Ask It: Too Many Italian Restaurants?

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I enjoy Italian food. It’s one of the few cuisines where everyone in my family is able to find something without too many special requests. Lately, a variety of Italian restaurants have opened at Walt Disney World–a place that wasn’t lacking with Italian eateries. There’s still more to come, too. This week we’re asking you:

Are there too many Italian restaurants at Walt Disney World?

  • Yes (56%, 296 Votes)
  • No (44%, 230 Votes)

Total Voters: 526

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Voting is live here and on Twitter. We’ll have your results next week, but in the meantime, feel free to share what you think is the best Italian restaurant at Walt Disney World and why.

Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited nine-year-old daughter.

7 thoughts on “Ask It: Too Many Italian Restaurants?

  • January 24, 2018 at 11:17 am
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    There are too many *low-quality* Italian places at Disney, certainly. But it’s the most popular “ethnic” cuisine in America, and there need to be a wide variety of places at various price points to fill the need. They need to give the low-quality places a major upgrade (especially the lousy pizza joints).

    Reply
  • January 24, 2018 at 12:01 pm
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    I think what this article is really asking is, is two Italian joints next to one another at Disney Springs, with a third to come online later this Winter, too much?

    I personally don’t think so.

    Italian is a popular cuisine. It’s also a crowd pleaser. From a menu perspective, it allows chefs to have things that more traditionally suit an “American” palette, while also being able to branch out into other specialty dishes that are still Italian by nature, but not what you might think of traditionally.

    The challenge is going to be communicating the properly prepared Italian cuisine to individuals who are more accustomed to Olive Garden / Carrabas / Macaroni Grill.

    From what I’ve seen, Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway have already garnered criticism for things like “traditional pasta dishes” being A) too pricey and B) too boring.

    Real, authentic Italian cuisine is having a renaissance throughout this country right now. It’s incredibly trendy in major cities, and has a price point to match the popularity. At Disney World, folks from outside major cities without knowledge of what true Italian food really is, might be lost when it comes to some of these offerings. And might be truly aghast at the price point.

    So while I’m personally excited to see some really great Italian offerings, especially at Disney Springs, they are going to have to step up their game to explain the concept of their cuisine better.

    Reply
  • January 24, 2018 at 1:18 pm
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    I don’t know about the whole of WDW having too many Italian restaurants, to me it seems just fine.

    However, I do feel that Disney Springs is stuffed with them. I just do not think that you can justify the existence of two (ostensibly) separate Italian eateries (Pizza Ponte gets a pass here) in the same complex. I actually like the idea of true, traditional fare, but the fact that the Bucatini alla Carbonara costs $26 is almost criminal in many a guest’s eyes for a dish that contains next to no meat, vegetable, or cheese.

    I think Terralina née Portobello is going to be just down the street may make things even more confusing for guests. I also suspect that Wine Bar George may even offer something more in the way of an Americanized Italian selection.

    Perhaps just taking one of these options (The Hideaway seems to be the top choice) and making it into something else would help with the Italian-heavy perception. Personally, I would much prefer to see something more unique, maybe a French restaurant, instead.

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  • January 24, 2018 at 2:17 pm
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    There really aren’t too many Italian TS restaurants if you don’t count Disney Springs, right? By my count:

    MK: Tony’s Town Square (comes directly from Lady and the Tramp)
    Epcot: Tutto Italia, Via Napoli, and Tutto Gusto all fit the Italian pavilion, and are all different enough to fit right next to each other.
    DHS: Mama Melrose’s fit the New York theme when it was supposed to be a New York Theme, and the only other table service options at the park are varieties of American.
    AK: None.

    I don’t count QS pizza places in general as Italian, any more than I’d call Domino’s or Pizza Hut Italian; even then, there’s about 1 per park (MK-Pinocchio’s Village Haus; Epcot-Via Napoli Pizza Window; DHS-PizzeRizzo; AK-Pizzafari). And the one that’s more Italian than American (Via Napoli Window) is the best one.

    Resorts: Trattorio al Forno at the Boardwalk and Il Mulino at the Swan are about it, not including pizza places or food courts, right? That doesn’t seem like too much.

    The only problem seems to be when you put 4-5 new Italian restaurants in the same place that aren’t well differentiated.

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  • January 24, 2018 at 5:16 pm
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    It’s not too many. It’s what the Disney Customer wants. Disney caters to middle America. If you look at ‘best Italian Restaurant” for middle America newspaper polls. Olive Garden wins. It’s why the Mexican restaurant at EPCOT basically serves your standard #2 platter with refried beans, rice and tacos.
    I doubt you’ll see better Italian places…until middle America’s idea of better Italian places changes. Note: Middle America…not your east coast America.

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  • January 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm
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    I mean, you do realize you aren’t required to eat at all the Italian restaurants?

    “There are too many of those things those other people enjoy!” is a really strange position to take.

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  • January 29, 2018 at 12:59 pm
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    My only problem is that they are serving Olive Garden food at awesome local Italian joint prices. If I’m paying $25 for pasta, I expect it to be made fresh in house.

    Walt Disney menus are dumbed down for a middle America pallet.

    Reply

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