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  • Trip Report Via Napoli

    This post is my 14,000th post here on Micechat. Who would have thought TDLFAN would've lasted this long??? LOL. Anyways...

    TDLFAN stopped by the new Via Napoli restaurant at the Italy Showcase at EPCOT Center's World Showcase yesterday. But after seeing the inflated price list for food you can find at many other italian eateries in town for much less, I decided to withdraw my intend to eat there.

    However, I will say this much for the place.. I made it as far as the waiting area inside the facility. At first I did like the bright interiors and the skylight windows in the back wall. It gives the place an open air feel. Another plus is the use of glass walls in the entrance which only enhances the expansive feel of the dinning room, which really, isn't that big. The show kitchen is very nice and I personally loved the beautiful classic statue artwork that frames the ovens. Very nice detail. The CMs costumes were also nice (when compared to the old restaurtant look next door). The outdoor facade is also very nice and ornated (for a WDW park that is) so it frames the overall look of the pavillion just fine, which was an elements of "enclosure" that wasn't there before. It's a small example of higher quality theming that WDW, especially EPCOT, needs desperately.

    Yet, I beg to ask.. why build another sit down next to another one that has proven popular enough? Do they feel there is a need for both to co-exist? I would have prefered if they had offer those guests who are more interested in quicker meal options a more elaborate quick counter experience.. apar with what they have at Tokyo DisneySea's Zambini Bros Restaurant.. a counter service place, with a sit down flair, and food that is well presented in plates rather than paper baskets. So that was most disappointing to me, especially since I love italian food but do not wish to waste time being served, or waiting for a table. This is where the China pavillion has one up on the Italy showcase IMHO.

    Soon enough, when I have some more time than what I had alocated yesterday, I will go back and actually try the food and grade the service in this new eatery.

    Oh one more thing.. that lovely Poseidon (or is it Zeus) Fountain that's been these since 1982? Well, it is still there but there was no water cascading thru it as it should be. I wonder if this fountain has been turned off or was it a one day maintenacne issue? I mention this because the fountain is one of the few little details that bring out the true feel of walking thru some of the most famous streets in Rome, a city I love, so I am hoping that Disney will not screw that here with the addition of the new restaurant.

    On other unrelated observations.. The new eatery at the Mexico Showcase is being revealed little by little as some of the tarps are beginniing to come down from the top of the building. What little I saw of the new building, it's colorful and textured with nice stone like walls and colorful dome and edges. I can only hope the rest of the building below will be as nicely detailed as top. Again, I welcome any upgrades in the look and feel of dated World Showcase and EPCOT overall. I can only hope this restaurant will not be yet another sit down to cash in on guests who are infrequent enough to splurge on their "once in a decade" visit to WDW, as opposed to use who go there at least twice very two weeks! Only one negative here.. with a nicer looking building in front of the mexican pavillion, it only makes the original pyramid facade look more drab, so I think it's time for Disney to invest in upgrading the look and feel of the Mexico pavillion outdoor structure.

    Germany Showcase has some of the shops shuttered down and in the process of being refurbished. I hope they pull off some nice theming and merchandise when they reopen later this year.

    Finally... Captain EO. Urgh. I saw this at DLR in mid july, twice! Double urgh! G-Fan (the partner), who for some reason digs this flick, made me go in it again. I figured... 20 mins of cool air conditioniing.. so I went in.
    But really, what can I say about this dated and poorly acted Michael 3D obituary? They things that made Captain EO watchable at the time it premiered are missing here (just like they are in DLR/I'm yet to see EO at TDL and DLP). The fiber-optic star field that framed the screen is no longer there, the laser blasts that used to emanate from the screens and walls creating the illusion of spaceship blasts on the theater wall are also gone. The smoke effects that exploded off the screen during several scenes, such as the crash landing scene, are gone, and so are the strobe lights that were located behind the screen during Houston's transformation seen. Without all of that eye candy, Capatin EO is just "plain". Thank God Michael's music here still holds my interest and it's always nice to see that cute Solid Gold dancer Tony next to Michael in the dance scenes. I wonder if he still looks as good as he did back then... Hmmm...

