Celebrate National Pasta Day at Walt Disney World
It looks like something out of a dream when it’s twisted around a fork wearing just the right amount of homemade marinara. The peaks of macaroni elbows contrast gorgeously with deep rivers of melted golden cheese. Even more exciting is when sautéed veggies are discovered with each calculated move of the fork. Pasta will always be one of the most comforting, nostalgia-carrying foods of American culture, and on October 17th, National Pasta Day arrives to give all of us an excuse to eat glorious pasta from morning ‘till night!
Those of you visiting Walt Disney World Resort on October 17th have more than your fair share of reasons to indulge in a pasta dish or two…and the number one reason is that the Resort is home to some of the absolute best pasta dishes I’ve ever tasted!
A statement like that holds a lot of weight coming from a girl who grew up on her Italian grandma’s weekly cooked-from-scratch Sunday dinners (shh please don’t tell her!). I’ve had a fair share of bland pasta dishes while on vacation, but the choices that made this list are always fresh, always packed with flavor, and always hit the spot!
In the Parks
I always like to save my favorite for the end, but there are honestly too many delicious pasta dishes at Walt Disney World Resort that I couldn’t pick a number one favorite…so I decided to bookend with my top two pics! Yes, you MUST get a wood fired pizza to share when you’re dining here, but the linguine con vongole veraci is arguably my favorite pasta in existence. Period. The light, almost brothy sauce cradles the pasta and seafood in the bottom of the bowl and the light, garlic-y coating it lends to the pasta and clams is out of this world.
Chances are good you’re not dining here alone (and if you are, more pizza for you) and my recommendation on National Pasta Day is to forgo an appetizer or second pie for the penne arrabiata. Each time I’ve had it, the pasta has always been cooked al dente, the tomatoes were juicy and full of flavor, and the heat left just enough after the chew to be a great finish to each bite!
I can’t in good conscience recommend Tony’s Town Square never having eaten there, so my other in-Park recommendation will come via a detour down Hollywood Boulevard at Mama Melrose’s! The restaurant is perfectly themed in an old-timey New York way, and restaurants with that traditional Italian/American kind of décor call for a traditional kind of Italian/American favorite: chicken parmesan.
In this incarnation, the lightly breaded chicken comes out of the fryer- but that isn’t its final journey on its way to your belly! The fresh-fried chicken is placed over a bed of spaghetti and topped with fresh mozzarella before the whole thing is baked to bubbly perfection.
Around the Resort
A member of my travel party finds it very unfortunate that National Pasta Day doesn’t fall on a Sunday Supper day at Enzo’s, but guess what? Sunday Supper features only one type of basic red sauce pasta that kind of pails in comparison to everything else served during the meal. I for one am jumping for joy that I’ll be able to order from their normal dinner menu on October 17th, because that means the restaurant’s bucatini trapanese is going to find it’s way to my belly!
I like to maintain a somewhat healthy eating regime on vacation, and this grilled zucchini-packed pasta featuring tomato pesto (my favorite) and a healthy topping of parmesan is just what the doctor ordered. Or, I should say, just what I’ll be ordering!
I promised a big finale, and Il Mulino is just the place if you’re searching for a Manhattan-level pasta dinner in the heart of Central Florida. The restaurant was made famous in New York, and I’m lucky enough to have dined at both NYC and WDW locations. I can say that the same quality control and kitchen expertise can be found in the Swan hotel in Florida, because I everything from the appetizers through to the entrée course were equally as, if not even more, divine! I’ve got two recommendations from here (since, you know, just one visit simply isn’t enough): gnocchi Bolognese for meat lovers, and the simple and straightforward pappardelle for anyone searching for a fresh, light, and honest tomato sauce.
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer thrilled to a part of your Disney vacation planning! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!