PizzeRizzo - Pizza and Plenty of Seatsby Roan Poulter, contributing writer
In honor of the grand opening of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I thought I would review somewhere you can probably still get a meal without waiting an hour or more in line. PizzeRizzo is a counter-service restaurant set behind the Muppet Vision 3D, formerly smaller and named Pizza Planet. For such an out-of-the-way dining spot, it has cavernous seating options downstairs, upstairs, and even balcony dining. There is also a neon room for what purpose I cannot even begin to imagine.
Multiple lines await your order. Photo by Roan Poulter
Ordering is standard counter-service style. Note that the gluten-free pizza is not only available, but very good. Beer, wine and a pretty darn good margarita are also available.
The kitchen seems unornate, but they make a great pie. Photo by Roan Poulter
And that's about it. There aren't many frills or thrills, though I will take an air conditioned sit down to take a break in the summer heat as fair recompense any day. Small details can be had, but, in comparison to Mama Melrose's, it's pretty tame.
A small detail encouraging you to bus your own table. Photo by Roan Poulter
What We Had:
Meat Lovers Pizza (topped with sausage, pepperoni and served with pasta salad): We changed ours to a side Caesar salad, which we were all pleased with. The pizza is amazing for counter service. The crust is a thicker bread style, but cooked appropriately, chewy with a hearty sauce, bold sausage and meats, all properly baked to a crispy outside and tender interior. We did not find them big enough to share.
Meat-Lovers Pizzas overload a tray with side Caesar salads. Photo by Roan Poulter
A little closer look at the pizza. Photo by Roan Poulter
Meat Lovers Pizza – Gluten Free: This option does take an extra few minutes, which many will find annoying as the rest of the meals get cold waiting on your special order. But for a gluten-free pizza, which there are some truly horrific versions of out there, this one stands out as a winner. Instead of the deep-dish bread style of the standard pizza, the gluten-free option is a thinner, New York-style of pizza. Not quite as crispy as I would have liked, but overall a triumphant effort to accommodate the gluten-intolerant crowd.
The much ballyhooed gluten-free pizza. Photo by Roan Poulter
Our ratings are as follows:
- Dad (42): 4.5 of 5—Nothing particularly outstanding here, but everything is enjoyable and we had our pick of seating options. This is what I would consider a workhorse dining option, somewhere that can serve and seat the hordes that will come to see Toy Story and Star Wars Lands.
- Mom (42): 4.5 of 5—It was nice to have a salad to balance out the pizza.
- Daughter (19): 4.7 of 5—Finally, a gluten-free option that's better than the standard.
- Son (17): 4.5 of 5—It was good. Felt like the portion was right for one person if you're not starving.
As a little extra treat, this decoder will allow you to translate the hidden messages in the Star Wars Launch Bay. Photo by Roan Poulter.
Reviewer's Request: If you have a restaurant you've always wanted reviewed, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise I'm wandering the parks, forced to stumble upon some worthy establishment by dumb luck. Please realize that I won't be able to eat at Victoria and Albert's every week, I live on a budget, too, ya know.
What the heck is a neon room? This restaurant is filled with detailed theming to the Muppets and is worth a look inside even if you don't eat the food. I don't understand the comparison to Mama Melrose's at all.
Gotta be honest here... they really understated the decorum at PR. They could have done so much more with it. Its nice, clean, and basic (and nothing wrong with that) but after having Pizza Planet there, you would think they would have done something a bit more (Muppets) themed.
As for the food - Not bad at all. I like the pizza there. Its not the best on property, but its not a bad "lunch" pizza.
I'm in total agreement with your assessment. The restaurant is no frills and has decent pizza. It's a good place to go to escape the maddening crowds, but don't expect a lot of theming. One experience I'd recommend though is sitting out on the 2nd floor balcony. Was a Disney treat sitting out there and people watching with a view of Muppets Courtyard (or what was Muppets Courtyard).