First Impressions at Rose and Crown Dining Room

Image: A pint of dark Guinness beer sits behind an Savory Impossible Hot Pot dish. The dish contains a ground product layered with creamy mashed potatoes

Spoiler alert for the fans of the Rosen Crown Dining room in Epcot’s UK Pavilion, this review might sting a bit. In this piece, we’re spilling the tea on our culinary adventure at the Rose and Crown Dining Room.

General Information

Nestled in the heart of Epcot’s UK Pavilion, the Rose and Crown Dining Room offers a quaint British pub and dining experience amidst the bustling excitement of Walt Disney World. Here, guests can escape into a cozy old-world setting while enjoying a view of the World Showcase Lagoon. It is one of several locations, including Spice Road Table, that offer a firework dining package.

The Rose and Crown takes pride in delivering a slice of British hospitality right in the heart of Florida. With its traditional British fare and picturesque setting, it aims to transport diners across the pond without leaving the magical bounds of Disney.

Atmosphere and Decor

Image: Exterior of the Rose and Crown Pub at Epcot's UK pavilion. The building is covered in red brick and walls of windows looking in on patrons.

As we stepped into the dining room, an old-world charm enveloped us with its rich redwood work and delicate plaster designs gracing the ceiling. The large windows framed a serene view of the lagoon, a sight to behold. The ambiance exuded a sense of calm and sophistication that’s often rare in a busy theme park.

Adding a touch of elegance was a pianist, whose melodies filled the room with a classy atmosphere. It was a scene plucked right out of a British period drama, and for a moment, we were transported to a quaint eatery in the heart of London.

Menu and Drinks at the Rose and Crown Dining Room

Navigating the Rose and Crown Dining Room menu, the choices were fairly limited. Pretty typical for a theme park restaurant. However, the offerings were a delightful representation of British cuisine, offering a taste of the UK far from its shores.

The most popular item available is Fish and Chips – which are actually not the same dish offered at the to-go window around the corner. I was absolutely thrilled to find a plant based option on this menu! English food has a reputation for be very meat and potato heavy, so it was a welcome surprise to find an Impossible dish snuck in.

Beverage Selection

Image: A bottle of Heineken 0.0 non-alcoholic beer sits beside a pint glass filled with the blonde colored beverage.

The Rose and Crown Dining Room is attached to the Rose and Crown Pub, allowing you a full selection of drinks. While there are quite a few delicious sounding cocktails, it feels illegal to order anything besides a Guinness here.

When in Rome… or the UK anyway.

Another pleasant surprise is the non-alcoholic selection available on the drinks menu. There are several mocktails and even an NA beer; the 0.0 Heineken. It just makes me unreasonably excited to see Disney making space for all manner of lifestyle in the parks. Epcot is well known for adult activities like drinking around the world, and these NA options make it accessible for so many more people.

The Savory Impossible Hot Pot

Image: A zoomed in view of the Impossible hot pot from Epcot's Rose and Crown Dining room, showcasing the creamy and fluffy texture of the mashed potatoes

Being a fan of plant-based dishes, the savory impossible hot pot caught my eye. It was introduced as a plant-based rendition of the traditional shepherd’s pie, encompassing seasonal veggies in a plant-based meat casserole nestled under a layer of mashed potatoes.

Sadly, I have to report that this ain’t it. The mashed potatoes were a hit, creamy and comforting. They are rich with an indulgent taste that nearly makes you question how this was achieved without butter. The flavor falls a bit flat here though, tasting bland and un exciting. Worse yet the salt and pepper shaker were clogged so it was pretty hopeless trying to revive them.

The rest of the dish hit a sour note, literally, as a vinegar-tasting sauce smothered the veggies and meat substitute, eclipsing their flavors. I’ve never had traditional Shepherd’s pie, only what we made at home growing up. So I’m completely open to the fact that my expectations were wrong. However, this was just bad. I’m a big condiments girly and I put vinegar on most things, including my fries, but this was off putting.

It was a valiant attempt at plant-based option, but the execution left a lot of room for improvement.

The Meat-Based Shepherd’s Pie

Image: Caramelized mashed potatoes tower in a metal dish containing a meat-based Shepherd's pie at Epcot's Rose and Crown Dining Room

Our culinary journey continued with the meat-based shepherd’s pie. This dish boasted ground beef, seasonal veggies, English peas, mashed potatoes, and a sprinkle of Irish cheddar. The aroma was inviting, promising a hearty meal reminiscent of classic British comfort food.

Much like its plant-based counterpart, this dish too was ambushed by the overpowering sauce. The vinegar essence in the sauce left a tangy aftertaste that didn’t quite sit well with us. It was a dish that held promise but fell short in delivering the comforting experience we craved.

For better or for worse there was very little different between the plant based and meat based versions of this dish. You can tell Impossible meat is used in the plant-based version, by the texture. But the meat-based option suffered the same issues.

Rose and Crown Dining Room Price Point

The price point at Rose and Crown is what you’d expect from a theme park restaurant. It wasn’t a steal, but it wasn’t crazy either. The pricing reflects the ambiance and the location, nestled in one of the most visited theme parks in the world.

Compared to other dining options within Epcot, it sits in a moderate price range. While the cost is justified by the location and the ambiance, the food might not offer the value one would expect for such prices.

Seating and Comfort

The seating arrangement was cozy with ample space between tables. The chairs were comfortable, and the lighting was just right, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. It’s a place where one can unwind and soak in the serene view outside.

However, as the evening progressed, the noise level did elevate a bit, perhaps due to the growing crowd. It’s a minor hiccup in what otherwise was a comfortable and pleasant setting.

Overall Experience

Despite the hiccup in the culinary department, the atmosphere and service at the Rose and Crown Dining Room were commendable. The staff was attentive and the surroundings pleasant, making it a nice escape from the usual theme park hustle.

We couldn’t help but notice a shared sentiment of disappointment among other diners around us, mirroring our own experience. The location of the restaurant is ideal for catching the nighttime show, and the firework dining package is a cherry on top. But, the food didn’t quite hit the mark, casting a shadow on our recommendation.

Our visit to Rose and Crown was a mixed bag of delightful ambiance and a letdown in the food department. While the setting was picturesque and the service attentive, the food left much to be desired. It’s a place where the surroundings promise so much, yet the culinary experience doesn’t quite match up.

Would we give it another try? Maybe, with some different dishes. And of course, every dining experience is unique, and what didn’t resonate with us might be a hit with others.

If your Disney World Epcot adventure leads you near the UK Pavilion, a stop at the neighboring Rosen Crown Pub for a drink might be worth your while. But when it comes to the Dining Room, you might want to skip this one.

Have you ever dined at the Rose and Crown dining room?

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