Guest Review: Epcot’s Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room

Today we are welcoming guest author Rebecca Dolan with a dining review of the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room. Read on…

When it comes to Epcot’s Rose & Crown, the mantra should be “come for the fireworks, stay for the food.” Sure the menu of British comfort classics has always been on point, but the real draw here has to be the restaurant’s back patio, which offers one of the best fireworks views on the shores of the World Showcase Lagoon.

This combination of no-frills British food and fireworks made Rose & Crown both one of my mother’s favorite Disney spots, and the bane of the Epcot trips of my youth. (Ugh, do we have to watch the fireworks again? I want to eat in Morocco!) But, Rose & Crown and I have come a long way over the past years. And, I now fully support adding it to a Disney dining itinerary.

Atmosphere

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Rose & Crown is that it isn’t built in just one architectural style. Instead, the building is a mash-up of three different, popular pub styles.

The building’s three sides at Rose and Crown.

The main entrance leads into a full-service pub where you can belly up to the bar for traditional beers, ciders, and scotches from the UK. A handful of tables provide a much-needed respite from the afternoon sun.

Stopping in for an evening pint.

Outside the pub entrance, to the left, is the check in booth for the dining room. Seating is either on the outdoor patio overlooking the lagoon, or inside the main dining room. Try your best to score an outdoor table if you can (back patio is better than side patio) for the fireworks view.

This will likely prove to be a difficult endeavor, however. After close to three decades of dining here, this trip was the first time our family was actually seated outside.

Get a load of that view!

Now, don’t let that get you discouraged! Even if you can’t get the coveted front row seats, those eating inside are allowed [Read more…]

Top 6 Disneyland Bars and Lounges

Let’s face it. Sometimes a Disney vacation can be absolutely exhausting! That’s why we like to seek out bars and lounges in which we can share fun with family and friends or relax while enjoying good food and special beverages.

Schweitzer Falls at Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar

A while back, we took a look at our Top 10 Disney World Bars and Lounges, and now it’s time to take a peek at our favorites in the Disneyland Parks and Resorts!

Here are our picks for Top Six Disneyland bars and lounges — a list that includes a little help from our Facebook Friends! Thanks for your input!

Ready to jump in? Here’s our favorite place to while away some time at the Disneyland Resort…

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

Trader Sam’s should be your first choice for chilling out in Disneyland!

This is due to some great bartenders, unique drinks (often served in souvenir glasses), good food, and, of course, the interactive activities here. (Careful not to sit on the sinking bar stools!)

This place is an awesome tropical retreat located at the Disneyland Hotel. Check out our Trader Sam’s Review here!

Trader Sam’s Bar

While there is indoor and outdoor seating, all of the action is inside where there is limited seating (about 50 spots); so get here early as evenings may be quite crowded.

Cove Bar

Located in Disney California Adventure, the Cove Bar (not to be mistaken for Cove Cafe on the Disney Cruise Ships or the Cove Bar at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort…) is your place to escape the long lines and hot sun while enjoying great water-side views.

View from Cove Bar

Leave the thrills behind and savor specialty drinks and craft beers. The Raspberry Rain is a memorable choice! Look for an attractive menu offering my favorite, Buffalo Wings, and Lobster Nachos.

Hearthstone Lounge

Make the Hearthstone Lounge in the Grand Californian Resort a must-do in Disneyland.

Whether you are looking for some quiet alone time or bringing along friends, this cozy fireside lounge has a lodge theme and soaring ceilings that immediately relax you. And that’s before your first drink order!

Take a seat at the bar, on a cozy sofa, or at a [Read more…]

Guest Review: Pinocchio Village Haus — Now With Flatbreads!

We’re welcoming back guest author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with a review of Pinocchio Village Haus. And since the new menu was recently revealed, we’ll also include a review of one of the new flatbreads available!

After recovering from One More Disney Day, I headed back into the Magic Kingdom where I found myself exiting Mickey’s PhilharMagic to the realization that I was starving.

That’s when a Cast Member with a puppet waved at me, and I knew what I had to do.

No strings!

