With Valentines Day this weekend, the subject of romance is no doubt on many people’s minds right now. For fans of Disney Animation, that may include revisiting some of the studio’s many fairy tale love stories such as “Beauty and the Beast.” However, some guests visiting Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will be able to take this experience to a whole new dimension by enjoying a meal inside the ballroom of Beast’s castle.
Located in Fantasyland, “Be Our Guest Restaurant” serves French cuisine in one of three elaborate dining rooms including the ballroom where Belle and the Beast share their first dance. After finishing your meal, be sure to take notice of the mosaic mural located at the restaurant’s exit. Inspired by the stained glass window that appears at the end of the film, this artwork representing the castle and its inhabitants after the curse upon it was broken. Combined with another mosaic above the entrance to the castle based on a window from the beginning of the movie representing the event that led to the young prince’s transformation into a beast, these decorative pieces fulfill the same role as the windows they’re based on played on screen.
In many of the early Disney films such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Sleeping Beauty” an illustrated storybook would appear at the beginning and end of the movie. This was used as a method to establish its fairy tale setting as well as present exposition in a quick and entertaining way. The filmmakers of “Beauty and the Beast” wanted to honor this tradition while also putting a new spin on it. Eventually they settled on using a series of stylized stained glass windows that would bookend the film.
The level of detail present, including the recreation of key props and locations from the film like this window, helps make those who visit “Be Our Guest Restaurant” feel like they’ve stepped into this acclaimed animated feature. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s popularity means that it is consistently difficult to obtain a reservation for it, especially during the busiest times of the years. However for fans of the tale as old as time lucky enough to get in, they will enjoy a unique dining experience in a setting they won’t soon forget.