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After Hours Wind Down: Rose and Crown Pub

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A few weeks ago, Walt Disney World announced a special spring/summer offering that allows you to stay in Epcot and "lounge around" after the park closes at one of four spots scattered around World Showcase. Called the "After Hours Wind Down," the program gives you the chance to hang out at either La Cava del Tequila in Mexico, Spice Road Table in Morocco, Tutto Gusto in Italy, or the Rose and Crown Pub in the United Kingdom, from 9:20 (after IllumiNations) to 11 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays.

Since I was in Walt Disney World last week for a few days, I managed to find a way to squeeze it into my schedule, and booked my reservations at the Rose and Crown Pub.

After an early dinner, my friend and I showed up at the door of the Rose and Crown immediately after IllumiNations had concluded. The greeter checked our names off her list and gave us wristbands, asking us to wait as the pub staff readied for our visit. After a few minutes, we were allowed to enter and had our choice of seats. The capacity for this event at Rose and Crown is about 50, but I'd say that on this Friday evening there were only about 20 patrons.


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Soon after we settled in, a cast member brought us our beverage "flight" for the evening: 6-oz. pours of Bass Ale, Harp Lager, Guinness Stout and Strongbow Cider.


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A few minutes later we were brought a plate with our food sampler of typical pub fare -- a Scotch egg with mustard sauce and watercress; English Cotswold cheese with chives with onion jam; and pork apple sausage roll served with picalilli.


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Having visited the UK many times, I thought I would know what to expect from the food, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. The hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, coated in bread crumbs and baked, was quite tasty, as was the savory pork roll. The cheese, creamy and oniony, was nicely accented by the sweet jam. The portions were a typical tasting size (though I could have used a bit more mustard sauce) and I really enjoyed them. Even though it wasn't an overabundance of food, I was glad I had skipped dessert at dinner, I overheard the couples at nearby tables complaining that they were too full from their dinners at Le Cellier and Monsieur Paul to really enjoy the food. No problem, though. The friendly cast members were happy to box up the snacks to be carried home and eaten later.

I have to admit that I'm not much of a beer fan, and had thought that there would be alternative beverage options -- but I guess there's not much in the way of British wine, is there? So I went with the beer, and surprised myself. I found that I really enjoyed the Harp Lager, which I'd never tried before. The Bass was, well, to me it was just beer. Not a fan. The Guinness, which I've tried before, was a little too thick and strong for me -- definitely an acquired taste that I haven't acquired. The Strongbow, however, was light and refreshing and went down easily -- and I noticed that the people at the surrounding tables seemed to feel the same.


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While 24 ounces of beer-type beverages over the course of almost 90 minutes was plenty for me, you can order additional drinks (and food, too) if you'd like -- at a price. Also, if you decide to go non-alcoholic, you can still attend -- for the same price, of course -- and you'll be provided with soft drinks.

There's no entertainment during the Wind Down, which was fine with me, but I thought that some soft background music would have added a little to the ambience. On the other hand, I could have done without the janitorial staff (three of them!) who took up residence in the corner of the room, chatting on their walkie-talkies and sweeping up non-existent litter while I was trying to relax and enjoy my drink. It really struck me as Bad Show.

The other thing that disappointed me is that the Friday night I was there was evening Extra Magic Hours night at Epcot -- so what was supposed to be "after hours" really wasn't. I was hoping to have the chance to walk through a deserted Epcot after we'd finished, but there were still quite a few other guests in the park. Oh well.

But these are minor complaints. Overall it was a quite enjoyable experience and a pleasant way to end the evening. Was it worth $35? I'd say a qualified "yes" -- maybe it's just slightly overpriced, by about $5. Still, it was great to actually be able to sit in the pub and soak in the atmosphere. That's something that you can't normally do during regular park hours, due to the spot's popularity.

I think the next time I book the Wind Down -- and I do plan to try it again -- I'll make reservations at the wine cellar at Tutto Gusto. On a Sunday night!


VITAL INFO:

The After Hours Wind Down is available Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays now through September 15. Cost is $35, plus tax and gratuity.

Make a reservation at www.disneyworld.com/spring, call 407-WDW-DINE or stop by Epcot Guest Relations.



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Comments (13)

Jo Start:

There are, in fact, many wonderful English wines!

