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 [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: September 4th, 2014

We’re staring down the last of the dog days of summer as Disney World gears up for Fall… Join us on a tour around all four east coast Parks as we check out What’s New!

MAGIC KINGDOM

Fall Fun

With September upon us everyone is anticipating autumn and special seasonal events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (currently underway) and the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (more on that a little later in the post :). So it’s not surprising to see Magic Kingdom all decked out for the occasion!

Magic Kingdom autumn decorations

Magic Kingdom autumn decorations

(Love seeing this sign pop up [Read more…]

The Best (and the Worst!) Pizza in Disney World

Ahhhh…Pizza. Most of us love the stuff, whether it’s high end, low end, or homemade.

bestandworstpizzaindisneyworld

But one thing’s for sure — you and I both know that not all pizza is created equal — and this is definitely true when it comes to Disney.

Today, we’re awarding some Pizza Pie Superlatives. From Best to Worst and Everything In Between, let’s take a look at a few.

And when we’re finished with the awards, I’ve love to hear if you agree! Leave us a comment with your best and worst!

Best All-Around Pizza in Disney World

If you’ve been reading Disney Food Blog for any amount of time, the winner in this category will come as no shock to you. The hands-down best pizza in all of Disney World are the pies you find at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion.

With authentic ingredients right down to the flour, tomatoes, and water they use, these are some serious pies that come closest to the real deal from Naples, Italy. They also taste the most like my favorite New York Style pizza (Lombardi’s!!!!) — the gold standard, as far as I’m concerned!

Quattro Fromaggi Pizza from Via Napoli

Quattro Fromaggi Pizza from Via Napoli

You can’t go wrong with any of the pizzas you order here, whether you’re getting a personal size, or you’re sharing with the table.

Build Your Own Pizza with Prosciutto

Build Your Own Pizza with Prosciutto (and/or Other Ingredients…Whatever)

We give high marks to the Quattro Formaggi White Pizza, as well as the Build Your Own with Prosciutto. But really, there are no wrong choices here!

Worst Disney World Pizza

When it comes to pizza that you can safely — no, you definitely should — skip, we’ll chalk this up to… [Read more…]

Full Review: The NEW California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Update: Scroll to the end of the Eats section (yep, waaayyy down there!) for a mini-review of opening night, courtesy of one of our favorite DFB guest writers, Julie B!

We are headed back to the fifteenth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort today, as we take a closer look at the brand new California Grill!

The outpouring of Disney food fan love has just been astounding throughout the last eight months as we’ve continued to watch the newly re-imagined California Grill take shape. Folks who love the restaurant and its amazing menu have been anxious for news. Would it retain its panache? Would beloved dishes from the old menu make the cut? How would we survive with no Yoshie??

We are happy to report that, if possible, California Grill is even more spectacular than before. We were happy to show you a first look at all that was new after last Thursday’s media event. Today, we’re unveiling more details. If you haven’t already, get ready to make those advance dining reservations. I think you’re going to like what you see.

Menus

Settle in. This is going to be a long one!

Atmosphere

Immediately, as you step out of the elevator onto the fifteenth floor, you are enveloped by the cool vibe of California Grill. You know at once that you’re in for a special experience.

If you weren’t aware of it already, now you know: wine matters in this restaurant. A lot. Wine coolers aren’t dressed up to be anything else; they’re unapologetically part of the decor here. This makes sense, as the restaurant now boasts 1,600 bottles of wine in the state-of-the-art wine display.

You’ll find around 250 wines on the list, with 80 available by the glass. And with more than 20 sommeliers on staff, you are literally enveloped in a wealth of wine knowledge.

Wine, Anyone?

Straight ahead, you’ll find the trademark view of Seven Seas Lagoon. With any luck there will be a spectacular sunset over the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa during your visit like there was for ours.

This area continues to serve as the lounge for the restaurant. You can still score a table here with no advance dining reservation, and the full restaurant menu is available for ordering.

Entrance and Bank of Wine Fridges

The bar area continues to be highlighted by the ceiling’s circular cutout. While the shape is the same, the whole bar has been overhauled with new finishes. Comfortable seating beckons you to relax and have a cocktail or two.

