Despite a growing number of Walt Disney World fans claiming its overrated or downright bad, Be Our Guest is still our #2 restaurant in Magic Kingdom. We enjoy the food and 3 of the 4 dining rooms inside Beast’s Castle. It’s a fun restaurant that we recommend to first-timers, especially fans of Beauty and the Beast.
We mention that because, for us, Be Our Guest Restaurant is the bar against which other Beauty and the Beast restaurants are going to be judged. It’s not necessarily a super high bar–second best in Magic Kingdom isn’t that great–but the point is that we’re fans of the Walt Disney World incarnation of this restaurant, and think it gets way too much hate due to sky-high expectations and hype. It’s still an above-average Disney restaurant in terms of themed design and cuisine. Perhaps better depending upon what you order and where you’re seated.
Tokyo Disneyland has now debuted its own New Fantasyland, which is more aptly a Beauty and the Beast miniland. This area stretches from Belle’s Village to the secluded Fantasy Forest. A lot of this is strikingly similar to Magic Kingdom’s version of New Fantasyland, but one thing that’s very different is Beast’s Castle. Unfortunately for food fans (but very fortunately for attraction enthusiasts), it’s not home to Be Our Guest Restaurant…
Be Our Guest Restaurant does not exists at Tokyo Disneyland at all. Rather than being a toy castle perched upon a hill, Beast’s Castle is massive and impressive at Tokyo Disneyland, and is instead home to Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast attraction, which is the area’s tentpole.
This trackless dark ride features magical cups that “dance” in rhythm to the animated film’s music as they take guests through scenes depicting the story of Belle and the Beast. We have a full ride review coming soon, so I’m not going to spoil anything; suffice to say, this is an unequivocal upgrade over Be Our Guest Restaurant. Even among people who like to eat (us!).
Outside Fantasyland Forest is Belle’s Village, which is home to a trio of shops–La Belle Librairie, Little Town Traders and Bonjour Gifts. These stores feature many details from the film, including the rolling ladder to reach books on the high shelves and Belle’s favorite book. They’ll carry hand-made toys, candlesticks, dish-ware, books, dresses, and other clothing.
On the food front, there’s LeFou’s, a small snack shop named after Gaston’s sidekick, which serves up apple-caramel churros. Le Petit Popper is also in this area, and is a wagon in village where Belle lives that serves up fresh popcorn. And that brings us to the main event, the whole point of this post: La Taverne de Gaston.
This is a counter service restaurant that’s similar to Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom, yet also very different. For starters, the name of the restaurant, located in Japan, is in French instead of English (or Japanese). The interior is also distinct-but-familiar, and menu is definitely different, with a bunch of meat-stuffed pastries (best of both worlds!) and a soft drink version of Gaston’s favorite brew. Let’s start with a look inside…
The ordering area at La Taverne de Gaston is much-expanded as compared with its Magic Kingdom counterpart.
This is entirely logical, as it’s in a popular spot at Tokyo Disneyland, a park that’s still starved for counter service options. Honestly, it also would’ve made sense to do this at Magic Kingdom, but I guess the thinking was that Be Our Guest would be the counter service option during the lunch rush. And it was, for a while.
After ordering, there’s an area with Tokyo Disney Resort-branded paper trays (aka free souvenirs) and self-service water station.
You’ll need a tray/souvenir to carry the half-dozen cups of water it’ll take to hydrate a normal-sized person. Beyond that, this area has some neat thematic flourishes and nods to Gaston.
The main seating area of La Taverne de Gaston is reasonably large, at least as compared to Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom. By Tokyo Disneyland standards, this is really small.
Don’t let this photo fool you, either. I took it at the end of the night on a day that the park wasn’t particularly busy. The times we’ve actually dined here, there have been no available seats in this room.
Again, there are fun details throughout La Taverne de Gaston.
Lots of nods to his hunting prowess and superior sporting abilities, such as the above dartboard. The darts high up in the rafters (presumably courtesy of LeFou?) are a nice touch, too.
Of course, this fireplace, portrait of Gaston framed in antlers, and oversized chair are the most iconic and recognizable details of La Taverne de Gaston, and should be instantly familiar to anyone who has dined at the Magic Kingdom version of the restaurant.
All in all, the interior design and decor of La Taverne de Gaston has a quaint village feel, like the dining room of a hunting lodge. The details throughout the tavern are fun and cheeky, and everything from the wood beams to the casks to the antlers everywhere works really well to give the restaurant a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Well, at least when it’s not packed with people. (On a chilly and/or rainy night, it hits the mark perfectly!)
