When it comes to Epcot’s evening IllumiNations fireworks display held nightly over the World Showcase Lagoon there is no shortage of truly beautiful vantage points. However, if pushing your way through the crowds to stake your claim isn’t your thing then why not try combining your evening meal with a lovely view from which to enjoy this nighttime spectacular. With all of the delightful restaurants found among the 11 pavilions that make up the World Showcase, there is certainly no shortage of places to grab a delectable bite with many offering breathtaking views of the evening festivities. Here are 6 of our favorites:
1. Spice Road Table- Morocco. For those of you that haven’t had a chance to visit the Morocco Pavilion at night- make it a point to stop by during your next visit. It is one of my favorite places to be at the World Showcase and with the breathtaking surroundings and the spectacular lighting you truly feel like you’ve been magically transported to another land. Spice Road Table is Morocco’s exotic lakefront dining option and boasts a spectacular menu filled with tapas-style Mediterranean small plates including hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and spicy garlic shrimp that are perfect for sharing. The restaurant also has more traditional entrees like beef and chicken skewers and lamb sliders. Top it off with a selection from the Wine Menu and there are all the trimmings for a perfect dining experience. However what makes this restaurant truly magical is the outdoor terraced seating area with amazing views of the Lagoon. Inside tables with a window view are also available though are not as plentiful.
2. Rose and Crown – United Kingdom. If your tastes are less of the exotic and more of the comfort food variety then Rose and Crown is a terrific IllumiNations viewing option. Grab a pint and tuck into delicious dishes like bangers and mash, cottage pie or Scottish salmon. The pub also offers amazing views of the fireworks from their outside patio. Guests should be warned however that this is THE popular spot from which to dine and watch the fireworks so there may be several other diners jockeying for the outside tables.
3. Tokyo Dining – Japan. This is a fantastic restaurant with a view. It’s location on the second floor of the Mitsukoshi Department store and the beautiful picturesque windows that line the front of the building make it a spectacular spot for fireworks viewing. For those with less than stellar sight-lines, there’s also a balcony from which to take in the show. However, diners who already have a nice view should stay put as the views from the balcony are slightly lower than the main dining area. The food is also amazing from sushi, sashimi, and tempura offerings to succulent teriyaki chicken hot of the grill, making this a fireworks dining fan-favorite.
4. Monsieur Paul- France. Nestled on the second floor of the France Pavilion’s storefront. This rather unassuming restaurant offers the most romantic fireworks viewing of the lot. One of Epcot’s Signature Dining restaurants with gourmet dishes like Beef Tenderloin, Roasted Duck Breast and Seared Scallops does not disappoint. Because of the layout of the restaurant not all tables will have a fireworks view so its best to ask for a window seat. An unforgettable way to celebrate your special occasion, Monsieur Paul is perfect for couples looking for that special night out.
5. La Hacienda de San Angel – Mexico. Not only does this Mexican eatery offer some of the best views of IllumiNations but it is arguably home to the best margaritas you’ll find on Disney property. The view is with giant picture windows looking out onto World Showcase Lagoon and booths and tables that are positioned in a way that really seems to maximize the sightlines. There’s also no shortage of delicious dishes. Guests can sink their teeth into Mexican favorites like empanadas and tacos while the truly adventurous may want to indulge in the Avocado Margarita. Whatever your fancy the Mexican Pavilion is the place to be for a late night bite with a view.
6. Frozen Ever After Dessert Party – This fun-filled Frozen-inspired evening takes place at World Showcase Plaza East overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon and features food, drinks and decor inspired by the film. Guests can tuck into tasty treats like Elsa’s Warm Cottage Pudding with Salted Caramel Glaze or indulge in savory dishes like the Duke of Weselton’s Cheese Fondue served with Country Bread Cubes, Broccoli, and Grilled Flatbread. Drinks include pina coladas, margaritas and a special “Summertime Punch” which is a delightful combination of prickly pear syrup, vodka, lemonade and ginger ale. But the main draw is the breathtaking views of the evening Illuminations fireworks. As a special treat, after “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” guests of the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party will be escorted to the Norway Pavilion for a special ride on the popular Frozen Ever After attraction. The dessert party is incredibly popular and advanced booking is essential. The cost is $79 for guests 10 and above and $47 for ages 3-9.
What time should I make my dining reservation to enjoy the fireworks? IllumiNations typically starts at 9pm (though it has been known to start earlier during off-peak dates). For a 9pm reservation, I normally recommend that guests book for 8pm. However, if you will be dining at a restaurant where you know the views may be a bit more tricky to nab like Rose and Crown or Monsieur Paul then you may want to make your reservation for closer to 7:30 and upon arrival tell them you are happy to wait for a window seat should one become available. Guests should be mindful that fireworks views aren’t guaranteed.
Reservations can be made starting 180 days before your vacation and can be booked via My Disney Experience, through your travel agent or by contact Disney directly at 407.WDW.DINE.
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