Changes at Be Our Guest Restaurant
In what is hopefully a sign that Be Our Guest Restaurant is in the process of reverting to its pre-closure operations, the Magic Kingdom table service restaurant is making changes. In this post, we’ll discuss what’s new, plus how the post-reopening dining experience differs from pre-closure, and what we hope happens next.
As has been the case over the course of the last decade since it opened (wow does time fly), Be Our Guest Restaurant is still the hot ticket in Magic Kingdom. The “new restaurant smell” still hasn’t worn off, with Walt Disney World guests eager to step inside Beast’s Castle to eat in a setting themed to Beauty and the Beast.
Part of the reason Be Our Guest Restaurant is so popular is because it’s so popular. Call it momentum or a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the point is that many Walt Disney World guests want to do what everyone else is doing. This hype creates sky-high expectations and, unsurprisingly, a lot of disappointment. When it comes to overrated restaurants at Walt Disney World, Be Our Guest Restaurant is the one we hear mentioned most often by readers. (We strongly disagree with that assessment, for what it’s worth.)
Another aspect of Be Our Guest Restaurant’s popularity is undoubtedly its past reputation as being a good value on the Disney Dining Plan (DDP), which remains temporarily unavailable. (See When Will the Disney Dining Plan Return? for our thoughts and predictions on when that’ll be back.)
Note that this is also past tense. When Be Our Guest Restaurant was a 1-credit regular dinner, it was a great use of DDP credits. That ended a few years ago when it became a 2-credit Signature Dining Experience with a 3-course prix fixe dinner menu. Similar to Le Cellier before it, Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) for Be Our Guest Restaurant remained in high demand following that due to a mix of inertia and outdated info, among other things.
By contrast, lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant actually was on our list of the best counter service values when on the Disney Dining Plan prior to the closure. Unfortunately, that counter service meal has been (temporarily?) replaced with an all-day lunch/dinner menu since the reopening.
With that shift, the beloved Breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant also vanished. This morning meal was great from a Disney Dining Plan use of counter service credits perspective and also for rope dropping Fantasyland attractions. It’s unclear how this would change with daily Early Entry, but it was fantastic for beating the crowds to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Peter Pan’s Flight.
Since reopening, Be Our Guest Restaurant has only served the prix fixe dinner menu (see our Be Our Guest Prix Fixe Lunch/Dinner Review). This means it’s only table service, with the same appetizer, entree, and dessert options all day long. It has been this way since Magic Kingdom reopened, and remains the case nearly two years later.
We’ve wondered if or when it would ever revert for a while now, and we’re previously hoping that would happen for the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. It did not, but we’re finally seeing some incremental movement, which may or may not be indicative of more changes to come.
There are two new updates to share today. First, Be Our Guest Restaurant is now opening an hour earlier, effective immediately.
Per the official Walt Disney World website, Be Our Guest Restaurant will now open at 10 a.m. daily through at least the beginning of June 2022. That’s as far out as the calendar goes, but the change is presumably indefinite.
Advance Dining Reservations are now available for Be Our Guest Restaurant during this earlier time slot. Although it’s only an hour, that should nevertheless help with ADRs. It’s been slim pickin’ for a while now, even at or around the 60 day mark. Every little bit helps when it comes to restoring restaurant capacity.
In fact, in searching for several dates, we’ve found new availability during the 10 am to 11 am window at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the coming couple of months. Hopefully this helps those who have been stalking DisneyWorld.com or the My Disney Experience app for options.
On a related note, we’ve noticed same-day “ADR Dumps” on a couple different occasions for Be Our Guest Restaurant in the last month or so. What we mean by this is that at around park opening time, a ton of reservation windows have been added to the My Disney Experience app.
We can’t speak to how often this is happening, but I’ve personally seen it on three separate occasions. My suspicion is that it has to do with confirmed staffing levels, but that’s really just a guess. (Aside from this, it’s always a good practice to check for ADRs the night before; a lot of people cancel at the last minute to avoid the penalty, opening up a decent amount of new availability. This is pretty much our go-to strategy for all restaurants right now.)