Atmosphere

Tucked between the new Fantasyland construction walls and it’s a small world, Pinocchio Village Haus is a bit confusing. It’s in Fantasyland, and the food is Italian, but the restaurant itself is based on the Bavarian architecture that Walt and Lillian Disney were so fond of.

Pinocchio Village Haus

In fact, it’s set in a little German village, where there’s oompah playing over the speakers and you order lunch in what appears to be a charming courtyard.

Once you’ve got your food in hand, it’s time to [Read more…]

Review: Paradiso 37 at Downtown Disney

After about a year away, I headed back to Paradiso 37 in Orlando’s Downtown Disney recently to see what was new with the menu!

Since my last lunch there, there have been a few menu changes and updates, so let’s take a look!

Atmosphere

The goal of Paradiso 37 is to offer an upscale, though casual and comfortable, dining experience, and I think it does a good job of that.

Personally, I love to visit Paradiso 37 during the quieter hours of the day when the sunshine is streaming in through the massive windows. While the evening features a fun nightlife vibe with live music and a hip crowd, the afternoon is laid back, and it’s easy to snag a table!

Paradiso 37

I was very interested to see that not much had changed about the inside of the restaurant since I was last there. You still have that fantastic floor-to-ceiling tequila bar that tells you THIS is a GREAT place for drinks…especially if you’re a fan of all things margarita like me!

Tequila Tower

One question we had when visiting: is Paradiso 37 appropriate for [Read more…]

Guest Review: Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We’re welcoming back guest author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with a review of Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There’s a new sandwich that you’ve gotta try…

I have walked by Tamu Tamu Refreshments a million times. This is probably not an exaggeration. But I’d never stopped to eat there until AJ encouraged me to check out their newest menu item: a pulled beef sandwich. Before I knew it, I was standing in line at the little counter in Harambe.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments offers good eats and cold drinks.

Atmosphere

Tamu Tamu can be a little confusing at first. It appears to be little more than a [Read more…]

Review: Bongos Cuban Cafe

At long last, we finally made it to the Downtown Disney hotspot that is Bongos Cuban Cafe!

I’ll admit, I’d been putting off my visit to this restaurant. I hadn’t heard great reviews, and I wasn’t sure I’d like the food. But I’m SUCH a giant loser — what have I been waiting for?!?

I had a great time, I had awesome food…and it’s finally time to peek inside and find out what the Big Pineapple has to offer!

Atmosphere

With architecture billed as “Old Havana” in style, this breezy, open restaurant certainly puts you in the mood for a tropical drink and a conga line. ;-) When we visited just before St. Patrick’s Day, Downtown Disney was alive with the excitement of a young, vibrant crowd, ready to get their dance on! The traditional Cuban dance music pouring out from the restaurant beckons you to come take a closer look and listen, and was perfect for a warm, breezy Florida evening.

Bongos Sign

Originally, our Advanced Dining Reservation was scheduled for much later than our 7:30 meet up time. When we checked in at the podium, though, we had no trouble getting a seat immediately. As a newcomer to Cuban food, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the fun setting hinted of some adventurous eating ahead!

One of THE most amazing features of Bongos is the wide open feel of the place. Seating is available both inside and outside, giving the restaurant an authentic Cuban or Miami vibe. After all, these are places where people “live outside,” and restaurants in these locations really reflect that.

To help with the heat, both inside and out, we noticed high ceilings and lots of ceiling fans. It really lends to the impression of cool, airy spaces.

Outdoor Atmosphere

The upstairs veranda also provides a pleasant view of surrounding hotels, the Characters in Flight balloon, and the lake beyond. VERY cool view, eh??

Upstairs Outdoor Seating

While the walls inside are painted to give an old world, weathered feel (and the stone no doubt lends to a sense of coolness on a sweltering Florida summer day), there are plenty of [Read more…]

Review: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Riding side-saddle between Adventureland and Frontierland, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe — often shortened to “Pecos Bill’s” is the place to sit for a spell (and chow down) with your posse!

From burgers to taco salads, there’s a little something for everyone here, which makes it a guest-favorite for counter-service in the Magic Kingdom!

