Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Click on any image for a larger view

I had a free park hopper that expired on May 31st, so I hit the road that Friday at wake up with the idea that I would at least check out the new Be Our Guest restaurant in the New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.

After a sunny drive down, It started raining as soon as I stepped from my car in the parking lot; so I donned my full rain gear and headed through the turnstiles, straight on down Main Street, left around the castle, and back through the new castle walls to the entrance to Be Our Guest.

It was still raining lightly as I arrived at the line. I confirmed that this was a stand-by line, not for those with reservations. I had just learned that there was a stand-by line, having previously heard only that reservations were booked so far out as to make that out of the question for my spur of the moment visits, and I had assumed that there was no "walk-in", but I had seen photos of this big line of waiting people and asked if these were all people with reservations, because that seemed a bit extreme to me if that were the case: turned out it wasn't.

I got into the line, and it did in fact actually move, slowly, but steadily. At one point a BOG Cast Member came along passing out menus for we waiting guests to review, and as I passed mine to the lady next to me, I noticed she seemed solo, and I instinctively asked if she would like to join me for lunch and she replied, yes. Both sides of that quick Q&A surprised me. But it turned out to be quite fortuitous: not only was she a good conversationalist, but we also shared gluten intolerance and various other food sensitivities.

A bit later, the rain having stopped and the sun now blaring in all its Floridian glory, another CM came out with a trolley of water and cups that he passed out to the waiting guests.

Soon enough we came into view of the main entrance cut into the side of a stone mountain. Two pair of beasts supported the gateway on each side and a tile mosaic decorated the arch above the door. Sooner than I expected, we were directed to step free of the line barriers and proceed to enter.

As we entered, I note now that directly ahead is the main dining hall: you can actually see into it from outside; however, we were directed to take a 90-degree turn to the right and enter the Hall of Armor. Each side of this short room displays three glorious suits of armor, and in the middle are several kiosks with touch screens showing again the menu. This is in fact a step in the ordering process, for we were actually waiting to enter the next room, a 90 turn to the left, filled with order/pay stations. I had been taking photos and talking to one of the suits- and am not quite sure if it was replying live or "canned"- and so had not looked at the menus, but knowing the standard procedure at every restaurant on Disney property, I knew none of it mattered once I would say, "gluten" so I wasn't even thinking about food choices until I had moved through that stage, knowing I would have to wait to talk to the chef.

As we came to the front of the line of the Armour Room, we were each handed a red plastic puck with the engraving of a rose on one face, and a small green Mickey head shaped insert on the side that was in fact the RFD tag. We exited to the left into the next room.

Kathy, my table mate, and I came up to the pay station, the one if you are not using the Magic Your Way wrist band and were asked for our order. I said the magic word, but the only response here was that I could have the tuna thing and the pastry thing for dessert, thank you very much: it was a take it or leave it deal, and pretty much presented that way, no discussion, no alternatives, pay or leave. I found it very off-putting and it did bring reality slamming right back down into this fantasy land.

We both ordered the tuna thing, and Kathy said she would only eat half the dessert, so I said I would split it with her. We each paid, had our plastic rose coded, and were told to go find a table, any table, any room, and to place our rose and receipt on the table.

The glories of the room's architecture and decorations were lost in the physical challenge of simply working our way through the tables and people and trying to find a table, no different than any other crowded counter-service restaurant. I directed us to the back wall, leaving us with the "long view" of the great hall and we took a table for two on that wall. I parked my scooter beside and out of the way as much as possible, and set my rose and receipt on the table, and very quickly the chef and an assistant brought our two plates to the table. They were deposited with a smile and that was that.

Drinks were self serve, as were utensils, and I was happy that Kathy just went ahead and took care of that, including my 6 packets of sugar for my cup of hot tea.

We talked a lot as we ate our tuna and whatever, Kathy was very interesting... meanwhile, I figured out that those things that looked like chicken strips were actually three "French fry" sort of things, and Kathy told me the white stuff was poached egg or soft-boiled egg? In any case, it went well with the tuna and effectively made it palatable: not bad, but not thrilling either. Kathy expressed the same lack of enthusiasm.

Then Kathy cut her dessert in half, and with my first bite I was taken aback, and noticed a taste that I only much later figured out what it was, for this is not only "the" gluten free dessert choice, it is the choice for anything-free, including sugar-free... this particularly showed up in the topping... however, the pastry itself was rather good, especially for gluten free.

I have had a lot of good meals- and even some great ones- at WDW, but this was not one of them in any way. I can only hope that the dinner experience is a much better and tastier one.

After we finished, Kathy and I toured the three rooms of the restaurant and it is a beautiful place. All three rooms are dark. In fact, even in the most brightly lit main hall where we ate, it was a difficult to see my plate clearly: the photos have been greatly enhanced: and one of the rooms was all but blacked-out. I think that was the library- where the rose is.

After we finished looking about, we went back through the main hall and headed out the door, maneuvering to the right to the exit and a pose in front of the stained glass window.

 As we headed out past the line of those still waiting to get in, well... I already told that story...



Well, that sounds disappointing. Sorry to hear that. It doesn't sound very Disney like, except maybe the venue.

Missy in MN
Did you notice the picture of the prince with the claw marks thru it in the Rose Room? If you take the picture with a flash he doesn't show up in the frame but if taken without the flash he's there. Thought it was interesting and found it purely by accident.

Missy, this was very shocking as a dining experience at Disney: they have always been way on the other end of the scale regarding food sensitivities.

Kathy, Huh! I took a shot without flash, and got nothing but black! Very dark in there! Glad to know my flash wouldn't have helped!

Jud, thanks for the tour, sounds disappointing.. I have wondered about it for our next trip, we bought season passes this year with our Disney dollars from our Visa and the rest on monthly payments...

Diane Porter
Diane, I think for the non-GF person it would be just fine. Disney is usually so ahead of the slope on allergy issues, and here they have seemed to say the heck with it.
First off Jud, thanks for sharing these great photos! They are wonderful! I just said to my husband you are a great story teller, both with words and photos. Nice work! I am shocked about the GF thing though. Heck, what if you were allergic to eggs or fish? What then? Even with the chef bringing it to your table you would have thought they would say something. :-( Not good. It is nice that you had a lunch companion though. Sounds like you both made the best of it. :-)

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?