Be Our Guest Restaurant Big Menu Changes & Signature Status
Starting Summer 2018, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom will offer a prix fixe three-course dinner menu with premium French-inspired dishes and new offerings. With this, comes the likelihood that Walt Disney World will have another Signature Restaurant, requiring 2-credits on the Disney Dining Plan.
This new menu will be served starting July 27, 2018, with reservations opening February 23, 2018. Disney Parks Blog shared details about the menu today, along with food photos, which you can see here. Obviously, professionally-staged images can make even the most unpalatable cuisine look delectable (as we saw recently with the taco trio at Pecos Bill, which look nothing like this in real life).
However, in the case of Be Our Guest Restaurant, the descriptions of this new prix fixe menu suggest that these will be premium offerings. Items like Charred Octopus, Grilled Center-Cut Filet Mignon, Saffron-Infused Seafood Bouillabaisse, and Roasted Lamb Chops suggest a certain higher-tier quality. This, coupled with the fact that Be Our Guest Restaurant dinner reservations have been blocked off for about the last month suggests that more than just a menu change is in store…
If the change to 2-credit Signature Dining does occur (and we’re 99% certain that it will), it should come as no surprise. Be Our Guest Restaurant has now been open for over 5 years, and its popularity has not subsided in the least. It’s still the most coveted Advance Dining Reservation in all of Walt Disney World, with availability sometimes gone by the 180 mark.
To be frank, we are surprised this didn’t happen sooner. Even before the restaurant opened, many fans speculated that it’d be Signature Dining. Way back in the day when the menu was released, it featured beer & wine, causing the internet to grab its collective pitchforks in ire over the “fact” that the park Walt Disney built by hand (it’s not) would become a booze-fueled rave party that would make Big Al blush (it didn’t).
UPDATE: Disney has confirmed that this new prix fixe menu is replacing the current dinner menu, and Be Our Guest will be a Signature Restaurant requiring 2 table service credits on the Disney Dining Plan. Out of pocket pricing is not yet available, although $55/adult and $35/child costs are floating around (we have zero clue as to the source or veracity of those numbers–the adult price seems too low to be accurate to us).
Erroneous alcohol predictions notwithstanding, between the alcohol and the classier French menu, there were signs pointing to Be Our Guest Restaurant being a Signature Restaurant. However, that more reasonable prediction also turned out to be incorrect. Instead, the restaurant opened as a 1-credit location, and instantly became one of the best values for using Disney Dining Plan credits.
As its popularity has proven enduring, it seemed only a matter of time before Be Our Guest Restaurant would go Signature. Its trajectory is similar to that of Le Cellier: immense popularity leading to a Signature status justified by a new menu. (Don’t forget that Le Cellier’s story involves going Signature for dinner first, then followed by lunch. We could also see that play out at Be Our Guest, but only if the gain in pricier meals would offset the turnover rate of faster lunches.)
More recently, this seemed like an inevitability around mid-January when readers started to report that no ADRs were available even beyond the 180-mark, and they were told by Cast Members on the phone lines that no reservations would be taken for July through September.
This led to rampant, semi-informed speculation: extensive work in the kitchen would necessitate a closure; a new menu was on the way; something more akin to Cinderella’s Royal Table; conversion to Signature Dining that would require advance notice for those on the Disney Dining Plan.
It would seem that all of this has turned out to be more or less true. While Be Our Guest Restaurant is not going totally in the direction of Cinderella’s Royal Table, it sure sounds like the new prix fixe menu will be quite similar in the quality of what it offers. (Along these lines, it’ll be interesting to see whether Be Our Guest Restaurant starts requiring pre-payment in full a la Cinderella’s Royal Table.)
From our perspective, this is all a bit of a mixed bag. This should make a restaurant that is nearly impossible to book slightly easier to score. We’re not bothered by the doubling of the “credit price” as we rarely use the Disney Dining Plan. The new menu looks good to us, and could be justifiable in terms of the price increase when paying out of pocket. Moreover, we think Magic Kingdom is overdue for a true Signature Dining option…we’re just not sure this is the right venue.
Our biggest issue is that the quality of the Be Our Guest Restaurant experience is not commensurate with Signature Dining. Irrespective of how much of an improvement the menu is, the setting is decidedly not Signature; at least in the traditional sense of the term.
This same complaint could be leveled against Cinderella’s Royal Table, but it’s even more pronounced at Be Our Guest Restaurant. The main dining room is styled after a ballroom, but it feels and sounds as much like a school cafeteria. (Unpopular opinion: I’d love to see Be Our Guest Restaurant close for a few months, eliminate the ‘flex’ nature of the venue, rework the ballroom seating to make it feel more intimate, improve sound dampening, and convert to table service all day.)
