Review: Lunch at Pinocchio Village Haus in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Today we’re visiting a Fantasyland classic… Pinocchio Village Haus Restaurant!

We were here not all that long ago, trying out the recent addition of Pesto Knots to the menu at this joint, which simultaneously features Bavarian architecture and Italian fare. And Pinocchio’s is always a great place to check out — especially in the hot summer months — for their character-inspired frozen Slushes (not to be confused with “Frozen” character slushes… just so we’re clear on that ;) ).

But it’s been a while since we’ve reviewed a full-on meal here… or three! So, that’s what we’re here to do. Welcome to Pinocchio Village Haus!

Atmosphere

Have you ever wondered about the German-style architecture of this restaurant for a story that’s set in Italy?

Pinocchio's Village Haus

Pinocchio's Village Haus

Pinocchio’s Village Haus

Pinocchio’s creator, Gepetto, is decidedly Italian, but even the Pinocchio atop of the ordering section reminds me a little of a German oompah figurine.

Pinocchio

Pinocchio

To learn a little more about this unique style choice, check out this guest review for some insight!

Aside from the architecture, other hallmarks at Pinocchio’s are the gorgeous murals depicting characters and scenes from the film.

Geppetto Mural

Geppetto Mural

"Give a little whistle"

“Give a little whistle”

True, there are no roses with magically falling petals or indoor thunderstorms a la Be Our Guest Restaurant, but if you really take a look at the artwork (entire rooms and murals are dedicated to specific characters), I think you’ll agree that they are stunners in their own right. It’s straight-up analog, and it’s pretty great.

Blue Fairy Mural

Blue Fairy Mural

I’ve also always enjoyed some of the beautiful stained glass work here.

Stained glass

Stained glass

Stained glass lamp and window seating

Stained glass chandelier and window seating

But that’s not all — Pinocchio’s is the only restaurant in Magic Kingdom where some of the tables provide front row views of a beloved attraction: “it’s a small world.”

"It's a Small World" viewing area

“It’s a Small World” viewing area

Speaking of tables, due to the busy-ness of this spot, the process of getting one can be a bit different here. This picture of a Cast Member holding a sign explains some of the process — she is holding a “Reserved” sign.

Cast Member holding "Reserved" sign

Cast Member holding “Reserved” sign

The area was not reserved for a specific party or group or anything. Apparently they do this so that people don’t hold a table while the rest of their party is getting food — only people with trays of food are allowed in the “reserved” sections. This isn’t a well-known fact, though, so what can end up happening is that the whole place can get packed, while the reserved sections are practically empty. (These included the area next to “Small World” on my visit.) All I had to do was ask how to get into the reserved section, and it was easy enough thanks to the nice Cast Members working in the area.

So we’ve got our seat and our food… let’s dig in.

Eats

Since the story of Pinocchio is based in Italy, so is the menu at the Village Haus! The focus is on flatbreads, specifically Pepperoni, Caprese, and a spin on tradition with a Barbecued Beef Flatbread.

Flatbreads on the menu

Pinocchio’s Village Haus menu

You can also find a Caesar Salad, Mediterranean Salad, and a Meatball Sub. And there is a relatively recent addition for those less interested in the Italian Fare: a Spicy Chicken Sandwich (good ol’ Chicken Breast Nuggets can be found here, too).

Pinocchio's Village Haus menu

Pinocchio’s Village Haus menu

Pinocchio Village Haus printed menu

Pinocchio Village Haus printed menu

Sides include a Caesar Salad, French Fries, Pesto Knots, and Tomato Basil Soup (but keep an eye on the rotating screen menu on your visit — sometimes Italian Wedding Soup is an option as well).

 

Pesto Knots

Pesto Knots

We went with the Pepperoni Flatbread, Meatball Sub, and the Spicy Chicken Sandwich to mix it up a bit. I’d heard mixed reviews on the Meatball Sub, and I’m happy to report that I must have hit it on a really good day.

Meatball Sub

Meatball Sub

The mozzarella topping the meatballs spilled over onto the soft bread, and the marinara provided great flavor — even though it can get a little messy (like any good meatball sub), it’s worth it.

Inside the Meatball Sub

Inside the Meatball Sub

Onto one of the star dishes: Pepperoni Flatbread.

Pepperoni Flatbread

Pepperoni Flatbread

Unfortunately, this one didn’t hold up quite as well. All the elements were there: plenty of cheese and pepperoni covering the whole of the flatbread, and the bread was nicely golden brown. Unfortunately, the overall effect came together as… just okay. Pretty bland and unmemorable, to be honest. Maybe if the pepperoni was crisped just a bit to impart more of the flavor, that might do the trick. But overall? Meh.

The Spicy Chicken Sandwich is a pretty darn huge breaded chicken breast topped with tomatoes and lettuce (fresh and not at all wilted). I like that the tomatoes are diced — it makes for a little less mess overall.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Don’t be too concerned with the word “spicy.” It’s not especially so — just enough to give the chicken an extra burst of flavor. I really like this sandwich, and am glad to know that it has a home again, since it got booted off the menu at Golden Oak Outpost in favor of the Loaded Waffle Fries. Granted, you can also find something similar at Tomorrowland Terrace, but really… when is that ever open?

