Magic Kingdom’s least expensive table service restaurant is getting a nearly-complete menu overhaul, with over a dozen new items added as well as a few classic (and not-so-iconic) appetizers and entrees removed. Most notably, it’s getting several new milkshakes and desserts that look incredible.
All of this is at the the Plaza Restaurant, located at the end of Main Street USA and offering views of Cinderella Castle. Directly next door to the Ice Cream Parlor, the Plaza Restaurant is located in a high traffic area of Magic Kingdom. Despite this, for years it was never very busy and operated on a walk-up basis. It was one of Walt Disney World’s more casual in-park restaurants that was easy to do at the last minute.
Which is exactly why the Plaza Restaurant used to be so inexpensive. Of course, all of that is past tense now. The Plaza Restaurant’s popularity has exploded…and so too have its prices. It’s still technically the cheapest table service restaurant in Magic Kingdom if you want it to be, but the title (“once-cheapest”) reflects the reality of that not always being the case. Those with bigger appetites who would order an appetizer or dessert in addition to an entree are probably going to spend less at Liberty Tree Tavern or the Diamond Horseshoe.
This new menu is the latest in a long line of menu changes at the Plaza Restaurant, which seems to be perpetually tweaking its appetizers and entrees, adding and removing items more than most locations in Magic Kingdom. We’ve seen a lot come and go in recent years, from the beloved Fried Green Tomato Sandwich to the Monte Cristo.
At its core, the Plaza Restaurant’s menu has remained relatively constant in terms of cuisine. The food is mostly American greasy spoon and soda-fountain classics. It’s actually a lot like the Magic Kingdom’s version of Beaches & Cream, albeit not nearly as iconic (at least, in my opinion).
Let’s start with what was removed from the menu at the Plaza Restaurant. To the best of our recollection and notes, three appetizers have bitten the dust: the Chili, BLT Salad, and Seared Crab Cakes. It’s safe to say that there are no major losses here. We had the chili last fall, and it tasted like it came straight from a can (Walt would’ve loved it!).
We can’t speak directly to the quality of the other two items from recent experience, but there’s a reason we don’t order crab cakes (more like breading cakes) from mid-tier restaurants at Walt Disney World. As for the BLT Salad, perhaps it was good–but our experience with other salads here suggests the Plaza Restaurant is “behind the times” when it comes to inventive, tasty, and delicious salads.
As for the entrees that were removed, this is more of a mixed bag. The Main Street Burger, Sirloin Steak Salad, and the Plaza Reuben Sandwich have all gone missing. Perhaps not this week, but sometime in the last few months since we last checked the menu. According to Sarah, the Sirloin Steak Salad is no big loss.
Although I haven’t had the Reuben in a long time (perhaps not even this version of it?), that’s the type of dish that feels appropriate for the Plaza Restaurant to serve. The big loss is the Main Street Burger–a basic diner-style burger, but topped with egg and served on a deliciously dusted bun. That was my favorite item on the menu, and one of the better burgers in all of Walt Disney World.
Honestly, a big part of the reason it was the #1 option was because everything else at the Plaza Restaurant was so weak. They had removed the Monte Cristo and other items that debuted for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Not to mention many more ambitious dishes from pre-closure…or the surprisingly good breakfast service at the Plaza.
