Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Plaza Restaurant - Magic Kingdom

Last Saturday, we had lunch at The Plaza Restaurant, a table service restaurant located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom.

We love to go the Magic Kingdom in early September, because the summer crowds are gone, and the Halloween decorations are up.  We can pretend the fall is coming soon, even though the daily high temperature is still 90 degrees in September.

We had never been eaten at The Plaza before May of 2014, but once we discovered the awesomeness that is Chef Ken, we have dined there at least six times.  You can read my previous reviews here.  

The Plaza recently adopted an allergy-friendly menu, which lists options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  Even though Disney has adopted allergy-friendly menus at their table service and counter service restaurants, you still always have the option to talk to a chef or manager.  I suggest you talk to a chef at table service restaurants, because the menus usually don't list all the gluten free options that are available, which is definitely the case at The Plaza.  According to the allergy-friendly menu, gluten free options include the following entrees: grilled chicken sandwich topped with shaved ham and Swiss; Angus chuck burger; and the chicken strawberry salad with Zinfandel dressing.  Sandwiches are served with a choice of broccoli slaw, homemade chips, or french fries.  For dessert, fresh fruit, the original banana split, and The Plaza Restaurant Sundae are listed as safe for gluten/wheat allergies.

Kids' Meals that are listed as gluten/wheat friendly include the following:

  • Appetizers - grapes, sliced apples
  • Entrees - hamburger, grilled cheese sandwich, chicken tenders
  • Dessert - fresh fruit

When I mentioned to Chef Ken that the meal I was interested in was not listed as gluten free on the allergy-friendly menu, he told me that he would make me whatever I wanted.  I ordered the cheese steak sandwich with provolone cheese instead of the white American cheese it is usually served with.  For a side, I couldn't decide between the homemade chips or the french fries, so Chef Ken offered to bring me a little bit of both.  As he always does, Chef Ken did an incredible job with my gluten free hotdog buns, which he served my cheese steak sandwich on.  After he defrosts them, he dips them in olive oil, then grills them.  The cheese steak sandwich features shaved beef grilled with onion, red peppers, and mushrooms.  There is nothing no to love about that!  This is not a healthy meal by any means, but it is always delicious.

For dessert, we never pass up the chance to get hand-dipped milkshakes.  Chef Ken always mentions that he opens a fresh container of ice cream, so there is no risk of cross contamination.  My favorite milkshake uses both vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and I always ask for cherries.  On this visit, I got an incredibly sweet surprise at the bottom of my milkshake - two extra cherries.

My gluten-eating husband's favorite entree is the beef brisket onion burger with lettuce, tomato, provolone, and bacon.  He always orders it on a gluten free bun, because he prefers it to the Kaiser roll that this burger is usually served on.  I am not sure why this burger, my cheese steak sandwich, and the milkshakes are not listed as gluten free options on the allergy-friendly menu, because they can definitely be prepared gluten free.

Chef Ken did offer to make me a cookies & cream milkshake with Enjoy Life cookies, like he did the last time we dined at The Plaza, but I decided to have my milkshake without cookies this time around.  The milkshakes at The Plaza are featured in my blog post The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney - Gluten Free Desserts.

 When we were done eating, I managed to get a photo of Chef Ken with the mayor, who drops by quite frequently.  If you want to see Chef Ken, your best bet is to dine at The Plaza Tuesday through Saturday.  The last time I asked him about his schedule, he told me that he is off on Sundays and Mondays.  We have always been able to see him during lunch hours, but I am not sure how late he works.

A big thank you to Chef Ken for making every dining experience at The Plaza a special one!  He treats you like a beloved family member, and goes out of his way to spread Disney magic.

You can read more about The Plaza, view their menu and hours, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at The Plaza?


  1. I hope chef ken is around in June when I eat here for my birthday!

  2. I hope chef Ken is around when I eat here in June for my birthday. Sounds delicious!