Be Our Guest Ratings Hit Five-Year Low

Share This!

The new fixed-price dinner at Be Our Guest is not going over well with guests, according to our most recent reader satisfaction surveys.

The restaurant, located in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, has been the most popular dining location in Walt Disney World since it opened in 2012.

Survey results for Be Our Guest are at a 5-year low

The fixed-price dinner option began on July 27, 2018. Be Our Guest’s 90-day satisfaction ratings hit a yearly high of 90.4% on August 6, 2018, but have dropped quickly since.

Be Our Guest’s current 84.6% approval rating is much worse than the 89.8% average for all Walt Disney World dining locations we cover.

Higher-rated dining options in the Magic Kingdom include the Liberty Tree Tavern and Crystal Palace for table-service lunch and dinner at prices similar to Be Our Guest. For inexpensive dining, the Main Street Bakery is a better choice for a fast breakfast.

Columbia Harbour House is the highest-rated restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, and makes a great stop for a quick lunch.  The Liberty Square Market food stand has tasty, freshly grilled hot dogs that are great for on-the-go eating.

TouringPlans readers have sent in more than 146,000 Walt Disney World dining surveys in the past 12 months and over 280,000 surveys in the past two years. If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, these reader surveys can help you find the best places to eat, for any kind of food your family likes. A TouringPlans subscription includes crowd calendars and touring plans to save hours in line.

Survey Data

The survey margin of error for all Walt Disney World restaurants is 0.15% over the past year; the margin of error for Be Our Guest’s 14,118 total surveys is 0.50% and 1.03% over the past year.

The Be Our Guest survey data is available for download here.  Demographic details include party size, age, and gender; number of visits to Walt Disney World; and Disney Dining Plan participation. Responses are either 0 (not satisfied) or 1 (satisfied). Let us know if you do something interesting with the data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is len@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

18 thoughts on “Be Our Guest Ratings Hit Five-Year Low

  • December 10, 2018 at 9:38 am
    Permalink

    They are REALLY taking those numbers for granted. We went for dinner about a month after opening in 2013 and it was really great. Breakfast in 2015 was still pretty solid, didn’t have any complaints. But lunch in Jan 2018 was really a mess, hugely crowded which is fine but the food was just sloppy and a let down. That ham sandwich and fries was probably some of the most boring, hastily thrown together food I had in the Magic Kingdom that entire trip – and we had Village Haus twice! The French onion soup was watery this time too. I’d maybe try the new dinner menu but I don’t think I’d go back for lunch. That decline in approval totally matches my personal experience.

  • December 10, 2018 at 10:09 am
    Permalink

    I visit every 1-2 years and I do lunch at BOG every time we visit WDW, and I always enjoy it. If they raise the price on it (like dinner), I will cease to do so.

    This is why you need to stay up WDW chatter. Once something becomes a good value, Disney squeezes the value out of it.

    • December 10, 2018 at 1:10 pm
      Permalink

      Good point about Disney squeezing the value out of everything. The dining plan is a great example of that.

      BOG dinner was approximately $75 per person with tax and gratuity when I ate there last week. For comparison, that’s $5 more than a much better dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse also last week.

  • December 10, 2018 at 10:34 am
    Permalink

    We haven’t gone for dinner, but our lunch in 2017 was a disappointment and much worse even than lunch in early 2016. It was so hectic in there, and the food did not seem to be up to the same quality as it even was a year earlier. We decided to skip Be Our Guest on our last trip and had a great lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. I’m not sure that I’d go back to Be Our Guest given the price point and chaos in there. I suspect the slow cutbacks and quality and increases in price are catching up with Disney here.

  • December 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm
    Permalink

    I would say the food there is now for a family like me: someone who visits rarely (once every few years), is not a foodie but wants something other than burgers and fries, and wants to see The Beast’s castle from the inside. The latter is why we ate lunch there in June. We found the food very good (wife and I had braised pork, 9 year old kindnof turned her nose up at the food because she is a burger girl so she just had pommel frites), and we all like saying we have now eaten “The Grey Stuff”, even if it was on the small master’s cupcake.

  • December 10, 2018 at 3:33 pm
    Permalink

    Out of curiosity, for the graph of the ratings, would it be possible to show how the Columbia Harbour House and the Liberty Square Market also change with time. Are they holding steady or also becoming more “average”? Also how is the average changing? I’m guessing that the Average WDW Restaurant rating doesn’t fluctuate much, but is that current or historic?

  • December 10, 2018 at 5:53 pm
    Permalink

    I haven’t downloaded the data or looked at it, but I don’t know that I agree entirely with your interpretation (unless I’m over-interpreting it).

    When I look at that graph, the first thing I want to know is what the heck was driving the wild swings prior to 2015. The next thing I want to know is how the 90-day satisfaction rating is calculated; I’m not confident I’m correctly interpreting any elasticity in that graph.

    After that, though, and assuming that the y-axis value at any point in time is reflective of opinions collected at that point in time, I see a pretty steady downward trend from 2015. In fact, if you note that there seems to be a pretty standard uptick around December/January of every year (people full of holiday cheer and not inclined to say bad things?), the satisfaction starts to look like it’s really falling fast starting around July of 2017. And it’s pretty straightforward to hypothesize that the uptick between May and July of 2018 was driven by self-selection; individuals who really like it (and who might therefore be pre-disposed to give a good rating at a higher rate than the gen-pop) squeezing in one last visit after the announcement and before the change.