Suffice to say, a new menu here is long overdue. Let’s take a look at the dishes that have been added to the menu at the Plaza Restaurant…
- Onion Rings — Served with Mild Horseradish Dipping Sauce ($10)
- House Salad — Mixed Greens, Sliced Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Maple Vinaigrette ($10)
- Crab Cake Sandwich (pictured immediately above) — Griddled and served with Lettuce, Tomato, and Rémoulade Sauce on a Potato Roll ($26)
- Pot Roast Stack (pictured above appetizers) — Slow-roasted Beef piled high on Thick-cut Toast with Mashed Potatoes, Caramelized Onion Gravy, and Onion Rings ($24)
- Bacon Cheeseburger — Angus Beef Signature-blend Patty, Smoked Bacon, Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, and Signature Sauce on a Potato Roll ($23)
- Impossible Chili Burger — Impossible Burger topped with Impossible Chili, Pico de Gallo, and Plant-based Cheddar on a Potato Roll ($23)
- Chef’s Salad — Roasted Turkey, Smoked Ham, Swiss, Cheddar, Hard-boiled Eggs, Tomatoes, and Cucumber over Romaine served with your choice of Dressing ($20)
- Chicken Waldorf Salad — Mixed Lettuces with Pulled Chicken, Spiced Pecans, Apples, Grapes, Celery, and Blue Cheese tossed in Apple Cider Vinaigrette ($20)
- Triple Decker Turkey Club Sandwich — House-roasted Turkey, Smoked Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Lemon-Pepper Mayonnaise on Sourdough Toast ($19)
- Key Lime Artisanal Milkshake – Hand-dipped Vanilla Ice Cream blended with Key Lime Curd and Graham Cracker Crumbs ($8.25)
- Chocolate Pecan Brownie Artisanal Milkshake – Hand-dipped Chocolate Ice Cream blended with Spiced Pecans, Brownies, and Chocolate Sauce ($8.25)
- Strawberry Shortcake Artisanal Milkshake – Hand-dipped Strawberry Ice Cream blended with Vanilla Cake and Strawberries ($8.25)
- Chocolate Layer Cake – Served with Caramel Popcorn Mousse ($10)
- Cotton Candy Cheesecake – Served with Fresh Berries ($10)
In terms of commentary, there have been 14 options added and only 6 dishes removed, for a net gain of 8 items. Given that we’re still waiting on many Walt Disney World restaurants to restore their pre-closure menu depth, this is a win solely from the perspective of the numbers. Aside from breakfast service still missing, the Plaza Restaurant looks more or less how it did pre-closure.
It’s also fair to say that the Plaza has always had its ups and downs, and is the most straightforward table service restaurant in Magic Kingdom. No one is eating here for envelope-pushing cuisine, or an adventurous and ambitious menu. To that point, if I had to rank menus in “need” of new menus, this wouldn’t have even made the list. The update is good to see, but I would’ve preferred a restoration of the full menu at Liberty Tree Tavern and a number of other locations.
It’s difficult to assess the changes without, you know, eating the food. But most of the additions to the appetizer and entree lists strike me as kinda “meh.” Which, again, is totally fine. The Plaza Restaurant is not chasing any Michelin stars. The Crab Cake Sandwich is certainly interesting, but seems like a big gamble and is not something that I’d personally order for enjoyment. (“Research” is a different story.)
The salads seem more ambitious than what was there before, but don’t really capture my attention. Same goes with both of the two burgers, which are relatively basic. The club sandwich is a welcome addition, and a variation on something that’s been served at the Plaza for years. (It’s exactly what you’d expect it to be.) Really, only the Pot Roast Stack stands out. I’m genuinely excited to try that.
Desserts are a totally different story. While there’s always trepidation that photogenic desserts might not taste as good as they look–or look so good because they contain enough artificial coloring and flavoring to be banned in Europe–I’m optimistic that these will deliver. The Cotton Candy Cheesecake is the biggest wildcard on this front. That has “Instagrammable” written all over it…but also looks amazing!
The Plaza Restaurant’s milkshakes have always been good, and the more inventive options should continue that trend. As someone who is a sucker for Chocolate Layer Cake, I’m really excited for that–especially with the caramel popcorn mousse. If this can manage to be on par with the comparable cakes served over at the Contemporary, it’ll make the Plaza Restaurant worthy of a detour.
Ultimately, even though it wouldn’t have been my top priority for an overhaul, it’s nice to see the Plaza Restaurant expanding its menu. The desserts look and sound absolutely fantastic, and I’d imagine those will be the big draw for Walt Disney World fans enticed by this update. It’s also good to see the Plaza Loaded Fries sticking around, as those are a fan favorite.
Otherwise, my view is that the Plaza Restaurant still probably needs a couple of its own iconic twists on homestyle diner classics that can become menu mainstays served for decades to come, that generations of Walt Disney World fans will enjoy. I guess maybe the meatloaf is that or the pot roast will be it? Personally, I had hoped that the Monte Cristo would be that, becoming as much of a Main Street “institution” as it is in New Orleans Square at Disneyland.
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What are your thoughts on the new menu at the Plaza Restaurant? Do these dishes make you more or less likely to dine here? Would you like to see something ‘iconic’ added to the lineup of appetizers or entrees, or are you satisfied the Plaza as-is? Do you view the Plaza Restaurant as one of Walt Disney World’s hidden gems or think it’s overrated and overpriced? What dishes do you like here? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!