Second, as part of this earlier opening, Be Our Guest Restaurant is now testing out a couple of brunch options. Menu additions include the following:
- Country Seasonal Salad with Peach Vinaigrette
- Crab Meat Omelet with Egg, Brie Cheese, Lump Crab Meat, Choron Sauce & Roasted Potatoes
- Kids’ Breakfast Sampler with Mickey Waffles, Mickey Eggs, Bacon, Sausage & Roasted Potatoes
We haven’t yet tried any of these…and won’t. One of the reasons we are generally okay with Walt Disney World’s “controversial” move to make more unique restaurants prix fixe is because we order otherwise expensive menu items.
Given that Be Our Guest Restaurant is still serving prix fixe menu that costs $62 regardless of what you order, it makes absolutely no sense to choose an omelet (even one with crab meat) over the Center-cut Filet Mignon, or even the Pork Tenderloin or Sea Scallops. It’s the modern-day equivalent of a herd of vegetarians buying the Disney Dining Plan! 😉
Nevertheless, this has us optimistic. It’s good to see Magic Kingdom finally tinkering with Be Our Guest Restaurant after it has been almost entirely unchanged in the ~2 years since reopening. The core menu has been the same for way too long, so these are very much welcome additions, even if we won’t order them.
I guess technically they added a trio of new and odd items for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, but that was part of a resort-wide initiative. This seems like it could be different, the first step in pivoting back to normal operations at Be Our Guest Restaurant.
Or not. It’s entirely possible that Walt Disney World has discovered Be Our Guest Restaurant is more profitable with the all-day prix fixe menu, even if it means turning over tables less frequently and serving costlier cuisine.
This wouldn’t surprise us in the least, as the average price of that table service menu is at least double that of the counter service one. The question is which has better margins, and I don’t know enough about restaurant logistics and wholesale food costs to credibly comment on that.
At the very least, bringing back breakfast should be prioritized by Walt Disney World when staffing levels allow for it. While I can’t comment on the question of counter service v. table service lunch profitability, breakfast v. no breakfast is easier math.
After crunching the numbers, I’ve come to the conclusion that serving breakfast is more lucrative than not serving it. As it turns out, $0 in profit is less than above $0 in profit. Didn’t even need the ole calculator for that.
Ultimately, we’re really just ready for more variety at Magic Kingdom’s restaurants. The dining scene has improved markedly since reopening and the 50th Anniversary additions gave the park a shot in the arm, but it’s still far and away the weakest restaurant lineup of any park at Walt Disney World. This was true pre-closure, and it’s even more pronounced now.
There’s arguably only one other dining option in the entire Magic Kingdom that stacks up to Be Our Guest Restaurant, and that has a more adventurous menu that won’t appeal to picky eaters. (Normally, Cinderella’s Royal Table an Crystal Palace can be good options, but they’re not as universally accessible as regular restaurants.) We acknowledge that Be Our Guest Restaurant is polarizing, with fan opinion typically falling either in the “love it” or “hate it” camps, but everyone wins with more options and variety.
Even if you won’t dine at Be Our Guest, it having more seatings eases demand elsewhere, and makes your ADR of choice easier to book. For our part, we fall firmly in the “like it a lot” camp when it comes to Be Our Guest Restaurant. It’s not on par with Signature Restaurants in the resort hotels, but it’s well-above average if setting aside the hype and viewing it objectively. Beyond that, I’ll admit that I want pre-park opening breakfast to return because I’ve grown “bored” of normal Magic Kingdom strategy and am ready for a new challenge!
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What do you think of the brunch menu additions at Be Our Guest Restaurant? What about the added hour of operations? Think this is a sign of more changes to come at Magic Kingdom’s most popular restaurant, or are we getting our hopes up for nothing? What are your thoughts on Be Our Guest Restaurant, generally? Do you think it’s worth the money? Is it overhyped and/or overrated? Would you rather do a table service meal elsewhere in Magic Kingdom, or is this the best option? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
If BOG is now opening at 10:00 a.m., can you still order the filet mignon then?
