The popular Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom just started "testing" breakfast recently, but based on the popularity of the location, I would expect the new meal period to extend beyond the test phase.
The new breakfast format is a cross between counter service and prix fixe. The phrase "prix fixe" is French, and in our specific case, basically means everyone gets to share a pastry plate, and then you can select one additional "entree" item from the menu along with a drink, for one price… no matter what you get.
The initial set up is very much like the lunch period at Be Our Guest
, you check-in outside and are handed a printed menu. I believe you are supposed to read the printed menu while you are walking across a bridge and then continue reading the menu as you move inside down a dark hall of armor, and finally into another room where you will trade your printed menu for a red plastic rose locating beacon. It's all a bit perplexing for me, but I finally got to a person who asked me what I wanted to order for breakfast! (Tapping on the giant computer monitor that I was sent to, didn't seem to result in anything happening.)
Since I no longer had the printed menu in front of me, I told the cast member that I wanted the Eggs Florentine. He wanted me to look at a photo, just to be sure that I was ordering the item I wanted. Rather than viewing the dish on one of the large kiosk monitors that were everywhere in the room, I had to peak my head around to the billing/register computer at his station, and viewed a tiny 2 inch photo of the Eggs Florentine. Sure enough, that's the one I wanted. He then took my payment for the meal as well and let me know that a beverage was included, and those self-serve stations with cups were inside the next room.
I have had meals at Be Our Guest before, and it's not exactly the most relaxing of places. I must say though, going late in the new breakfast period (around 9:45am... breakfast is only served from 8am until 10am), was a real treat. Only about half of the tables were occupied, and I could sit wherever I wanted (except the "Castle Gallery" room or the "east wing" as I call it… that is often closed for dining, but you can still go in and look around and take photos).
Everyone seemed a bit more subdued and the atmosphere was, actually quite nice. I'm sure that Disney would prefer a full house, but I really enjoyed it. About 3 minutes after I put my red plastic rose locating beacon down on the table… a cart rolled up (along with a cast member, because robots haven't taken over yet) with my breakfast! She also pointed out the self-serve beverage station, and where the silverware was.
I received two plates, all at the same time (so for those French traditionalists out there... prix fixe in this case, does not mean "many" courses for one price, it's more like one giant course for one price). One plate was my "family style" pastry basket, and the other was my Eggs Florentine entree.
Just to be clear… the family pastry plate is for one to four guests. It contains five (all delicious) pastries. If there are five to eight people in your party, two of these plates will be delivered to your table. I was by myself, so I got to eat all five pastries. If I had been there with a dining companion, we would have each gotten two and a half pastries off the plate. If there were four people in my group, we each would have gotten one pastry, and had an additional pastry to share.
All of the baked goods are made in-house, and all five were really great, fresh pastries. There were two mini-muffins, a darker spice-bran type of muffin and a blueberry muffin, an extremely fresh, light, flaky, slightly buttery, just perfect croissant, a cinnamon danish, and some sort of berry-cream danish. The two superstars of the plate for me were the croissant and the berry-cream danish. I'm glad I got to eat all five.
I think I still would have been happy sharing them with someone else. If there were four people in our party though, I may have only been left with a muffin and a bite of something else. That, would be too bad for sure.
Next up, the Eggs Florentine. The puff pastry shell is amazing. Flakey, buttery, super fresh and made in-house… you only have to try eating breakfast at some of the other theme parks in Central Florida to appreciate just how rare a truly fresh pastry is. Is it like getting a fresh pastry in France? No… but with the exception of Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie and Chefs de France at Epcot, you won't find better baked goods "behind the gates" in Central Florida.
The slightly beaten eggs, were perfect and not overcooked, the Spinach was fresh, and there was a light cheese flavor from a white spread in the pastry shell. There also seemed to be a bit of cheesiness in the pastry shell itself, but that may well have been from the spread that melts and soaks into the shell. The entree is accompanied with roasted plum tomatoes (which were good, for what they are) and a couple slices of country ham. The Country Ham… was dry but not overly salty (which was a nice surprise, because dinner at Be Our Guest… seems to be all about salt). The country ham (which is supposed to be a "cured ham", i.e. slightly dry) was nice… but had these two little pieces of ham been freshly carved, juicy ham slices, the whole dish would have been awarded a coveted perfect score from me. Sorry Country Ham… you need to be thought of more like a side dish, and not a garnish… that's what the tomatoes are there for.
I got to get up an get as many beverage refills as I wanted, which was nice and the cast members inside the restaurant were friendly, helpful, and engaging. A real step-up from most counter-service locations.
I really enjoyed my breakfast, and the slightly quieter morning environment very much. I might go so far as to say this has been the best meal I've had a Be Our Guest. It's difficult to find different, unique entrees for breakfast inside theme parks… and while you can just get a scrambled egg platter here… it's great seeing Disney attempt something beyond the basics, and there are several other entrees that I would like to try. I really can't say that about other counter service breakfast locations.
The "is it worth the price" question, is something you will have to answer for yourself. From a food standpoint alone… it is a bit pricier than other counter service locations, but the selection, and food quality is better as well. So it's not proportionately out of line with other Disney locations. You have real silverware, free beverage refills, and a cool environment with top-notch cast members. That begin said… I did get to eat the whole pastry tray myself, because I dined alone. Sharing that tray four-ways… may have left me feeling like I wanted a bit more to eat, for the price.
I'm sure some things will be tweaked here and there before all is settled, so a revisit after the "trial period" may be in order. All in all though, I'd say they were off to a great start. I would definitely recommend it, if there's something on the six item menu that appeals to you. If you're looking for bottomless Mickey waffles and a larger selection of items to choose from though, one of the pricier charter buffets locations might be a better bet.