Bar

To quote one of my Disney friends, nothing here is the same as it was! The lights are wonderfully whimsical. While modern, there’s still a retro feel here. In fact, the lights remind me a lot of old pictures I’ve seen of the Contemporary from the 1970s.

Seating Area is Ready for Guests

Tables are set for service. I was glad to see that the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Pinocchio Village Haus — Now With Flatbreads!

We’re welcoming back guest author Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley with a review of Pinocchio Village Haus. And since the new menu was recently revealed, we’ll also include a review of one of the new flatbreads available!

After recovering from One More Disney Day, I headed back into the Magic Kingdom where I found myself exiting Mickey’s PhilharMagic to the realization that I was starving.

That’s when a Cast Member with a puppet waved at me, and I knew what I had to do.

No strings!

Atmosphere

Tucked between the new Fantasyland construction walls and it’s a small world, Pinocchio Village Haus is a bit confusing. It’s in Fantasyland, and the food is Italian, but the restaurant itself is based on the Bavarian architecture that Walt and Lillian Disney were so fond of.

Pinocchio Village Haus

In fact, it’s set in a little German village, where there’s oompah playing over the speakers and you order lunch in what appears to be a charming courtyard.

Once you’ve got your food in hand, it’s time to [Read more…]

News! Disneyland’s La Brea Bakery Renovations and New Menu

More fun expansion news out of Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District!!

La Brea Bakery Cafe, one of the original restaurants in Downtown Disney Anaheim, began an exciting refurbishment on January 3, 2012, with the temporary closure of the counter-service area.

The full-service section will remain open until mid-March, and the renovations will be officially unveiled in April. According to OC Register’s Around Disney, the renovation will include the addition of 900 sq. ft. and showcase a new exhibition bakery where guests can watch dough being rolled before heading to the new wood stove! Plus, an awning will be added to shade full-service, outdoor diners.

Early Concept Art

When La Brea re-opens, the counter-service side will have its own kitchen enabling guests to order their quick-service food at the counter and then take a seat where their order will be delivered.

Menu

According to Disney Parks Blog, freshly baked items will be prepared right at the restaurant!

Look for a variety of [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Flatbreads

One of our favorite pastimes is looking at your photos submitted to the Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza! While they make us really hungry…please send more! ;-)

The Disney Food Pics of the Week this week feature flatbreads! Flatbreads (also possibly known as fancy pizzas) can be found at many of Disney’s table-service and quick-service restaurants.

First up, a tempting Mushroom & Arugula Flatbread from Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Looks gorgeous!
Photographer: Kelly Tressler

Mushroom and Arugula Flatbread

And the flatbreads from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko are always delicious! Check out this [Read more…]

Guest Review: The Green Cabin Room at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

It’s off to the beach with D.J. Jones as we escape to the Green Cabin Room at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. D.J. is a lifelong Disney fan from Ocala, Florida. You can follow all of his adventures at The World of Deej. Now, let’s take that seaside journey…

If you’re planning a vacation at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, be sure to check out The Green Cabin Room for some light bites and a view that simply can’t be beat.

The Inside of The Green Cabin Room

Atmosphere

One part traditional oak paneled bar, another part oceanfront patio, the atmosphere at The Green Cabin Room is the best of both worlds. Inside, you’ll find dim lighting, antique style furnishings, and a gorgeous old-school wooden bar.

There is live entertainment nearly every evening, which seems to be popular not just with guests, but with locals as well. In addition, there are two TVs discreetly tucked in the corners, which can come in handy should the [Read more…]

Guest Review: Contempo Cafe

Welcome Bill Iadonisi with a review of the Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort. Bill shows us all the modern features of this convenient, quick-service location. Take it away, Bill!

Disney’s Contempo Cafe, located on the former site of the Concourse Steakhouse at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, has been open since November 15, 2008.

Atmosphere

Although I really enjoyed the Steakhouse, this new Café is a wonderful replacement. In fact it makes more sense to have a table-service eatery (Chef Mickey’s) and a quick-service right next to each other. The Grand Canyon Concourse is always bustling with foot traffic, and since the Monorail station is right above, it’s a perfect place for guests to grab a quick bite or beverage before hitting the parks!

Contempo Cafe Entrance

View of Cafe

The atmosphere here is little changed from the Concourse Steakhouse. The classic tile mural by [Read more…]