    And that concludes TDLFAN's brief EPCOT visit.
    Last edited by TDLFAN; 08-04-2010, 08:37 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Via Napoli

    Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Yet, I beg to ask.. why build another sit down next to another one that has proven popular enough? Do they feel there is a need for both to co-exist? I would have prefered if they had offer those guests who are more interested in quicker meal options a more elaborate quick counter experience.. apar with what they have at Tokyo DisneySea's Zambini Bros Restaurant.. a counter service place, with a sit down flair, and food that is well presented in plates rather than paper baskets. So that was most disappointing to me, especially since I love italian food but do not wish to waste time being served, or waiting for a table. This is where the China pavillion has one up on the Italy showcase IMHO.
    Agreed. This is disappointing and makes no sense to me. You would think that pizza especially would lend itself well to a counter service restaurant. Possibly this is because Disney thinks (perhaps correctly?) that guests will be willing to pay more for a full service restaurant?

    The prices are definitely a little on the high side. Sadly, I think this is a case of DDP strikes again. If everyone's on DDP, they don't care about the prices - and in fact think they're getting a good deal if the prices are higher. The high prices also incentivize guests that otherwise wouldn't to lock themselves into the DDP.

    Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Soon enough, when I have some more time than what I had alocated yesterday, I will go back and actually try the food and grade the service in this new eatery.
    I'm speaking from ignorance as I haven't been to Via Napoli, but the pictures of the pizza I've seen online definitely look like real Italian pizza - the kind you get in Naples. This is the one thing that makes me think the prices could be worth it. Granted, you could get the same thing or better for a quarter of the price (or less) in Italy, but you also have to pay to get over there which, for those of us in the U.S., is slightly more expensive than the cost of pizza at Via Napoli...

    Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Oh one more thing.. that lovely Poseidon (or is it Zeus) Fountain that's been these since 1982? Well, it is still there but there was no water cascading thru it as it should be. I wonder if this fountain has been turned off or was it a one day maintenacne issue? I mention this because the fountain is one of the few little details that bring out the true feel of walking thru some of the most famous streets in Rome, a city I love, so I am hoping that Disney will not screw that here with the addition of the new restaurant.
    I was just at WDW in late June/early July and I believe the fountain was working properly then. It's one of my favorite details too - it's a nice little tribute to the Trevi Fountain.
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    • #3
      Re: Via Napoli

      Loving those EPCOT original pavillion logos up ^^^ there!!

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      • #4
        Re: Via Napoli

        Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post

        Germany Showcase has some of the shops shuttered down and in the process of being refurbished. I hope they pull off some nice theming and merchandise when they reopen later this year.
        The Germany shop is closed to make a caramel shop.

        I've read reviews online and most seem in agreement about Via Napoli: good food, but too pricey. For the only WS pavilion with no quick service, it doesn't make sense to not have one there, even just a window with the outdoor tables for the take out.

        As for Mexico, I've read it'll be table service and Quick service, so we'll see how that works out...

        Thanks for the report!
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        • #5
          Re: Via Napoli

          Thank you yoyo for the additional information.

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          • #6
            Re: Via Napoli

            Oh one more thing.. that lovely Poseidon (or is it Zeus) Fountain that's been these since 1982? Well, it is still there but there was no water cascading thru it as it should be. I wonder if this fountain has been turned off or was it a one day maintenacne issue? I mention this because the fountain is one of the few little details that bring out the true feel of walking thru some of the most famous streets in Rome, a city I love, so I am hoping that Disney will not screw that here with the addition of the new restaurant.
            I was there Sunday and the fountain was not working.

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            • #7
              Re: Via Napoli

              Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
              Finally... Captain EO. Urgh.
              I hear ya

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              • #8
                Re: Via Napoli

                I'd like to see Via Napoli be a hybrid - sit down service for those who want it, but a separate line for those who want to try the non-Aramark pizza without having to wait for service. Offer maybe two pizza combinations with a bit of outdoor seating, and that saves people time while letting them eat something that didn't just come off the back of the truck.

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                • #9
                  Re: Via Napoli

                  Originally posted by SkittleKicks View Post
                  I'd like to see Via Napoli be a hybrid - sit down service for those who want it, but a separate line for those who want to try the non-Aramark pizza without having to wait for service. Offer maybe two pizza combinations with a bit of outdoor seating, and that saves people time while letting them eat something that didn't just come off the back of the truck.
                  100% agree with the need for a good QS, especially one that offers pizza in World Showcase! (Has anyone else had to hunt for pizza like I have???)
                  Sadly, I doubt a QS like this would work in the Italy Pavillion. Even a menu as simple as salads, woodfire pizzas, and sandwiches would take longer than the average in-park QS wait. Orders would have to be filled through a number system ("order number 320!! 320!!), or CMs would have to bring the orders to guests. Obviously, neither is a difficult idea to implement; but knowing the powers that be, this kind of opportunity will totally go over their heads.

