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Review: Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom

I love the Plaza. Here’s why:

  • It’s less expensive than many other table-service restaurants
  • It’s good quality
  • It’s easy

What more could you want in a restaurant when you’re fighting Magic Kingdom crowds, dying to use your Splash Mountain fastpass before the parade, and coping with your tired and hungry troops?

The Plaza offers less-expensive, but delicious, food right in the middle of the Magic Kingdom. And, believe it or not, it’s not all that difficult to get an Advance Dining Reservation here!

Atmosphere

The Plaza is a tiny little restaurant located between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Plaza sign

It’s right next door to what some folks call the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor, but is actually — according to the sign — the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Which I find odd, as it is not connected to the Plaza Restaurant at all!

Entrance

The restaurant fits into its early 20th century setting well, and features art nouveau touches throughout the dining rooms. I’m a particularly big fan of the light fixtures in here…

dining room

lighting

Attached to the main dining room is a little, round “sunroom,” covered in windows. This room has no carpeting, so it can get very loud. It also has all banquette seating, which means you’re going to be smooshed up next to another group pretty much no matter what. I tend to request (and recommend) the main dining room when I dine here.

Window Seats

Plaza Seating

And always keep an eye on the door — you never know when one of Main Street’s distinguished residents will stop by The Plaza! On the day we visited, the Mayor had some important remarks!

Mayor

Eats

Like I said — I love the Plaza. The prices at this restaurant are on par with many of the better counter-service locations in Disney World, yet here you get to sit and be served in blessed air conditioning, the menu offers more variety (and even some healthier options), and you get an absolutely stunning view of Cinderella Castle.

I haven’t quite figured out the restaurant’s branding as far as the menu is concerned…but at least it has ice cream on it!

menu

click image for larger version

See what I mean about the prices? $10, $12, $14 — nothing over $15 on the menu. And the entrees are quite large! It’s a fantastic deal, especially once you note that the service here (at least in my experience) is often impeccable.

Now, on to the eats! This set of photos combines two visits to The Plaza, so I’ve got lots of photos to show you (thanks to my lunch companions!).

First up, the grilled chicken sandwich. Very light and healthy…until you add that luxurious looking swiss cheese! It was delicious! Also, here’s an example of the french fries at the Plaza — nice, thick, crispy fries. Not soggy at all.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

And speaking of french fries, here’s how the condiments come to your table. So if you’re like me and ketchup is your favorite vegetable, order more in advance!

condiments

The cheese steak sandwich was quite good as well. The meat was very flavorful, and I loved the onions and cheese. Mushrooms aren’t my favorite, but they didn’t take away from the sandwich at all. While it’s probably not authentic enough to please Philly folks, the sandwich is definitely something I’d order again.

Cheese Steak

Don’t you love the look of this Rueben? They were not at all chintzy with that corned beef! FYI — that’s the slaw option in the background.

Grilled Reuben

And this just looked wonderful, and got high marks from my lunch companion! The Chicken Strawberry Salad includes Gorgonzola and a White Zinfandel vinaigrette dressing.

Chicken Strawberry Salad

For anyone wanting to dine vegetarian, here’s a great option. Just look at that huge portion of fresh Mozzarella! Also included — hummus, basil pesto, and roasted red pepper.

Vegetarian Sandwich

Here’s the classic Plaza Club (with the homemade chips option). Once again, a very generous portion and served on sourdough bread.

Plaza Club

And the milkshakes here are unbelievable! While this is definitely one of the best table-service locations for ice cream (thanks to the ice cream parlor next door), I think I might have to add this to my best Disney World milkshakes list, too! This one? Cookies and Cream.

milkshake

Overall

The Plaza is probably one of the better dining deals in Walt Disney World. Great food, good prices, good service, and a fantastic location/view are definitely things that we look for in a restaurant, and this one has them all.

The best part? For some reason, folks overlook this restaurant. It’s not on anyone’s must-do list, and it’s often an afterthought in dining planning, so you can get a reservation here particularly easily. Of course, no reservation is easy during peak seasons, but this is definitely not one you need to book 180 days out, and you may even be able to get in as a walk-up or if you call for a reservation the week you’re visiting.

Overall, this little gem is highly recommended. I’ll see you there!

Have a favorite entree or dessert at The Plaza? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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23 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Re -menu
    If by branding you mean the art style on the cover of the menu, it is a reference to Art Nouveau artist, Alphonse Mucha.

  2. AJ says:

    Thanks Sarah! Great info!

