Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Yellow. Enjoy the ride as we share with you what part of the New Fantasyland Expansion we are most looking forward to!
After watching the exciting developments at the Disneyland Resort over the past five years, it is soon Walt Disney World's time to shine! When the New Fantasyland expansion is complete (forecasted for the end of 2013), the size of this land will have nearly doubled with the 12 "adventures" listed above. Anticipation is high for the contents of Storybook Circus and Fantasyland Forest, which explains the large crowds that gather at One Man's Dream in Disney's Hollywood Studios to survey the model that was first introduced at the 2011 D23 Expo.
Whether you've visited this model or not, most self-respecting Disney fans are absolutely giddy with excitement. As I stood at the scene above, I felt like a kid! The little boy next to me gushed about riding Dumbo "over and over"; his older sister said that might be possible now there are two of them. The young princess across from us announced that she would "ask Belle to read her a beautiful story". Well, at that point the enthusiasm in the room was reaching a fever pitch. I couldn't help but get caught up in it- which part of this amazing scene would I skip to with wild abandon? Suddenly the adult, I knew the Be Our Guest Restaurant was the deserving winner. Since our honeymoon at Walt Disney World in 1989, my husband (you may have heard, he grew up in the hospitality business) and I had made a hobby of critiquing the food options at the Magic Kingdom. To us, there were endless creative possibilities, and over the many years we watched and waited for this park to reach its full culinary potential. The thought of virtually stepping into the Beauty and the Beast movie, entering Beast Castle, pulling up a chair in his dining room and feasting course by course... We can't contain ourselves!!
Though less than half as large as Cinderella Castle, Beast Castle looms large thanks to Disney's famous forced perspective technique. Inside the Magic has done a particularly good job collecting photos of the lavish interior of the restaurant, which occupies the broad base of the castle. Food service will take place in three areas: the elegant two story ballroom, the library/gallery and the famous west-wing, and will be offer seating for 550 Guests. The rose motif is incorporated throughout, and in case you have forgotten the "tale as old as time", this beautiful story is retold in the stained glass, murals and portraits. Lunch will be served in counter-service style, but with a reimagined twist. As is offered in the Contempo Cafe in the Contemporary Resort, diners will place their own orders via automated terminals. (Not to fear, special dietary requests will be filled with cashiers.) In the style of the new Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars Land, real china and metal utensils will be used. Unlike these two eateries, once you place your order, you may sit and your food will be delivered to you. The menu is one you might find in a french bistro, and includes my family favorite, the Croque Monsieur Sandwich. (We're hoping it is as good as that served at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland or the Backlot Express in Disneyland Paris... yum.)
For dinner, the spaces transform into table service fine dining with the same french flair. My carnivores already have their sites set on the Grilled Strip Steak with Pommes Frites (after all, resident Chef Michael Deardorff has said that will be one of his favorite dishes offered here). The Disney Food Blog outlines the entire menu here. Surprisingly, it has been announced that lunch will be one quick-service credit, and dinner one table-service credit on the Disney Dining Plan. Isn't that Beast generous?? Though characters will not be present in the restaurant (we know that Maurice's Cottage will host Enchanted Tales with Belle), there has been some buzz about the possibility of an animatronic figure that might visit the dining rooms. Wouldn't it be magnifique if Lumiere appeared a la Remy at Chefs de France??
There you have it; my must-do in the New Fantasyland. Reservations this completely unique dining experience will open in late August, with the restaurant predicted to be open for the holidays. I am hoping, hoping that my foodie husband and I can celebrate my Coast to Coast Race Challenge medal at Be Our Guest Restaurant in November. After all, didn't Lumiere tell us that "a dinner here is never second best"? I hope no one catches my drooling. I'd love to know your number one must-do at the New Fantasyland!
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Delightfully Disney.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard: