Entering Walt Disney World’s spectacular new expansion, New Fantasyland, is truly like stepping out of this world and into a Disney-spun fairytale. As you make your way through the Enchanted Forest and the Storybook Circus, you aren’t just visiting attractions, browsing for gifts, or filling up your belly, you are becoming part of your beloved Disney stories and places. You’re experiencing the magic that only Disney can create.
When it comes to dining in New Fantasyland, Disney’s immersive storytelling experience will sweep you away into the French countryside of Beauty and the Beast and a land of French-inspired cuisine. (And, to match this authentic meal, you can even have a glass of French wine or Belgian beer if you feel so inclined. Yes, this is a first in the Magic Kingdom!)
Be Our Guest
As you walk through the wrought-iron gates, crossing the stone bridge lined with beastly statues, you realize you are not just about to have a meal, you are about to dine in the Beast’s castle.
Indeed, perched in the mountains above Be Our Guest, is the Beast’s castle. And every detail of the experience, from the entrance, to the halls, to the food, to the servers, reinforces the storytelling. Take time to tour the halls, catching all the wonderful details and adornments. You will see mosaics, paintings, statues, tapestries, and suits of armor.
Make sure you look up when you enter the ballroom at Be Our Guest Restaurant. The stunning 20-foot ceiling is adorned with white clouds and cherubs, and features sparkling chandeliers that will make you feel like you should be twirling around in the ballroom of the “Beauty and the Beast.”
And if your little girl loves music boxes, just wait until she eyes this 7 feet tall music box centerpiece with Belle and the Beast slowly spinning in the Rose Gallery, the dining room where guests can indulge in French-inspired cuisine with a quick-service lunch!
During this unique quick-service lunch, guests order at touch-screen devices and then head for tables where servers quickly deliver your food.
“This is a whole new level of theming for a Disney restaurant,” said Maribeth Bisienere, vice president of Food & Beverage and Merchandise Operations Integration for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “More than ever, we’re using storytelling and creativity as we develop our menus.”
If you are booked for dinner, get ready for elegance as you dine on starters such as mussels Provençal, French onion soup and charcuterie (cured meats with cornichons, pickled onions and toasted whole-grain bread), entrées such as whole roasted hen, thyme-scented pork rack chop, and pan-seared salmon with leek fondue and saffron potatoes, and desserts such as Gourmet cupcakes – strawberry cream cheese, triple chocolate and lemon meringue — and mousse-filled cream puffs.
Remember I mentioned wine? Yes, just for dinner, select wines and beers are available that complement the French-inspired cuisine.
The kids don’t miss out on the special drinks either. Your little ones can sip L’amour Vrai, French for “true love,” in a souvenir, castle-themed goblet. These two signature non-alcoholic drinks include an all-natural fruit juice punch and wild berry extract sweetened with organic cane juice and topped with lemon-lime foam, or an all-natural pure squeezed lemonade sweetened with organic cane juice and topped with wildberry foam.
(The food menus also have kid-friendly options too, no worries. For lunch, the kids’ menu includes a grilled carved turkey sandwich, braised pork with sautéed green beans and potato-vegetable mash, turkey meatloaf, shaped like Mickey Mouse, and seared mahi mahi. Dinner is grilled steak, fish or chicken breast with fresh vegetables.)
What I love best about Be Our Guest is that guests have two ways to experience the restaurant — you can stop in for the quick-service, no-reservation needed, lunch option, OR you can book ahead to dine for the full table service dinner in the evening. In fact, I think the best option is to do both!
A trip into Belle’s countryside must include some Gaston-infused flavor too. And Walt Disney World scores top points again with Gaston’s Tavern.
Gaston’s Tavern is a rugged hunting lodge with Gaston and his side-kick Le Fou featured front and center! Decorated with antlers, wood furniture, and a massive painting of Gaston above the fireplace, you will feel Gaston’s manly presence as you feast on roasted pork shanks and huge cinnamon rolls.
At Gaston’s Tavern, you can quickly fuel up on portable roasted pork shanks, cinnamon rolls, croissants, fresh fruit, and the star of the show — Le Fou’s Brew, a no-sugar added frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam in a souvenir goblet.
Photo Credits: images provided by Walt Disney World
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