I FINALLY Got a Be Our Guest Dinner Reservation – Here’s How

I’ve had Disney World annual passes since April 2014, and we’ve had 10 vacations to Disney World since then (mostly 2 day trips).  But, no matter how many times I tried, I could NEVER get a reservation to Be Our Guest!  I actually did get a Fast Pass lunch after booking this dinner, but getting a lunch reservation is a whole other set of hoops to jump through.  But, If you haven’t heard much about this restaurant, it’s themed out like the Beast’s castle in Beauty and the Beast, and it’s the absolute hardest place to book in all of Disney World.  Between the lower end expense (compared to other Disney eateries) and the fact that they only take reservations for dinner, there is a mad dash to get a seat at Be Our Guest.  I had even booked roomed on Disney Resorts with the hope of being sent an invitation to a Be Our Guest FastPass lunch, but we were never selected.  Overall, here’s how it finally worked out for me:

  • I set an alarm for 11:45 PM once we were at the 179 days away mark.  180 days out is the earliest that you are allowed to make a reservation with Disney World services, and the reservations start at 12 AM EST.  Warning – if you have a valid annual pass, you may book six months early with no problem, but I have been told that non-annual pass holders have to have a hotel booked to make dining reservations that far in advance.  I’m not able to verify if that is accurate or not at this time.
  • I logged in at My Disney Experience.com and waited until midnight.  Take note that you should open up a second window and browse around My Disney Experience until a few minutes before midnight – that makes sure you don’t get logged out for inactivity (which will lose you your seat!).
  • At midnight, the calendars started allowing me to see February 20th on the list of available dates.  You should not need to refresh your computer to see this change.  This should be the end of your booking experience, however, the website went wonky on my, so my story is going to take a turn now.

When I opened the calendar, I saw February 20th after midnight.
Screen shot 2014-08-24 at 7.15.36 AM

BUT, when I tried to select the 20th, the calendar closed itself down and would only show the 19th!  I spent an hour trying to wait for this glitch to get fixed, but on my account, my husband’s account, and my phone, it was refusing to let anyone select the 20th (actually, I got the 20th hit once, and then the site backed the date to the 19th!).  This was happening for every reservation I tried, so it was not just a Be Our Guest glitch.  I tried to call the dining reservation line, but all I got was a long “closed” message – since it’s partially automated, you’d think it’d be open 24/7, but it isn’t!

Now, I’m not sure when they fixed the calendar problem, but a few minutes before 7 AM I got up to make the reservation on my phone and was told that NONE were available!  I was so frustrated, but I remembered that the dining reservation line said that they opened at 7 AM, so I decided to give that a try as my last ditch effort.

  • When I called (407) 939-3463, it was 7 AM on the dot.  The automated system couldn’t help me, because reservations are so hard to come by at Be Our Guest, but the agent looked everything up and found ONE table available at 9:20 PM.  I said I’d take it, and I was terrified the entire time that someone else was going to snatch it out from under me while I went through the long process of giving the agent all of my contact, payment, and party information.  But, it went through, and the reservation showed up immediately on My Disney Experience!

I am not sure why the computer that the Cast Member used showed an available table when the My Disney Experience site/app did not (if you search for “Dinner” as the time, it’s supposed to look from 5 PM to 10 PM), but I am very glad that I called!  This was our anniversary dinner and with Cinderella’s Royal Table being closed in February, there weren’t a whole lot of options for a beautiful venue that the kids wouldn’t hate.  I will be posting a review of Be Our Guest shortly, so keep an eye out for that!

Another warning:  please make sure that you write down the confirmation number for Be Our Guest, and also take a screen shot of the reservation being in your My Disney Experience profile.  I’ve heard horror stories that the system sometimes updates and dumps reservations, then there is little-to-nothing that Disney can do to help you.  This isn’t a super common occurrence, but having proof that you had the reservation is your best shot at retrieving it.

The Sword in the Stone

So many times we have passed by the Sword in the Stone display at Disney World (in front of Cinderella’s Carousel in the Magic Kingdom).  I had always thought that it was just another sculpture in the park to add to the detailed decor.

NOPE!

Apparently, that sword can be pulled from the stone!  Well… kind of anyways…

After watching other kids pull as hard as they could on the sword, my kids wanted to go up for a photo op and try themselves.  Sure!  Why not, right?

My son pulled with all the might that he had, but, alas, he was not the chosen one.

sword3

My little Tinkerbell, however, found that she had untold strength of heart and mind, as the sword easily lifted up for her!

sword1

sword2

Alas, in seeing her potential glory, she must have become greedy and treacherous amidst her sword-pulling, and the sword realized this, as it stopped ascending and refused to be fully removed from the stone.

My son returned to the anvil to attempt to pull the sword again, but, just as before, it would not budge.

Really, though, I had no idea that the sword could move at all, and I still have no clue how it decided to move for one child and not for the others.  It clearly has a stopping point so that you don’t run off with the sword, but what a neat, fun little extra to add to your day at the Magic Kingdom!  Since most people don’t pay the sword much notice, it should be an easy photo to put on a “must take” list! 🙂

Build-A-Dino Review

Recommended:  Yes if you’re looking for a unique gift or souvenir.