                  For the record, California Adventure has had to contract a few trendy/gourmet food trucks this summer to provide more food options (think F&W Festival on wheels). And it's been really good!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Via Napoli

                    Was there entertainment going on or about to happen in the piazza when you were there? I've noticed when Serveur Amusant performs in France, the fountain is turned off; I imagine they likely do the same thing in Italy.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Via Napoli

                      Via Napoli is supposed to have a quick service element added in later. However no date was given as to when that element would begin. I hope that when that happens they offer more than a cheese or pepperoni choice.

                      As for Mexico, there will be both table service and counter service. However, I remember reading somewhere that the counter service portion and seating area would only be open for lunch and the whole place turned over to table service in the evening. (I'm thinking dinner packages for Illuminations for extra $$$) That would not surprise me at all if they did that.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Via Napoli

                        Keeping in mind "theme park prices" not outside real world prices.....

                        I don't think Napoli is overprice for a resturant inside a Theme Park. It came in at about what I expected.

                        I will be trying it soon, some friends and I will split the cost of a pizza over lunch.

                        quick note that the above is only meant to compare its prices to that of the industry it is in, the theme parks, and is no way should be translated into an endorment of the current prices for a food and beverages inside an entertainment complex.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Via Napoli

                          Here is the menu for those of you who want to look at the prices / what is offered:
                          Via Napoli - Italy - World Showcase - Epcot

                          The prices look for me to be maybe 25% overinflated for an amusement park and of course over double what you would pay outside of an amusement park. Speaking I could get a really good pizza at my favorite Italian place, for $12 and this is $36 for the same size. You got to factor in though tip since its a sit down place and the fact its a fancier place too. Thus it's about double.

                          Anyhow, that said, I see as being a hit for awhile since its new and then stagnating if its pizza doesn't build a rep for it. Personally, I'll wait for the reviews on the food quality. I also am not a fan of it being purely a sit down as this limits my flexibility in choosing it when going to the park do the need for ADR for almost every sit down place. I plan on going for Le Cellier for my ADR and I genuinely like to leave the other place of eating that day up to spur of the moment thinking.
                          Its hard to tell whether on that day I will be craving pizza and wanting to sit down for another hour or just wanting to visit Sunshine seasons for a turkey sandwhich that in a former post I was told that will make me "become a slave to".
                          Hoping to raise enough money to go to DL from Pennsylvania with my wife for our 5 year anniversary. (We went there on our honeymoon!)

                          If you would like to contribute to the cause for a relatively poor private school teacher. Please private message me. I'd be very thankful.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Via Napoli

                            ^ I am curious what your comparing it to that you came up with the figure that it is 25% over inflated theme park prices.

                            Have you purchases a flat bread from Mama Melrose, Cal Grill, Jiko or the like. In all those cases, "flat bread" is fancy for personal pizza with thin crust, and yet at least here their pizza are far from being Personal Pizza's.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Via Napoli

                              I too wish they do a CS. I think each pavilion needs a CS. I know people who share dishes at the different pavilions so they can try all kinds of different food. It gets pricey if its a sit down restaurant and its time consuming.

                              I wonder if they put to table services in because of the whole dining plan and how quickly restaurants fill up. I'm new to the whole dining plan things so maybe that isn't the case.
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                              • #16
                                Re: Via Napoli

                                Originally posted by Janell View Post
                                I too wish they do a CS. I think each pavilion needs a CS.

                                I agree. I was really surprised when they announced this it wasn't a QS. Hopefully, from the reviews I've read so far it seems well done, but still how hard is it to add a take out window for the outdoor patio, as someone else mentioned?
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                                • #17
                                  Re: Via Napoli

                                  Originally posted by Kidgenie View Post
                                  ^ I am curious what your comparing it to that you came up with the figure that it is 25% over inflated theme park prices.

                                  Have you purchases a flat bread from Mama Melrose, Cal Grill, Jiko or the like. In all those cases, "flat bread" is fancy for personal pizza with thin crust, and yet at least here their pizza are far from being Personal Pizza's.
                                  Well, I was at Cedar Fair's Kings Island, and the pizza there is some of the best in my opinion famous LaRosa's pizza of Cincinnati. (OK maybe you don't know it). Anyhow, the price was $6 for 2 slices of pizza, which was enough to fill you up about. Now if you want to be stuffed you could get 4 pieces for $12, which is probably the size of an individual pizza, being generous here to Napoli as an individual pizza is probably less than 4 slices of LaRosa's. The individual pizza prices is $15-17, mean $16. $12 is roughly 75% of $16, thus the 25% market. Just thought of all that in about 5 secs as I typed 25% in the original post. Of course, it is an estimate and doesn't really count the fact the Via Napoli is fancier. It's tough to compare the two.

