Guest Review: The Pinocchio Village Haus

Let’s welcome back guest reviewer Bill Iadonisi with another insightful and delicious Disney World restaurant review! Bill travels to the Magic Kingdom’s The Pinocchio Village Haus this week, so let’s tag along. Take it away, Bill!

Hello again Food Blog readers! We are back on track reviewing Disney’s amazing array of Counter-service restaurants. This week we mosey over to the Magic Kingdom again, Fantasyland to be exact, and explore another of my favorite watering holes, The Pinocchio Village Haus.

This eatery, like everything else in Disney, is richly themed and has a very interesting back story. So before I begin to explore the cuisine, I would like to acquaint all with this interesting story:

Atmosphere and Story
As all fans know, Pinocchio is the tale of a puppet that comes to life and becomes a real boy when he proves himself truthful, brave and able to tell right from wrong. This story is set in Italy. In fact the name “Pinocchio” in Italian means “Pine Eyes.”

Pinocchio's Village Haus

But the Pinocchio Village Haus has more of a German motif than Italian; even the word “Haus” is German. Why? You can blame Disney chief Illustrator Gustaf Tenggren, who after being hired by Disney in 1936 was given the task of imparting an “Old World” look to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This influence rolled over into the film Pinocchio, where Old World German architecture won out over [Read more…]

Review: Wolfgang Puck Express

I am FINALLY getting to review this wonderful counter service location — can you believe it’s taken this long? Well, let’s make up for lost time!

Wolfgang Puck Express is the counter-service version of the famous Chef Puck’s quintessential California cuisine. There are two locations in Disney World’s Downtown Disney — one in the Marketplace and one in the West End area (right next to the Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room).

Focusing on table-service quality food with the taglines “Simple is Delicious” and “Live, Love, Eat”, WPE strives to offer organic and locally grown ingredients whenever possible. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the best counter-service eateries on Disney property. Let’s take a look…

Atmosphere

Clean and sophisticated can aptly describe the dining rooms here. Walls of windows, wooden tables and chairs, [Read more…]

Build Your Own Pizza Added to Disney World’s Via Napoli Menu

Well, it’s finally happened. After all of our complaining, we at-long-last have the option to add/subtract toppings from our pizzas at Via Napoli in Walt Disney World’s Epcot! (Can you believe you couldn’t add toppings of your choosing before?!)

Via Napoli New Menu Close-Up -- click for larger image

You can see the change in the menu above. The Margherita pizza has been moved off of the list of standard pizzas and given its own standing on the left side of the menu. It retains the 16/28/39 cost structure, but extra toppings are $2 each.

The other pizzas have been moved to the right hand side of the menu with [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port

Another great review from our awesome Dining in Disneyland columnist, Heather Sievers!

Atmosphere
Located to left of Space Mountain’s entrance inside Tomorrowland, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port is a cute space age diner that’s great for families. A self serve line assures you that you get your food in a timely manner and there is seating aplenty. There is a giant indoor dining room as well as a covered outdoor dining area with booths and [Read more…]

NEWS! Via Napoli Pizza By The Slice and Turkey Leg T-Shirts

Via Napoli Pizza Margherita

A couple of fun pieces of food news have come out of the Disney World grapevine this weekend!

For the Pizza Lover…
Interesting news from the Disney Parks facebook page:

Now through January 7, you can enjoy Sicilian-style Margherita pizza by the slice at a pick-up podium at Via Napoli. An a la carte single-serving dessert and fountain beverage will also be available.

So, for all of us who’ve been hoping for a counter-service pizza window at Via Napoli, maybe this is a promising start! Sounds like this is another antidote to the “heavy crowds” of the holidays like we saw over [Read more…]

Disney Food For Families: The Fab Four of Kid Food — Pizza, Pasta, Hot Dogs and Chicken Nuggets

Disney Food for Families columnist and Disney World Moms Panelist Erin Foster has more great info about kids’ dining in Disney World!

Casey's Corner Hot Dog, Fries, and Fixins

If your family is like mine, then at some point at least one of your children will go through a picky eater phase — where he or she will ONLY eat a certain type of food, texture of food, color of food, or food prepared in a certain way.

Luckily the chefs at Walt Disney World are well acquainted with the picky eater syndrome. They’ve seen it all before and can accommodate most childhood food idiosyncrasies. That’s one of the reasons WDW became such a frequent destination for us; dining out with our fussy daughter was a breeze compared to other vacation spots.

The Fab Four of Kid Food

Some common variations on the picky eater theme are the kids who will only eat pizza, or pasta, hot dogs, or chicken nuggets. While these favorites are, of course, readily available in the parks, they are not all available at [Read more…]

Review: La Luce by Donna Scala

I’ve been SO excited to write this review; I can’t wait to introduce you guys to what has become one of my favorite Italian restaurants of all time. (Yep, this is the place that has that amazing butterscotch pudding.)

Atmosphere

La Luce by (California celeb chef) Donna Scala is located in the middle of Disney World property at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort. The restaurant is a great juxtaposition of sleek lines and cool tile coupled with warm leather, soft pillows, and bright chalk artwork…on actual chalkboards. No kidding — the artists work [Read more…]

Review: Epcot’s Via Napoli

Alrighty, folks, settle in — this is gonna be a long one! I very happily stuffed my face at Via Napoli twice on my last Orlando trip, and I’m pleased to share all the news on what has become one of my favorite restaurants in Walt Disney World!

Atmosphere

Located in Epcot’s Italy pavilion (walk straight to the back; you can’t miss it), this massive, airplane-hanger-of-a-room is cavernous, but beautiful and filled with light, hustle, bustle, and the most amazing smells.

Via Napoli Dining Room

Artisan tiles dot the floor; whimsical chandeliers hang like ornaments throughout the restaurant; chipping frescoes give depth to the walls; and old-fashioned travel-themed artwork reminds you of all the places in Italy you haven’t been. The warm, neutral colors with pops of [Read more…]

Epcot Via Napoli Media Preview…Review

Thanks to Amanda Tinney of Disney Every Day for sending over her report of the Via Napoli media preview! For pics of the restaurant’s decor and atmosphere, check out our First Look! photos! Take it away, Amanda!

I don’t know about you, but for me and my family pizza is something that we order when there are no groceries in the house or we are crunched for time and don’t feel like cooking. It’s not something that we actively seek out, which is strange considering the fact that my hubby is Italian with a grandmother that came to the US from Sicily.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Grand Opening for Epcot’s newest dining experience, Via Napoli in World Showcase’s Italy Pavilion. Being the huge Disney fan that I am, I’m ashamed to admit that I may have never tried the new pizzeria if not invited to the event, but after sampling some of the cuisine, I will be back for sure.

Knowing that I would be writing this post for the Disney Food Blog I just HAD to take a sample of everything that was offered to me so that I could report directly to YOU the Disney [Read more…]

Review: Pizzafari

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a dearth of dining establishments. It’s true; we all know it. But what they DO have is…beautiful. While food-wise, Pizzafari could be thought of as leaving much to be desired, exploring the place itself almost makes up for it!

Atmosphere
You’ll find Pizzafari on the path to Africa — just take a left at Discovery Island! And once again, Animal Kingdom comes out on top when it comes to themeing and imagineering decor.

Very rarely will the decor in any corner of the Animal Kingdom be random. Over at Flame Tree Barbecue, you’ve got the intriguing-yet-gross-if-you-think-about-it predator and prey theme. Here at Pizzafari, the theme is a bit more understated, but no less intriguing: [Read more…]