Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Plaza Restaurant - Magic Kingdom

Disney's website describes The Plaza Restaurant as a hidden gem, and one of the Magic Kingdom's best-kept secrets.  Today was actually the first time we have ever eaten at The Plaza Restaurant.  It is located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., around the corner from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.  

Once we made the decision to go to the Magic Kingdom this morning, I decided to see if we could get reservations for lunch.  

I was able to get advance dining reservations for 11:00, when The Plaza first opened, which was great for us, because my daughters are usually begging to eat lunch by 10:00.  

The hostess gave me an allergy binder, but I didn't even open it, because I knew the chef would come out to speak to me.  When Chef Ken arrived, he told me that he could make any of the sandwiches gluten free.  He then went on to describe how he prepares the gluten free bread by microwaving it to take the chill off, covering it with olive oil, then grilling it. My friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free in WDW told me that it is Local Oven gluten free bread.  

I rarely order sandwiches when I eat out, because I don't like most gluten free breads, but Chef Ken knows what he is doing.  Our beef brisket burger was amazing!  My husband said it was one of the best burgers he has ever had, and he would eat it on the gluten free bread all the time.  Keep in mind, my husband does not have to eat gluten free, and he usually eats gluten-filled bread when we dine out.  The housemade chips were great too, and made in a dedicated fryer.  We both loved the combination of beef brisket, provolone, and bacon on top of the hamburger.  

My husband and I also ordered a chicken strawberry salad to share, minus the gorgonzola.  The greens, cucumbers, and strawberries were super fresh, and the chicken was cooked and seasoned well.  I wasn't a huge fan of the white zinfandel vinaigrette dressing, because it tasted like bottled dressing, but overall, the salad was good.  

We finished our meal with a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream and cherries.  I haven't had a milkshake in years.  It was the perfect ending to a great meal.

Our family has a new favorite dining spot at the Magic Kingdom.  We are already planning on going back to The Plaza Restaurant in June when we get back from our vacation.

Our waitress told us that in addition to the sandwiches, they also have gluten free chicken tenders.  Chef Ken made our whole dining experience a special one, so be sure to ask for him when you go.  He works Tuesdays through Saturdays.

May 28, 2014 Update - The line was so long at Be Our Guest today at 10:30, we headed to The Plaza to see if we could get a table when they opened at 11:00.  We lucked out on all counts - we got a table, and Chef Ken was working.  I ordered the beef brisket burger again, and a mixed vanilla and chocolate milkshake.  The burger was great, just like last time, but the milkshake was the star of my meal today.  It was over the top amazing!

After lunch, we rode the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  The theming was amazing, and the coaster was smooth with lots of twists and turns.  Thankfully, it didn't have any huge hills, or I would not be able to get my daughters back on it again.  I would say it is about on par with Thunder Mountain as far as thrill level goes. The lines were long and stretched outside, so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and cold drinks if you don't have a FastPass.

June 14, 2014 Update

Tonight, we had an early dinner at The Plaza Restaurant, our third meal there in less than a month.  Not wanting to order the same burger three times in a row, my husband and I decided to try the Cheese Steak Sandwich with shaved beef, grilled onions, mushrooms, red peppers, and cheese (we subbed provolone for the white American cheese) on a hoagie roll.  We chose housemade chips as our side again, but we could have chosen The Plaza's thicker cut french fries.  

Here's a close up of one of our sandwiches, which were served on two gluten free hot dog buns instead of a hoagie roll, which was perfect for us, since my husband and I were splitting a meal.  Chef Ken outdid himself again.  He really knows how to cook gluten free bread!  Both my husband and I really enjoyed our cheese steak sandwich, and would definitely order it again.  

For dessert, I ordered my favorite milkshake with vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

August 30, 2014 Update

Today, I had a cheese steak sandwich, french fries, and a chocolate & vanilla milkshake for lunch at The Plaza.  The fries were just as good as the housemade chips, so I will definitely have a hard time deciding between the two the next time we visit.

January 17, 2015 Update

While I was writing my Best of 2014 - Disney blog post, I realized that we hadn't dined at The Plaza in a while, so I made reservations to have lunch there today.  My husband and I split a gluten free cheese steak sandwich, and a beef brisket burger with Nina, our international student.  When we asked Chef Ken if my daughters could order a cookies & cream milkshake, he mentioned that he could make a gluten free version for me with Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.  How could I pass that up?

Chef Ken made my milkshake with both chocolate and vanilla ice cream, which he scoops from newly opened containers to protect against cross contamination.  He told us that he blended cookies into the milkshake, and put some cookie crumbles on top.  It was pretty incredible!  My husband tasted my daughters' gluten-filled cookies & cream milkshake, and said he liked the gluten free version better!

A big thank you to Chef Ken for making all of our dining experiences at The Plaza so special!

July 28, 2015 Update

The Plaza Restaurant recently adopted an allergy-friendly menu, and I was disappointed to see that our three favorite menu items, the beef brisket burger, cheese steak sandwich, and milkshakes are not listed on the menu as gluten/wheat friendly options.  I am sure these menu items can still be prepared gluten free, so be sure to speak to a chef.

All sandwiches are served on an allergy-friendly bun with your choice of broccoli slaw, homemade chips, or french fries, which are all gluten free.  Gluten/wheat friendly entrees include the grilled chicken sandwich, Angus chuck burger, and the chicken strawberry salad.  The Plaza Restaurant sundae, original banana split, and fresh fruit are listed as gluten free dessert options.  Chef Ken always offered us many more options than are listed on this limited menu, so it is important to talk to a chef if you see a dish on the regular menu that you would like to have made gluten free.

A big thank you to blog reader Cassandra for allowing me to share her picture of The Plaza's new allergy-friendly menu.  She was able to order a gluten free beef brisket burger when she talked to a chef.

You can view The Plaza's menu, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at The Plaza Restaurant?  


  1. It has always been one of my favorite in Magic Kingdom. Thanks for the review, I wish other Chef would Microwave the bread before making a sandwich.