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Where to eat: Lunch at The Plaza Restaurant at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

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Published: October 21, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Our trip this fall completed a mini quest of our family's. We completed eating at every table service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. I know, it would be more impressive if I said we completed eating at every place in Epcot, but it is still a small victory. Remember, I am surrounded by men with extreme forms of pickiness. The Plaza Restaurant was on the list of places we had not tried along with Cinderella's Royal Table. I have always been curious about the Plaza. You just never really hear anything about it.

The Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza Restaurant is in many ways hidden. As you walk down Main Street U.S.A., your eyes are naturally drawn towards Cinderella's castle. But to the right is a pathway leading to Tomorrowland, and nestled in is the Plaza Restaurant. Many people go into the Plaza's Ice Cream Parlor without knowing that next door is a table service restaurant. I scheduled lunch for us on a day that we planned on attending Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. We would end up going to three parties during this trip. This was party day number two. We had eaten breakfast at The Crystal Palace and had dinner plans for the Liberty Tree Tavern. The Plaza seemed like a nice choice to have lunch and a needed break from our busy schedule.

This is one place that I had not previously researched. I had glanced at the kid's menu to make sure that there was something my boys would eat, and made the reservation. The Plaza is a pretty place. It is very bright with the windows and lovely chandeliers. The colors are all gold, white, and yellow. With all this though, there just seems to be something missing. Maybe it is because of the heavily themed restaurants we were eating at this vacation, but the Plaza seems to be lacking a bit of pixie dust. I understand it is set during the gay 90's, but would one know this if you didn't know the history behind Main Street U.S.A.? Hmm. I wonder.

Interior of The Plaza Restaurant

We soon were brought our menus. Sam ordered the child's grilled cheese sandwich with French fries, while Luke chose the cheeseburger and fries. Chuck went with the Plaza Club with broccoli slaw. I pulled a bit of When Harry Met Sally. I changed the way a menu item was originally listed. I really wanted the vegetarian sandwich. I did not, though, want it with hummus and cucumber. It came with pesto and tomatoes on focaccia, which was all that I wanted, along with the other two. I love tomato sandwiches. I do not like hummus or cucumber. The waiter was very patient with me and after questioning whether or not I was a vegetarian or vegan, he made a suggestion. He suggested that I order it with grilled chicken breasts. I decided to give it a try with the chicken breasts added.

Vegetarian Sandwich
A modified Vegetarian Sandwich, with grilled chicken substituted for the hummus and cucumber. Served with pesto, tomato, mozzarella, and lettuce on focaccia. (Regular sandwich is $11.99)

Our orders were quickly brought to our table. The boys were content with their selections and dove right in. Chuck did not enjoy the broccoli slaw. He is a fan of both broccoli and slaw, but did not care for it. His club sandwich was good, nothing outstanding.

The Plaza Club
The Plaza Club ($12.49)

My concoction of the vegetarian sandwich was good. I ordered fries with mine, since I am not a fan of slaw. While we were eating, a cast member dressed in the style of the 1890's came in and announced that the one hundredth customer of the day had entered. She announced his name to the rest of us, and said that he would get a free sundae. She encouraged us to clap for the gentlemen, and then left. Good luck to all future one hundredth folks.

Our waiter soon returned to get our dessert orders. Chuck asked for a chocolate sundae, Sam wanted a dish of vanilla ice cream, and I decided on a dish of the raspberry sorbet. Luke, being his usual picky six-year old self, surprised the waiter by telling him that he didn't want any dessert. This waiter, after recovering, tried many times to entice him. He offered him ice cream, milkshakes, and even mini cookies and milk. Our Luke could not be tempted. The rest of us though enjoyed our ice cream and sorbet. If you are a fan of raspberries and/or sorbets, then visit the Plaza's Ice Cream Parlor and grab one. I did so a few years ago on a whim, and love getting one each time we visit. This and the revered Dole Whip are a definite must for any visit to the Magic Kingdom.

Raspberry sorbet

Overall, the Plaza Restaurant can be a welcome diversion to the usual quick service lunches that most get while at the Magic Kingdom. It may lack the usual whimsy that one typically finds in a Disney table service eatery, but the different sandwiches offered are a pleasant diversion from the usual chicken nuggets and burgers. Reservations and walk-ins are easily made.

Readers' Opinions

From 24.94.130.98 on October 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM
I ate dinner there approx. two years ago and only remember that the order came out wrong (when I told the waitress, she said the kitchen had been getting things wrong all night) and the terrible din of children screaming bouncing off the walls and ceiling (when I asked the waitress how she stood the horrid acoustics of the place, she said she went home with her ears ringing and her brain numb every night).
From Annette Forrest on October 21, 2013 at 8:55 PM
OMG!!! Today was like the best day ever on TPI. I loved Robert's update and his news about Saving Mr. Banks...and then I got the treat of a new Amanda Jenkins columns!!! I am just so happy right now. Fixing myself a big mug of chai tea and am going to relax and read and savor the wonderfulness of Amanda's terrific food writing. If tomorrow is half as wonderful as today, I am going to be on cloud nine! :)
From Robert Niles on October 21, 2013 at 9:30 PM
We aim to please, Annette. :^)
From Tad Daily on October 22, 2013 at 1:43 AM
Amanda - congratulations on eating at all the sit-down places in the magic kingdom. I gues snow it is time for Disney to build new ones! :) I like the idea of having all the resturants as a goal though. I just eat with no plan in place...I think i should try your approach. :)

Thanks for ANOTHER great review and so quickly!!! Annette is right - this is a great day! :)

From edwin roman on October 22, 2013 at 3:28 AM
We have eaten there several times, making a reservation...one of the few places that would make a burger medium rare if you wanted it, and fresh. Not to mention when we went, a darn good tunafish sandwich. We loved the shakes. I think all the readers would love this place...Small and fast service and not the typical fast food served in the park. Highly recommended.
From James Rao on October 22, 2013 at 5:14 AM
Thanks for sharing, Amanda.

I actually enjoy the Plaza Restaurant quite a bit and consider it to be a hidden treasure. The prices are decent, the food (when we have visited) was very good (the Plaza Club stands out if you ask me, as does the chicken salad with fresh strawberries), the service was top notch, and the desserts (made in the Main Street ice cream parlor) were wonderful. A couple of years ago, in 2010, I was able to feed my family of five (including dessert) for $65, which is a steal, imho. For all these reasons, I regard the Plaza Restaurant as the best full service option in the Magic Kingdom. However, it has been three years since I visited, so things certainly could have dropped off a bit. I will definitely check it out again when I visited sometime in the next year or two.

From Anon Mouse on October 22, 2013 at 9:28 AM
The Disneyland counterpart in Anaheim California is cafeteria style, but most people order pasta, fried chicken, a beef roast, or lunch sized salad and seat themselves. You ordered sandwiches in a table service restaurant. That is an expensive way to eat lunch. I usually skip dessert since the food is so filling.
From Russell Meyer on October 22, 2013 at 9:39 AM
I usually don't get dessert either, but if you're on the DDP, which I believe Amanda mentioned she was during this trip, dessert is included with a TS credit.
From Amanda Jenkins on October 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Thanks everyone.

Yes, we were on a dining plan for this trip. Desserts were included.

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