Red Rose Tavern Dining Experience
Tied in with the much anticipated release of Beauty and the Beast on March 17, Fantasyland’s Village Haus restaurant has been rethemed as the Red Rose Tavern.
Undoubtedly this “dining experience” is one of the big Shiny New Things to experience at the parks for this season, and the idea of dining in a BatB themed atmosphere is an undeniable draw.
I’m of two minds when it comes to the experience… On the one hand, BatB was the Big Obsession of my childhood, and it was an almost indescribably incredible experience to step into the Beast’s ballroom at Walt Disney World’s Be Our Guest, so undeniably there is a strong allure to having something of that ilk here at Disneyland. On the other hand, it’s a very hyped experience (thanks to the internet… posts like these don’t help, I guess) that I’m not sure is really worth the effort and wait that may be required to experience it.
First of all, my mentioning Be Our Guest was not quite appropriate because really the experience is comparable to Gaston’s Tavern, which is a convenient way to get a quick and decent meal, but not something most guests will sing to the heavens about.
But before I fully dive into this post, let’s take a moment to fully appreciate and admire the this intimidating specimen of a man who happened to be strolling by…
Red Rose Tavern opens at 11 am, and the line started well before 9:30 am on Sunday, March 5, which is not a historically busy day (though slow days are a rarity compared to years past). I don’t know how likely it is that Disney will change the way they operate the restaurant or their handling of the crowds, but for these first few weeks it’s likely there will always be a crowd well ahead of opening hours.
I say the line started well before 9:30 because that’s about when I decided to step into the line and I was already quite a ways back. I ended up being able to find one of the last open tables after getting my food.
Disney hasn’t officially announced an end date for this overlay of Village Haus, and I think it’s likely it could run into the summer tourist season. These first few weeks will undoubtedly be crowded because of Annual Passholders who tend to rush into these new experiences. But I’m not good at predicting general crowd behavior and I think either scenarios where the crowds start leveling out, or a situation like the Frozen meet and greets of summers past where families waited hours in line, are plausible. One thing I can say is I really don’t think it’s worth standing out in the sun for over an hour on a Southern California summer’s day…
POUTINE AND POUTINE FLATBREAD
The poutine was the item with the most novelty to me as it’s not something you can commonly get in this area. I have no frame of reference to know whether or not it was a good poutine dish, but I found it to be… I don’t know, fine? It was overly salty and the beef was dry. I can’t say it was bad, and not every batch of meat will turn out the same way so I’d say it’s worth the risk to try if a burger (even if it’s called Beast’s Burger) doesn’t seem like a particularly exciting dish.
I’d always enjoyed the flatbreads at Village Haus and the poutine flatbread was much better than the regular poutine dish. Maybe because it had less of the poutine gravy/sauce, but it wasn’t as salty as the regular poutine. It’s a hearty dish but didn’t leave us feeling overly stuffed or weighed down, and I’d definitely recommend this.
THE GREY STUFF – IT’S DELICIOUS
More than delicious, actually. It was pretty damn amazing.
And isn’t this what everyone is here for? I remember how exciting it was to try the grey stuff at Be Our Guest, when it was really just glorified frosting on a cupcake. But this? This is something I think that actually lives up to the song and dance. Because underneath the not overly sweet grey stuff, there is a moist, raspberry cake that pairs perfectly. It’s pretty much the perfect balance of a very slightly tart cake and a light mousse. At the end of it, spread the last of the grey stuff and raspberry cake crumbs over the crunchy biscuit cookie.
I don’t have much to say about the ambiance. For anyone who’s familiar with Village Haus and its Pinocchio theme, it’s almost exactly the same except with BatB pictures and antlers thrown up into the chandeliers. It doesn’t feel particularly well done because, frankly, it’s not, other than providing some fun photo ops.
Village Haus’s appeal was from being a quiet and calm spot with really decent food. While the food is still good, now it’s overcrowded and noisy.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you been to Red Rose Tavern? What was your experience like and would you recommend it? I’d love to know what you thought of it if you went, or whatever questions you might have if you haven’t been there or are planning on going.