Fine French food and Illuminations! Merci!

Four Best Epcot Restaurants For Watching Illuminations

Watching the Illuminations fireworks spectacular on World Showcase Lagoon is one of the best ways to cap off your day of fun at Epcot. The show lives up to its title as “spectacular” with amazing music, lasers, and fireworks.

While the show is great, sometimes getting good and comfortable seating for it is not.

Many of the prime viewing areas fill up well before show time, and you may well find yourself in the middle of a huddled mass of humanity. Also, the weather may not be the best. It’s Florida, so you might find the weather to be hot and humid.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could watch Illuminations in a comfortable seat while enjoying a delicious dinner? It is possible if you know the right places and make plans in advance.

Let’s take a look at the four top restaurants around Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon where you can watch illuminations in comfort and style.

1 – Tokyo Dining

Tokyo dining specializes in sushi and tempura. It is located on the second floor of Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, above the very-interesting Mitsukoshi department store. Fortunately for you, many people don’t know about Tokyo Dining, or think they won’t like the food. Sometimes it’s possible to get an Advanced Dining Reservation for this restaurant less than 90 days in advance, or in other words, which much less lead time that the typical 180 days in advance when many popular Disney restaurants fill up.

The dining room offers amazing views of illuminations with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer great views.

Tokyo dining is a relatively casual restaurant and it is fine for you to wear whatever clothes you choose for touring the park.

Many people don't know about Tokyo Dining. That's good for you.
Many people don’t know about Tokyo Dining. That’s good for you.

2 – Monsieur Paul

Monsieur Paul is a very nice restaurant that is located on the second floor in the Epcot France pavilion. Since the restaurant is upscale, you may feel more comfortable if you wear clothes that are a bit nicer than the shorts and T-shirts most folks where when touring Epcot.

However, in exchange for dressing up, you will be rewarded with a delicious meal and elegant ambiance.

Of course, in addition to serving fine French food in a beautiful atmosphere, Monsieur Paul offers amazing views of Illuminations.

Fine French food and Illuminations! Merci!
Fine French food and Illuminations! Merci!

3 – Rose and Crown Patio

For many years people considered the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room to be the best places for viewing Illuminations. The tables on the outdoor covered patio offer breathtaking views of the show.

Because the views are so good, people tend to pack this restaurant and even wait in long lines several hours before Illuminations takes place in hopes of getting one of the prized tables.

Note that the patio for the Rose and Crown hugs both the side of the building as well as the back of the building. The prized fireworks-viewing seats are at the back, directly next to the lagoon. While you might be able to see Illuminations from anywhere on the patio, be sure to ask the Disney Cast Member who seats you for a table on the back patio directly on the water.

4 – La Hacienda de San Angel

While many folks thought that the Rose and Crown offered the best possible viewing for Illuminations, now that La Hacienda de San Angel is open many people consider it to be the new winner for best restaurant for viewing Illuminations. The windows are huge and most seats in the dining room offer a great view.

If you are not able to secure a table in La Hacienda, you may want to attempt getting a seat at the table service restaurant next door, the Cantina de San Angel. While I think the food here is good, overall it does get mixed reviews. If you can get a seat and don’t mind guarding your territory against folks who might try to squeeze in, this can be a good alternative.

La Hacienda may be the best spot for Illuminations.
La Hacienda may be the best spot for Illuminations.

Reserving Your Spot

You can make your Advanced Dining Reservations 180 days before the start of your trip. Since many of these restaurants are extremely popular, it’s a good idea to make your reservations as early as possible.

Also, it’s best to make your reservation time for one hour before Illuminations begins. Be sure to arrive early and ask the Cast Member for a table with a view of the fireworks. Disney can’t guarantee a great view of Illuminations, but if you ask you may get it.

What is your favorite Epcot table service restaurant for viewing Illuminations?