Get ready to pay extra for the best seats to Disney's IllumiNations

January 8, 2019, 1:11 PM · One of the time-honored hacks for getting the most from a performance of IllumiNations at Walt Disney World's Epcot is to snag a waterside patio table at for a late dinner at the Rose and Crown in the United Kingdom pavilion.

Hang on to your table through show time and you will enjoy one of the best seats in the house for Epcot's nightly lights and fireworks spectacular. Disney is closing IllumiNations after this summer, replacing it with a new as-yet-unannounced production next year, and Disney is also now shutting down the "free" ride that many fans used to get these choice seats for the show.

Starting January 18, if you want to watch IllumiNations from the Rose and Crown's patio, you'll need to pay extra. The Rose and Crown seats will become the setting for Disney World's latest dining package, with an $85 per adult charge ($35 for kids) for dinner and your seat for the show.

Frankly, I am surprised that Disney didn't convert this to an upcharge experience years earlier, given the resort's fondness for such things. But at least this new package offers what could work out to be a great value for some visitors. The fixed price dinner includes an starter, entree, and dessert, as well as unlimited beverages. That's unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, so I imagine that there will be some fans out there who will take this new package as a challenge to make these seats for the show an even better deal than they were before.

As for the food, Disney's press release lays out the options:

Start your meal off with a Scotch Egg or the United Kingdom Cheese Platter, and follow up with popular entrées such as Rose & Crown’s signature Fish and Chips, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Pan-roasted Scottish Salmon, or Bangers and Mash. And for dessert, you’ll love this Pudding Platter Trio featuring Sticky Toffee Pudding, English Trifle, and Chocolate Nougat Bar. Kids can enjoy a soup or salad with their choice of Cheese and Turkey Flatbread, Turkey Meatball Pasta, Cheesy Pasta, or Fish and Chips as well as either Fruit Salad or Trifle for dessert.

Reservations are available starting January 17, via the Disney World website or the resort's dining reservations number, +1-407-WDW-DINE [407-939-3463].

Replies (10)

January 8, 2019 at 1:58 PM

Disney + unlimited alcohol = a rarity that's unlikely to last longer than 2 months.

The question is how long can you sit in these seats, and how many people will really want to eat dinner at 8 PM or later? IMHO I would book this in an instant over a dessert viewing party, but I don't think many WDW guests want to eat dinner this late in the evening. Show viewing aside, you never have any issues finding reservations at EPCOT's restaurants after 8 PM, which is why nighttime show dinner options have involved early dinner reservations with reserved seating (Fantasmic! and Rivers of Light) or dessert parties (Illuminations and Wishes/Happily Ever After). I hope this is successful, but I'm sure either drunkards will force Disney to drop the unlimited alcohol, or people won't want to eat dinner after 8 PM, and this will never come back when Illuminations returns.

January 8, 2019 at 2:17 PM

Hmmm .... let's see ..... a dinner at my local pub in the UK will be in the region of: 2x scotch eggs £3; Bangers and Mash £10; sticky pudding - with custard !! £6. couple of pints at £3/pint makes a total of £25. At today's exchange rate that works out to be around $32.

So ... for the privilege of eating a 3rd (maybe 4th) rate attempt at some "authentic" English pub grub you are paying $85 !!! Oh, of course you get a front row seat to see Illuminations.

It's daylight robbery ... !?!?

January 8, 2019 at 3:48 PM

£3/pint in a Disney theme park would be the ultimate Fantasyland experience.

January 9, 2019 at 3:14 AM

Makorider - You must be in the North as it would cost me pretty much double that in London!

January 9, 2019 at 6:53 AM

@UKCoasterMan ..... I'm not surprised to hear of the higher prices in London. My local pubs in the rural Midlands (Warwick area) would be a lot cheaper for sure ... and maybe serve better pub grub as well .... ??

Although if we were going into Warwick and Stratford to eat, I would expect to pay more.

My last visit was in June '17, so the prices were my best recollection from that vacation. One thing I really miss is the Plaice. Odd I know, but I love fish and whenever I go back it's either that or Gammon, egg and chips .... and of course, the mandatory bacon buttie at the airport !!

January 10, 2019 at 1:12 PM

wow...British people in general seem to be very cheap. Everywhere you read reviews on tripadvisor and this site and there's always British people complaining about how expensive everything is. Being Canadian and having to pay almost double when we go to Orlando due to crappy exchange rates I have to admit that its starting to get on my nerves. The pound is worth almost double the US dollar and yet everywhere British people are complaining!!?!?

January 10, 2019 at 6:15 PM

@Francis 24 ..... actually you've got it completely backwards. Living in Orlando as I do, I find it very expensive to go back to the UK and much prefer the 'cheap' living in the US. I don't know of anyone from the UK who visits the Orlando area who thinks it's expensive. The deals they get on flights, hotels, car hire and park entry (as a package) is truly amazing and I only wish I could get the same deals going that way.

But yes, I'm a Brit, and for someone who's lived in FL for 16 years, I consider $85 for a front row seat at a piss-poor representation of an English pub to be "daylight robbery"

January 11, 2019 at 1:24 PM

@Makorider Ok I agree this particular one was a bad example since I also think $85 for this show is a rip off but I stand by my statement with regards to pricing in general. When I look up attractions in Orlando there's always Brits complaining about prices on tripadvisor which I do find kinda of annoying knowing how much more it costs me to go with the crappy CDN dollar. I would love to visit London one day but the pound is way to expensive.

January 11, 2019 at 3:45 PM

@ Francis 24 - I’m not sure where you are getting your exchange rates from but at current rates the dollar and pound are practically at parity!
That said we are British and if we aren’t complaining about the weather (too hot, too cold, too much rain etc) then we love to complain about the price of stuff!

January 11, 2019 at 4:40 PM

UKCM .... my thought exactly. I think it’s around $1.20 to the £ right now, so in those terms it’s relatively expensive for you guys coming here at the moment. Conversely it’s on the cheaper side for me to travel, but when I was charged 75p for a Cadbury’s creame egg ... :), that made me realise just how expensive it was. Not to mention the $5+ a gallon for gas .... !!

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