Monsieur Paul advice

I snagged a 7:45 pm reservation at Monsieur Paul. I’m planning the day around (1) 6:05-7:05 pm FP+ for Frozen (2) trying not to walk around the lake more than twice and (3) good place to view Illuminations.

Questions: Can we drag out dinner for 1.5 hours to watch Illuminations from the restaurant? If we don’t get a window table, will we still be able to see the show, including the activity on the lake? How strict is the dress code? We will probably be in nice-ish khaki or navy shorts, plain tshirts, and sneakers/flip flops.

Our other options are:
Nine Dragons (before or after Frozen - lots of avail times)
Italy (Tutto Italia @ 3:15 or Via Napoli @ 3:55)
Biergarten (distant 3rd choice - not our favorite type of food)

What are everyone’s thoughts? Should we keep Monsieur Paul or switch to something more casual?


MP has the best food in EP. I’ve never spent less than 1.5 hours at MP (app, entrée, dessert), so no problem there. But I wouldn’t count on watching Illuminations from there. I’ve never been there during Illuminations so I don’t know what the view would be like from a window (certainly less than it would be standing by the lagoon), but it would be very awkward to move towards the windows if you didn’t have a seat there. I also don’t know if they would break the ambience there to pipe in the show music. I never recommend doing dinner and Illuminations as a single event; I want to fully enjoy each in its own right - and at the cost of MP, I really want to enjoy it as a stand-alone event.

Your clothing should be fine. I get a bit dressier for resort signatures, but in a park is in a park. Personally, I would plan a polo shirt for that day vice a t-shirt, but that’s just me. A tank top would NOT be appropriate.

Biergarten is my overall favorite restaurant in EP; that would be my non-MP choice.

There’s a reason that there are lots of times available for Nine Dragons… Please don’t consider it an option.

Either Italian option is good. If you want pizza, VN is a must. If you want other Italian food, I find TI to be a bit better.

I think you’re going to have to choose between MP and a good spot to watch Illuminations. OR… keep trying to get an earlier ADR for MP.


bswan26, Thank you so much for your advice! My brother likes Beirgarten too: maybe I should give it a try. Where is your favorite spot to watch Illuminations and what time would we have to stake our claim for a spot? If you’re backing into a dinner reservation time, what’s the latest you would recommend?

With your knowledge of restaurants, I have to go off topic: what is your favorite restaurant in AK with no ADR? And what are your top two favorites in HS and MK with an ADR? I probably average one trip to Disney a year, and I just realized how often we eat off-site.

As a general rule of thumb, I look for ADRs between 5:30 and 6:30 if I plan on watching Illuminations. As BG is a buffet, I might push that one as late 7:00. My “usual” place is by Norway, but anywhere between Mexico and China is good. I typically go during “lower crowd” times and 30 min has always been more than enough time; even 20 has been OK.

I almost always have an ADR at AK. Y&Y QS is pretty good and Flame Tree gets a lot of Liner love - but I haven’t eaten there. I’m looking forward to trying Sa’tuli in Pandora on my next trip.

In DHS, HBD has the hands down best food. If I’m looking for a cheaper option, 50s or MM are my choices.

LTT for lunch is my favorite MK meal. Looking forward to trying Skippers next trip.

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