                                  To truly price compare, you got to compare it to good pizza places in parks outside of Disney which is rather limited. In fact, I don't know of any other waiter service in another park for pizza. LaRosa's is the closest quality wise I can think of. Other parks like Kennywood have el cheapo pizza that is made in bulk. Busch Gardens Williamsburg has some decent pizza in its Italian area I believe, also not a sit down restaurant. (not sure of the prices there).
                                  Hoping to raise enough money to go to DL from Pennsylvania with my wife for our 5 year anniversary. (We went there on our honeymoon!)

                                  If you would like to contribute to the cause for a relatively poor private school teacher. Please private message me. I'd be very thankful.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Via Napoli

                                    Originally posted by Yackerz View Post
                                    Well, I was at Cedar Fair's Kings Island, and the pizza there is some of the best in my opinion famous LaRosa's pizza of Cincinnati. (OK maybe you don't know it). Anyhow, the price was $6 for 2 slices of pizza, which was enough to fill you up about. Now if you want to be stuffed you could get 4 pieces for $12, which is probably the size of an individual pizza, being generous here to Napoli as an individual pizza is probably less than 4 slices of LaRosa's. The individual pizza prices is $15-17, mean $16. $12 is roughly 75% of $16, thus the 25% market. Just thought of all that in about 5 secs as I typed 25% in the original post. Of course, it is an estimate and doesn't really count the fact the Via Napoli is fancier. It's tough to compare the two.

                                    To truly price compare, you got to compare it to good pizza places in parks outside of Disney which is rather limited. In fact, I don't know of any other waiter service in another park for pizza. LaRosa's is the closest quality wise I can think of. Other parks like Kennywood have el cheapo pizza that is made in bulk. Busch Gardens Williamsburg has some decent pizza in its Italian area I believe, also not a sit down restaurant. (not sure of the prices there).
                                    I live in Cincinnati and have had LaRosas' pizza. Actually, $6 for 2 slices (I'm guessing just cheese or pepperoni) is pretty good for LaRosas' outside the park as well! One of their large deluxe pizzas (before their current special of $11.11) was costing $15-$18 at one of their regular locations.

                                    We are going in September and doing the free dining plan and trying Via Napoli. I'll post pics and thoughts on the food as well. Regardless of if it's pricey or not, we wanted to try it
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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Via Napoli

                                      Originally posted by FantasticDuck View Post
                                      I live in Cincinnati and have had LaRosas' pizza. Actually, $6 for 2 slices (I'm guessing just cheese or pepperoni) is pretty good for LaRosas' outside the park as well! One of their large deluxe pizzas (before their current special of $11.11) was costing $15-$18 at one of their regular locations.

                                      We are going in September and doing the free dining plan and trying Via Napoli. I'll post pics and thoughts on the food as well. Regardless of if it's pricey or not, we wanted to try it

                                      That's cool! I'm glad someone else has heard of it then. They do have a deal on a whole pizza. It is like $20 (unsure of this); definitely cheaper than Via Napoli, but you don't get the waiter and quite as nice of an atmosphere. The options for toppings are pretty limited but they had cheese for the $6 price and for a small amount, like a quarter or less more, I think you could get pepperoni or sausage or both. My wife got cheese and I got both pepperoni and sausage for not much more, so it was a decent deal. We liked it so much we ate it for both lunch and dinner lol.

                                      If you are on the free dining plan, I'd definitely try Via Napoli as prices are really meaningless (at least to you, not to everyone else without the dining plan) then on individual food items. I'll be looking forward to a comparison to LaRosa's and the pics
                                      Hoping to raise enough money to go to DL from Pennsylvania with my wife for our 5 year anniversary. (We went there on our honeymoon!)

                                      If you would like to contribute to the cause for a relatively poor private school teacher. Please private message me. I'd be very thankful.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Via Napoli

                                        Everyone keeps talking about the free dining plan.. How does Disney makes a profit on sit downs if they are giving the food away for free? Can someone please explain? Personally, I believe everyone should pay for the food, and Disney needs to charge for their offerings inside the park so, those who do not take advantage of it, don't have to pay for others's free perks with unfair and unneeded ticket price raises, as has become the norm at the US Disney parks every year.

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