First Time at The Plaza

Credit: DisneyFoodBlog.com

If you tell any seasoned Disney World veteran your trip is twenty-seven days out and you still need dining reservations, they’ll probably have a heart attack. This is what happened to me, when I booked my trip way less than 180 days out, and realized I needed to make ADRs ASAP. Of course, with my vacation coming up fast, all the good restaurants were booked solid. That’s when I stumbled on a 5:30 PM opening for Magic Kingdom’s “The Plaza Restaurant.” Having never eaten there, I decided to book it.

The day of my reservation, I arrived nearly a half hour early. I had just gotten off Pirates, and there wasn’t enough time for another ride, so I figured I might as well go check in for dinner. Even though it was prime dinner time, I was seated immediately. I followed my hostess to a very cramped table. I’m not picky when it comes to where I’m being sat, but if I had moved even an inch to the left, I would have been brushing shoulders with the guy next to me. I was able to live with this though, as I was seated across from a giant window. It mostly overlooked the Tomorrowland Terrance bathrooms, but if I turned my head a little to the left, I had a great view of the castle.

When my waiter came over to take my drink order, I was informed they didn’t have Seltzer – I was crushed. I have a mild addiction to Seltzer, and I fully believe there is no better drink to have after a long day of walking around the parks in the blistering heat. So I decided to settle for lemonade, which in my opinion, is the second-best drink to have after a day of sweating profusely. I also went ahead and ordered the meatloaf.

I’m not even exaggerating when I say less than five minutes later my meal was placed in front of me. This was a plus since at the moment I was feeling brave enough to go on Space Mountain by myself, and that bravery would only last so long. Anyway what was put in front of me was the biggest slice of meatloaf I have ever seen in my entire life. It was huge! It might have even been bigger than my head (and this is coming from someone with a relatively large noggin.) It came with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and green beans, and was topped off with an onion ring. It was time to feast.

As soon as I swallowed the first bite of meatloaf, I was sad. It was very dry. Even with the gravy sitting underneath it, I thought I was eating sandpaper. I’m a huge meatloaf fan, so I was a little disappointed. I was also comparing it to 50’s Prime Time Café’s meatloaf, which is hands down the best meatloaf I’ve ever had… Maybe it’s not fair to compare the two since the latter has such a special place in my heart, but I was hoping it’d have been better considering Disney makes both meatloaves. If it’s any consolation, the mashed potatoes were pretty good. I’ve realized that Disney must have a basic mashed potato recipe for most of their restaurants, because these tasted exactly like the ones I had earlier at Hollywood & Vine. The onion ring was also not bad. The outside was crispy, but the inside had a weird doughy texture, although I kind of liked it. I think it can be best described as having too much batter, but I’m an avid fan of fried batter, so I could dig it. And naturally, as someone who enjoys fried batter, I don’t like vegetables, so I passed on the green beans. ;)

I’m sure if I complained about my meatloaf to my waiter, Disney would have offered me some kind of solution. I didn’t even think to do this though, which I’m kicking myself for now. On the one hand, I think there’s better restaurants on Disney property, so I’d probably skip The Plaza next time, however they do have bottomless milkshakes, so maybe I could be persuaded to give it another try! What do you guys think? Have you ever eaten at The Plaza before? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!

Julia is one of our contributors that specializes in Disney food and merchandise. If you're looking for some fun swag to buy or food to devour, check out her articles!

7 Comments

  1. nice article! I’m sorry your experience wasn’t the best. We’ve eaten there several times and every time it’s been very good. My wife and I split the meatloaf there and have loved it. That’s not to say all of our dining experiences on property have been ideal, but we’ve had good luck at the Plaza, and for the prices it’s a good choice. Hopefully next time it’ll be better for you.

    • thanks! and maybe i will give it another chance… like i said in the article, they have bottomless milkshakes, so i’d go again, even for just that LOL

  2. Meatloaf is cooked and then set under a heater. The shape of your slice looks like an end piece which would indicate it sat for a bit under the lamp. That could explain the dryness. Had you asked, I bet they would have brought you a fresh slice.

    In the scheme of restaurants The Plaza is a middle of the road place for me. Ive eaten there but it isnt cuisine to me. It is good food, typically fast.

    • oooh, i’d have to agree with you. it wasn’t awful, per say, but yeah it’s definitely more like “fast food”

  3. Oh i am so sad it was not a good experience for you. We discovered the Plaza way back in the mid-90’s and used to go every trip, so often the same server would remember us. With all the new dining options now we don’t go as often, but the main reason was always for the milkshakes! so I am thrilled they are now bottomless. I have honestly never tried the meatloaf in either place (though now I want to try 50s!), I usually order the Reuben (which is typically awesome) or one of their huge salads. I think it was better before it became someplace that accepted ADRs since now they are trying to get everyone in and out on a schedule, but I still think give it maybe one more try….and yes, make sure to get the milkshake :)

  4. I haven’t been to the Plaza since maybe fifteen years ago. I had the ham sandwich i wasn’t please, but the menu looks better the Baked Honey-Barbecued Brisket Mac & Cheese looks good.

  5. As some have said, the only thing consistent about Disney restaurants is their inconsistency. I’ve eaten at the Plaza once, a number of years ago. I had a very good club sandwich and milkshake there, but it’s kind of hard to mess those up :)

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