Ask It Results: Too Many Italian Restaurants?

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Buongiorno! It’s time for another round of Ask It results. I hope that you’ve brought your appetite, because we’re talking about a favorite cuisine–Italian. It’s very easy to say that for most Americans, Italian food is a favorite that almost everyone can agree on. Disney is well aware with this, and has quite a few Italian restaurants on property. But how much is too much? Last week we asked you:

Are there too many Italian restaurants at Walt Disney World?

Here’s your results.

Yes (799, 47%)

First, let’s give a quick rundown of Italian restaurants at Walt Disney World. Depending on whether you include pizza as Italian food or as its own creation, you still end up with a lengthy list. At Magic Kingdom, you have Tony’s Town Square and Pinocchio Village Haus. At Epcot, you’ve got Tutto Italia, Tutto Gusto, and Via Napoli. Heading over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ve got Mama Melrose and PizzeRizzo. At Animal Kingdom, you’ve got Pizzafari. Wandering around the resorts, you’ve got Boardwalk Pizza, Trattoria al Forno, Ravello, and Il Mulino. (And that doesn’t include quick-service locations at resorts that have a pizza or pasta station.) And then there’s Disney Springs: Blaze Pizza, Enzo’s Hideaway, Maria and Enzo’s, Pizza Ponte, Wolfgang Puck Express, and Terralina on the way. (I suppose you could also include Vivoli Gelateria, too.)

That’s a lot of pasta.

Although the amount of food at Walt Disney World is very diverse, there’s still plenty of other restaurants that people would like to see. (I would personally love a Sushi-Go-Round or really any restaurant where you take food from a conveyor belt. I’d even settle for an Automat in Tomorrowland. Just me? Okay, then.) Although having one or two places in a theme park or a handful of places at resorts spread out isn’t that jarring, the amount of Italian restaurants at Disney Springs feels a bit much for many people. There’s so much potential for amazing options at Disney Springs, and certainly there are many on the way, but Disney Springs is the one place where almost everyone agreed that maybe there can be too much of a good thing.

No (897, 53%)

It’s hard to find a person living in the United States who doesn’t like American-style Italian food. The Olive Garden near my house, squarely in the Tourist Zone, is so packed on most nights that finding a parking space is difficult. Whenever an office party comes up where food is to be ordered in, pizza is a safe bet. Disney wants to keep guests happy, and if that means building an Italian restaurant on every corner, that’s what they’ll do. The line for Blaze is consistently out the door, and getting a reservation for Via Napoli can be a challenge at times. As long as demand is there, it’s hard to say that there’s too many places to fill that demand.

In between the Yes and the No votes was the overlying theme that the quality and creativity of Italian food is lacking in many cases. Yes, an Italian restaurant needs to have the basics, but it doesn’t seem that many restaurants want to go beyond that. Those that attempt to are faced with cringe-worthy prices for the average guest. (It’s hard to justify a $50 pizza or a $30 plate of spaghetti, and so more specialty cuisine would be even more jarring in price.) So at the end of the day, it may not be that Disney has too many Italian restaurants as much as Disney has too few *good* Italian restaurants.

So there you have it–this week’s results. Next week’s AskIt is live here and on Twitter. In the meantime, what’s the best Italian food that you’ve had at Walt Disney World? Or, for the pessimists out there, what’s the worst Italian food that you’ve had at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments. See you next week!

 

Julia Mascardo

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

8 thoughts on “Ask It Results: Too Many Italian Restaurants?

  • January 31, 2018 at 11:47 am
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    Wow, you remember the Automat! They were the best growing up. Of course, we would have to swipe our magic bands instead of putting nickels in the slots.

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    • January 31, 2018 at 12:49 pm
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      I think that would be AWESOME. Disney needs to make that happen.

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      • January 31, 2018 at 5:48 pm
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        Norway absolutely needs a smorgasbord quick-service.

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  • January 31, 2018 at 12:59 pm
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    My family went to an automat when we went to the New York World’s Fair in 1964 or 1965. I loved it, of course I loved coin operated machines too. They had one at the Fair that would make a wax(?) dinosaur too!

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    • January 31, 2018 at 2:02 pm
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      DH went to the NY World’s Fair as a kid, and we still have his wax dinosaur!

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  • January 31, 2018 at 2:01 pm
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    We never eat Italian in the world. It’s far too easy to get really good Italian food where we live, so when we’re on vacay we want something special and different. (Also DH can’t have any kind of tomato sauce in the evening, and Italian feels too heavy for mid-day. For us, anyway.)

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  • January 31, 2018 at 11:55 pm
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    I’d be interested in seeing the geographic breakdown. I have a feeling that people from the northeast (particularly NY/NJ) skewed towards “yes” on this quiz, since there are better options at home.

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  • February 3, 2018 at 11:41 am
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    Funnily enough our best and worst Italian was at the same restaurant. WE went to Tutto Italia several years ago and everything was perfect. The sauce was amazing on the calamari. every entree was perfect and we loved it. The kids and I went again in 2015 and had the worst experience. They would not substitute regular pasta for the unique sides for the kids saying they had not spaghetti sides. Well it is Disney and they have spaghetti on the menu so I am not sure why it was impossible to put some on a small plate and skip the adult sides. The food was mediocre at best for that meal and the kids were not happy at all. WE will never return. Too much good food at Epcot to be treated like that for mediocre Italian

    Reply

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