Plaza Restaurant at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (as of 2/2020) – This menu covers the top 8 common allergens (gluten/wheat, milk/dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish). Check with the restaurant for modifications and/or other special dietary needs.
Plaza Restaurant at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (as of 5/2019) – This menu covers the top 8 common allergens (gluten/wheat, milk/dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish). Check with the restaurant for modifications and/or other special dietary needs.
*This dining experience took place in December 2013.
The Plaza Restaurant holds a nostalgic place in many Disney visitors’ hearts. Located at the very end of Main Street U.S.A., this restaurant is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor. There are two sections of the Plaza – the ice cream parlor itself and the table service location just around the corner. Both options allow guests to order various special diets related ice cream. From a non-dairy banana split to lots of topping options, there are a lot of options to choose from.
On this particular occasion, we visited before Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Typically, we eat at Liberty Tree Tavern before a holiday party at the Magic Kingdom, but this year we had a slight change of plans, and so we ate at the Plaza which was about the only option available besides Tony’s Town Square other than quick service. I had visited the Plaza last in November 2012 and didn’t have a great experience (read that review HERE.) I was hopeful that I had one bad experience and that this one would be great, given I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Chef aka Cousin Ken and the restaurant in general.
It was a slow afternoon at the Plaza and we were seated promptly. I was told they would bring an allergy binder but they never did. I have to say, this is a weird restaurant. It sort of straddles quick service / table service. It’s not really quite either. This is also the only restaurant that I know of Disney property table service wise where they bring out an allergy binder (unless you specifically asked for an ingredients list, etc.). Chef Guerrin came out to assist me before an allergy binder ever came out. The last time I had gotten the Club Sandwich, so I decided to go for it this time. I remembered that I liked the griddled bun and I was kind of hoping I’d get it again (I didn’t). I also asked if they had a dedicated fryer for the fries, and he said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m not going to make you sick.” Um, OK. Well, I appreciate his dedication in saying it will be safe, but I kind of wanted to hear the statement, “Yes, we have a dedicated fryer.” And he just wouldn’t say that. Every time I asked him something (and I asked in multiple ways), he would say “It’s fine. Trust me.” This chef really needs to learn to interact with special diets folks. It’s not that I’m distrusting but a little information about your process makes me feel a lot safer.
I also ordered a sundae with Rice Dream vanilla non-dairy ice cream and Chocolate Tofutti with strawberry sauce, pineapple sauce, chocolate syrup (which he kept saying was fudge and I kept telling him no syrup, fudge has dairy), and nuts.
My sandwich came out pretty late compared to the other meals, not anything unusual given that it often takes longer for my food at quick service locations. When the sandwich came out, I noticed it was Udi’s bread. Thank goodness that Udi’s can be eaten cold without any needing to be toasted or heated up. Because this would have been a rough sandwich otherwise. I admit, I personally would have like to have seen it toasted or griddled. But, that’s just me. I couldn’t confirm if they still had GNI buns on hand, though my guess is they do. The fries were nothing to write home about – basic steak fries. My sandwich was also just so-so. It tasted like something I can make at home. For the price, it’s not a terrible deal but really, I should have just gone to Columbia Harbour House for allergy chicken tenders!
Once it was time for the sundae, again I had a considerable wait time. As in, my family finished their dessert before I got mine. Once mine came out, I quickly noticed it was minus the chocolate sauce. I asked if they didn’t have safe chocolate sauce then anymore? The chef then quickly ran to the back and brought out a container with sauce. It seemed thick. Thicker than Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Given there were so many confusions about the syrup already, I asked the server to please get the chef so I could talk to him. Again, I got the “the chef brought it out so it is safe” statement, but I insisted that they get the chef.
When he came out, he basically told me it’s the right thing and just trust him. I explained to him that I would get very sick if I consumed dairy and that I really wanted to make sure it wasn’t the wrong thing. I asked if he could just please bring out the binder and/or packaging of what he served me. He then went back and got the “hot fudge” sauce to compare. They looked fairly similar but not quite the same. I still explained that I wanted to know if this was OK but it wasn’t Hershey’s. Holy moly; he was not getting this. In the meantime, my mom tried it and said it tasted like syrup to me. Finally, he brought out the ingredients binder, which confirmed it was Mrs. Richardsons sauce which explained the difference. All I honestly wanted was confirmation that I wasn’t going to get dairy. Chef Guerrin was not at all happy with me by the time we went through all of this. But honestly, I felt like he didn’t take this or me seriously at all. I understand he has a busy kitchen to run and that it’s crazy. But it certainly wasn’t what I expected from Disney in terms of handling special dietary needs.
In general, I think I might be done with the Plaza for a long time. It just seems like every time I go I get less than stellar food accommodations and very little information about what I’m consuming. This last one just really gave a sour taste in my mouth on the Plaza; especially after he made me feel so bad after the whole chocolate syrup ordeal. The sundae, which was actually good but not great, wasn’t really worth the hassle. In fact, I’d rather just go to 50’s Prime Time for their brownie sundae (soooo good!) or Beaches n’ Cream. And given the quality of the food, it’s not worth it as a table service for me.
I’m giving this particular experience a 4 for mediocre food but mostly because of the whole chef interaction from start to finish. I know that lots of you really love the Plaza, but the chefs I’ve had here haven’t really made my experiences good.
