PizzeRizzo recently opened in Hollywood Studios. My daughter and I were on hand the first day they opened the refurbished counter service restaurant, but I was pretty behind on work and didn’t get this photo review up for you then. Here’s some photos and our thoughts on the menu.
The ordering area feels much more spacious than it was back when it was Pizza Planet, with more ordering stations. On the first day of operation, there were very few people in line to order, so things progressed very quickly. One of the things I’ve noticed in recent months in Disney World is how few people are usually working to take your order and process your order behind the counter. We used to brag about how quickly we got our food in WDW vs other local parks, but recently I’ve waited 15 minutes or more for a counter service order many times with very few people in line. I’m not talking about busy weeks either. Budget cuts – “Eh, they’re tourists, what do they know?”
They have some mugs and tshirts behind glass that many guests might pick up for their collection, but these aren’t for sale in the restaurant.
Menu board has the appeal of the Pasquales pizza that I used to frequent in my home town as a child.
Why do I discuss trash cans at a restaurant? Who would even care? One of the details that creates a fun atmosphere is where Rizzo is telling you to throw away your own trash in various fun ways.
The decor is distinctly New York in style. There are hints at the Subway system and Highway system and local traditional pizzerias (which this isn’t) as well as some great Muppets artwork. First, some Muppets artwork:
Next you see some New York inspired touches.
Finally, you find a great deal of New York pizzerias.
The upstairs back corner is one of the weirdest, yet fun seating areas in a Disney World restaurant. There’s a disco ball in the center of the room with low blue lighting. You feel more like this is supposed to be a Counter Service dance floor than an eating area. Push the tables back and turn on the iPhone music to Tony Bennett.
The upstairs normal eating area is where you find the New York and Muppets themed art.
We chose the outdoor eating area upstairs. This is a fun place to overlook the Muppets Courtyard area.
You can see Muppet Vision 3D in the short distance. They are busy working on Star Wars Land over the wall. It appears that they may be keeping one tiny section of the old New York Street. Perhaps it is to push back the Muppets Courtyard more. I wish they would bring back the water in the fountain. The plants look weird.
A view looking down toward the Christmas Shop.
Okay, here’s where we get a little testy. I knew that they had no plans to overhaul the Pizza Planet menu and mentioned that a few times on here and on my social media channels, but the only changes can in the form of desserts and drinks. My son loves these personal size frozen pizzas that they serve, but he could get them over by Tower of Terror.
A great deal of time and money went into getting a pretty good theme for the new area, but no thought went into actually serving New York style pizza? This place would be swarmed if they served some good pizza, but it’s quiet most days. Please! Serve some quality food here instead of frozen pizzas.
I tried the Non-Alcoholic Peach Bellini for $4.99. Man, it was SWEET! I love sweets. I consume far more sugar than most should, but this was so sweet that I couldn’t finish it. Debbie took one sip and wrote it off.
Debbie liked the Cannoli that is served for $4.99. Our cannoli was good and it was filled throughout, but I’ve seen reports of people getting them that didn’t have the filling through the entire dessert. If you get one of those, just take it back and switch it out.
Our thoughts on PizzeRizzo
Debbie loved the Muppets pictures on the wall, but said it felt like a “New York Subway” inside. She was really disappointed that they removed the game area that used to be inside Pizza Planet. She is okay with this pizza, but would rather eat the flatbread at Pinocchio Village Haus and Pizzafari than this overly breaded and greasy pizza. We have to take napkins just to soak up the grease from the top of these before eating. She enjoyed the dessert but not the special drink. I think the theme is solid, but the food really needs some Imagineering. Give us some New York Style pizza and we’d even pay more for it.
What do you think?