DebK replies: I didn't mean to offend -- my mother is English, after all! I only meant that the UK is not as well-known for its wines as it is for its beer.

PS I had a terrific white wine in Wales once called Dewi Sant. Would love to know how to find it in the US.

PJ:

What! No pickled eggs, cockles or pork scratchings? I'm offended. Lol!

What you were served though looks interesting. I'm not a big fan of mustard so I would have to skip the scotch egg, but the cheese & sausage roll looks delicious. As for the 'flight', mixing all those drinks looks like a (very enjoyable) recipe for a bad head! It's funny though, The Rose and Crown at Epcot is the only pub I know that serves Bass or Harp. You would have to search long and hard to find either in England.

Teresa Pitman:

Are there by any chance vegan options for the food sampler? I've had some great curries and other vegan meals at the Rose and Crown so I know they can do it!

Deb K replies: Teresa, I think for a special request like this you'd be better off letting them know ahead of time, when you made the reservation. There were no food options, everyone was served the same plate. However, at the Tutto Gusto After Hours Wind Down, they did offer a "vegetarian" flight.

Joni:

Love Bass in fact Rose & Crown is where I learned to love it as they did not serve any American beers. Back in the 80's and 90's in my early 20's My BFF and I loved stopping by there and chatting with the bartender's (love those accents)So interesting learning about other cultures.

Katie:

Thank you for this review. My fiance and I are attending after hours at Rose & Crown on our honeymoon and I had yet to hear a lot about the offerings. Definitely looking forward to it now!

Jennifer:

So do they close they Rose & Crown to other guests on Friday nights when they have EMH? If so, this is somewhat irritating. My husband and I enjoy the Friday evening EMH at Epcot & usually stop by for a few drinks. If it's closed to all but the patrons of the wind down, I guess I'll be venturing out of Epcot on Friday evening after Illuminations.

Deb K replies: Yes, Rose and Crown Pub is closed to other guests during the After Hours Wind Down.

Looking forward to your Tutto Gusto review! We were thinking about trying the After Hours Wind Down in Sept and were tossed between Tutto Gusto and the Rose and Crown. Thanks for the thoughtful write-up.

Deb K replies: Thanks! We just went to the Tutto Gusto After Hours Wind Down last night, and will have video/photos soon!

Wendy S:

Thanks for the review - very interesting.

The beer looks good. We get all of those in the North West of England.

I'm not sure that I'd rush for the food though. Scotch eggs and sausage rolls! They are traditional British fare I suppose, but most of us wouldn't buy them at a pub. They are snacks that I'd buy from a supermarket or pasty shop whilst out shopping.

CJ:

Wow, is the flight per person? I'd love to do this, but 4 beers in 90 minutes is a good way to not be able to drive back to the hotel... or pass out somewhere around innoventions.

Deb K replies: Yes, the flight is per person. I personally couldn't drink 4 6-oz beers in 90 minutes, but folks at nearby tables didn't seem to have any problem!

Milana P:

I'm dying to try this when we go in June, but wondering if the buses will be running "after hours." If there's no way to get home there's no point in going. :-(

DebK replies: Yes, transportation is still running after the "After Hours Wind Down." They won't leave you stranded!

Anonymous:

Was a full menu available to order from? And is there a selection to choose from for the event?

DebK replies: At the Rose & Crown, you're served the 4 beers and 3 snacks -- everyone received the same. However, people did order other beverages as the evening wore on. I don't think any other food was available, but you could get more of the same food. At the Tutto Gusto After Hours Wind Down, you had a choice of four different "flights" and accompaniments.

Anne Marie Geary:

My daugther & I attended 5/16/14, The food a little heavy for me. No MC. No interaction with others. We sat at tables at bar. Would have liked it if it was a little warmer. More socializing.

Joe:

You may want to rethink your thought on Guinness being "...a little too thick and strong for me". Believe it or not out of the beers you have listed this is the lightest alcohol and lowest calorie beer!

Calories per 12oz serving:
Guinness: 4.2% - 125 Calories
Harp: 5.2% - 150 Calories
Bass: 5.5% - 160 Calories

DebK replies: Thanks, Joe, that's interesting. But by "strong" I meant in flavor -- don't care for the taste of Guinness at all. Ick.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 10, 2014 8:31 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Coming Attractions Around the "World".

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