At the north end of Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, just beyond the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you will find Gaston’s Tavern tucked away between Be Our Guest Restaurant and Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid. The restaurant may be described as offering snacks, but guests with larger appetites will have no problem satisfying their hunger. Rather than serving up traditional theme park meals such as burgers, chicken nuggets, and fries, Gaston’s Tavern offers a Ham and Swiss Sandwich, Smoked Turkey and Gouda Sandwich, Fruit and Cheese Picnic Platter, vegetables, cinnamon rolls, and even hummus with chips. It serves as a delicious alternative to the busier restaurants, such as its popular neighbor mentioned above, when the hunger pains come and waiting in long lines becomes undesirable.
Like all the restaurants at Walt Disney World, Gaston’s Tavern delivers on many different levels. The restaurant’s attention to providing quality meals and immersing its guests in the magic of Disney shows up in a big way. Despite Gaston’s infamous status as a villain, the following five things will make you love his tavern and keep you returning whenever you visit the Magic Kingdom.
5. The Fountain
As you approach the tavern, you will greet a hilarious fountain that features Gaston bearing a leaking keg and LeFou struggling to fill several mugs from the leak. The fountain provides a photo opportunity for your party. You can assemble the whole family for a professional picture provided by Disney’s PhotoPass Service or just snap a quick selfie with your Smartphone. Either way, the fountain serves as a perfect backdrop.
4. Cinnamon Rolls and Brew
Though the pork shank will certainly fill you up and provide the necessary energy you need to visit all the attractions on your to-do list, you’ll need to order a warm cinnamon roll to fully experience Gaston’s Tavern. Be warned that these rolls are Gaston-sized, so they’re huge. Guests with small appetites may want to share with friends or family. The cinnamon rolls are fluffy and sweet, but not too rich, so guests who usually avoid sugary desserts may find them tasty.
Also, many diners discover LeFou’s Brew to be a refreshing beverage during hot days. Don’t worry about this brew…just like every other restaurant in Magic Kingdom, it doesn’t contain alcohol. Frozen apple juice, marshmallow, and a passion fruit and mango foam may give the beverage an appearance of the frothy beer served in Gaston’s Tavern in Beauty and the Beast, but children will find it fruity and refreshing, not intoxicating. LeFou’s Brew can be ordered in a souvenir goblet bearing Belle’s image or a stein featuring Gaston’s.
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3. Manly Décor
Just like the scenery from Beauty and the Beast, Gaston’s Tavern hosts a multitude of antlers and hunting trophies, giving it an overtly masculine appearance. The feeling of the restaurant isn’t off-putting to female guests, however it does attempt to capture the personality of Gaston and his admirers. The quality of the décor transports diners into the movie, giving them a sense of what it must have felt like to live the “provincial life” that Belle sings about. The walls are decorated with paintings depicting rugged landscapes reminiscent of the wilderness of medieval France where Gaston hunted. In a subtle way, the warm lighting, cast in yellows and oranges, creates an ambience of a tavern lit by candles and firelight from the hearth. The total effect places you in the midst of the story, especially when you realize that the Beast’s castle looms large just to the west.
2. Sitting in Gaston’s Chair
The temptation to sit in Gaston’s chair by the fireplace appears to be too difficult to resist, which is evident by the numerous guests who plop down for a few moments. Not only does the chair provide a wonderful photo opportunity, but it also gives comfort to guests who have been treading through Magic Kingdom all day. Like Gaston, you can relax in his chair, prop up your feet on a stool, and enjoy a frothy brew and a pork shank. The chair also comes in handy when all the tables are occupied and you need to wait for an opening.
1. Meeting Gaston
Depending on the time of day, Gaston can be found greeting guests right outside the restaurant. Even though he plays the villain of his story, he can be quite charming when talking about himself. Gaston signs autographs, poses for photographs, and of course, recounts his mighty deeds for visitors. The character interaction draws guests event further into the story, making it even more memorable.
No matter what guests may think about the misguided deeds of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, they will find Gaston’s Tavern a relaxing and refreshing experience. With the reasonable pricing of quick-service dining, delicious food, and the experience of being drawn into Disney magic, Gaston’s Tavern definitely creates a loyal following of those who dine there.