Have you been to the Plaza? What has your experience been?
*This dining experience took place in November 2012.
Nestled between the Main Street Bakery and Tomorrowland is the Plaza Restaurant. It’s connected to the ice cream parlor, and I must admit, that I often have overlooked this restaurant. It didn’t seem like anything very special. And on top of that, it’s primarily sandwiches. In the past, there weren’t great options for gluten free/dairy free bread so I tended to avoid sandwich type places. Now that some different options for bread are available, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Plus, I’d heard some good reviews from some of the blog readers that involved great luck with dairy free ice cream…can you say banana split?!
We arrived at the Plaza a little early for our ADR, and I admit, we waited a bit. When we were seated inside, I understood why. It’s pretty small. In fact, it almost reminds me of a slightly larger Beaches n’ Cream. The first thing that struck me was that they brought me a binder along with my menu. Weird. That doesn’t usually happen at a table service–I found the Plaza to be an interesting hybrid of QS and TS. Quick Service locations always bring the allergy binder to go over ingredients, so in one way it was a good thing. I also took some pics of some of the sheets.
I was hoping (based on some recommendations) that I’d get to see Chef (aka Cousin) Ken because I’d heard that he was really good. But, I was greeted by Chef Constance, who was very nice. Unfortunately, her niceness didn’t necessarily translate into good allergy service. I went over the sheet with her and she said she had gluten free/dairy free bread which I thought she said was Udi’s (since that was what was listed in the sheets of the binder). I was back and forth between the turkey club and the tuna salad sandwich. Because I sometimes have issues with crunchy vegetables because of my Crohn’s disease, I was very torn with the tuna salad. Chef Constance let me sample it, and I decided against it because of the onions. So, we went with the turkey club. I also asked about the fries. I knew from others that they probably did not have a dedicated fryer, but Chef Constance kept insisting they did. Um, didn’t feel very comfortable about that one…more on that later.
I was pretty excited about this, until it came out. It looked like a multi-grain toast–not at all like Udi’s. Then I looked at the other sandwiches at the table, and I knew immediately it was so not gluten free. I asked the server about it and said that I needed to talk to the chef and she insisted that it was safe. I was adamant that it was not. She finally went and got the chef and I told her this did not appear to be gluten free bread and she said immediately it was not. “Whoops sorry about that” she said. Um, whoops?! Good thing I’m pretty diligent about food because if I weren’t a regular diner at Disney I might have thought it was ok at first. She said she would go fix it right away. Unfortunately, I was not very confident in this whole experience at this point.
She did bring back another sandwich, and it was on a hot dog type bun. It did not look at all like Udi’s and it was very thin. On top of that, it appeared to have been placed on the flat-top and griddled (which worried me for 2 reasons 1) cross contamination and 2) dairy). Chef Constance said she uses the flat-top (still wasn’t clear on cross contamination), but that she uses canola oil. She said she has to do that because otherwise the buns are very dry and don’t heat up well (and become gummy). She also insisted the type of bun was Umi, which I couldn’t seriously find any information on. I asked her if she meant Udi’s but she said no. She said they were sent this bun instead of the Udi’s because it has no egg in it. It sort of reminded me of the old Ener-G rolls, but with a different texture. On top of that, I thought based on the taste that they were the GNI brand bread which have been floating about at Disney (still don’t know the actual locations). They tasted very similar to the rolls that I had at Liberty Tree Tavern and looked similar too. I looked at GNI’s website and they looked very similar to the hot dog buns on their site (which is NOT egg free; it has egg whites in it). Hmm… If anyone knows anything more about these buns, I’d love to hear about it! I saw that in the binder they listed GNI brand hamburger buns as being egg free. Hmmm…I think this definitely needs some further investigation!
|Turkey club on a gluten free/dairy free bread with fries.|
Taste wise, the sandwich was ok. Nothing great. It was a basic turkey club sandwich (although it was missing the ham that the menu described)–I did like the griddled bread, but still felt a little uncomfortable about the cross contamination. I also felt very uncomfortable about the fries. I tried a few, but they were really greasy. My family tried them, and they said they tasted different than their fries, but I didn’t want to take a chance. Plus, the sandwich was large enough that I was pretty full. I also got dessert too.
After lunch, I ordered the ice cream sundae (I was too full for a banana split–which is huge!!). I asked for vanilla and chocolate Tofutti with chocolate syrup, nuts, and cherries. Unfortunately, Chef Constance seemed to be really forgetful in my ordering. She brought me chocolate only and no nuts. I wasn’t about to quibble over it, and enjoyed the sundae minus my requests. It was really quite a large portion, and delicious! Gotta love a sundae!
|Chocolate Tofutti with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and cherry on to|
Overall, I didn’t dislike the food at the Plaza, but I wasn’t wowed with the service or the allergy accommodation. Next time, I’d try to contact them ahead of time to make sure that Chef Ken is there because it sounds like he is awesome! Chef Constance didn’t really set my mind at ease, and while she tried, she didn’t do a very good job at accommodating in a safe manner (in my opinion).
I’d give it a 6 out of 10 for this particular visit, but might give it another chance in the future.
Here are some pics from the binder: