I ate at Disney World's most exclusive restaurant -- here's why it didn't live up to the hype

Disney World Be Our Guest restuarant lunch review Kim Renfro/INSIDERBe Our Guest is the most popular restaurant in Disney World.

Disney World has dozens of uniquely themed dining options and hotels, from the indoor drive-in movie theatre restaurant to the All-Star Movies Resort with “Mighty Ducks” decor.

The most popular restaurant is hands-down Be Our Guest — a dining experienced based on “Beauty and the Beast.” Reservations sell out up to six months in advance, making it extremely difficult to get inside for a meal.

During my first-ever trip to Disney World, my friend and I managed to get inside for a fast lunch.

Keep reading to see why the overall experience was over-hyped and underwhelming.

The Be Our Guest restaurant is located in Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The first entrance is built to look like crumbling castle ruins.

Guests check in at a small window, and then cross a bridge to the restaurant entrance.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
Disney uses clever perspective to make it look like the Beast's castle is in the distance.

Park guests are not allowed inside the restaurant without a reservation, which adds to the high demand for a table.

A closer look at the small castle which sits atop the restaurant building.

Despite trying for months to snag a table for dinner, I was only able to get in for lunch.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
My friend and I got lucky, and managed to get same-day reservations for lunch.

Lunch and breakfast at Be Our Guest are very different from the dinner service. During breakfast and lunch, guests line up to wait for touch-screen stations where you select which food you'd like to order. Then you seat yourself, cafeteria-style, in one of three rooms.

The dinner experience is standard table service that you'd expect from a sit-down restaurant.

Since we were going for lunch, we stood in line to order food.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The line can get very long during peak lunch hours.

Our experience was already changed due to the time of day we were eating. From what we've heard from others, the dinner experience is completely different.

At the end of the line is a room full of kiosks with touch screens.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The computers are cleverly built into fake book stands or desks.

We selected three entrees and a dessert. The lunch meals were reasonably priced between $13 and $17 for a meal.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
There's an even cheaper kids' menu, too.

Guests are told that if they don't have a Magic Band (the Disney wearable tech that tracks you in the park and acts as your ticket, hotel room key, and digital payment system), then you need to pick up a 'magic rose.'

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
You take your receipt and the rose to your table.

Once you've ordered your food, you walk into the dining area and pick a table.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
It's up to the guests to find a table that fits their party.

We went into the main room, fashioned after the iconic setting of the ballroom in 'Beauty and the Beast.'

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The chandeliers and clever 'snowy mountain' view is classic Disney.

After finding a table for two near the back, we waited and wondered how the servers would know how to find us.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
We saw Disney employees pushing carts of food to tables.

That's where your Magic Band or 'magic rose' comes in. The restaurant's computer system tracks you to the table you've chosen, and tells the servers where to drop your food when it's ready.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
This is a cool restaurant trick, but it's also a little unsettling.

Our food appeared after about a 15 or 20 minute wait. Ordered the croque monsieur, a tuna ni├žoise salad, and a vegetable quiche.

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Plus a cupcake for dessert.

The croque monsieur (a ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich) was tasty, and came with a side of decent fries.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The sandwich was a bit on the greasy side, but what else would you expect from a grilled ham and cheese sandwich?

We were surprised by the 'deconstructed' quiche, which was a vegetable quiche sitting on top of a triangle of puff pastry.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The tuna salad was also refreshing and a nicely balanced meal.

For dessert, we turned to the 'Master's Cupcake' -- a chocolate cupcake with the 'grey stuff' topping.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The 'grey stuff' is a nod to Lumiere's iconic line in the song 'Be Our Guest.'

The 'grey stuff' is really a cookies 'n' cream flavored mousse, and yes it is very delicious -- just as Lumiere says in the song.

The food was great as far as theme-park food goes, but the ambiance inside was what really threw us for a loop.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
It felt like being in a cafeteria -- not a fancy Disney restaurant.

While the decor was nice, the self-seating system at lunchtime detracted from the 'ooh' and 'ahh' experience we were expecting.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
The dining hall was very noisy and a little chaotic.

After we finished eating, we went to see what the other dining areas were like. One is styled after the Beast's quarters in the West Wing.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
With tattered wall hangings and rumbling thunder sound effects, this room was way cooler.

The atmosphere in this room was much more interesting, with rumbling storm sound effects and loud thunderclaps every so often.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
There is also a glowing replica of the magical rose in one corner.

The third room is more generically decorated with 'Beauty and the Beast' statues and paintings.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
This room was also much more quiet than the ballroom.

Overall we had a good experience, but I was left wondering why Be Our Guest is in such high demand.

Kim Renfro/INSIDER
For lunch at least, this was a fine -- not fabulous -- experience.

My friend and I enjoyed the food, and appreciated that the lunchtime service was pretty quick, but we were left underwhelmed. After all the build up and hearing how hard it was get a reservation, we were expecting to be truly wowed.

Instead, it felt like cafeteria dining with dressed-up decorations. If we ever go back, we'd likely sit in the West Wing room where the atmosphere felt a bit more exciting and less like a cafeteria.

Perhaps the dinner experience would have been more enchanting, especially since the Beast himself walks through the dining hall and it's a more traditional table service.

If your heart is truly set on seeing the inside of Be Our Guest, then the long wait and hard reservation process might be worth it. For tips on how to get a table at Be Our Guest, read our guide here.

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