    I’m of course not saying that these hypotheses are correct, but neither is there any argument made here that would make me think there might not be. So I think it’s hard here to distinguish between a reaction specifically to the prix-fixe dinner — which is what I think you are proposing — and a continuation of a pre-existing trend that the pre-fixe dinner failed to address successfully.

    Thank you for putting up the whole chart so that overly nit-picky people like me could have fun trying to interpret it, rather than just giving the bare numbers. One of the many reasons I love you guys.

    • December 11, 2018 at 10:49 am
      Permalink

      Hey Jennie,

      The pre-2015 swings are almost certainly due to the number of surveys we had at the time. (Download the data to verify that.) Our 90-day periods back had fewer than 100 surveys, and a much wider confidence interval. For comparison, the 90-day periods now have ~800 to 1,110 surveys, with a CI of around 1% each day.

      Regarding seasonal swings, I believe the last couple of years have shown popularity at or near peaks in November and December. This year seems to be different. Again, take a look at the data and let me know what you think. If you’d like to see the raw data collected into 90-day groups, send me an email (len _at_ touring plans). Happy to share.

  • December 11, 2018 at 11:35 am
    Permalink

    I’ve had lunch at BoG on three visits — the latest, well, the food (braised pork, every time) wasn’t as good. Seemed salty and that the portion was smaller. Half the drinks station was closed, which led to long lines — and no sign or cast member directing people to the completely functioning drink station on the other side of the wall!

    Maybe I was being picky, but I wasn’t impressed this time. There’s definitely a feeling of “we need to pay for all the new attractions” throughout the parks, though.

    • December 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Rob! I saw something similar with drink stations at lunch. I thought it was unusual too.

  • December 11, 2018 at 11:47 am
    Permalink

    I had dinner there in January pre change and the meal was wonderful I had dinner post and it was fine; the server although kept trying to give our food to the table next to us. However I agree Columbia house is awesome best lobster rolls

  • December 12, 2018 at 10:18 am
    Permalink

    We have eaten at BOG twice- first for dinner around 2014 and again at lunch in 2016. We are just not a fan. The food was ok, nothing we couldn’t get at home and felt very “cafeteria like.” Its like they turn down the lights to hide the mediocre food, and mediocre staff. So many better places to eat for the kind of money we spent to eat there.

  • December 12, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    Permalink

    As an analytics nerd, LOVE that you provided the data. Perhaps not surprisingly, the biggest drop since August is due to guests paying out of pocket (not on a dining plan). Satisfaction scores for those on QS or DDP have remained mostly steady. Interestingly, when analyzing by group size, there are remarkable drops in satisfaction for both solo visitors and larger groups (6+) since August, while couples and smaller groups didn’t experience the same drop. Also analyzed by number of visits to WDW, but there weren’t many big aha moments there, other than guests on only their 2nd or 3rd visit don’t see the same satisfaction decline as other populations since August.

    • December 13, 2018 at 7:17 am
      Permalink

      Great analysis, and thanks for the graphs!

  • December 14, 2018 at 11:54 am
    Permalink

    We just went over thanksgiving and had a party of 12. All adults except for an 8 year old and 5 year old. The only reservation we could get for a party that large was the sunday before thanksgiving at 8:45 pm. We were well aware of what this could mean and prepped in advance for a late dinner. We took afternoon naps and had snacks when we would normally eat dinner. We checked in 15 minutes early at BOG to hopefully get seated by 8:45.

    We were not seated until 9:20. By this time we had plenty of time to figure out exactly what we wanted. When the server came by he seemed more intent on giving us an experience instead of prompt service. He would tell us drinks and then walk away to “let us decide”. Every time we would tell him we already knew what we wanted and were ready to order. He was shocked. He wanted to give us time to eat our appetizers and we told him to bring entrees out asap. Not rude. Just hungry and tried to let him know this politely.

    Entrees came out at 10:00pm. My 5 year old daughter is flat out exhausted and laying down in the booth we were seated at. I keep telling her that if she wants she can go to sleep it’s fine.

    We tell waiter we are ready for dessert. He takes forever to bring it out and my daughter is about to lose it. He sees this but seems surprised every time we tell him “we don’t need time to decide, because we already have.” It was really bizarre

    In the time it takes to bring out dessert a member of our party that had ordered the vegetarian option discovers a worm in her food!

    Waiter comes out with dessert cart but before he starts serving our party member lets him know about her discovery. He apologizes profusely and goes to get the manager. The dessert cart is still sitting right next to us with all of our desserts. We wait about 5 minutes and my mom says screw it and serves all of the desserts to our party.

    Manager and waiter come out and apologize and say they will make it right. (Which they did.) But at the same time we are just trying to get our checks because it is 10:30 and my daughter has reached the witching hour. All the while the waiter is still trying to give us an experience.

    Needless to say I grab my daughter and take her back to the condo and leave the rest of the family there to finish the meal and charge to our dining plan.

    I could go into even more detail but this is long enough already. The experience is great but the staff needs to also be aware and adjust the type of service they are providing. It’s not the same party every time.

  • December 15, 2018 at 6:41 pm
    Permalink

    We went for the first time in October and had a lunch reservation. They got us inside quickly but then the wait to order was ridiculous – would say almost 30 minutes. They kept holding up our side of the line for someone needing a cashier but would never ask the next party if they could just use a kiosk. Queue to us standing there while 5 groups on the other side of the rope are waIved along. By the time we ordered and sat down the magic was pretty much gone. Then the food came out and some members of our party were easily 10 minutes apart in being served. Don’t know if we’ll try it again – possibly only if we plan enough to order ahead of time.

Comments are closed.