[Ed. Note: DISDad Oscar Aparicio and his family got an opportunity to try the lunch menu at Be Our Guest Restaurant last week during their Annual Passholder’s Preview. They did not know ahead of time that the restaurant would be serving during their Preview, but Oscar was generous enough to take some cell phone pictures for us and put together a review of his experience.]

by Oscar Aparicio

Let me preface this by saying that had I known that I would be writing a review of Be Our Guest, I would have ordered differently, like the French Onion Soup and the Grilled Strip Steak and some of that Grey Stuff, I hear it’s delicious. Instead, I tried to stay as close to faithful to my diet as possible and ordered the carved turkey on baguette with green beans. My wife ordered the same thing and the kids both had the Macaroni, one with fries the other with green beans.

Right off the bat, I noticed one key difference, the kid’s green beans were similar to the ones served at Cosmic Rays while the standard ones were cooked with onions and peppers, (a technique that I will be incorporating at home from now on). The kids also had a choice for a second side, they both chose the peach applesauce, yeah, I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, it was fantastic. A cast member came by, possibly a manager and chatted with us for a while, revealing that they had initially tried a blueberry applesauce, but found that the blue color scared the children and they wouldn’t eat it, so they settled on peach, leaving me with a craving to sample the blue stuff.

Although my meal selection was admittedly boring, it was good. The bread was lightly toasted, yet still soft; the turkey was juicy and practically melted in your mouth. There was some kind of ‘frenchy-type’ sauce on the bread that my unsophisticated palette couldn’t identify but loved nonetheless. The sautéed green beans and peppers were outstanding, the combination of flavors were spectacular. More importantly, to me at least, was how my 8 year old finicky daughter, who thought she was getting macaroni and cheese, devoured the beefy macaroni that she got instead. Something I’ve tried at home countless times only to have her turn her nose at it. I stole a bite when nobody was looking, and I can see why she ate it so ravenously.

The ordering experience was unique and hopefully a glimpse of things to come for Disney. After passing the famous stained glass portrait of Belle & the Beast in the foyer, guests line up in one of two queue’s running along an armored suit lined corridor. Between the two groups are a few digital menus for guests to make their selections prior to placing their order. At the front of the line, a cast member scans a red rose and hands it to you; he then explains how the ordering system works. (I’m curious to see how this will work when it finally opens to the public, because personally, I see the potential for a bottleneck.)

With the rose in hand, guests then find an open screen and place their order via touch screen, (let’s call it an ‘iFood’). There are a few cast members walking around to assist if you need it, but the process is fairly simple and you probably won’t need any help outside of a malfunction. Once you’ve finished selecting your items, you are given the option of selecting different allergies you or any member of your party may have.

You’re order has been placed; now, go find a table in one of the three elaborately themed rooms. There’s the Ballroom with gigantic windows depicting a wintery night, complete with the occasional snowfall. In the darker & mysterious West Wing, you’ll find the famous glass encased rose as well as a torn portrait of the Prince, in his human form that morphs into the Beast whenever a thunderclap is heard. Finally, the Rose Gallery is a much more upbeat and colorful dining area where photos depicting numerous scenes from the movie and characters line the walls and a twirling statue of Belle dancing with Beast as the central focal point.

Once you’ve decided which room you will be dining in, set the rose down on the table and serve your drinks from the fountain bar that is located in each of the three dining rooms. Using some sort of homing device and GPS system, your food will then be delivered promptly. Let’s stop for a moment and think of all the shenanigan’s a fun loving Dis Dad could get into with this, like keeping the rose in your pocket as you stroll around the three dining rooms, causing the cast member to follow you, or handing it off to others in your party to keep them guessing. The hijinks potential is limitless.

All the scenes from the movie are here, all exquisitely designed, providing the level of detail that one has come to expect from the Disney name. Nothing is left to chance

After our meal, as I sat and finished off the food that my wife and kids didn’t eat, I chatted with the family in the table next to us for a moment; they had just sat down and were still drinking in the greatness of the scenery around them. “I’m trying to figure out how they know which table to go to” I said, “I assume the rose has some sort of GPS device in it.” The cast member, delivering their food turned to me with a smile and a French accent and simply said one word, “Magic”

Magic indeed.

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