MickeyBlog Restaurant Review: Rose & Crown
As a quirk of the pandemic, I hadn’t dined with my brother’s family during the body of 2020.
Our county possesses the ignoble distinction of having one of the worst COVID-19 transmission rates in the country.
So, I’ve missed my family. Thankfully, everything is safer at Walt Disney World, which meant that we could finally dine together again in an unlikely location.
Our first meal together in many months occurred inside EPCOT. Here’s my review of Rose & Crown Dining Room, a favorite whose recent menu changes have done it a disservice.
About Rose & Crown Dining Room
When you visit EPCOT, you’ll find this restaurant toward the back of the park, presuming you enter via the front gate.
When you come in via the International Gateway, you’ll find this place due north on your compass. If you keep walking straight, you’ll go right by it.
So, the place is easier to find from the back. However, the front isn’t challenging, either.
You’ll walk through the current Future World and enter the World Showcase. Then, you’ll veer right toward the United Kingdom pavilion. You really can’t miss it either way.
The theming at Rose & Crown is all things British. The conceit is that you’re dining at an upscale restaurant that echoes English pubs.
In fact, the side of the restaurant is a standalone Quick Service joint that sells one primary dish: Fish and Chips. Yes, this place relishes in its heritage.
The restaurant’s appeal exists beyond the vibe that you could spend all day here, drinking Guinness and watching futbol.
Sometimes, a pianist performs classic Disney and British Invasion music while you dine.
Then, there’s the view. Rose & Crown Dining Room overlooks the World Showcase Lagoon.
Disney fanatics know that the outdoor seating here presents one of the best fireworks views at the World Showcase.
My family has spent many nights here, relishing a multi-course meal while we awaited IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which ended in 2019.
The servers at Rose & Crown know the deal, too. They’ll time your meal such that you can show up at 7:15, be seated by 7:45 and have your dessert arrive right as the show begins.
Some of my fondest Disney dining memories have happened on the patio at Rose & Crown.
The Check-In Process and Getting Seated
Ordinarily, the check-in process at Rose & Crown works haphazardly. This place is wildly popular, and it gets crazy during the 7 p.m. hour.
The wait staff possesses the impeccable manners you’d expect from the British, which keeps the chaos in check.
However, we did quite a bit differently during this trip. For example, we dined at lunch rather than dinner. We made this concession due to the pandemic.
My half (well, 40 percent) of the party of five couldn’t eat dinner there and get a ride back to our hotel unless we used Uber/Lyft, something we’re not in a rush to do due to COVID-19 concerns.
So, we went to lunch, which isn’t our usual for sure. Also, we dined indoors.
Ordinarily, when my wife and I dine alone, we eat inside. However, I believe this is the first time I ever joined my brother’s family for an indoor meal at Rose & Crown.
Although EPCOT isn’t operating its nighttime presentations right now, we still enjoy the World Showcase Lagoon views that we could have seen outside. We went a different way, though.
Frankly, we should have done this sooner, as the ambiance stood out as the best part of the meal.
For COVID-based reasons, Disney encourages guests to utilize online check-in rather than walking over to the hosting station. And that’s what we did.
Within minutes of our confirming our arrival, we sat down at a table, where a marvelous — but American — server waited on us.
As a World Showcase obsessive, I understand that travel concerns have vastly reduced the number of English workers at the United Kingdom pavilion. It takes some getting used to, though.
I’ve been spoiled by the legendary British wit on display at Rose & Crown. I really miss it when it’s unavailable.
The Dining Experience
Look, I hadn’t spent time with my three family members for more than six months. So, the cuisine wouldn’t have mattered on this afternoon.
We spent most of our time talking to the point that an hour flew by in what felt like seconds.
Still, you’re here for the review, and I must be honest.
Rose and Crown has done better. The service was terrific, and everything arrived in a timely manner, piping hot and smelling delicious.
Alas, Rose & Crown has streamlined its menu during the pandemic. So, some of our orders weren’t the classics we’re used to devouring.
We still grabbed the legendary United Kingdom Cheese Platter, which vanished in a matter of moments.
That cheese stack wasn’t our first and won’t be our last. It’s one of the best appetizers at Walt Disney World.
For her entree, my wife ordered the Savory Impossible Hot Pot, a new dish she hadn’t tried before. Since she went vegan, she couldn’t order her usual, Fish and Chips.
Let me tell you that the Hot Pot was too hot. The spices in this dish overwhelmed the flavor, leaving her gasping for water at times.
Since the restaurant didn’t offer the steak I love so much, I went with the Welsh Pub Burger instead.
The selling point here is the beer cheese sauce, which I usually love. It…wasn’t impressive on this date. I missed that steak sooo much as I forced down a mediocre burger.
Fortunately, the other members of our party enjoyed their meals more. They all went with the Fish and Chips, the safest dish on the menu.
Rose & Crown NEVER messes up the Fish and Chips, at least not in our experience. It’s a consistent winner that defines the restaurant as a whole.
During most visits, our table orders up to five desserts and then shares bites of each. Yes, it’s decadent and indulgent and probably one of the seven deadly sins. I’m okay with all that.
This time, the streamlined menu only included two options, both of which we tried…and had eaten before.
The English Trifle puts a song in my heart. Strawberry’s probably my favorite flavor, and this sweet treat highlights it perfectly. The Graham Crackers add a delightful crunch, too.
Still, my family favors one restaurant more than all the others here. We talk about the Sticky Toffee Pudding when we’re eating here in town, far away from Disney.
We’re that passionate about this magical concoction, a recipe we’ve never quite cracked. The Hot Butter-Rum Sauce melts the cake, delivering a bite that will warm your entire body.
Sticky Toffee Pudding is the absolute best.
Realistically, this meal was more about catching up with family than the others we’ve eaten here. Historically, the overwhelming majority of Rose & Crown meals have ended with fireworks.
Until recently, we spent this time savoring IllumiNations. One day soon, it’ll be Harmonious instead.
For the time being, we ate at Rose & Crown because it comes with fond memories and Fish and Chips.
Those of us who ordered that dish walked away happy. The ones who picked something else weren’t as pleased as usual.
Still, we admire Rose & Crown for delivering the same British vibe even during a pandemic. That’s no small feat.