Best restaurant for illuminations?

My 180 days is coming up so I’m trying to narrow down some decisions. We would like to have dinner and watch illuminations. Looking for opinions on the pros/cons of La Hacienda, Tokyo Dining, & Rose & Crown. It will be myself, dd7 (who will be 8 then), & my parents. My mom was leaning toward Tokyo dining, but I’ve never eaten at any of them & haven’t heard much about Tokyo Dining.

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If you want to eat while watching then Rose & Crown is your best bet. If you show up a little early and ask nicely you might get a table right on the water with a fantastic view. La Hacienda has a few window seats but they are harder to get. I’ve heard Tokyo Dining has a balcony, but I haven’t eaten there so i’m not sure.

If you plan to eat and then simply find a place to watch then any of those are good choices depending on the type of food you are after.

Also try spice road table. Same as what @Outer1 said above about trying to get a table near the water, but the view is rather awesome. It’s small plates, but I’ve never gone wrong ordering the shrimp and mussels.

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We are definitely looking to try to watch illuminations from the restaurant. I believe Tokyo Dining has a balcony too, but I’m not familiar with the restaurant at all.

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Spice Road Table is not on DDP though, right? We are going mid-September so there is a good chance for free dining, and that would probably be the better deal for us than any discount.

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Ahh. You didn’t mention the dining plan. So then, no. Spice road wouldn’t be a good option since it doesn’t take the dining plan.

But if free dining isn’t offered and you wind up going OOP, keep it in mind. :blush:

We did La Hacienda and had no problem getting a table with a good view. The strategy per the UG is to make your ADR for 1 hour 15 minutes before showtime, and show up a little early and request a window table. Also, when you are being seated if you see a better table that is empty or needs to be bussed, ask the CM nicely if you can be seated there instead.

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Showing up early can bite you in the butt too lol. We did that with our R&C figuring it would be at least a 30 minute wait. Once the nice gentleman figured out what I was asking for they took us right to the table on the railing. Awesome view but we really had to stretch that meal out. We ordered dessert and after dinner tea, and we left a really nice tip since we’d tied up her table so long.

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Yes, if you are arriving early, definitely plan on ordering an appropriate amount of food/beverages and leave a good tip. I always hated “campers” when I worked at a restaurant.

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I bartended and waited tables all through high school and college so I’m always a great tipper at baseline, plus I understand the little things too, like “camping”, lol. So we will definitely tip appropriately. It’s a very hard job.

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I agree with @Outer1 that Rose & Crown would be my first choice. La Hacienda is designed well so you can see ok even if you’re not seated right against the windows, but being outside at Rose & Crown makes me feel more part of the show. There’s something better about Illuminations when you don’t have a ceiling over top of your and nothing muffling the sounds of the show.

Actually looks like Spice Road is going to be on DDP, so I think that will end up being our plan after all. Thanks for the suggestion!!!

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Oh that’s good! I had double checked after you mentioned it and didn’t see it on the DDP. But it makes sense that they start accepting it now.

I got OCD about this for our trip and booked both R&C and Spice Road, for two different nights. Review to follow :laughing:


Do you have to have an ADR at R&C for a chance at a table by the water or are there pub tables out there too?

All the tables we saw outside were standard tables that you’d need an ADR for.


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Have you dined yet? I’d be interested in what you had at the Rose and Crown and if you liked it.

We did! I had the Shepard’s Pie and as big fan of this dish I was not disappointed. It was very very good. After consulting DH, he reports that he loved the Whiskey Flight he ordered as a cocktail and cannot remember what he had for an entree :stuck_out_tongue:

Not terribly helpful to you, I’m afraid. Here’s my auxiliary review. The service was very good. One problem was our waiter had a REALLY strong accent. I pride myself on digging through accents and understanding people , but this guy was unintelligible! We made a game of it with him. He couldn’t help it and knew he was hard to understand, but I don’t think he realized how hard it really was. It was a riot. OMG I’m laughing just remembering it.

What are your plans for WDW?


I just saw this SPice Road review on Many reviews were similar. I’ve taken it off our list for December.

Check this out:
“Rude service can’t believe it’s Disney”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015 NEW

Booked late dinner reservation at 8:30pm to enjoy the 9pm Epcot fireworks at this outdoor restaurant. After ordering appetizers and drinks we were told at 9pm that the kitchen was closed. Not sure why they would create an 8:30 reservation if that was the case. Other restaurants in Epcot serve serve food until 10pm. Our server was very rude. We left hungry and disappointed after a long day at the park.
Visited June 2015

Other reviews: