Pixar Fest Eats: Pork Chop TV Dinner and Fried Bologna Sandwich at Disneyland’s Carnation Cafe

Lest you think Disneyland Resort’s Pixar Fest is just serving up snacks like Funnel Cake Fries topped with sugary, fruity cereal and Cocoa Churros with Mexican-Spiced Chocolate Dip, today we invite you to step into the past at Carnation Café. It’s here you’ll find two throwback entrées: a Pork Chop TV Dinner and a Fried Bologna Sandwich.

Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

These two Grandma’s kitchen-worthy dishes are inspired by the heartwarming (tear-jerking) Pixar film Up!, in which viewers watch sweet Carl and his love Ellie grow old together.

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What’s New at 50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World has always been a destination for movie (and TV) magic.

And even though the park is in the throes of dramatic re-imagining, we’re happy that some favorite dining experiences have remained. One such favorite is 50s Prime Time Cafe, the totally immersive, throwback-Thursday-everyday table service restaurant where your Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins berate you for putting your elbows on the table and the menu is packed with comfort food.

We’ve visited 50s Prime Time Cafe several times over the years (most recently in 2016), and one of the best parts of the experience here is the consistency of the food. If you enjoy American comfort food, you won’t be disappointed by the offerings at 50s.

And if you’re not a fan of heavy classics like meatloaf and fried chicken, there are actually still some decent options for you — and you’ll get to experience the fun of mid-century family life straight out of a sitcom.

So set the table, keep those elbows off the table, and get ready to clean your plates!

50s Prime Time Sign

50s Prime Time Sign

Atmosphere

The immersive experience at 50s Prime Time Cafe is evident from wall to wall — and we mean that literally. You’ll find old timey collectibles ev.er.y.where. And we can’t get enough of them!

Open shelving and tchotchkes galore!

Open shelving and tchotchkes galore!

Retro busts and figurines

Retro busts and figurines

Everyone should have a Cookie Trolley.

Everyone should have a Cookie Trolley.

Every shelf is packed full of fun stuff — so you’ve got to take a stroll to check it all out. Seating is in the family kitchen, where shelves of retro items are on display and everyone gets a television — black and white and flashing clips of old programs! (And yes, these are the SAME clips you saw on your last trip…even if it was in, like, 2005.)

Seating at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Seating at 50s Prime Time Cafe

The wallpaper is seriously serious, with its classic black-and-white checkerboard pattern.

50s Prime Time Cafe Seating

50s Prime Time Cafe Seating

And the TV styling? Space age, baby!

Someone adjust the bunny ears!

They should sell these things.

But here at 50s Prime Time Cafe, there are rules, family!

Stay out of Mom's kitchen!

Stay out of Mom’s kitchen!

Remember that dining here, you’re being served by your cousin most likely, and they’re pretty straightforward! No special treatment for you, and if you can’t tell them what color the soap was in the restroom you may end up standing in the corner for not washing your hands. If you don’t want to take part in the shenanigans (like singing “I’m a little teapot” in front of the whole restaurant when you didn’t finish your veggies), let your server know when you are seated.

If you’d like to see some of the fun antics, click here!

So what’s Mom cookin’ up in there? Let’s check it out!

Eats

The menu at 50s Prime Time Cafe is a laundry list of classic American comfort food — with a few nods here and there to healthier eats that probably weren’t on Grandma’s table. But you’ll want to start with a glance at the Drink Menu, where you can pilfer something From Dad’s Liquor Cabinet (or select a Sparkling Wine or Craft Beer).

50s Prime Time Cafe Drink Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Drink Menu

Beverages at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Beverages at 50s Prime Time Cafe

While these adult beverages are a fun addition to the meal (and included in the 2018 Disney Dining Plan!), there’s really one drink you’ve got to try — and it’s family friendly! The Peanut Butter and Jelly Milk Shake is front and center on the full menu, and it’s delicious!

50s Prime Time Cafe Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Menu

It’s served in a tall glass with the stainless milkshake cup so you can top off your shake throughout your meal. And you’re going to want to drink every last drop!

PB and J Milkshake at 50s Prime Time

PB and J Milkshake at 50s Prime Time

On this visit, I asked to see the Allergy-Friendly Menu and received this two-page menu with allergens clearly listed in red.

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

50s Prime Time Cafe Allergy Friendly Menu

The Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese is one of my favorite things on any menu anywhere in the World — and we celebrated hard when it returned to the menu years ago after disappearing for a period! It’s a wheel of fried cheese served with fruit, raspberry sauce, and a piece of crusty bread. You have to get this!

Fried Cheese Appetizer

Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese Appetizer

Next up, entrees! Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop was a miss on my visit. I love the concept — and the flavors are good.

Dad's Stuffed Pork Chop

Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop

There’s great color on the outside of the chop, and the accompaniments are colorful and tasty.

Dad's Stuffed Pork Chop

Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop

But this pork chop was way too tough and a challenge to cut through — to say nothing of actually chewing it! Hopefully it was just poorly executed on my visit and is actually awesome for everyone else. But I wouldn’t chance it again.

Dad's Stuffed Pork Chop Interior

Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop Interior

Rather, I’d go for a Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes! This is a definite yes if you enjoy the three components: Roast Beef, Fried Chicken, and Meatloaf (complete with ketchup squiggle).

Sampling of Mom's Favorites

Sampling of Mom’s Favorites

If you’re looking to choose just one of the three, though, the Fried Chicken is the bomb, followed closely by the Roast Beef. You can’t go wrong with either one!

Sampling of Mom's Favorites

Sampling of Mom’s Favorites

The Sustainable Verlasso Salmon is one of those menu items that likely wasn’t on everyone’s gran’s table. But it’s a terrific option for those looking to eat a little lighter (and more sustainably). This was well prepared and served with a great assortment of veggies.

Sustainable Verlasso Salmon

Sustainable Verlasso Salmon

The final entrees of the day are actually two versions of the same dish: Adult and Kids’ Chicken Pot Pie. This creamy mix is a combo of chicken, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, and peas. It’s topped with a flaky pastry — which seems to be pretty much the only difference between the two sizes. The grown up version comes with a square of pastry…

Adult Chicken Pot Pie

Adult Chicken Pot Pie

…while the (way more fun) kids’ version comes with Mickey-shaped pastry! Really, the portion size was so similar that it’s worth it to go with the kids’ just for the fun factor!

Kids' Chicken Pot Pie

Kids’ Chicken Pot Pie

The flavor on this is a little bit bland, but I’m not a huge chicken pot pie fan. If you LOVE pot pie, you’ll likely enjoy this one. It has several guest devotees.

Of course, there’s also a Dessert Menu, where Mom and Dad have listed some of their favorite sweets.

Desserts at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Desserts at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Dessert at 50s Prime Time Cafe features some classics — and we do love a classic dessert! Unfortunately, these were not really up to par. The Traditional Warm Apple Crisp was covered in plenty of sweet/buttery crisp.

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

But the filling is a generic canned apple pie-type filling. So it was tasty, but it wasn’t special.

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

Traditional Warm Apple Crisp

Dad’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake was disappointing (especially for lovers of chocolate/PB combos!). This was dry and unremarkable. Get the Peanut Butter and Jelly Shake instead!

Dad's Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Dad’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Nosh or Not?

Pull up a chair in Mom’s kitchen if: 

  • The idea of dining in a different decade sounds fun!
  • You like comfort food and want to eat some good renditions of old favorites!
  • You’re looking for a table service dining experience that’s casual and even a little irreverent.

Change the dining channel if: 

  • You prefer not to be pulled into hijinks while you dine.
  • You want to eat food that’s a bit more innovative and adventurous.
  • Table service doesn’t interest you — you’ve got rides to ride and attractions to enjoy.

Overall

Family, 50s Prime Time Cafe is still the bee’s knees, with tasty eats and some of the best atmosphere you’ll find in the World! On my visit the service was truly amazing (shout-out to Mark and Elaine). It’s a must-do at least once in your travels to Hollywood Studios. And don’t forget: if you can’t score an Advance Dining Reservation for 50s (or the walk-up time is too long a wait for you), you can get the full menu in neighboring Tune-In Lounge!

Want to know how 50s Prime Time Cafe ranks among Hollywood Studios restaurants? Check out our DFB YouTube video of the best (and worst) of the Studios!

Is 50s Prime Time Cafe on your Disney must-do list? Tell us what you love the most! 

What’s New in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom?: April 10, 2018

Welcome to the worlds of Tomorrow, Yesterday, and Fantasy — Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! We’re bringing you What’s New in the ol’ MK — from Spring Break week, y’all!

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!

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What’s New at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom: April 3, 2018

We’ve got all the latest in our What’s New at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom! Come along while we share lots of menu changes, loads of 20th Anniversary merchandise, and a few construction updates!

Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life

Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life

Updated Menus and Eats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Smiling Crocodile has dropped the Salmon BLT from the menu, but the Turkey BLT and Pimento-Cheese BLT happily remain!

No more Salmon BLT at The Smiling Crocodile

No more Salmon BLT at The Smiling Crocodile

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Does Disney World’s Sanaa Restaurant Still Got IT?

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a mecca for unique dining at Walt Disney World.

Whether you’re sampling the buffet at Boma, selecting stellar wines at Jiko, or digging into soulful food at Sanaa, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House and Kidani Village have always been destination eating.

And it’s clear to see why. From the moment that you set foot into one of these restaurants, you are embraced by the warm atmosphere and intrigued by the art of Africa all around you. And then there’s the aroma, which you know means amazing eats await.

Sanaa is the newest of the three Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants, and it’s made its mark on guests since day one. We’ve loved the Indian-Style Bread Service every time we’ve tried it, and the Butter Chicken has stood the test of time.

But I’d been hearing from some of our readers and followers that Sanaa’s time was up. That the experience there wasn’t living up to the hype and the food just wasn’t what it used to be. So I made a reservation and headed over ASAP to experience it again for myself.

Atmosphere

Sanaa is themed and highly visual, with artwork greeting guests from the moment they arrive. The sign outside the restaurant is surrounded by woven baskets of various designs. And while they are stationary, something about their arrangement is still energetic.

Sanaa

Sanaa

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The Best Thing I Ate All Week in Disney World Was At Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.

Brown Derby Lounge is a terrific place to dine if you’re looking for a little Hollywood Flair at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the best part is that there’s no ADR required!

That’s right! You can saunter up to Brown Derby Lounge on a whim and experience the understated elegance and tasty menu that so many have lauded in the Brown Derby Restaurant proper.

We’ve enjoyed our visits here, where Margarita and Martini Flights rule and you almost can’t go wrong with the menu of Brown Derby Restaurant-approved eats. And with outdoor seating on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s a great place for people watching!

During a recent visit to the World, I dropped in for a few plates of food — and left having eaten the best thing I ate in my entire visit! I love being surprised by awesome food — even more so when it’s served in such a great location!

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Bar

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Bar

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New Eats! at Raglan Road in Disney Springs

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs (The Landing, to be more specific!) is a longtime favorite of guests (and DFB!).

And this reputation is well-earned. The whimsical menu is full of innovative takes on Irish classics. And the pub itself is owned and run by two partners from Ireland who have a long history in the pub and food-service business on the emerald isle. So you can be sure — before you even get there — this place is the real deal.

Add to that terrific menu and atmosphere some equally terrific entertainment (live music adds tons of energy to the restaurant every evening and night!) and special events like the Great Irish Hooley,  and — of course! — the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival being held March 16-18, 2018, and you’ve got yourself a dynamic and exciting dining experience!

And we know, we know: Disney Springs is chock full of new dining spots you want to check out. But Raglan Road is pretty foolproof.

Raglan Road

Raglan Road

Let’s pop into the pub!

Atmosphere

Raglan Road has all the makings of a classic Irish pub — from the design of the menu to the design of the building. The details outside include stately columns and lots of glass for some great natural light inside.

Raglan Road -- Outside

Raglan Road — Outside

The pub offers several seating areas, which aids in making a rather large restaurant seem quaint and cozy in each individual dining room. One of these is stage-adjacent, so if you want some great music (and sometimes some energetic dancing!) with your meal, this is the place! A high ceiling and upper windows create and open and bright space.

Dancing Podium and Stage

Dancing Podium and Stage

Raglan Road also offers some elegant seating perfect for a romantic dinner out.

Romantic Dining at Raglan Road

Romantic Dining at Raglan Road

And the wood paneling and thoughtful decor (like the bars that were actually imported from Ireland) really give diners the feeling that this pub has been here forever. It’s cozy and familiar.

Raglan Road Seating

Raglan Road Seating

Now that you’re seated, you’ll want to peruse the truly entertaining menus.

Eats

Raglan Road has ten thousand menus. Okay, maybe not quite that many. But depending on when you visit, you might see a few. Drinks are prolific, with something for everyone. Seriously. Every. One.

Drink Menu

Drink Menu

The Brunch Menu features all the breakfast and lunch options you could possibly want.

Raglan Road Brunch Menu

Raglan Road Brunch Menu

Then there’s the Pub Grub — it’s small and delicious, with favorites from wings to burgers to fish and chips.

Raglan Road Pub Grub

Raglan Road Pub Grub

The Lunch Menu echoes some of the Brunch options and adds a few others as well.

Raglan Road Lunch Menu

Raglan Road Lunch Menu

Finally, the Dinner Menu offers even more delicious meals. I mean, you might need an appetizer just to get through the menu and make your selection.

Raglan Road Menu

Raglan Road Menu

Raglan invited me in to sample some of the new items, including one of the newer drinks on the menu. First up was PJ’s Poison. This is a bright combination of Gunpowder Irish Gin, muddled orange, rhubarb bitters, lemon juice, orange whiskey marmalade, and fever tree tonic with an orange twist. The fruity flavors are refreshing and the bitters and Gin give a bit of a bite.

PJ's Poison

PJ’s Poison

The Hot Whiskey is a classic drink, featuring a floating lemon slice and cloves. It’s Paddy’s Irish Whiskey, brown sugar, cloves, and lemon.

Hot Whiskey

Hot Whiskey

Hot Whiskey is a classic warming drink, and even though central Florida isn’t exactly known for cold temperatures, this winter has seen some chilly days and this helped on one of them!

Hot Whiskey

Hot Whiskey

You know I’m a sucker for all things cheese, so I couldn’t wait to try the Dub Schpuds from the Pub Grub menu. These are herb-roasted potato wedges with a Smithwick’s and Dubliner cheese dip. WHAT?!? I know!! The dip was kind of an “Irish Queso” situation — with a little bit of spice to it. It was smooth and delicious, and is now a serious contender for my favorite cheese dip, up agains the vintage bacon and cheese!

Raglan Road Pub Menu Dub Schpuds

Raglan Road Pub Menu Dub Schpuds

Serious Steak is on the Dinner Menu, and it’s seriously good. This ten ounce sirloin is served with mashed potatoes, battered onion rings, and whiskey peppercorn sauce. The presentation is cool. Who doesn’t want a tower of steak and onion rings?

Raglan Road Serious Steak

Raglan Road Serious Steak

From above, you can see the variety of greens on top, and the tower of food below is hearty and flavorful. I loved the ideal texture of those potatoes, and the steak was salty and savory — just how I like it. That whiskey peppercorn sauce offers even more flavor, if needed.

Serious Steak

Serious Steak

It’s a Porker is a grilled lollipop pork chop with root vegetable mashed potato, pork crackling, and a port and cider jus. This is a classy dish, y’all. The pork was awesome — grilled to get that crispy outer layer of flavor — and tender, moist, and flavorful. Pork is difficult to prepare in restaurants it seems — like chicken, it’s finicky, and you don’t want to under- or overcook it; but the line between the two is very hard to walk. This version was perfect.

It's a Porker at Raglan Road

It’s a Porker at Raglan Road

The presentation was, again, cool. And the proportion of meat to sides was good. Speaking of sides, the root vegetable mash is super fun. A mixture of parsnips, carrots, and potatoes, the flavors were familiar, but still unique. One of the owners of Raglan mentioned that this was the mash of his youth — it’s what lots of kids in Ireland grow up eating at home.

Raglan Road

Raglan Road

The Proud Porkie is Guinness-braised pulled pork with apple chutney and pork crackling on a homemade bun. The crackling adds such a fun crunch to the sandwich. Proud Porkie has everything to be proud of; it’s meaty and flavorful. The chips on the side are also terrific. I could have used a touch more moisture in the pork, but that’s my only complaint.

Proud Porkie at Raglan Road

Proud Porkie at Raglan Road

Now before we talk about Gnocchi Sea, Gnocchi Do, can we just please pause to appreciate these clever names? It’s one of the fun touches that gives Raglan Road so much personality!

Okay, back to this bowl of yumminess. Gnocchi Sea, Gnocchi Do is comprised of handmade potato gnocchi, seared Georges Bank scallops, crispy pork belly, tomatoes, and kale in a white wine butter sauce.

Gnocchi Sea, Gnocchi Do at Raglan Road

Gnocchi Sea, Gnocchi Do at Raglan Road

Every component of this is beautiful — not just to look at but also to taste. The scallops were cooked perfectly, and actually have some great flavor to them. The gnocchi texture was great, but the true stars for me here were the pork belly (natch) and the sauce!

Gnocchi Sea, Gnocchi Do Close-Up

Gnocchi Sea, Gnocchi Do Close-Up

Dessert was the Chef’s Dessert Flight, featuring four small portions of the restaurant’s desserts. These selections can vary, so your server will let you know what’s on the flight during your visit. On my visit I received Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding, Chocolate Heaven, Fluffy Lemon Clouds, and Apple Crumble. All were delicious, but the fluffy lemon clouds is the pick for this lemon curd fan.