  3. Janna says:

    We ate here 7 years ago but we haven’t been back. Now I’m wondering why…the food was definitely good (I had the Reuben – yum)!
    I just recommended the Plaza to a friend yesterday – I’m going to send her this link. Thanks, as always, AJ!

  4. Kelly says:

    This restaurant is one of my family’s favorite. Since we go so often, we don’t do the parks commando. The Plaza offers a nice, simple meal where you can relax away from the crowds. And really, it’s not that much more than a quick service location!

  5. I find myself in the MK about once every couple months, and I’ve never before dined at The Plaza! Looks like I’ll be adding it to my routine, as I’d much prefer table service to counter…

  6. Andrew says:

    I’ll be there a week from Wednesday! We timed the ADR just right to be able to hopefully catch a bit of Wishes shortly after finishing up.

    I haven’t been to The Plaza in about six years, so I’m looking forward to re-experiencing the taste and the value!!

  7. Jenn says:

    I loved the Plaza when I went with my mom a few years back. She had the veggie burger and I had their special of the day, which was meatloaf and all the fixings. Delicious! Add a root beer float to that? Perfect. :) Definitely a hidden gem in the MK.

  8. kirsten says:

    I will be eating here on Wednesday, looking forward to chicken salad!

  9. AJ says:

    Janna — Yeah; Plaza tends to fade into the background a little bit at the MK! It’s there, though, and it’s cheap and good! :-)

    Kelly — I know! I love finding table-service spots that are comparable in price to counter service locations. This food is significantly cheaper than Wolfgang Puck Express, for example!

    Deej — This is definitely a good find for you guys! A go-to place.

    Andrew — I can’t wait to hear what you and Joy think of it after that many years. I hadn’t been for a while, either, on this last visit.

    Jenn — Meatloaf! Yum!!!

    Kirsten — Sounds great! Let us know what you think!

  10. Amanda says:

    great review on one of the overlooked gems!

  11. Carrie says:

    Oh no! Now everyone’s going to know about our favorite secret place to eat at the Magic Kingdom! :) We eat here every time we’re in the MK at lunchtime for all the reasons you covered. Sometimes there’s a long wait if you walk up, so we just make a reservation online with my iPhone a few hours (sometimes less!) ahead of time. I think the food is way better than at the other table-service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom because they stick to the basics and don’t try things they can’t possibly pull off with the quality of ingredients they have to work with. And, as others have noted, it really doesn’t cost that much more than getting a full meal at a counter-service spot.

  12. Galloping Gourmand says:

    My favorite room to eat in is the sunroom. It can be a little tight and loud, but its has the best view on Disney property. From where you sit you can see the five lands and the transitions between each, plus the hub and castle. Face one way it’s Main Street and the transition into Adventureland, another view the hub and castle, with Liberty Square just beyond, then the transition from the hub and Castle into Fantasyland (and that neat waterfall). The tables outside Casey’s and some seats in Crystal Palace offer similar views, but they are much, much clearer at the Plaza. I’m willing to give up some elbow room for it.

    The view is fantastic, and the price is right… mostly! In my NY Deli eater’s mind that’s no where near greasy enough, and it should have at least another 1/4lb of corned beef. But we southern new-engalders can be as big a deli snob as a New Yorker, don’t take it personally. That chicken strawberry salad – they got that one just right.

  13. Tiffany says:

    Hungry for lunch and something other than “the usual” MK counter service…we stumbled upon The Plaza for the first time last year. We were walk-ups and got seated within 15 minutes (November). We sat at the corner front table between the dining room and sun room – yes excellent views of the castle :) Service was friendly, the food unpretentiously good, and everything reasonably priced!! I had the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger w/bacon, cheddar & swiss (forgive me while I gaze at my burger pic to relive the moment lol). Will definitely be frequenting the Plaza again on future trips!

  14. Nicola says:

    One of my absolute favourites!! We ate here on the first night of our honeymoon and again on MNSSHP night on our last trip. Unfortunately we cant fit it in this coming trip, but we always enjoy the food and atmosphere.

    However, last trip we struggled to make an ADR, we settled for an early dinner and then couldn’t find any open spots for the rest of the holiday (september) so i recommend making a reservation if you wish to eat here…. the popularity is catching on!!

  15. Beth says:

    The Plaza is always a must stop for my family at WDW. It was my Mother’s, who has passed away, favorite restaurant. She loved the reuben and the ice cream desserts. Now we go there for the good food and to remember Mom.

