We did at an early lunch once, but the competition is tough. You’re better off getting a reservation and planning your meal.
But, again, be aware.
Having dining reservations is not enough to get you into any restaurant inside a Walt Disney World theme park. You also have to have a ticket to enter.
Of course, you can make reservations at the many restaurants in the various Disney resorts and at Disney Springs without having to buy a park ticket.
What’s the castle like?
For dining room purposes, it’s divided into three parts:
The Grand Ballroom is a magnificent ballroom with high, domed ceiling, chandeliers and snow-laced Gothic arches. It is quite beautiful and striking – and usually the most crowded – of the dining room options.
The West Wing is where you dine in the Beast’s mysterious and forbidden West Wing study … I really want to make a Martin Sheen joke. You’ll even spy the Beast’s enchanted rose. This is our favorite option, but we like to live a little dangerously.
The Rose Gallery is decorated with artwork of Belle and Beast’s favorite memories, including larger-than-life figures of Belle and Beast dancing like a music box.
Is Be Our Guest cheaper at lunch?
Nope. Your three-course meal – and the price – stays the same for lunch or dinner.
How much is dinner at Be Our Guest?
It’s $67 plus for adults ages 10 and up (because I think of the kids in my son’s third-grade class as adults). Get a job, Bobby! Stop leaching off of the rest of us! You’re 10, now. That coal’s not gonna mine itself.
And finally, $39 per child ages 3 to 9. Prices are subject to change.
How does dinner at Be Our Guest work?
It works differently depending on whether it’s lunch or dinner, but we’re going to start working on the similarities.
First, the menu is what’s known as Prix Fixe – or fixed price. To explain, it is a French tradition that allowed restauranteurs to control menu options and cost and make sure they made a profit.
For your money, you get to choose an appetizer, a dessert and a main course. Not in that order.
The appetizers are:
- French Onion Soup: Served Au Gratin with Gruyère.
- Duck and Pork Terrine: Served with house pickles, Frisée and whole grain mustard.
- Escargot de Bourgogne: Baked in garlic-herb butter with a baguette.
- Potato-Leek Soup: Truffle potato chips and leek fondue.
- Endive and Roquefort Cheese Salad: Pear gastrique, toasted walnuts and champagne vinaigrette.
What do I recommend?
Well, I love their French Onion Soup and I quite like the escargot. I’m not a big fan of duck, but it’s all going to be well-prepared.
The main courses are:
- Duroc Pork Chop: Served with double-smoked bacon, sweet potato lyonnaise and Dijon mustard sauce. Duroc is a breed of pig that offers, according to the website tonysmarket.com, superior marbling and is a naturally juicier and more tender meat.
- Trout Amandine: Served with crab, smoked almonds, haricots verts and lemon-brown butter.
- Vadouvan-spiced Vegetables: Crispy corn cake with vadouvan-coconut jus (a plant-based offering).
- Center-cut Filet Mignon: Beef tenderloin with Yukon gold potato puree and smoked tomato bearnaise sauce.
- Roasted Poulet Rouge Chicken: Celery root puree, roasted root vegetables and pinot noir jus.
Editor’s Note: The website only promises “fresh fish” so I believe the trout is subject to change. Maybe you’ll have bass. Or maybe a nice piece of sea bream, a codfish or a mackerel. I’m going to say that with its proximity to “The Little Mermaid” stuff, you’re unlikely to see flounder on the menu. I know they have crab, but it’s not like they named it Sebastian.
Which entrée do I recommend?
Well, when it comes to meat, I generally trust the opinion of guys named Tony, so the pork chop is right near the top. If not the pork chop, probably the center-cut filet but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.
The options for the dessert trio are:
- Lemon Jam Macaron: Self-explanatory, as long as you know what a macaron is.
- Chocolate Tart: Served with grey stuff, crisp pearls and a white chocolate wafer.
- Dark Chocolate Truffle: Filled with dark chocolate Grand Marnier ganache.
- Vanilla Cake: Served with lemon curd with fresh berries and strawberry meringue (Plant-based option available on request in place of the dessert trio platter).
So, we get the grey stuff?
Yep. Just like the song. Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious. It comes with a chocolate tart.
What’s the difference between lunch and dinner?
Dinner comes with table service. However, at lunch, you order at the window and serve yourself.
Lunch is a little more quick service vibe but you still get to sit down, rest and enjoy your meal while you wait for the Beast.
What does the kids’ menu look like?
For $37, kids also get a fixed menu with three choices.
- The appetizer options: Iceberg wedge salad with ranch dressing, fruit and cheese plate or house-made peach applesauce.
- Main course options: Grilled beef tenderloin, pan-seared chicken breast or house-made macaroni and cheese.
- The sides option: Sautéed zucchini, French fries, steamed green beans, wild rice or sweet potatoes.
- Dessert options: The trio or seasonal fruit with yogurt dip.
There is also a variety of allergy-friendly options on the menu.
Which meal should we get reservations for?
I prefer dinner. Disney manages to find wait staff for its finer dining experiences that take the craft seriously. I appreciate that.
I’ve always liked watching the fireworks from Fantasyland – though you miss some of the regular show. The crowds are quite a bit less and you get a unique perspective.
In fact, Beast’s Castle and the hanging lanterns over by Rapunzel’s bathroom both make for great picture spots for the fireworks.
Extra bonus tip: If you can, time it so you can see special fireworks from behind the Be Our Guest Castle during the Cinderella’s Castle fireworks show.
Do they have any specialty beverages?
Here are our top three non-alcoholic drinks. However, be aware these are not included in the fixed price:
- The Nautilus: A blue raspberry slush with candy fish and a souvenir glow cube for $15.
- Pomegranate Limeade: Pomegranate juice and limeade served in an enchanted light-up souvenir cup for $19.
- EARidescent Sip-a-bration: Minute Maid premium lemonade and fruity strawberry punch served in a souvenir 50th celebration cup with a surprise character and a little bit of magic. This one is likely to disappear as the 50th is coming to an end. But it should be replaced with something similar.
Here are our top alcoholic options:
- French 75: Fords gin, lemon juice and pure cane sugar topped with Charles de Fère Réserve Chardonnay Tradition Brut for $14.50.
- Boulevardier: Knob Creek Rye whiskey, Campari Liqueur and Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth garnished with Luxardo cherries for $16.50.
- Bloody Mary: Tito’s handmade vodka and bloody mary mix garnished with cucumber, grape tomato and green olive for $14.50.
Keep in mind, prices are in effect as of the time of this writing and are subject to change.
What about beers and wine?
Mais, oui. Beast’s Castle has both.
Despite my passion for French culture, I only know enough about wine to know I know nothing. I’m not a sommelier.
Maybe go with an authentic French Champagne or try the wine sampler – which sounds like something from the Olive Garden – but isn’t a bad way to figure out what you like.
If all else fails, ask the waitstaff. They’ll certainly steer you right.
Have you eaten at Be Our Guest? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!