Then comes the question of the menu. It’s incredibly doubtful that the new menu will be twice as good as the old one, but then again, it’d be tough to claim that any of the 2-credit Signature Restaurants are twice as good as the best 1-credit options. Certainly Le Cellier did not double in quality–it’s new menu was mostly a pretense to offer cover for the status elevation, which was actually driven by popularity. As with Le Cellier, this change to Be Our Guest Restaurant is almost certainly demand-driven.
With this three-course prix fixe menu, it does seem that Walt Disney World’s culinary teams are at least making more of an effort here to justify the status and price upgrade. That’s nice to see, because the reality is that Disney could offer a menu of nothing but day-old reheated hot dogs from Casey’s Corner, and Be Our Guest Restaurant would still fill up nightly. The atmosphere, Beauty and the Beast inspiration, and the exclusivity would continue to make it highly-coveted.
Another thing that concerns us with regard to the new menu is quality control. Be Our Guest Restaurant is a huge restaurant, with the kitchen having to serve far more guests than the average Signature Restaurant in one of the Walt Disney World hotels. Be Our Guest already has some issues with consistency, and making the menu more sophisticated and labor-intensive is only likely to exacerbate that.
Ultimately, the jury is still out on these changes to Be Our Guest Restaurant for us. Of course, there’s also the possibility that this prix fixe menu will simply be offered in addition to the regular menu, but then again, it’s also possible that Epcot will bring back Horizons! We don’t think this idea is inherently good or bad, and are curious to see what other ways Walt Disney World attempts to enhance the experience. (Beyond atmosphere, a top-notch dessert menu would be a start.) As with most things Disney-related, the final verdict will depend upon implementation. We’ll definitely give it a try–assuming we’re ever able to score an ADR–and will report back!
Want more dining recommendations? Check out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. For info on whether the DDP is right for you, read our Ultimate Guide to the Disney Dining Plan. For comprehensive vacation advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of the potential changes to Be Our Guest Restaurant? Is this new prix fixe menu something you can get behind, or will the credit-cost increase remove Be Our Guest Restaurant from your list of must-do dining? Any speculation or thoughts of your own to add? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!
This used to be an amazing restaurant, not anymore, they can’t even make the “Rose” napkins anymore…….. Like everything else in the world, prices go up, quality goes down. What a shame…
We ate dinner at Be Our Guest in November. The napkins were the beautiful red rose. Our dinner was the best meal we had at Disney World. Yes, it was 2 credits for dinner and the Prix Meal Menu. We ate at California Grill in the Contemporary which was also 2 credits on the dining plan, worse meal we had! We do recommend Be Our Guest at 2 credits it was amazing.
Does Beast still appear now that is signature and fixed price menu?
Yep–we saw him last week during our prix fixe meal! 🙂
Is it worth 2 table meal credits on the Disney Dining Plan? I scored an ADR for Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table for our trip at Christmas and am trying to decide which one to keep.
Are gratuities included when utilizing DDP as they are with CRT?
Visiting this place was a great experience. Not just their dishes but their menu covers are also very impressive.
Will the children’s dinner menu be changed at all with the new dinner changes?
Disney still has the current menu listed. Any idea when it will update to the new prix fixe menu & pricing? Planning our November trip & am still debating whether will we try to eat there…but would be nice if the new menu & pricing were updated soon!
Just a little information to help anyone. After many years and attempts to get reservations, I was finally able to get get reservations for Aug 30 yesterday. I tried 4 different days and all different times and scored 1:45 lunch time. Excited I called my husband to let him know, and apparently he knew about the changes referenced in this article (btw we read your articles all the time). Anyway when I was on Disney yesterday trying to make the reservation it did say the prix fixe dinner as of I believe July 27th. But when you look into the dining plan section it says 1 table service for lunch and 2 table service for dinner. Now I guess the 1 table service lunch is a change from reading the comments, it sounds like it was a quick service. But my point being is if you can get in for the lunch it is a good option. i personally will never go to a 2 credit place again. I went to Le Celier 2 years ago not realizing it was 2 credits and they literally messed up everything. Im usually not one to complain but they they gave me a steak that was supposed to be rare well done. lol i had to send it back because when it comes to steak well done is not edible. Anyway not sure if we are going to keep this reservation or not, if I find out it is 2 credits for the lunch as well I will cancel. But that is the information on Disneys site as of yesterday if it helps anyone
Yea, my husband and I can rarely eat an entire entree ourselves, so paying that much for 2
3 course meals is not worth it to me. I hope this does not make lunch reservations at BOG harder to get, but I am betting it will.
I am incredibly saddened by this. My fiancee and I are having our honeymoon at WDW in December 2018 and wanted to eat there for lunch to use our quick service credit on our dining plan.
With Disney going the “signature” route, the lunch quick service will most likely change before we go.
