REVIEW: Magic Doesn’t Happen with New “Magic Happens” Plaza Inn Parade Dining Package at Disneyland Resort
With the debut of “Magic Happens” at Disneyland, Plaza Inn has begun a new parade dining package option. On Saturday, we decided to try this dining package out for ourselves. The package consists of one lunch entrée/dessert and one drink, one voucher that provides access to the parade’s reserved viewing area, and one Plaza Inn credential. For the pricing of $40 per adult and $25 per child (ages 3 to 9), is this package worth it? Follow along with our full review to find out.
Reservations for this package are accessible only from 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm and can be booked online or via phone. At Plaza Inn, you will receive passes for a reserved view for the second performance of “Magic Happens” with instructions on where to meet and when to find your reserved spot.
We got to Plaza Inn at 1 pm, entered the restaurant on the left side and met with the Cast Member signing guests in. We then were directed to the register, where we paid for the package and received our reserved seating vouchers and credentials. You will receive one reserved viewing area voucher for each package purchased. Vouchers are valid only for the indicated showtime on the same day as the dining experience.
We then made our way over to the Dining Package Check-in. This is where you pick up your meal and dessert.
The adult lunch menu featuring slow-cooked short rib with chimichurri, chicken thigh fried to a golden brown, pesto-infused mashed potatoes, roasted seasonal vegetables, corn relish, and a specialty “Magic Happens” dessert. The kids’ meal includes fried chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, corn relish, and your choice of GoGo Squeeze Applesauce or baby carrots and dessert. Vegetarian options are available to guests upon request.
Here’s a look at the presentation of the adult entree plate, dessert, and drinks. On the left side of the entree plate, you can see the slow-cooked short rib with chimichurri. In the middle sits the pesto-infused mashed potatoes topped with roasted seasonal vegetables, and corn relish. On the right side of the plate, you can see the fried chicken thigh. Behind this plate, you can see the colorful Mickey blue velvet cake. Since you get a free soft drink, we decided to go with diet coke. The other option was a Dasani water bottle, which one of us settled on getting.
This dish was not something we enjoyed. The slow-cooked short rib with chimichurri was dry, chewy, and not marinated well. The meat quality could be much better and was truly disappointing. The chimichurri sauce did help add some zest to the short rib but not enough to save it. The pesto infused mashed potatoes were satisfactory and had basil and garlic flavoring. The consistency was right, not too thick or liquidy.
The roasted carrots were undercooked and chewy with little to no flavoring. The corn salsa contributed nothing to the dish other than more undercooked, unflavored vegetables. The fried chicken thigh was the best part of the meal. The crispiness of the outer breaded was perfect and not too chewy. The chicken itself was moist with a subtle salty flavor. The chicken was easy to pull apart with a fork.
We liked the chicken so much that one of us decided to get double chicken instead of trying to tough through the short rib.
Overall, this entree dish for the dining package was weak and not worth the price. We regretted not just skipping the package and ordering from the regular Plaza Inn menu.
While this cake is very visually appealing, the taste does not correspond. The blue velvet cake was dense but dry with not my flavoring. Food coloring may have been the most influential ingredient.
The chocolate Mickey ears were pretty bland. The frosting was a little too sweet for our liking but not terrible. The blue cone on the top of the treat was the best part as it was coated with a layer of chocolate on the inside. We liked the “Magic Happens” cake available for purchase better than this option that came with the package. The food from this dining package was just overall disappointing and not worth the money as there are many better options at Plaza Inn.
Once 5:30 pm approached, we pulled out our preferred viewing voucher and lanyard and made our way over to the line for the viewing area on Main Street, U.S.A., across from City Hall.
We recommend getting to this line well before 5:30PM, as many guests were already lined up in front of us as we arrived at 5:20PM.
The area that is reserved for the dining package guests is the curb on Main Street across from the train station in the central hub. They allow guests to fill-in the space on a first-come, first-serve basis and form rows. The front row is required to sit so people behind can see. If you are behind row two, it’s not even worth waiting for this area as it’s the same as grabbing a spot behind people on the street right before the parade is about to start. Mind you, people paid $40 for food and to see the parade from here. Around 5:30PM you would be able to get a better view for the 6:00PM performance without this package, so there’s really no reason to do it.
People slowly shuffled in and prepared for the parade to begin.
We were lucky enough to stand in row two. This gave us a nice view of the parade, but we preferred our view that we didn’t;t pay for the night before, which you can see here.
Overall, this package is one of the worst at any Disney Park in the world. The food was unpalatable and the viewing area was not large enough for all the guests with the package or one of the better spots to watch the parade from. We recommend saving the money by getting food you will enjoy somewhere in the park and then finding a parade spot 30-60 minutes before it starts.
he video down below will show you the view from the dining package area, and you’ll notice the lighting and such just isn’t as nice as it was down the street the night before.