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Old 02-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
illinilisa
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Red face Be Our Guest Tips

We just decided to go to a conference the end of February and of course all the Be Our Guest reservations are booked and I have tried but haven't been able to find a cancelation - any tips on making sure we can get in for counter service - and any recommendations about which room to sit in? My son has Down Syndrome and was in Beauty and the Beast last year so he LOVES it so much! I really want to make sure we get in the castle somehow.

Thanks so much!

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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Patience is pretty much all you need to eat there for Lunch. We got in line just after 10:30AM and waited 30 minutes to order our food (January 28th-ish).

You can pretty much sit anywhere you like. Also, you can visit each room freely.

The line outside is in the sun. That's the main drawback. If he crouches down, the wall provides some shade.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
jrtoastyman
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Couple of things:

1. Go at off times. If you want to eat lunch there, you can arrive at lunch time, wait in line, and you'll get in eventually, but you can minimize your wait by eating earlier or later than you otherwise would. Have a light breakfast and be there when it opens (or shortly before, actually) for the lowest (but still long) wait times.

2. Unless something has changed recently, you are not going to have any luck getting in on a canceled reservation in advance of your visit. From what I gather, they overbooked the place but it has been popular beyond their expectations AND people are staying longer to eat than at other restaurants (presumably because they are staying to take in the sights), so when people cancel, they don't refill those reservations. In fact, someone was going to give me their reservation by canceling seconds before I put in a request for the exact same reservation and I had no luck getting it. I actually sat there for 20 minutes resending the same request and then made spot checks over the course of the day with no luck.

With that said, we went a couple of times on our last trip and spoke to BOG CMs who said that walk-ups actually had better luck than you might think. We also spoke with a few people while we were waiting on the bridge for dinner who had just walked up and been given a beeper. Point is, even if you're not able to get an ADR (and all indications are that you won't), don't give up on eating dinner there. Can't hurt to ask, and you may be able to get in.

Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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I would recommend having one of the adults get in line shortly after 11am and wait it out, then when he or she is close to the front of the line (about to enter the castle) have that person notify the rest of the group to rejoin. This is perfectly all right and the CMs will be happy to let you join your party.

With this case, everyone gets to experience at least the first two hours of park operation and some of the group can accomplish even more. I would not waste the first two hours of park operation in line for lunch. Also, allot 105 minutes for the entire experience (from the minute the selected person enters the line to the time the entire group is walking out of the restaurant done with lunch).
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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I haven't seen the Study - only been there for dinner - but I would sit in the West Wing over the main Ballroom. It's smaller, more detail to see, and felt quieter. The Study (I think that's the name of the third room) is, from what I have heard and seen, similarly smaller, and with interesting details.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:46 AM   #6
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The place is absolutely enormous. Like cavernous. No windows. We sat in the room with Beauty & the Beast dancing around in the center and liked it. My DH went to look for the men's room and reported that the Beast's study looked pretty cool, but it was very dark and foreboding - might be scary for your son.

I wouldn't waste much time trying to get a dinner ADR - just go for lunch. When we were there in January the line to get in was crazy around 11 a.m. but much shorter by the time we left, around 12:30- 1:00. So maybe early afternoon? Or maybe it just doesn't make much difference since it's so popular.

The line moves pretty quickly and once your order is in, the food arrives pretty quickly too. I had the ham & cheese and it was quite tasty. My DH had the turkey sandwich and liked that too. But now it's a "been there, done that" kind of thing - we'll go back to Columbia Harbor House next time.



Have fun!
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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First off, to clarify some confusion about the different seating areas:

The Ballroom is the largest of the three rooms and looks exactly like the room where Belle and the Beast dance in the movie. To me, it is the most magical/movie-like of the three rooms and even though it's nosier, I prefer to sit there. The "windows" have a beautiful snow effect that's just mesmerizing!

The West Wing is the smallest of the three. It's very dark and intimate. It features the enchanted rose, plus a really neat portait of the prince. Listen to the thunder - when it gets louder, keep an eye on the painting and watch for a cool effect!

The Rose Gallery features a large music box of Belle and the Beast in the center of the room. It is larger than the West Wing but quite a bit smaller than the Ballroom, and I think it's a bit more brightly lit. It certainly feels airier. If sitting in this room interests you, be sure to go for lunch as it is usually closed during dinner.

As PPs have mentioned, you can take your chances on snagging a walkup. From what I have read, people have had the most success with this right around the time dinner opens. If you'd rather just stick with lunch, another way to go besides sending someone to get in line at 11 is to wait until 1:30-1:45 or so. My parents and I did this a couple of weeks ago and I believe it took us about 20 minutes to get to the front of the line. Going at this time is especially nice because I believe they close off the line at about 2:15. This means that the restaurant only gets emptier and quieter the longer you're there. They didn't rush us out or anything, so we had as much time as we wanted to explore a less-crowded restaurant.

I will also add that if your son would like to meet the Beast, this can only be done at dinner. It's not a character meal as he doesn't visit your table, but he does take a (loudly announced) walk through the restaurant every 30 minutes or so, then meets for photos in his study. This is the area at the front where you place your order at lunch. Don't think he does autographs.