  16. Amy says:

    Actually, the ice cream parlor and the restaurant share a kitchen/prep area. I have a food allergy and had to speak with the manager/chef at the restaurant. They prepared my food in the ice cream parlor area so there would be no contamination.

  17. Stephanie says:

    We love going to the Plaza before MNSSHP. You really do need an ADR to get in on those nights as Nicola observed, especially if you are trying for something around 5:00 so you don’t miss any of the party. Nothing like a Chicken Strawberry Salad followed by ice cream and all the candy you can eat!

  18. James says:

    In my opinion, The Plaza is the best restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, and for all the reasons you list here. My favorite items are the grilled reuben and the vegetarian sandwich. I also like the chicken strawberry salad, and I don’t really care for salad! The only disappointment I’ve had here was the hamburger. It’s not a bad hamburger, it’s just nothing special, especially compared to the reuben!

  19. Sadie says:

    Last April, my fiance and I were visiting his family in Miami for Spring Break. Me being the biggest Disney fanatic, 6-year-old-in-a-20-year-olds-body that anyone has ever met, and having never been to Disney World, he decided to surprise me with a completely spontaneous trip before we headed home. It was in the dead-middle of Spring Break and the place was a mad house. Needless to say, since it was so spontaneous (literally, he bought our park tickets the night before our first day) we didn’t have ADRs. We didn’t know we needed them! So on our first night, around 8 o’clock, we walk up to Crystal Palace hoping to get a table. We pretty much got laughed out of town haha. So we’re tired and hungry, but I’m not willing to leave the park before the parade. We see a podium at the end of main street with a couple of Cast Members patiently kind of just hanging out. We didn’t take it as a good sign…I mean, it didn’t speak well for the near-empty restaurant. But we went up and asked if they could accommodate us and they cheerfully handed us a buzzer and had us go wait out on the terrace (which was totally empty, and had a perfect view of the Castle. It was just an amazing place to sit for 15 minutes and relax). So we waited just a few minutes and then got buzzed into the restaurant, where I had the most cheerful waitress and a great burger for less than the price of Ruby Tuesdays or some equally mediocre, overpriced chain restaurant. When my fiance told my waitress that I probably wanted the Tinkerbell cup, but was too embarrassed to order it, she gave it to me at no charge. We told her it was our first visit and she went to the back and got us First Visit buttons and a chocolate milkshake to share! She was absolutely fabulous, and incredibly attentive.

    Anyway, that 5-day trip to Disney is one of my fondest memories, even in the middle of a peak-season…No planning, no expectations…It was just pure magic. And even though the crowds were large, I was so impressed with Disney’s efficiency. I never really felt overwhelmed (except when we tried to stand on main street to watch the fireworks…That’s another story entirely!) and I had an amazing time. My experience at the Plaza restaurant was one of those moments where I thought “Wow, this place really is something special”. I felt…Taken care of. Which is weird for a theme park. I’m now voraciously planning my second trip for next year. I can not wait!

  20. AJ says:

    Sadie, what a great comment! Thank you so much for sharing that story! Agreed; the Plaza is a very special place!! :-) Let us know when you plan your dining for next year’s trip!

  21. Michele says:

    I dined here solo on one of my trips. I really liked it.

    I haven’t been back since but it’s definitley on my list to do again.

    I had the Philly Cheesesteak and thought it was delicious.

  22. Rena says:

    I was at MK the first week of September, and I really wanted to try the grilled chicken sandwich or Reuben, but they were “fully booked”! I tried to wait a while, but they still wouldn’t seat me and my friends (party of 4) I kept hearing that this place was easy to get into, so I was kind of upset. I walked over to the Crystal Palace and was seated right away, and I found that odd since I kept hearing (and reading) that it was one of the ‘hard to get into’ places. I went to MK again a week later, and the same thing happened again.. They wouldn’t seat us, so we walked around for a while, then hopped on a monorail to the Grand Floridian and ate there. The Plaza was so hard to get into! (for me, at least) I really wanted to try their food :( Maybe next time.. I’ll go prepared, with reservations and everything.

  23. The Wasenda Family says:

    ****CHEF “KEN” is by far the BEST!!!!***
    I made reservations here for my daughters Birthday…
    My daughter and I cannot have anything with Gluten, which can be difficult when eating out…
    Not a problem when you eat here…not only did “Chef Ken” come to our table and make us feel special we had the BEST FOOD EVER!!!!
    We loved this Restaurant, but we will be back to eat because of “Chef Ken”…
    Thank you!
    The Wasenda Family
    Date: Saturday, 10/6/2012
    Time: 3:00pm (Dinner)

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