And I wanted to try the gray stuff… 🙁
We have QS lunch reservation on August 28th. IF they are going to change lunch, I think they will wait to see how the price fix goes and then if they do change lunch, do it before the 180 mark. I think you’ll be good!
I will be heartbroken if the change means we can no longer eat lunch there under the quick service dining plan. We typically book a minimum of three meals there during each visit because we love it so much, and if the dining credits change we will sadly not be patronizing it any more.
We just hit our 180 day mark and had no issues getting reservations (That I plan on canceling because the new menu is not appealing to us).
I wonder if this is an indicator that the public is not real crazy about this change.
I don’t understand your desire to exclude anyone by “endorsing (sic) Disney’s decision to give vegetarians the cold shoulder”. You have vegetarian fans! What is one offering to you when it means the world to us? Everyone should be able to enjoy a meal at a nice Disney restaurant.
Huh? I didn’t say that anywhere in the post. While I’ve poked fun at vegetarians in the past (it’s been a while), I have nothing against vegetarians. I do think it’s unfortunate that vegetarians have to pay more for less with this prix fixe menu, but I’m not sure how to achieve a better solution. Ultimately, they’d find ways to make inventive and high quality vegetarian dishes with expensive ingredients.
Disney is very good about special diet requirements. Just let them know on the ADR. Daughters boyfriend is Vegan and we have had no issues, Disney, or anywhere else actually. If people are too busy looking for something to complain about then they are not actively looking for solutions to their problem and therefor will never find one.
I have dining reservations in August to BOG. I have never been able to obtain dining reservations on previous trips and was only able to obtain this reservation when the changes were announced. I feel the upgrade of the menu is a nice change but unless the setup of the dining room and character experience is also upgraded I am unlikely to keep this reservation. I have eaten at BOG for breakfast and do not feel the dinner experience will justify 2 credits unless other changes are also made. I am disappointed as I was looking forward to the dinner experience and food.
We are going in May and have a reservation there for dinner. Will it still be 1 credit until the change in June?
I agree. I think the only surprising part here is that it didn’t happen sooner. I agree that there are some changes to the experience that would need to take place. I’d love to see a refurb and the tables be spaced further out (the cherub faces obliterated.) and sound dampening added. The $55 price doesn’t seem outlandish to me if the experience is upgraded and quality is controlled. I feel it would make it more worth the fight for the ADR.
It could be a fantastic place with some effort on Disney’s part. I went to Le Cellier for lunch one time before the change and felt the quality was phenomenal. I’ve gone since the change and felt that they’ve rested on their laurels a bit and quality has suffered.
I hope the same won’t happen to BOG.
I haven’t been back to Florida in nearly a year and it may have been a bad week, but we love to go to signature restaurants because of the quieter nature and a bit more put together feel. Last year it felt that put together feel was slipping. I see an increase in “signature” restaurants popping up, but am curious to see if they still retain that signature/fine dining feel.
I don’t see Be Our Guest being on the same level of my favorite signature Yachtsman Steakhouse (unpopular opinion, that!) because there will be no dress code, the dining area is larger and it is still geared more towards children, but I’d love for it to try to achieve that fine dining atmosphere. It would definitely make it one of the ones I try on our next trip this year.
Unpopular opinion: I hope they do make dinner pre-pay, maybe that will cut down on the reservation hoarding. This is going to make lunch reservations MUCH harder to get. I hope they don’t lower the food quality at lunch as it’s been a pretty solid option and quick too with pre-order. Lastly, I hope the dinner desserts get an upgrade. I love a good cupcake but they don’t scream signature to me. Let’s get some real French desserts!
“Unpopular opinion: I hope they do make dinner pre-pay, maybe that will cut down on the reservation hoarding.”
It might be unpopular, but I think it’s a good next-step if this doesn’t thin the crowds out at Be Our Guest Restaurant for dinner.
I seriously don’t get this. The menu is expensive already, but it is a good menu.
Will this affect lunch and breakfast as well? Lunch is my favorite meal at BOG, so I hope it isn’t going away.
Instead of a fixed price, I would prefer seeing a minimum charge implemented. If you want to just get dessert, then fine, but you still pay $30 or $40 a person (and tip on this as well). We aren’t big eaters, and while we aren’t trying to manipulate the system, a few kids meals (for the kids), one full entree, and an appetizer/soup/salad is enough to fill us up. The minimum charge could be high enough to cover the “cupcake only” cases, but low enough to not ruin it for lighter eaters and/or vegetarians.
We ate dinner here on our last trip so my son could meet the Beast (he dressed up as both Gaston and Beast that day and absolutely loves the movie), but I can’t even begin to imagine paying $35 each to feed my 2, 4, and 6 year olds – and not meeting characters or having some other perk. Two kids meals is more than enough food to feed the three of them (we did pay for 3 kids meals).