Things To Do
U.S. Travel Guides
New York City
All U.S. Destinations
World Travel Guides
New York City
Best of IgoUgo
U GO! Awards
Member Hall of Fame
Things To Do
You Are Here:
Things To Do
View Full Interactive Map »
Avg. User Rating:
Walt Disney World - Epcot World Showcase, Orlando, Florida
Show More Info
Add Your Photo
Lacks Mickey's Magic
November 12, 2010
Best of IgoUgo
During our visit to Walt Disney World ("WDW" or "Disney")’s Epcot theme park in September 2010, we stumbled upon Via Napoli for lunch. We had finished riding Soarin’ in Future World, but were not yet hungry for lunch. So, we passed by the nearby ...
During our visit to Walt Disney World ("WDW" or "Disney")’s Epcot theme park in September 2010, we stumbled upon Via Napoli for lunch. We had finished riding Soarin’ in Future World, but were not yet hungry for lunch. So, we passed by the nearby Sunshine Seasons (a great counter service restaurant) and headed over to the World Showcase. Our intention was to eat lunch at Kringrla Bakeri og Kafe in the Norway Pavilion. However, once we arrived at the bakery, the selection of sandwiches did not look appetizing. So, we traveled deeper into the world showcase looking for a place to eat lunch. By the time we hit the Italy Pavilion, we were starving and hot. While researching our trip, I had read that WDW had recently opened a new table service Italian restaurant called Via Napoli that served wood-fired pizzas and some selections of Italian specialties. So, we decided to stop in and try the food.
Reservations: We did not have a reservation for Via Napoli. We arrived around the twelve-o-clock lunch hour and were immediately escorted to an available table. However, as with all Disney table service restaurants, reservations are recommended to ensure that guests secure their chosen dining time.
Atmosphere: Via Napoli’s atmosphere lacks "magic" when compared to other Disney dining experiences. Upon entrance, the space is a huge cavernous two to three story high room separated by arched columns. The high ceilings removed any intimacy from our dining experience and created an echo effect that amplified bustling noise. The stucco walls are painted various shades of warm gold and yellow. At the left side of the restaurant, servers move throughout the open kitchen and huge wood-fire ovens. We were seated on the right-hand side of the restaurant, which removed us from any "action" that might have been created from watching cooks prepare and bake the Neapolitan pizzas. Overall, there was nothing memorable about the interior of the restaurant and it did not evoke the feeling of dining at a restaurant in Italy.
Service: As with most, if not all, WDW dining establishments, the service at Via Napoli met our expectations. Most of the service staff are native to the country they are employed at the World Showcase, enhancing the experience of visiting that particular ‘world.’ Our server, of course, was Italian. He was friendly and helpful in explaining the menu items and allowed us the appropriate time to review the menu. When we asked for suggestions of ‘favorites’ on the menu, he was quick to recommend certain choices, helping us narrow down our selection. Our food was properly paced and arrived hot and in a timely manner. My only concern regarding our server was that he was unable to articulate the size of the pizza properly. We questioned the size (diameter) of the pizza so we could determine whether we needed a small/medium/large for two people. He was not able to tell us the relative size and instead could only recommend that we order the medium which typically serves 2-3 people. After receiving our food, we determined that we could easily have eaten a small pizza rather than a medium. If we had known the diameter size, we would have known that a medium was too large for two.
Menu: Via Napoli’s menu selection is decent. They offer a nice selection of appetizers and salads. Because the restaurant specializes in wood-fired pizzas, other Italian options like pasta and meat dishes are rather limited. The pizza selections range from simple to complex flavors which allow even the pickiest or most adventurous diner to find something interesting on the menu.
Food: Because we were dining at lunch, we only ordered a pizza and two soft drinks. With our server’s recommendation, we chose the more adventurous Piccante which contained Italian spicy sausage, broccoli-rabe, tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella. The medium sized pizza, which was supposed to serve two people, was enormous. Even though we were starving, we still were not able to finish the pizza. The pizza was hot and tasted fresh. The crust was nicely baked with a golden toasted edge. It was slightly chewy and held up to the pizza sauce without getting soggy. The toppings were amply applied and filled with flavor. We enjoyed the combination of the spicy sausage juxtaposed against the bitter broccoli-rabe. The mozzarella had a nice flavor and was a soft compliment to the stronger flavors. The sauce, however, had a basic tomato flavor, and when compared to the toppings, it fell short. Further, after eating the broccoli-rabe on a few slices, my husband and I both found ourselves removing it from the pizza as the bitter flavor slowly overpowered our palate.
Value: At the time of this review, the cost of a wood-fired pizza ranges between $15 for a small to $36 for a large. Our entire meal cost approximately $40 with tax and tip. Overall, the pizza was tasty, but not worth the cost. I mean, it is still pizza.
Overall, Via Napoli provided us an air-conditioned location to rest our weary feet within the World Showcase at Epcot. It provided good service and decent pizza. After dining here, we concluded that the pizzas do not justify their cost and would likely dine elsewhere on a future trip. However, if you are attempting to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, this pizzeria may be a good option. If you are looking for Disney’s characteristic ‘Magical’ dining experience, Via Napoli will fall short of your expectations.
Last Minute Magic