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Orlando Family Travel Guide 2015 - The Plaza Restaurant Review & Tips

orlando family travel guide the plaza restaurant review & tips
The Plaza Restaurant in Disney World is on Main Street USA to the right when you get to the opening at the end of the main street when facing Magic Kingdom. It does require reservations.

The Plaza Restaurant in a Nutshell

Who doesn't want to eat at The Plaza ... even if it is only Disney's version?



The Plaza Restaurant in Disney is meant to be a family-friendly, reservations-only dining experience with an elegant design. While I've never specifically read on Disney's site that The Plaza Restaurant in Disney is inspired by The Plaza Restaurant in NYC, it obviously is with its garden-esque decor, chandeliers and use of mirrors/windows. The Plaza Restaurant in Disney isn't super large on the inside, but they make fairly good use of the space. We've seen The Plaza in NYC (talk about elegant) and it was almost amusing to see the restaurant in Disney with its elegant design serve such casual fare with guests in their casual clothes. 

Dining reservations are required; they do not have a quick service side. 

Date Visited: March 3, 2015

Occupied Seating Levels: Full

Reservations: Required

Dress: Casual

Type of Food: American fare

Age Range Appeal: all ages; they offer both children's and adult menus; children's menus have fun activities on them and children are given crayons

Special Note: Good value for the money for a park restaurant that requires reservations, from our experience. For those on special diets, we didn't feel there were many options, especially for those that avoid wheat/gluten on the lunch menu. However, if that's not an issue there's a reasonable selection of typical lunch fare options.


The Plaza Restaurant at Disney World Tips

  • Make a reservation in advance if you know you want to eat here. They do not take walk-in diners.
  • There are no bathrooms inside, so we recommend heading to the bathrooms to the left of the restaurant (if your back is to Magic Kingdom) between The Plaza Restaurant and Tomorrowland Terrace prior to heading in.
  • Prices are reasonable compared to other reservation dining options in the park! In fact, we found they were comparable to a lot of the things offered at Wolfgang Puck Express for example, which is quick service (and not some place we suggest going based on value and our experience with service). We discussed our experience at Wolfgang Puck Express in our Downtown Disney feature.
  • Last-minute reservations can be gotten IF someone cancels last-minute. We weren't originally planning on eating here, but actually found that a few people had canceled their lunch reservations and we got in around 1:10 pm. Download the Disney Go app and it'll allow you to check things like this while you're in the park! We find the Droid app a little glitchy with making reservations at times, so we checked on the app then had to make the reservation through our mobile browser on the site after several attempts through the app. Still a convenient way to check quickly, however.
  • Not super special-diet friendly in our experience--if you're trying to avoid wheat. Almost every item on the menu is a sandwich with only 1 salad and 1 meatloaf meal listed (we don't know if they use gluten in the meatloaf, but we find that's often the case).


The Plaza Restaurant at Disney World

Overall, our experience was positive. The food was good for the value (for theme park prices) and we found that it was filled with other families! It was really great to sit down in a calmer (compared to the buzz out in the park) environment with air conditioning to enjoy our meal.

orlando family travel guide 2015 the plaza restaurant review & tips
Decor here was quite pretty and the mirrors on all of the walls in the main section where we were seated opened it up quite a bit despite being a fairly small space.

orlando family travel guide 2015 the plaza restaurant review & tips
The other section of the restaurant had a more "glass greenhouse" feel to it. We were seated near the main entrance in the main section of the restaurant shown above.

orlando family travel guide 2015 the plaza restaurant review & tips
orlando family travel guide 2015 the plaza restaurant review & tips
This was our youngest's meal. He has a lot of sensory and eating issues and is very hard to feed, so he does eat wheat (he was tested for wheat allergies and checked for Celiac and has issues with neither). He is a big fan of fruit, so the fact he could get fruit with his grilled cheese (which he normally won't eat) was a big plus for him. He ate his entire sandwich, which was probably largely due to how long he'd been walking that day. He loved the goldfish bread; he'd never seen it before as we only feed the boys natural/organic brands at home, so thought it was fun!

orlando family travel guide 2015 the plaza restaurant review & tips
Mom ordered the Reuben with fries. Despite being allergic to wheat (intestinal distress, migraines and some muscle pain, nothing life-threatening), she really didn't want yet another salad (one is listed on the menu), so she decided to carpe-diem it up! It was delicious, though of course she paid for it later ;) 

orlando family travel guide 2015 the plaza restaurant review & tips
Big bro ordered chicken fingers and fries. Their children's menu is pretty standard for what you'd expect at a general American fare restaurant. He really enjoyed it.

orlando family travel guide 2015 the plaza restaurant review & tips
Dad ordered a steak and cheese. While Dad normally doesn't eat gluten, he too found that most of the options were sandwiches so he opted to get something more filling than the one salad listed as we'd been walking around all day and still had many hours left in the park.

Final Thoughts

The Plaza Restaurant offers a fairly simple lunch menu and decent portions. Food quality, for the park, is good compared to the prices. While the menu is limited when it comes to some special dietary requirements in our opinions, it should be fine for those that aren't limited. The menu features a list of sandwiches, 1 meatloaf meal (would have to inquire if flour/gluten is used) and 1 salad. Obviously, you could see if you could get one of the sandwiches without the bread (though cross-contamination may be an issue if they don't ensure gluten-free meals), but as those of you that also avoid gluten/wheat know ... it's not really the way you want to have to go.

The inside of the restaurant is fairly small and some areas between tables were a tiny bit cramped (we were seated next to a large post and between 2 other tables), but the round tables help to make it feel a little more intimate between you and your family members. 

Service overall was pretty good, though for a quick lunch you obviously don't require too much. The location is easy to get to as long as you plan in advance to be there for your reserved time since it's in the center of the park.

We did wish they had bathrooms inside as Mom had to leave mid-meal to take Big Bro to the bathroom. While the walk to the restrooms between The Plaza and Tomorrowland Terrace isn't super far, it's a bit inconvenient and of course you're using large public restrooms with big crowds that get lots of use in the middle of your meal.

Overall, a great option if you want something reasonably priced (for the parks), don't have a lot of dietary restrictions and wish to sit in air conditioning while you eat.

Don't forget to check out all of our features from our 2015 Orlando Family Travel Guide:
Note: This trip was in no way sponsored. All opinions mentioned above are our own based on our experiences.

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