The Plaza Restaurant: Home-style cooking on Main Street

by Roan Poulter, contributing writer

I thought I had scoured the Magic Kingdom for affordable dining options. Those who frequent my reviews will note that I have struggled (exception: Skipper’s Canteen) to find my favorite niche. I like sit down restaurants with a wait staff, not a buffet or character dining, with pricing that is 10 percent - 25 percent more than counter-service restaurants in the area. I really love an Annual Passholder discount. I had nearly given up stumbling upon one, but as luck would have it I was missing an absolute gem.

Pay no heed to the hoardes of Starbucks deotees, the Plaza awaits. Photo by Roan Poulter

The Plaza Restaurant was set just far enough behind the Starbucks and its twitching line of caffeine junkies that I had missed it. Amazing, considering the Plaza in Disneyland is my pick for "World’s Greatest Fried Chicken."

I would ask to sit in the Solarium next time. Photo by Roan Poulter

We approached the host kiosk to inquire about a table. Considering it was a weekend, I thought they would laugh, but our streak of luck with no planning whatsoever held and we only waited 10 minutes for a table.

Inside was smaller than I would have thought. It would have been nice to sit in the solarium with a slightly better view, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The menu focuses on comfort food, and glad I was for that. Southern staples like Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches, Baked Honey-Barbecued Brisket Mac & Cheese, and the Plaza Club ground the cuisine into a Main Street fare that Walt himself might have enjoyed. What was conspicuously missing was the fried chicken. I cannot say whether I was relieved or disappointed not being able to compare the two Plaza fried chickens. The epic showdown is just one menu change away, for my taste buds recall closely the legendary deliciousness of the Plaza chicken. Moving on.

However, my favorite part of our meal was the surprise discount for being valued Annual Passholders. Honestly, I thought I had looked over my passholder guide thoroughly, but I missed one.

A very pleasant server made our meal time wonderful. Photo by Roan Poulter

What we had:

Note that this is only a half portion of deliciousness. Photo by Roan Poulter

Home-Style Meatloaf : Hearty slices of meatloaf served with red skinned garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, and seasonal vegetables. A hearty delight, the beef seasoned to perfection and covered in gravy. The potatoes were excellent, smacking of homemade. As we were splitting the meal, they brought the half portions on separate plates, each of which felt sufficient for one.

The boy tore through this sandwich with a vengeful hunger. Photo by Roan Poulter

Cheese Steak Sandwich: Shaved beef grilled with onions, mushrooms, red peppers, and white american cheese served on a hoagie roll with choice of seasonal vegetables, homemade chips, or french fries. Flavorful steak with the correct density of French bread roll to correspondingly hold up against the beef juices and plausible chewability.

The soul drenching chocolate masterpiece, not for the faint of heart. Photo by Roan Poulter

Signature Chocolate Cake: Four-layer chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate ganache. A succulent dessert so rich my heart nearly stopped. This is truly a chocolate- lovers delight, the heavy cake and frosting somehow outdone by an impossibly dense ganache. Best split among many, lest my teeth begin to ache a little.

Our ratings are as follows:

  • Dad (42): 4.7 of 5–Best value in the Magic Kingdom. Comfort food at its finest. But it was odd that they don’t have a bathroom, you must walk out into the park.
  • Mom (42): 4.5 of 5 – –Delicious if a bit on the heavy side. Next time will try something lighter.
  • Daughter (19): Not present.
  • Son (17): 4.7 of 5–Since my sister wasn’t there, didn’t have to split. Sounds like a winner to me, the Philly was just icing on top; and, of course, the icing on top of the chocolate cake that I ate most of.   

Bonus Tip: They are hand-dipping corn dogs at the Sleepy Hollow concession stand in Liberty Square. Photo by Roan Poulter

Reviewer’s Request: If you have a restaurant you’ve always wanted reviewed, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise I’m wandering the parks, forced to stumble upon some worthy establishment by dumb luck. Please realize that I won’t be able to eat at Victoria and Albert’s every week, I live on a budget, too, ya know.




  1. By danyoung

    I had many trip to WDW under my belt before I even knew that the Plaza existed. I'd eat there more often if I wasn't under obligation to say hi to Sonny Eclipse. The Plaza makes a mean reuben!

  2. By DisneyGator

    Not sure about these days, but back when we'd visit WDW pre-2013, we'd never go to Plaza Inn. The reason being we had the DDP and Plaza cost a table service. But it always seemed like they served CS style food. Next time we go, we won't have the DDP...and we'll give this place a shot!

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