Atmosphere

Because guests can see the restaurant from Adventureland and Frontierland, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe looks like an old West saloon from the outside in Frontierland but has a more Caribbean appearance on the Adventureland side.

Pecos Bill Sign on Adventureland Side

Sign from Frontierland Side

Inside, you’ll find dark woods and decor you’d expect in booming mining towns of the West. If you keep moving toward the Adventureland side of the restaurant, though, you’ll run into slightly more Caribbean decor — cobblestones, blooming flowers, and warmer stone walls. This runs opens into Tortuga Tavern next door!

But back to the old West, if you take a peek at the walls, you’ll find the story behind Pecos Bill’s (every Disney destination has a story!).

Story of Pecos Bill - click image for larger version

And, of course, we can’t forget the Code of the West!! We highlighted this and another fun Disney sign on the blog last week!

Code of the West

And outdoor seating section wraps around two sides of the restaurant, offering an option to eat al fresco. Here’s a great tip: the seating section located [Read more…]

Review: Ariel’s Grotto in Disney California Adventure

Disneyland’s Princess meal takes place in Disney California Adventure at Ariel’s Grotto, a lovely little restaurant full of windows and under-the-sea themeing perfectly fitting for the princess from The Little Mermaid.

Ariel’s Grotto lunch at Disney’s California Adventure in Disneyland Resort begins with an impressive-looking first course followed by your choice of entrees. Go ahead and skip ahead to the dessert platter. It’s worth a quick peek now, but be sure to return here to finish our full review!

Restaurant Entrance

Atmosphere

The princess vibe hits you before you even walk into the restaurant. Well, at least it did for us! We were required to walk past a merchandise kiosk selling princess dresses in order to get to the front door. Can you imagine walking by all of those dresses with your little girl on your way to a princess character meal? You’ll have to keep your wits about you, because I’m guessing she won’t! ;-)

Princess Dress Kiosk

Passing the princess dresses, we walked under a sign welcoming us (and the Merfolk), and headed into the reception area for Ariel’s.

Ariel's Entrance

Here, we checked in at the podium and checked out a display of celebration cakes. These were prominent throughout Disneyland during our last visit. They’re available for order when [Read more…]

Guest Review: Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant

We travel to the future with Guest Reviewer Bill Iadonisi in his review of the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Finding the restaurant actually open, Bill stopped in for a quick service bite to eat!

It’s been quite a while since I have dined at the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station. One reason is that this counter-service eatery has for several years been opened seasonally; if the crowds at the Magic Kingdom swell, it will open to handle the overflow of hungry guests. But today, my friend John (Disney Food Blog readers know him as Chef BigFatPanda!) and I decided to have lunch and do a review.

Entrance walkway

Atmosphere

When the Magic Kingdom first opened, this was known as the Plaza Pavilion, which served pizza and burgers. In 2004, it was closed for refurb and returned as the Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station. For you history and trivia buffs, “Tomorrowland Terrace” was the name of the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant that once occupied the [Read more…]

Tony’s Town Square & the “Boo to You” Parade

I’m so excited to talk about this experience. While Tony’s Town Square Restaurant‘s Italian fare is far from 5-star cuisine, the memories you can make there — if you’re savvy and just a little bit lucky — are second to none.

Tony's Town Square Restaurant

Atmosphere
The restaurant is located in the Exposition Hall right next to Disney World’s Train Station. You’ll remember from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp the restaurant upon which Tony’s is styled — in the alley behind it was where Lady and the Tramp shared their famous spaghetti dinner! And you’ll find several Lady and the Tramp references throughout the restaurant. (Check out this post from SamLand’s Disney Adventures for one very special tie-in!)

Lady and the Tramp Appear on Windows...

Lady and the Tramp Appear on Windows...

...And in Statues

...And in Statues

They Even Appear on TV in the Lobby

They Even Appear on TV in the Lobby

The restaurant includes a plush lobby and three main dining areas: an indoor room with booths and tables, a “sunroom” that floods with light during the day, and [Read more…]