I hope something works out for you and your family to experience BOG! Have a magical trip
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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We went twice last week. Loved it! I got in line about 9:45 and held the spot. When the restaurant opened, we were among the first to get in. The CM at the gate said it was best to either do that, or come back about 2:15.

We ate in the West Wing both times, my son loves the atmosphere in there. The food is much better than the average counter service. One tip, if you order the steak sandwich, get the onion soup to dip it so it won't be dry. Of course the soup is GREAT on its own as well. I highly recommend the #1 and #7 on the menu.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:35 PM   #9
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We went early in January on a Tuesday - got in line at 10:15 and were about 1/2 way over the bridge (just over that actually). Got in and were sitting down by 10:40 (opens at 10:30)

Food arrived quickly and we were leaving the restaurant just after 11 (after exploring for a bit)

Tips

Don't put the 'rose' they give you down onto a table until you're sure that's where you're going to sit. We watched the CMs going from place to place trying to find people who had put down the rose then decided to move - it was like they were chasing them around the restaurant.

We sat in the Rose Gallery and really liked it. It's bright and airy (as a PP mentioned). Quiet compared to the ballroon. The West Wing was too dark / ominous for DD.

Go in knowing what you'd like to order. You can view the menu multiple times on the way in but the more organized you are the faster everything goes. If you have a food allergy be sure to mention it to the CM that is directing you to a person or one of the self service kiosks.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkhopping View Post
The Rose Gallery features a large music box . . . . .
Thank you for the correction! I had called it the Study, but as you point out, the Study is a separate room not used for dining.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtoastyman View Post
Couple of things:

1. Go at off times. If you want to eat lunch there, you can arrive at lunch time, wait in line, and you'll get in eventually, but you can minimize your wait by eating earlier or later than you otherwise would. Have a light breakfast and be there when it opens (or shortly before, actually) for the lowest (but still long) wait times.

2. Unless something has changed recently, you are not going to have any luck getting in on a canceled reservation in advance of your visit. From what I gather, they overbooked the place but it has been popular beyond their expectations AND people are staying longer to eat than at other restaurants (presumably because they are staying to take in the sights), so when people cancel, they don't refill those reservations. In fact, someone was going to give me their reservation by canceling seconds before I put in a request for the exact same reservation and I had no luck getting it. I actually sat there for 20 minutes resending the same request and then made spot checks over the course of the day with no luck.

With that said, we went a couple of times on our last trip and spoke to BOG CMs who said that walk-ups actually had better luck than you might think. We also spoke with a few people while we were waiting on the bridge for dinner who had just walked up and been given a beeper. Point is, even if you're not able to get an ADR (and all indications are that you won't), don't give up on eating dinner there. Can't hurt to ask, and you may be able to get in.

Good luck!
I was able to snag an evening reservation, and I booked just about 80 days out from my trip in April. I kept looking every day, and actually have seen 2 open up in the time I have been checking. Granted, they are late times. Mine is at 8:25 PM, but we don't mind eating late as we will probably take a nap and stay late at MK.

I did have a friend who was there with her husband on a spur of the moment surprise trip to celebrate their anniversary, and as they walked by, they decided to see if they had any availability. They got in! So...it is possible, but like people have said, you need patience.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:40 PM   #12
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How bad is it at lunch?
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:42 PM   #13
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I am hoping to get a dinner reservation. I can book tomorrow. Wish me luck. I have been told that if you press the button on Disney Dining that says you are already in Orlando that you'll get through faster. Does anyone know if this is true? Is it frowned upon?

Sorry that I can't help with your counter service questions.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:43 PM   #14
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We went over MLK weekend when the park was a 6-7. Got in line for lunch around 12:15 - we were over the bridge halfway to Gaston's fountain and CM's were telling people it was up to a 90 minute wait from that point but we knew better. We were ordering in 25 minutes.

Place was packed and while DW wanted to eat in the West Wing we settled for the Ballroom by the windows watching it snow outside

I ordered the braised pork and she had the croque monsieur - both good but hers was better (except for the lukewarm pomme frittes).

By the time we were done eating a little after 1, the West Wing had opened up quite a bit but the line outside was still across the bridge.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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Hopefully by the end of Feb, things will have calmed down crowdwise, so it shouldn't be that bad, here's what I suggest, from being there over Thanksgiving!

-Arrive early, we're talking, around 10:45, resturant opens at 11, and line up as the line builds. Even if the line looks huge on the bridge, it doesn't take that long to go by

-When you go in, you'll place your order either with a CM or on a computer, then pay, scan your little "rose" they give you, and IMMEDIATELY go SIT, do not get drinks yet.

-I recommend the grand ballroom to sit in, with the west wing as the second choice

-Your food will come right out to your table and enjoy, make sure to explore the castle when you're done eating too!!

Also, keep checking those ADRs, I was checking twice a day for a few weeks and managed to get into BOG for dinner!
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