What is the least crowded time for the prix fixe menu?
Does the beast only walk around in the ballroom and not the other rooms?
I feel so lucky to have “hacked” BOG in the before-times; getting the earliest dinner ADR at 4:00 and only ordering cupcakes! Got to experience the ambiance and get photos with Beast. Yep, probably my fault they changed to prix fixe.
My 6 year old, who loves scrambled eggs, immediately spit out the Mickey egg. We had it at Whispering Canyon and it was GROSS. Luckily at WC, we had the skillet so were able to share our eggs with her and get more.
I read most of the comments and I must confess I find most it very sad. As a long time business owner I fully understand the profit motive which drives companies to make decisions. I get it. Disney is in business to make money and maximize profitability. But if the focus of EVERY decision becomes “how do we maximize profits” then over time there is never again a legitimate decision about guest experience and in the case of DisneyWorld, how do we make the experience really, really special. Our experience with Be Our Guest is simple. In the past, if we were at DisneyWorld for 10 days, we would eat LUNCH there at least 7 days if not all 10. It was one motivation for getting the Dining Plan. It made every day for US a little extra special. I am categorically unwilling to spend $62 for lunch. We are at an Theme Park. Most of the comments I read make me believe that most of you don’t care how much DisneyWorld costs or how illogical it all becomes. I assure that is not what I hear from the many people I know who go to DisneyWorld. DisneyWorld is gradually losing it’s mind in the quest to maximize profitability at every turn. They are losing me. One profit above guest experience after another.
@LDM, I completely agree. Dining in WDW has always been a huge part of the experience for us, but we’ve been losing that loving feeling for the past 5-6 years. We used to eat yogurt or cereal in the room for about half our breakfast, but do every other meal in a resort or park eatery. The deterioration in quality and constant price hikes are easier to ignore during a weekend trip with friends, but intolerable on longer stays with my family of 5. We’re heading down for 10-days in August and are planning on eating the majority of our meals at our FW Cabin. I can’t logically justify spending $300-$400 for family lunches more than once or twice. I think the thing that speaks the loudest is that I told my 11 & 13 year old kids that we were going to skip some former favorites, including Be Our Guest, and they shrugged and said, “Meh, that wasn’t that good last time, anyway.”
I could not agree more. My wife and I look forward to eating at lots of restaurants every time we are there. Mostly Quick Service because that is our preference rather than big sit down, heavy meals. But while money is not our overwhelming concern now that our kids are older, (and not with us with grandchildren every visit) I cannot wrap my head around the idea that the two of us should spend $50 – $60 for just an average lunch or dinner comprised of a less than appetizing chicken breast or burger and a $4.00 or more soft drink. It all comes back to what I said about “maximizing profit.” If that is their only goal, than so be it. And I will not be there. I don’t like the feeling of being taken advantage of just because I am a “prisoner” for 10 days. That’s what it is starting to feel like. Sad.
I agree. Disney magic kept people coming back. With the magic down and gone, people won’t come back as often and others won’t come back at all…there are plenty of magic-free parks all over the world and in Orlando, Universal is striving to become a multi-day lodging complex. and leisure.
I have to say I’m a little surprised by the use of crab. I saw a review of it on another site and there was a LOT of crab meat on that dish. Not only is it a very specific taste (and not eaten by many for religious reasons), it has also been very expensive and sometimes hard to come by as there is a shortage of workers to pick the crabs. We Marylanders know the struggle. That meal may be a better deal than you think considering we can easily pay $30 for a single crab cake
I sincerely hope they’ll be bringing back breakfast, at the very least. In addition to refusing to eat “lunch” at 10 AM (which is when Disney’s website says it now starts), the current dining options at BOG just leave me cold. They used to have some *amazing* lunch choices…it seems like every time Disney makes a change these days, it’s for the worse.
