Restaurant Review: Pinocchio Village Haus
You may never dine at some places at Walt Disney World. Some restaurants may not fit your budget or your sensibilities.
Then, there are those other places, primarily the ones at Magic Kingdom, where everybody eats at some point or another.
This review will focus on one of them. Here’s what I think of Pinocchio Village Haus, one of the most popular restaurants at Magic Kingdom.
About Pinocchio Village Haus
When we discuss New Fantasyland, we’re referencing the themed land that Disney overhauled during the early 2010s.
However, some of the places date back to the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971.
Pinocchio Village Haus is one of those, as it will celebrate its 50th birthday in October 2021.
During the early days, the restaurant came with a mixed message. Its theming indicated Bavarian and Swiss ties.
Oddly, the restaurant served primarily Italian cuisine, though. This part makes sense, as an Italian author named Carlo Collodi created Pinocchio.
Over the years, Disney has tied the menu to Italy as much as possible. Still, the vibe remains more appropriate for other parts of Europe.
Perhaps that stems from the New Fantasyland concept, which fixates on fairytales, most of which remind people of specific architectural styles.
Humorously, the stories come from centuries before those buildings, but here we are.
Pinocchio Village Haus looks one way but cooks another. The building’s so beautiful that you won’t really care. It’s just a rarity for Disney to behave inconsistently.
The Check-In Process and Getting Seated
We arrived on time for our meal, and we needed it. We’d all flown in that morning. Everybody had spent hours at airports during a pandemic.
So, we were hangry by the time we picked our meal. We’d spent a couple of hours at Magic Kingdom by then and utilized Mobile Ordering.
When we showed up at the restaurant, we were in for our first surprise. A drill sergeant guarded the front door, and she wasn’t about to let us in.
The current Coronavirus protocols require guests to prove that our orders are ready before we can enter.
On a sweltering day, this woman physically blocked the four of us from entering. We were confused by the decidedly un-Disney act of aggression.
She attempted to explain twice, although her face shield/mask combo caused some problems.
Eventually, my wife understood and explained to the rest of us.
I’m mentioning this as a warning to you. Disney still handles its entry process this way and likely will do so through the first half of 2020.
As such, you shouldn’t expect to go into the restaurant until My Disney Experience confirms that your order is ready.
The app shows meal preparation as occurring in three steps. You need to prove that the restaurant has completed your food.
Otherwise, you’ll get denied admittance. Anecdotally, Disney seems to position its most insistent cast members at the door.
So, save yourself some aggravation and don’t show up until you know you can pick up your food.
We bumped into this protocol three times during our trip, with the person at Pinocchio Village Haus lingering in my memory the most.
She would have stopped Gepetto from entering Pinocchio’s without a confirmed Mobile Order ready.
The Dining Experience
Once the velvet rope dropped and we went inside, we enjoyed a delightful experience. It helped that we hadn’t seen our friends since before the pandemic.
The four of us delighted in a rare opportunity to socialize during the weirdest year ever.
The meal seemed to go quickly, even though we somehow spent more than an hour at a Quick Service establishment. We had that much to talk about.
In terms of Mobile Ordering, picking up our meal felt ridiculously easy. In fact, the other members of our party hadn’t tried it before.
They couldn’t believe how much Disney had streamlined the ordering process and resolved to use the service whenever possible.
That seems like the consensus opinion on Mobile Ordering. If you’re not already using it, you should plan to do so during your next visit.
Most of the time, Pinocchio Village Haus serves six entrees. You’ll have a choice of a salad, chicken nuggets, or five types of pizza.
So, ordering here doesn’t require much thought. You’re either getting pizza (well, flatbread) or probably eating somewhere else.
I say that right before I tell you that I ordered chicken nuggets. I wasn’t in the mood for pizza and wanted a reliable, albeit bland meal.
Surprisingly, I found the nuggets quite tasty. Part of that stems from my hunger, as I’d regretted not eating at the airport.
After two hours at the park, I was starving. Anything would have tasted good. I’m saying this so that you don’t raise your expectations.
Nuggets at Disney vary in quality, and I happened to get a delicious batch.
Everyone else at the table ordered pizza. We grabbed three different variations: Meat Lovers, four-cheese, and plant-based.
I’m not joking when I say that we didn’t leave a single slice across three pizzas. And yes, there was plenty of sharing.
The new (ish) Plant-based “Cheese” Pizza held particular intrigue, as people continue to question whether food tastes like food.
The people behind the Impossible product line must get exhausting explaining how one flavor accurately mimics another.
Suffice to say that everyone agreed that the plant-based pizza tasted mostly like pizza, albeit with a slightly different texture and finish.
The Meat Lovers Flatbread impressed me the most. It comes with bacon, ham, pepperoni, and sausage, although I took the ham off my bite.
I’m amused by the notion of ordering a massive meat pizza alongside a plant-based one.
Still, there wasn’t a matter/antimatter explosion or anything.
Also, apropos of nothing, I always love the fries here. It’s part of the reason I generally get nuggets instead of flatbread.
Since we were all starving, we went ahead and ordered two Chocolate Gelatos as well.
I…don’t love gelato. Everyone else at the table did, though. However, we’d filled up enough on pizza that we didn’t finish the second one.
I suspect that a better dessert would have been met with more vigor. At least, I would have helped out more in devouring it.
Overall, the meal is best described as about what you’d expect from Pinocchio Village Haus.
We had a lovely time catching up with friends and enjoyed the food well enough.
Generally, you’re picking this restaurant for convenience more than culinary experiences, though. It’s comfort food in a hospitable environment.
Honestly, you could do better if you’re willing to leave the parks and visit one of the monorail resorts for Quick Service.
Pro tip: Always try to sit in the Monstro Room. This section faces part of It’s a Small World, which shares the building.
Sometimes, you’ll get a seat that comes with a view of the ride boats. Alas, there’s a lot of competition for these seats.
Even during a 35 percent capacity limit park day, we couldn’t get one.