Also like the Magic Kingdom version, La Taverne de Gaston occupies an area between snack spot and full-scale counter service restaurant.
Even though Tokyo Disneyland serves meal sets here, most parties probably aren’t going to want to make this a full meal. We did, though. And I’d do it again!
Let’s start with the Big Bite Croissant.
This is the “classic” Tokyo Disneyland dish consisting of a pastry filled with bone-in hot dog. (Don’t ask questions you’re not prepared to hear the answers to.)
If you’re a fan of bone-in hot dogs (and frankly, who isn’t?!) inside a flaky and buttery pastry, this is for you.
This is probably as close to a Frenchified hot dog as you’re going to get, and the fusion (I guess?) cuisine works well here. It’s nothing remarkable or crave-worthy, but it’s competently-prepared and won’t disappoint. The photos tell you pretty much everything you need to know–there are no surprises here.
Next up is the French Toast Sandwich.
For those who constantly find themselves thinking, “my grilled cheese isn’t sweet and sugary enough!” (and who among us hasn’t?!), Tokyo Disneyland has heard and answers your prayers. The bread here is pretty close to French Toast (a bit more substantial so it doesn’t fall apart in your hands), and in between that is a thick and gooey layer of melted cheese.
Because Japan hates vegetarians (or so it sometimes seems), they’ve thrown a bit of chicken into the French Toast Sandwich just for good measure. It doesn’t really move the needle on the dish one way or the other–but I’m mentioning it because the English menu does not. Either way, this sandwich is a glorious melding of sweet and savory, and is the #1 or #2 item on the menu at La Taverne de Gaston. Highly recommended.
Our final entree is the Beef Stew Hunter’s Pie.
In my view, this is the sleeper item on the menu at La Taverne de Gaston. I love this. The pastry has just the right texture and crispiness coupled with chewiness, and the savory beef stew filling adds a meaty quality that every pastry should have. It’s a close call between this and the French Toast Sandwich for me, but I’d probably rank this #1.
(With that said, nearly everyone we know prefers the French Toast Sandwich, and that’s certainly the most novel menu item. You should absolutely order both, but if you’re only getting one, I guess go with the consensus and get that.)
Turning to drinks and desserts, we have the Apple Caramel Churro.
This tastes like apples and caramel, so exactly as advertised. We heard a lot of hype about this, but it didn’t do much for me. Then again, maybe we made the “mistake” of ordering it indoors rather than at the popular window outside. In my view, Disneyland (California) churros are still undefeated, but like those, maybe this would’ve benefitted from ordering at the more popular spot. It’s possibly worth a try for churro diehards, but I can’t recommend this. Even if it were perfect, I’d take the Tipo Torta from Village Pastry near Pooh’s Hunny Hunt over this all day long.
It’s a similar story with both the Sweet Gaston dessert and Berry Cheers drink.
The former is the standard mousse dessert you’ll find all over Tokyo Disneyland. We inevitably purchase 2-3 of these per trip, usually in order to get the souvenir cups (pro tip: they’re the perfect size for espresso and are dishwasher safe). I haven’t ever had one that truly has wowed me, and this didn’t change that trend. It tastes like artificial red and yellow.
As for the Berry Cheers drink, it tastes like fizzy sugar-flavored soda with cream on top. I actually do like this berry drink, and would give it a tepid endorsement. It’s refreshing and pretty good, but definitely not a must-order.
Ultimately, La Taverne de Gaston is an solid addition to the restaurant lineup at Tokyo Disneyland. I like one of the entrees and love two more of them. From my perspective, that makes it pretty much the perfect restaurant. The problem is that the meals aren’t quite hearty enough and, if you’re like us, there probably won’t be something for everyone in your party to do a full meal here.
Accordingly, my big complaint is that La Taverne de Gaston isn’t quite robust enough to qualify as a recommended counter service restaurant. Even though Imagineering made this bigger than Gaston’s Tavern in Magic Kingdom, it’s unfortunate that they didn’t make it even larger.
Tokyo Disneyland desperately needs more counter service dining capacity, and although this helps and brings tasty and fun foods to the table, it would’ve been nice to get a high-capacity and fully-fledged counter service restaurant–like Be Our Guest, but before it changed and obviously not inside Beast’s Castle. As it stands, La Taverne de Gaston is a nice little spot, especially for a late night snack before ending your night with Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast!
Have you dined at La Taverne de Gaston? What’d you order? Did you prefer the savory entrees or desserts? Would you rank the French Toast Sandwich #1, or something else? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions? 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!