With all the new and amazing food finds at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it had been a while since I’d last visited Pizzafari.
But while researching the new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks, I headed over to check out the latest!
Head into Pizzafari, and if it’s your first time here, you’re in for a surprise. In a word, the artwork you’re about to see is gorgeous. But there are some distinctly strange elements to the themeing, too!
Honestly, I’m not wowed by the menu at Pizzafari, but I am a fan of the work Imagineers did to the inside of this place.
After passing through an archway decorated with stylized bugs (!!!!!), you’ll soon see that these aren’t the only specimens of wild life you’ll be observing.
Because within Pizzafari, you find extravagant, lush murals. In other places, there are 3D elements to the decor. More about those in a minute.
The unique thing about the individual dining rooms, however, is that they each contain a unifying theme. And sometimes, it takes a moment to understand just what it is… .
Here, for instance, you see animals that use camouflage.
Since this dude sits at the top of the food chain though, I don’t think he’s too troubled with trying to blend in.
Here’s a really fun one to piece together — all of these animals carry their homes on their backs! I’ll admit, it took me a while to figure out what a crab and an armadillo had in common.
And here’s a great example of the “mixed media” approach to the art displays, as you spy giant, 3D snails following trails on the walls.
This painting shows a couple of different birds and some awesome color use.
A long shot of the seating in the main dining rooms shows you how the murals fit together. Open rafters make for another fun design touch…
Because, of course, you’ll find bats hanging from the ceiling!
The nocturnal animals are joined by another night lover. Ironically, opossums adorn the light fixtures. (Those opossums look MUCH cuter than the ones that were hanging out in my Staten Island apartment building courtyard back in the day.)
The full effect of the lifelike sculptures can be seen with this wall of snakes and other creeping species. Though slightly unsettling for me as I’m about to dig into my food, I’m betting lots of kids really dig this.
Seating throughout the restaurant is brightly colored, and may hide extra decor. These ones are also adorned with bugs!
If you prefer it, there is also outdoor seating, shaded by large, colorful umbrellas.
Perhaps my favorite spot to sit outdoors, however, is this terrace that wraps around the outside of the restaurant. It’s covered for protection from the sun and offers some pretty, non-theme-park-esque views.
But I have saved what is probably my most favorite mural for last, and that’s the one of this incredible — and huge — peacock that stands guard over the ordering area.
Check out the giant butterflies on the posts!
Please don’t become so engrossed in those menus that you forget to look up and take it all in!
We’ve been here a time or two for a quick bite to eat, and like I said, it’s never really been impressive. But today, I was anxious to see what was new and worth trying.
Eppa Organic Sangria, a staple of the Standard Disney Bar and Lounge Menu, is available here.
We’ve told you previously about the Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad, another new menu item that’s been added since we were last here. It’s received rave reviews from readers!
But today, we were only after snacks, and opted instead for the traditional side Caesar Salad. This isn’t to be confused with the larger Chicken Caesar Salad, which is a full-sized entree. We had the smaller version that is served as a side to the various individually-sized pizzas on the menu.
It was a good option if you’re a fan of traditional Caesar. You can at least tick off a vegetable serving if you get this.
But the other item that we were interested in trying were the Bread Sticks. The basket of four fluffy sticks came topped with a sprinkle of toasted cheese, and a side of Marinara for dipping.
This is pretty much what you’ll get at Pinocchio Village Haus in Magic Kingdom as well. They were fine, and reminded me of the bread sticks from the local Italian chain restaurant, although they weren’t glistening with garlic butter.
These would be good as a shared snack for the family, or a light meal if you’re waiting on a big Dining Reservation later.
Once more, I’ve ventured to Pizzafari, and once more, I leave with the impression that the real draw of this counter service spot is the restaurant itself, rather than the food. It’s frankly baffling to me why there would be such incredible attention to the detail on the walls, and yet the food strikes me as an afterthought.
Still, it is the only counter service spot that serves a full breakfast. And if you are a die hard pizza fan, or you have a picky child (or grown up) to feed who insists on pizza, then you are likely to be happy with the food choices here. I’d say go without high food expectation and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere and detail. And by all means, explore those themed rooms and see what you make of them. From that perspective, I would expect you not to be disappointed.
Looking for the biggest bang for your snack buck while you’re in Hollywood Studios? Check out the brand new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book for the low-down on all the treats and snack eats in these two parks!
The hot off the presses, the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios guide to everything snacks is full of over 200 reviews and color photos to make sure you make the best use of your dollars in Disney world. Get yours today! Or, opt to get our specially-priced bundle of snack guides for all four parks, along with the 2013 DFB Guide to WDW Dining.
Will you be swinging by Pizzafari in the near future? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!