Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Night at Beast's Castle and an Enchanted Tale with Belle

Last week, we went to Disney World!
With all the snow and freezing temperatures we have had here in Minnesota, 
we truly felt like we were a world away.

Our visit began with a highlight.  The first night we arrived, we were able to get dinner reservations for the new Be Our Guest Restaurant in Beast's Castle in Fantasyland.  

Having planned our trip only a few weeks in advance, we didn't expect to enjoy such a special treat.  We're experienced enough to know that restaurant reservations book up many months in advance.  But, T was also smart enough to keep checking the popular restaurants for cancellations.  We are lucky he did!  A last minute cancelation made it possible for us to snag a table (we think it helped that we were dining during the Super Bowl :).   

The Beast's Castle

We were so excited to have MoMo, Papa and Nana along with us.
All our royalty was in attendance for dinner.  

J-Bear was excited to be out an about.  
I dressed her in the closest outfit I had to a princess dress and she fit in perfectly.  

Buddy Bear was ready to protect, defend and eat.

 There are already plenty of reviews of the Be Our Guest Restaurant.  You can add us to the list of those who were impressed.  To begin, we assembled at a grand-looking door at the base of Beast's Castle.  A castle attendant called our party, letting us know that "the Master" would see us for dinner!  Then they handed Buddy Bear a lit candelabrum to carry to the table.  Buddy Bear decided he'd hang with his Dad just to make sure everything was going to be okay.

On our way to our table we received a brief tour of the restaurant's main rooms.  Dinner seating is offered in the Ballroom and in the West Wing.  The architectural details are stunning and bear striking resemblance to the film.

The chandeliers in the main ballroom.
We were seated in the West Wing for dinner.  The rose is there in the corner, as is a ripped picture of the prince that changes periodically to the face of the Beast, and several ripped tapestries adorn the walls.  Occasional "lightning" and "thunder" can be heard overheard.  We had recently watched the movie Beauty and the Beast to prepare for the trip, so the scenes were fresh in our kids minds.  G-Bear and E-Bear thought the whole experience was pretty cool.  Buddy Bear was a bit cautious.

By the time the Beast arrived to wave to guests in the West Wing, Buddy Bear was ready to bolt.

Thankfully, my Buddy settled in when the bread basket and chocolate milk arrived.  But, he kept an eye on the doorway to make sure the Beast wasn't coming back.

Dinner was filled with delicious fare, including the only wine offerings in the Magic Kingdom.  Dessert was great too.  Both E-Bear and I choose "The Gray Stuff," and we can now say from personal experience that "it's delicious!"

Before we left dinner, G-Bear and T took to the ballroom floor for a brief spin, twirl and dip.  It's not everyday you get to dance with a princess in a castle!

Everyone gets a chance to thank the Beast in his study at the end of dinner.  Even Buddy Bear agreed to pose for a quick picture.  The Beast was a wonderful host.

Not far from the Beast's Castle is the new experience Enchanted Tales with Belle.  We took advantage of the late hour and short wait time (only 20 minutes!), not knowing what to expect.  It turned out to be one of our favorite experiences of the trip!  Each child was offered a chance to play a role in a make-believe re-play of how Belle met the Beast.  G-Bear got to play the part of Chip, Buddy Bear was asked to join in as flat wear, and E-Bear was given the honor of playing the Beast!

E-Bear took his role really seriously.  He ROARED with all his might when prompted by the assistant, he was shy and delighted to get to dance with Belle herself, and he was thrilled to receive her thanks for a job well done.  Afterwards he admitted, "Mom, I tried my best to be the Beast."

G-Bear was excited to play the part of Chip and to see Belle again as well.  Belle did a great job making each child feel individually special.

Buddy Bear was the last child to shake Belle's hand, and his grin said it all.  He marched right up and gave her a hug.  Even Belle couldn't mistake his enthusiasm.  It was a pretty cute moment.

 Whew!  What wonderful memories from our first night!  It isn't everyday you get to experience two brand-new Disney World experiences.  We headed back to the hotel feeling treated and blessed, thankful to be together for such memorable moments.  

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