When the new Be Our Guest restaurant opens in November as part of the Fantasyland expansion at The Magic Kingdom, a Disney executive said beer and wine will be on the menu.
The sales will be restricted to dinnertime hours and only at the new Be Our Guest restaurant: a themed venue that transports diners to the magical world of the popular Disney film “Beauty and the Beast.”
By day, the restaurant serves up quick-service cuisine, and by night it becomes a traditional table-service restaurant where you can reconnect with family and friends. Be Our Guest Restaurant features 3 uniquely themed dining rooms.
Sample menu items may include:
Sandwiches and salads at lunchtime, including the classic croque monsieur (ham and cheese sandwich), tuna Niçoise salad and grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread—plus, of course, pommes frites (French fries)
Heartier fare at dinner, including braised pork, grilled strip steak with pommes frites, French onion soup and vegetable quiche, accompanied by a selection of wine and beer that complements the French-inspired cuisine
Disney has not decided what time dinner service will begin, said Karen McClintock, Disney Parks food and beverage marketing manager.
Maribeth Bisienere, vice president of food and beverage for Walt Disney Parks, said the change was prompted by guest feedback, which revealed that visitors wanted the option of wine and beer to enhance their “gourmet experience.”
“You cannot walk into a French restaurant and not get a glass of wine or beer,” Bisienere said. “It made more sense to do it than not to do it.”
The company’s decision was not automatic, she said. “We really wanted to wait until it became something that worked with the particular theme,” Bisienere said.
There will be no beer and wine “to go” from the 500-seat Be Our Guest, Bisienere added. “This wasn’t really about the alcohol. This was about the restaurant and having a great thematic experience,” she said.
But AJ Wolfe, editor of the Disney Food Blog, told the Orlando Sentinel reaction from readers was split 50-50 between pro and con.
“People are very serious on either side. There’s not a lot of middle ground,” she said. “You have your purists. You have the people saying. ‘Walt is spinning in his grave’ ” Wolfe said.
Deb Willis, a Disney expert and founder of the All Ears newsletter, was surprised by the announcement but said beer and wine will make Be Our Guest more appealing and give her an option to buffets or characters meals at the Magic Kingdom.
Bisienere said alcohol has been served at catered events at the Magic Kingdom for years. Other Disney World parks — Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot — also sell alcohol.
And Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando sell beer, wine and alcohol at their attractions.
Alcohol is served at Disneyland Paris and at the private Club 33 at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Walt Disney formed the establishment in 1967.
The clandestine members-only restaurant is hidden in New Orleans Square, where investors, presidents, dignitaries and celebrities have shared an almost mythical exclusive membership.
Be Our Guest will offer 20 wines, almost all by the glass. The restaurant will serve several Belgian and French beers, but no domestic.