After a major refurbishment, the counter service pizzeria at Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently reopened as PizzeRizzo in Muppet Courtyard, which was formerly part of Streets of America.
PizzeRizzo occupies the same spot where Pizza Planet used to reside. In fact, much of the menu remains the same, but the rest of the building, both inside and out, has gone through some major changes. The theming has also changed dramatically – the restaurant has the feel of a traditional New York City pizzeria, although on a larger scale. While there are Rizzo and other Muppet touches throughout the restaurant (be sure to check out the wall hangings around the second floor), it’s much more subtle than many of the over-the-top themed Disney eateries.
Just inside the entrance is a fairly large, open area in front of the registers and menu boards. Along the walls are a few Rizzo and pizza joint theming elements, and the digital menu boards gleam with the choices for diners. Like most other counter services restaurants in the Disney parks, a cashier takes your order before you move on to the counter where your order is assembled and delivered.
Two floors of seating await once you have your order – both floors offer indoor and outdoor seating. Head up to the second floor for a variety of seating options, including regular tables and chairs or booths in the main area. Also on the second floor is “Rizzo’s Deluxe Supreme Banquet Hall” – a room over the serving area downstairs that is permanently celebrating the wedding of couple “Gil & Lill.” On our visit, we caught a couple dancing to Etta James’ “At Last.”
The food is best described as typical Disney counter service fare. We ordered a Cheese Pizza ($9.49) and a Meatball Sub ($9.69). Both are served with a side Caesar Salad.
Both portions are what you would expect – filling, and priced comparable to other counter-service mass-produced offerings at the parks. The pizza was baked appropriately with crisp edges and bottom, and taste was average. While there is certainly better pizza elsewhere around Disney, it’s hard to have really bad pizza unless it’s over- or under-cooked.
The meatball sub flavor was good, but the roll was cut off-center and it fell apart within the first few bites. The Caesar salads were a nice change of pace from the typical side of fries. They were slathered in Caesar dressing, which can either be good or bad news based on your tastes.
Overall, we had a good experience with PizzeRizzo. Counter-service options at Hollywood Studios have always been lacking in our opinion, so it’s good to have an option that’s different from the standard burgers and chicken fingers that can be found across the parks. The expanded serving and seating areas also mean a little more elbow room, which is very welcome. Since PizzeRizzo is currently at the dead end in Muppet Courtyard, it should remain relatively quiet until the new Star Wars and Toy Story themed lands open in the future.
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