Inside of the T-Rex restaurant is a dinosaur themed store, and, in the back of that, you can find Build-A-Dino!

trex6

Build-A-Dino is a spin off to the Build-A-Bear franchise, except, obviously, everything is prehistorically themed.  So, instead of teddy bears and kitty cats, you’ll find brontosauruses and pterodactyls.  As far as I’m aware, Build-A-Dino only exists as a boutique inside of T-Rex restaurants – which are few and far in terms of availability.

I feel like we’re up to our eyeballs in Build-A-Bear “friends” at home, but this was part of a birthday trip, and these guys aren’t readily findable anywhere else, so we caved and bought some new buddies.

Please meet Rainbow:
trex7

and Toothy:
trex8

Just like a regular Build-A-Bear, your kids will stuff, “wash,” and make a birth certificate for their new friend.

There are also lots of clothes and accessories for the dino-pals, and I believe the bulk of those are exclusive to Build-A-Dino as well, but I’m a cheap, cheap woman who did not indulge her kids on that end of things! 🙂

I usually get moms asking me for tidbits, so here are some of the key things to know:
You DO NOT have to eat or have a reservation at T-Rex to shop at Build-A-Dino.
You CAN use Build-A-Bear gift cards or reward certificates.You CANNOT use Build-A-Bear coupons or codes.
You CANNOT get credit on your Stuff-Fur-Stuff card in the store.
You CAN call Build-A-Bear later on with your Build-A-Dino receipt information and get the points put onto your Stuff-Fur-Stuff card.

On your way out of the T-Rex building, be sure to stop by the sand pit and dig for fossils!  No charge!
trex9

Caribbean Beach Resort Review

Recommended:  Yes!

This is my second visit to a Moderate Resort on the Walt Disney World property.  I had also been to Port Orleans – Riverside and didn’t think extremely highly of it (review can be found here – https://disneyfangirl.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/port-orleans-riverside-review/ ).  Sure, it was a nice enough place, but the paths are difficult to navigate, and there was nothing particularly stunning or magical about the place.  To the contrary, I felt that Caribbean Beach Resort was such a great experience!

We stayed in the Jamaica section, which I requested because I had heard that those rooms had been refurbished recently.  It was a beautiful room, and I loved that they had a sliding door over the bathroom area (most Disney Resort rooms have had a curtain to pull).  While there wasn’t anything particularly Disney themed in the room, much like the other non-Value level resorts, it was absolutely beautiful.

cbr2

However, no matter what section you stay in, you should be able to easily locate the main pool (pictured above), which shimmers and glows like a beacon.

cbr1

And, needless to say, there ARE white sand beaches that guests can play in!  And the hammocks are to die for!  I could have gone to sleep while my kids built sandcastles.

cbr3

Please keep in mind though that the lake is “for boats only,” as a Cast Member explained to me when I asked about swimming in them.  Honestly, every section has a beach and a heated pool, and there is a beautiful main pool as well that isn’t particularly far from any section of the resort, so I would not suggest getting into the murky, dirty lake water, even if you could.

I know everyone loves the pool talk, so here is the big pool at Caribbean Beach Resort – it is themed after the old Spanish-influenced houses/fortes from the empirical days (basically, it looks like a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean!).  It has a small water slide, as well as a “crazy big” water slide that is mostly hidden inside of that back building.   You can’t see it in this photo, but all pools on Disney Resorts have a device to allow children (perhaps older guests too) with disabilities to get into the pool.  The main pool is certainly the best one I’ve seen at Disney World to date, and we closed the place down swimming there.

cbr5

To the side of the main pool is a splash pool/park zone for guests under 48″.  It is certainly impressive to look at, even if no one in your group is small enough to use it.  My daughter was right on the line, so she checked it out for a few minutes, but lost interest in the area compared to the big water slide.

cbr4

I will say that the pathways at Caribbean Beach are a bit twisty-turny-getty-losty too, but, because the resort is pretty centered around a lake, it is much easier to use the water as a landmark to figure out where you are going compared to Port Orleans.  So if you are comparing the two resorts and wondering which Moderate Resort is a better option/value, I would say Caribbean Beach is, hands down, the best place to stay.  If you have young kinds and want a full Disney-fied room, I would suggest Art of Animation Resort, but that review will be another post for another day. 🙂

Be Our Guest FastPass Lunch Ends in February

Like all good things, the FastPass lunch at Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom is coming to an end.

According to http://www.beourguestlunch.disney.go, the official website for booking Be Our Guest for lunch (only available if you have a resort reservation), the FastPass testing period will end on February 24, 2015.

However, there is some good news here too!  The website says that on February 25th you can find more information on Be Our Guest lunches at MyDisneyExperience.com.

While that is a little vague, it likely will mean one of three things.  Either, 1) anyone (even non-resort guests) will be able to book Be Our Guest for lunch, 2) Be Our Guest will be a non-reservation dining venue, like all of the other quick service restaurants in Disney World, or 3) Be Our Guest will not be a quick service option for lunch any longer, and they will have a sit down menu like they do for dinner hours.

I have to admit, Disney has done this “test” for lunch Fast Passes for a few years now, so I’m curious what their final decision will be here.  But, no matter what they do for lunch, as long as they keep the restaurant open, it will give more guests an opportunity to experience this beautifully detailed venue.

None of this should change Be Our Guest for dinner time, which has always been a sit down/reservation location.