I feel like breakfast has to be coming back, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a prix fixe menu. I feel like operationally and profit wise a prix fixe menu is just more appealing to Disney; I can’t imagine wandering around the 3 dining rooms to find the right group for the self-seated counter service orders was fun. Which is too bad, because the one time we went was for counter service lunch and I thought it was a great quality/experience/price combo.
we had dinner at BOG over Christmas last year. No complaints or problems. Smaller menu but still tied with Topolino’s and Chefs du France as our fave.
We booked a 10:05 about a month ago, it didn’t even occur to me that it was extra early. I hope they bring back a special brunch menu. 10:05 is too early for me to be eating filet, or to be paying 62 dollars for an omelette … oof!
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Hands down right now with the Prix Fixe is going to be best pricing model for DW. Limiting the menu does 2 things for you. 1st it helps with your labor costs because you have less different operations going on in the kitchen meaning staff gets more efficient. 2nd it maximizes food profit because they can forecast the food needs reducing waste and allows sourcing at better price point. Table vs Quick is margin vs volume. Better per guest in table but you can make more per operating hour in the quick by serving more guests.
Fingers crossed they bring back breakfast soon!!! I don’t think Be Our Guest is generally overrated, but up until a couple weeks ago, the filet mignon I had there was the worst steak I’ve had on Disney property (sadly a steak I had at Toledo recently edged them out). I mean, it’s still a good cut of steak so it’s not like my meal was bad, just that the steak I’ve had elsewhere was noticeably better, including at non-signatures. So I’m not rushing back to pay $60 for that again. But their breakfast sandwich and the croissants for the table are both sooooooo good! And economical by Disney standards! So I hope breakfast with the same menu returns soon. Alternatively, I never made it to their counter service lunch, so I would love to try that if they bring it back.
The situation at cosmic ray’s today was so utterly third world and insane that I would have gladly paid $62 for an omelette and Mickey Waffles at be our guest. Seriously, Magic Kingdom counter service is a hell scape. So crowded you can’t move, waiting in line similar to a human trash compactor to get your food, very long waits for mobile order, and absolutely nowhere for half the guests to sit down. Walking around a very dense crowd with a tray full of food and drinks (with no lids, which is awesome isn’t it- so everyone can breathe and cough around them while you pray they don’t spill) is rather anxiety inducing. Disney’s profit motive at be our guest cut off a desperately needing extra counter service option at the park. Could they at least keep Tomorrowland terrace open all the time when MK sells our? Ugh. My experience today is the sort of thing that happens to people who decide in that very moment that Disney World is an awful waste of money.
Oof, that sounds awful.
I can get behind a lot of the dubious decisions Walt Disney World has made with the pretense of environmentality, but getting rid of lids is a bridge too far. I’ve seen so many families precariously balancing trays and just hoping for the best while walking through Cosmic Ray’s or Pecos Bill, dodging darting kids and oblivious onlookers in the process. Absolute recipe for disaster.
No lids on cups and the inevitable spilling was super annoying on our recent trip, too.
That being said – we also had one of our best days ever at magic kingdom. It was our first time using genie+ and it was incredible. We never really waited in line for any attraction or show that we wanted to do despite the park being sold out. Enchantment was way more impressive than expected, cast members were extra friendly, merchandise options were robust, some of the new snack options were amazing, and the park really looked gorgeous!
We’ll be dining there in a few weeks and have a 2pm ADR. Both my husband and I are seniors and wear hearing devices and are aware that the ballroom can be very loud. This would be extremely uncomfortable for us.
Which room would you suggest we ask for when we arrive? Thanks so much!
You definitely want to be in the library room- the room that Belle “designed”. We sat in there and it was great. We did walk to the ballroom and the west wing. The west wing is dark and very loud, and the ballroom is very big with lots of tables, so definitely try to get the other room. Hope you enjoy it! we loved it.
Thanks that sounds just right!
Rose Gallery, without a doubt.
Hope you enjoy the experience! 🙂
Library. Middle is too busy and feels like a cafeteria. The beast room is fun to go look at, but not my favorite to go eat.