Chef's Dessert Sampler at Raglan Road

Chef’s Dessert Sampler at Raglan Road

One of my main criticisms of Raglan Road (and there aren’t very many), is that the Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding — a guest favorite and a classic on the menu — is dry. If you order the large portion, you’ll get two sides of sauce, and I highly recommend dumping the whole thing out on a plate and pouring the sauces over the entirety instead of trying to get the sauce where it needs to be in the service cup. But in this mini-portion, there’s not nearly enough sauce served on top, and so you end up with mostly dry bread pudding. Which is basically just bread. So…here’s hoping they fix that and get a version that looks more like House Of Blues’ Bourbon Bread Pudding or ‘Ohana’s Banana Bread Pudding, both of which are truly epic.

Ready for St. Paddy’s Day??

DON’T FORGET! If you’re anywhere near Raglan on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll definitely want to make your way there on March 16, 17, or 18, 2018, for the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival. There will be tons of live entertainment on multiple stages — indoors and out! Plus you can order from multiple menus — so there will be no shortage of satisfying eats and festive cheer!

Stay tuned for a DFB post all about this year’s festival, coming up soon!

Nosh or Not?

You’ll want to navigate to Raglan Road if: 

  • You love a lively dining experience.
  • You’re a comfort food fan — especially if it’s done really well with unique elements.
  • You want to see Irish food done right.
  • You want a guaranteed good experience in Disney Springs.

You might want to make your way elsewhere if: 

  • You don’t care for Irish food.
  • You’re not planning to spend much time in Disney Springs.
  • You want to try one of the many new dining options in Disney Springs.

Overall

Raglan Road has such a terrific vibe — like you’re hanging out in a cozy Irish pub where the servers and staff are some of your good buds. And the food is seriously good. Master Chef Kevin Dundon’s recent departure has not interrupted the quality of the food or the service, and I’ll be back (even with the zillion new dining experiences in Disney Springs).

Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to dine complimentary as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by Raglan Road to try some of their new and popular offerings. Note that when we attend as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ

Is Tiffins in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Worth Two Disney Dining Plan Credits?

If you are looking for an eclectic meal in the heart of Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, Tiffins could be the right choice. Open just under two years, Tiffins is a Signature Dining experience — which means it requires two Disney Dining Plan table service credits (or quite an investment from your wallet).

But guests agree that dining in Tiffins is as much about the atmosphere as it is the food. The restaurant is inspired by travel and the wonderful adventures that take place when one steps out of one’s comfort zone. You’ll see nods to travel quite literally everywhere — from wall to wall. You’ll also find love for animals and conservation in the artwork at Tiffins, in keeping with the Park’s theme.

The food at Tiffins is an interesting blend of flavors and ingredients from around the globe, and it’s generally enjoyed by guests who yearn for something adventurous in their dining. Tiffins, and her sister Nomad Lounge, adjust their menus with some regularity (particularly on the Small Plates menus), so if you plan on dining here, you’ll want to keep an eye on the menus.

Tiffins Sign, with tiffins on top

Tiffins Sign, with tiffins on top

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Review and Tips: Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

We hear it again and again (and we’ve said it ourselves): Cinderella’s Royal Table is a must at least once in your Disney World vacation life.

And most guests who’ve dined in this hard-to-book restaurant inside Cinderella Castle agree that you’re really not there for the food. But the ambiance! The princesses! The views! The whole dining experience (did we mention it’s inside the castle?!) is the draw, even if the food is… a little hit or miss.

And it’s that experience that keeps Cinderella’s Royal Table hopping — with Advance Dining Reservations (ADR) ideally being made right at the 180 day mark — 180 days before the first day of your vacation. (Learn more about making dining reservations at Disney restaurants here.)

If you do get an ADR, prepare to be dazzled by the decor and wooed by the energy in the restaurant. You definitely get the sense that you’re in a special space, and with princesses swooping in for a chat and wishing stars waving in the air, it’s a one of a kind meal.

Cinderella's Royal Table

Cinderella’s Royal Table

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Review: SO MANY Good (NEW!) Eats at The Plaza Restaurant in Walt Disney World

The Plaza Restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is a classic.

From its prime location at the Cinderella Castle end of Main Street, USA, to its elegant decor and moderately priced menu, The Plaza Restaurant is a truly great value. And the menu is family friendly (including those bottomless milkshakes!), so it’s easy to enjoy a meal with your whole crew.

But flashier dining options have relegated The Plaza to the realm of hidden gems.

And, honestly, we’re kind of okay with that. Because when Be Our Guest is booked solid, The Plaza is often a gettable alternative. And with a few new menu items, my most recent visit was a total home run.

Plaza Sign

Plaza Sign

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