Just returned from a great Diz trip, and I wanted to share this tip for viewing Illuminations at Epcot.
We had dining ressies at the Rose & Crown Dining Room for 7:55. We had stopped by the check-in kiosk here earlier in the day and requested a table on the patio to view Illuminations. (You have to stop by in person the day of your ADR, and they don't guarantee you'll be seated on the patio.) When we were seated about 8:10, much to our disappointment, we were led to an inside table.
We ordered our meals and while we were having dinner, the waitress came by and asked us if we would like to go to the patio area to watch Illuminations at 9:00, then return to our table for dessert. We were thrilled, and of course, said yes. At 5 til 9 or so, she led us out to a (standing room only) patio area right outside the restaurant. We enjoyed Illuminations, and when we returned afterwards, we had fresh drinks and our table was cleared and ready for us to order dessert! I thought this was a really nice touch. I don't know if the wait staff does this for all diners who happen to be eating at R&C this late, or if they were trying to accommodate us because we had requested patio dining. Either way, if you are at R&C this late, ask your server if you can do this...by the time you order and finish your dessert and settle the bill, Epcot is virtually empty and you don't have to fight your way to the exit!