On a recent visit to Walt Disney World, I made it my mission to visit some of my favorite spots. And when it came time to dine in Magic Kingdom, I knew I wanted to visit a classic —The Plaza Restaurant
Sure, Magic Kingdom has the hot ticket, Be Our Guest Restaurant. And I have so many counter service favorites here, it’s hard to keep track of them all. But when it comes to the crossroads of nostalgia, value, and a (fairly) easy advance dining reservation to score, nothing compares to The Plaza.
I bet you’ve passed it on a dozen visits and never given it a second thought. Allow me to show you around a bit, and maybe even change your mind.
The Plaza Restaurant occupies some primo Magic Kingdom real estate. You’ll find it at the corner of where Main Street USA joins with the bridge to Tomorrowland.
Its central location makes it accessible to all corners of the park, so it’s a great spot to dine, especially if you’d like to take a break from touring and enjoy your meal at a more leisurely pace.
The restaurant isn’t very large. It’s made up of two main dining areas. The first room is pretty, comfortable, and bright, with lots of natural light. The mirrors, which feature ornate etching, also reflect the light and make the space feel larger.
The art nouveau decor is in keeping with the rest of Main Street, and the pastel palette is pretty timeless. I especially love these delicate brass light fixtures.
Attached to the main dining room is a smaller, octagonal room that’s filled with windows. It looks a bit like a conservatory (without the glass ceiling), or maybe a patio or gazebo that’s been walled in. While it is a beautiful space, the hard floors can make it a bit loud for my taste, and banquette seating means that I’ll spend my meal listening to my neighbor’s conversation. (Totally true. This visit I was seated at that little round table with two big parties on either side of me. I pretty much knew all of their plans by the time I was finished.)
Here’s a nice close-up of a table in the main dining area. Kind of feels like eating in Grandma’s parlor, right?
Spending time on Main Street USA means that you’re likely to run into some of the town’s most notable characters. This is one of those fun Magic Kingdom traditions that unite us with the customs of the past; we’ve enjoyed visits with the Mayor as we dined before.
But this time out, it was the Fire Chief who paid a visit! He had important business to attend to, as he handed out the Mayor of the Day Badge to this Lucky Young Guest! (By the way — the prize for being chosen Mayor of the Day? One fastpass for your whole family to any ride you choose.)
Usually the Mayor himself handles this important task; we are assuming he was on vacation and had left the Fire Chief in charge of things. 🙂
After a look around to see that everything was just the way I had left it on my last visit (it was), it was time to settle down and take a look at the menu.
And do you know what? I found something new!
Normally, the Plaza menu doesn’t change much, but right at the top, I spied something I hadn’t tried before — the Meatloaf Meal! Consider this your foreshadowing for the day…
Meatloaf aside, the menu at the Plaza tends to lean heavily on the sandwich genre, with one notable Salad thrown in for good measure.
I’ve already hinted at the first entree we decided to try. Yep — I couldn’t pass up the Meatloaf Meal.
Served with Red Skinned Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and Whole Kernel Corn, this thing was ah-mazing!!!
The Meatloaf has little bits of onion and is super flavorful. The Baked Ketchup Topping provided a little sweetness, while the Beef Gravy added even more awesomeness. I know ordering meatloaf at a restaurant isn’t always a great idea. But this, like, the best idea I had all day. I’ve been craving it ever since!
The Angus Chuck Cheeseburger has been a menu staple for a while, but we had to go for the newer Beef Brisket Onion Burger. Sandwiches at the Plaza come with your choice of Broccoli Slaw, Homemade Chips, or French Fries. While the chips were tempting, we decided to stick with Fries as my side.
This is one serious meatlover’s burger. The Hamburger itself is topped with a helping of shredded Beef Brisket, cooked with Onions. But it also comes with Bacon. And because that’s not decadent enough, it’s capped off with a slice of Provolone Cheese.
How was it? Well, I’d say we have a new contender for the “What’s Your Favorite Disney Burger?” poll. Because it’s really great. (Not “meatloaf great,” but very good.) I was really surprised by the moistness of both the burger and the brisket.
Well, it wasn’t easy to top that, but we knew we wanted something for dessert. And when you’re at The Plaza Restaurant, dessert nearly always equals Ice Cream! With the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor right next door, it’s a no-brainer. 🙂
We decided to go with a Hot Fudge Sundae. It’s nothing fancy, but it hit the spot!
And I also snuck in an order for the Mickey Ears Kids’ Sundae — a Mickeylodeon, if you will. This is what your kiddos can order as dessert on the dining plan, and it comes with your choice of ice cream. Pretty cute, right?
And whether you call it a Beverage or Dessert, if you’re a Milkshake fan, do NOT pass up the opportunity to enjoy one of these hand-dipped babies. It’s an absolute must-have on our Milkshake Crawl Challenge!
With another great Plaza meal added to our experience, off we went to enjoy the day.
Oh Plaza. You are everything that we hope still exists when it comes to food at Walt Disney World.
Even these days, there is comparative value to be found. And The Plaza Restaurant is an excellent example of that. With entrees priced just a little higher than some counter service spots, it’s hard to believe that you can eat this well, and still enjoy a table service experience. But it’s there. And it’s consistently good. And I rarely have a problem getting a table, even at the last minute.
Add to that the fact that I enjoy the breathtaking views of Cinderella Castle and that feeling of history that the restaurant instills, and I’d say that The Plaza Restaurant definitely fills a niche in your Magic Kingdom dining plans. If you haven’t tried The Plaza Restaurant, make room in your itinerary to do so. I think you’ll appreciate it.
Have you enjoyed a meal at The Plaza Restaurant? Join the discussion below by adding your recommendations in comments!