Of course, I needed something to wash everything down, and since a rotating cast of slushes is big on the menu at Pinocchio’s, it was kind of a no-brainer. We’ve tried the Blue Raspberry Slush in honor of the Blue Fairy, and the bright green Jiminy Cricket Slush that appeared for a little while around the holidays last year, so I decided to go with the Lemonade Slush.

Lemonade Slush

Lemonade Slush

You can find the Lemonade Slush at several locations throughout Magic Kingdom, including Cheshire Cafe and Sunshine Tree Terrace. It’s the same sweet-with-a-great-punch-of-sour situation at Pinocchio’s, with the difference being the addition of a berry flavor and whipped cream on the top to cut a bit of that pucker-up punch.

It’s definitely a bummer that the featured menu item didn’t live up to it’s role, but there is enough that is working here to make a stop at Pinocchio’s worth your while.

Overall

It’s no secret that lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant is all the rage these days in regards to Fantasyland Counter Service (or Magic Kingdom Counter Service in general), and understandably so. But there are still treasures to be found outside of Be Our Guest, and I’d argue that Pinocchio Village Haus is one of them.

Even if the menu’s focus on flatbreads doesn’t match your preference, it’s worth a stop to grab a snack (we’re longtime fans of the soup here, especially in these cooler months) and do some serious exploring of the artwork, or some serious relaxing while overlooking “it’s a small world” or sitting on the upstairs balcony overlooking Fantasyland. While it may not be a must-stop on every trip to the Magic Kingdom, the old school charm stands the test of time, in my opinion. And if you keep an eye out for the gems, there are many to be found at Pinocchio Village Haus.

Do you dine at Pinocchio’s Village Haus when visiting the Magic Kingdom? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Jenny says

    Food looked pretty good, thank you for the not so spicy chicken, I like chicken sandwiches but not very spicy.

    Good to know about the reserved section there, would not have crossed my mind to ask how to get a reservation.
    :)

  2. Michael says

    Was just there. The pesto knots were good and I’ve always been a fan of the caprese flatbread, so haven’t had a chance to try the pepperoni.

  3. Christi says

    The last time my mom and I were there, we used counter service meal plans to get one pepperoni flatbread and one salad. We shared both for a more balanced meal, and it definitely hit the spot! I love the mozzarella balls in the salad.

  4. Susan says

    We always dine at Pinocchio’s when visiting MK. They have a lot of food choices and a good bang for your buck. Most people don’t know that you can order the combo meals and get them without fries to save money. Also, we skip the sodas and always get cups of water. They have a really nice assortment of condiments too.

  5. Lu says

    We grabbed a quick bite on MNSSHP night and it wasn’t busy at all, so no issues grabbing a table. Loved looking at the paintings on the wall. We got the Caprese flatbread and was pleasantly surprised. It was simple but delicious.

  6. Elaine says

    This is always on our list but somehow we just never make it there to eat (hung out there for awhile last time we were there because I wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to sit somewhere quiet and cool and close to a bathroom!). I am a counter service eater so sooner or later we’ll make it here to eat. Next time we go to MK we’ll start to the right at Tomorrowland so we hit there about lunchtime.

  7. Sandra says

    We usually eat at Columbia Harbor House so I can get the hummus sandwich, but my son wanted to go to Pinocchio’s on our recent trip. What a nice surprise the caprese flatbread was for this veg eater! I also liked that I could get a low-fat yogurt as a dessert option. My son stuck with his favorite chicken nuggets and chocolate cake, of course, but after trying the flatbread, I am more willing to go back, since there are so few good and different options for vegetarian eaters in CS places.

  8. Essie says

    This is a spot with really great theming; I love the atmosphere of this restaurant. The food is pretty good and it’s just a very fun place to eat.

  9. Eliza says

    Had the caprese flatbread here in Sept, and it was delicious! It had a drizzle of a basalmic reduction on top…so so yummy!

  10. Andrea says

    We loved the caprese flatbread when we were there in November. Kids split the chicken nuggets and fries. It’s nice to get yogurt as a “dessert” option for the dining plan. Great atmosphere but busy. Would definitely return as a place good for families with young children.

  11. PVHCM says

    hi, i’m a cast member at pvh and i (and many other of our cast members) really enjoyed reading your review! thanks for the compliments to some of our “rope keeper” cast :) we hope to see you again real soon at pvh! :)

  12. Cb says

    Longtime fan of this restaurant but we stopped there a few weeks ago to get the Italian deli flatbread sandwich — long a fan of that. Turns out they changed it to a dry tasteless sub. Completely ruined the sandwich. I’m sure it is cheaper for Disney to make but it is a terrible sub roll. Won’t be buying again. What a shame, it was a favorite.

  13. David S. says

    I actually have memories as a kid that me and my brother always said Pinocchio’s had the best cheeseburgers in magic kingdom! Then one day they switched them to turkey burgers and we never went back! We were absolutely horrified! I mean for probably 10 years we never step foot in there. Lol. Went in recently and thankfully there are no more turkey burgers! I tried the tomato basil soup and remember it being much better than I had anticipated, could be I was extremely hungry!

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