I have been stalking ADRs just to see what kind of availability there is 60 days out for planning what to snag first (even though my trip isn’t until August). I actually have seen BOG pop up many times while searching for party of 6 at dinnertime. I am not sure it’s really as hard to get anymore as you think. Much easier than say Yak and Yeti. I have seen that pop up exactly zero times and Chef Mickey’s just once (and not for breakfast).
One thing I notice while stalking is the bizarre way that times pop up. For example, you can search for 6 pm and it says res. available at 4:55 pm but then when you search 5 pm it says no reservations available in the 2 hour time frame. Very strange.
I’ve noticed the same thing with the bizarre times. Or you can search for “lunch” and find nothing, but if you enter a specific time, there are magically results. Classic.
Bring back the French onion soup!
We went a couple weeks ago and loved the experience. It’s nice to get out of the crowds and have someone serve you when you have a party of 13 and six kids. That makes table restaurants worth it! But besides that food was great and loved the atmosphere and service. We had lunch. I went back in 2018 when we had the dining plan and had lunch 1 day and breakfast another loved both. Really wish those would go back to counter service. I like the lower price point but still being able to secure reservations. It took me a lot of Checking and alerts, and finally the day before I got our whole group in at the same time to be our guest. Definitely worth it! Now why they don’t have Belle walk around is beyond me. That would make it even more amazing.
We ate at Be Our Guest last month (March 20222) in MK; I had to keep trying to get an ADR. While the food was better at Flying Fish and Tiffins, I am glad that I finally got the experience of eating at Be Our Guest. I really wanted to see the inside of Beast’s castle, and eating there was the only way to be inside the castle. The dessert was good; the steak was ok; the French onion soup was ok, the wine was good, and there was too much food for me to eat.
But we went for the experience. We even got to see the Beast visit the ballroom during our visit, and I got to see the West Wing. The snowfall outside the window was amazing. (Even if you eat in the ballroom, you can visit the other rooms after your meal.)
The servers were terrific and all the staff was so helpful. They even remembered me when I left and asked me a few questions about my experience and the meal. If you are a Beauty and the Beast fan, I recommend trying to get a reservation there at least once. (I should mention that I was more interested in this experience than in riding many rides because we have been to MK at least 17 times in the past; so other than a few of my favorite rides, I wanted to spend time doing a few things that I had not done previously. I guess that I now need to eat at Cinderella’s castle, even though I don’t care about the characters.)
Yes, keep trying MDE to get an ADR; if you are staying at a Disney resort, your concierge may be able to help you also.
We went during Covid and absolutely loved the experience. Granted, this was our only time going to BOG so we had not other expectations. However, all four of us ordered the filet for the same reason you mentioned- that it’s something we wouldn’t normally order on a regular menu due to the cost of it. My daughter and I were celebrating our birthdays together (my 40th, her 5th), so they brought us each extra gray stuff. And the atmosphere was so beautiful. Beast even stopped in front of us when we were walking around checking out the other rooms and bowed to my daughter, she curtseyed back and they danced together from a short distance. It made it even more magical. I do think it was worth the money.
As for the brunch options, I think if they were cheaper than the others, I’d go for it. Overall, I’d want to see more breakfast options, especially since there wasn’t much on each property.
Would we do BOG every visit?, likely not. It was nice during covid to go inside, take off the mask and enjoy a meal (we went when the masks were still required outside too). But for the cost and the time spent, I’d rather spend it actually enjoying the park or planning the meal before the park opens or as it’s closing.
We went to BOG for a lunch/dinner (3 p.m.) and it was FANTASTIC. The only trouble was that our 7yo didn’t love the food. Now, I do not normally knock a restaurant on whether it can prepare “plain chicken” well enough to satisfy overtired children, but this is a crucial skill at Magic Kingdom. So she lived on fruit and loved painting the white chocolate “Chip” cup, which she wanted to keep forever and was disappointed to learn would melt. So the addition of the kid-friendly brunch food is great news for our next visit! Honestly, I’m paying for us – her parents – I just need to get her fed somehow in the process.