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Via Napoli: A Disney Dining Review

Walt Disney World photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 03-01-2012
  

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Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Dining  

I'll confess here, dining is one of the main reasons that I love going to Walt Disney World, with so many wonderful choices to pick from.


Disney doesn't make things easier, adding new options all the time. One of the newer choices is Via Napoli in Epcot's Italy.

I thought there was no way that we could include a meal at Via Napoli during our last visit to Walt Disney World, but fortunately circumstances conspired to give us an opportunity to try it out, and we took it. I’m so glad we did, as it turned out to be a great addition to our vacation.

I'd heard almost universally good reviews of Via Napoli before we experienced it for ourselves, so I did have reasonably high expectations of this place. As we entered, we were taken around to the side of the building, an area I didn’t realise existed! It was a shame in a way, as I would've preferred being seated in the main area, as that had more theming, but we did have some wonderful views of the Italy pavilion, and it turned out to be a fairly quiet area, which was a bonus.

We set about studying the menu, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of choice on it. I had expected to mostly see pizzas, as that was what I'd heard so much about, but there was so much more! It took us quite a while to select what we wanted, and while we were choosing, we ordered a sangria and a strawberry agua fresca (fruit cooler). I was fascinated by the latter, and it was very refreshing; a good choice for a hot day.



Italy - Via Napoli photo
Italy - Via Napoli

The wonderful ovens at Via Napoli. - photo by chezp

Appetizers included eggplant salad with olives, calamari, salami and cheese, and parma ham and melon. After much deliberation, I went for the mozzarella and tomato. Having had some disappointing attempts at this dish already during this vacation, I wasn’t sure about this, and it was lacking salt, but apart from that, it was better than those previous attempts. My husband sampled the arancini, fried risotto balls filled with mozzarella and meat ragu, and he was disappointed with the lack of meat in them.

So it wasn’t exactly the best start to the meal, but things were about to get a lot better. Despite the presence of salads, and pasta dishes such as lasagne, spaghetti and meatballs, and seafood linguine, we both opted for pizzas, and my goodness, we were glad we had! We’d already been told that they were cooked in the traditional Neapolitan way in wood-fired ovens, but to be honest, I took that to be Disney spiel, and wasn’t expecting what we ordered to be any different to any other pizza, but how wrong you can be!

It really was the most amazing thing I’d ever tasted, and so light, very different to the takeaway pizzas we get at home. There’s a great selection here, with signature pizzas including four cheese; ham and melon; pepperoni; tomato, mozzarella and vegetables; and Four Seasons--eggplant, artichokes, parma ham, and mushrooms. I ordered the funghi pizza with portobello and crimini mushrooms, while my husband went for a Build Your Own. The Build Your Own comes with an impressive selection of 15 options to put on your tomato, mozzarella and basil base. My recommendation is to definitely try the pizza here, as we absolutely loved it. On the pizza alone, we’ll be coming back to Via Napoli again.

I will say that it’s not a cheap table-service option, with lunchtime prices for individual-size signature pizzas $18, while the individual-size Build Your Own starts from a base price of $16, with each additional topping $2. [Large pies that serve 2-3 starts at $28, and "Mezzo Metro" (half-a-meter) pies for 3-5 start at $39.] Parmagiana and pasta dishes cost even more, and the average appetizer costs $8. As a result, if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, this is a good use for one table service credit.

After we’d finished our pizzas–we were far too stuffed to sample any of the desserts on offer!–we took a quick tour of the restaurant. It’s very light and airy in here, and I absolutely adored the pizza ovens called Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna (for the famous Italian volcanos), and it was fascinating to see the chefs creating those amazing pizzas, right in front of our eyes. I was mesmerized by the scene, and stood watching for some time. All around the dining room were reminders of the Italian setting, with posters on the wall, and small mosaics, depicting Italy, on some of the tables.

All in all, Via Napoli is a wonderful addition to the dining options at Disney, and one that we’ll certainly be returning to time and time again, particularly whenever we want to get a mouth-wateringly good pizza!


Via Napoli- Italy-  Individual Size Piccante Pizza photo
Via Napoli- Italy- Individual Size Piccante Pizza

iccante. Italian Spicy Sausage, Brocolli-Rabe, tomato, mozzarella. - photo by erin7075




About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Veggie Dining At Disney - Table Service Locations last updated 12/11/2008
Veggie Dining At Disney - Counter Service Locations last updated 12/04/2008
The Kosher Traveler At Walt Disney World - A Guide last updated 02/05/2009
Dining at Walt Disney World - An Introduction last updated 2/5/2009
Yachtsman Steakhouse From a Vegetarian's Point of View - A Dining Review last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


I can't wait to try it! Great review, it made me very hungry!!

     Kjschmidty on March 2, 2012 @ 11:33 am
Great post, Cheryl! My DD, her boyfriend and I were at Via Napoli in December, and I really agree with a lot of what you wrote. I also thought the appetizers were just... mehhh... but the food was absolutely delicious! :facelick: I hope you get a chance to try dessert sometime. I think that might have actually been better than the food, if that's possible! smiley for :waytogo: My DD got the 'Ugly But Good' dessert and still can't stop raving about it! :rofl:

My only complaint about Via Napoli is the whole check in process. The little lobby area is tiny, and there were tons of people packed in there the day we dined there. So much so, my DD's boyfriend had to leave the area because he felt so claustrophobic. There were a lot of CM's working, but nobody really seemed to know what was going on and it was a very confusing jumbled mess of waiting around for a long time without any help. I hope they can improve on that process soon.

But after all is said and done, this is a definite do-again restaurant for us. We loved it! smiley for :D

     ilovedisney0_0 on March 2, 2012 @ 1:15 pm
My family loved it here! It was my dd's 16th birthday when we went, they brought her a treat and sang Happy Birthday in Italian. It was a such a great experience. We all had different desserts and really enjoyed them.

     tinkerbellmom on March 2, 2012 @ 11:11 pm
ilovedisney0_0;3893195 >Great post, Cheryl! My DD, her boyfriend and I were at Via Napoli in December, and I really agree with a lot of what you wrote. I also thought the appetizers were just... mehhh... but the food was absolutely delicious! :facelick: I hope you get a chance to try dessert sometime. I think that might have actually been better than the food, if that's possible! smiley for :waytogo: My DD got the 'Ugly But Good' dessert and still can't stop raving about it! :rofl:

My only complaint about Via Napoli is the whole check in process. The little lobby area is tiny, and there were tons of people packed in there the day we dined there. So much so, my DD's boyfriend had to leave the area because he felt so claustrophobic. There were a lot of CM's working, but nobody really seemed to know what was going on and it was a very confusing jumbled mess of waiting around for a long time without any help. I hope they can improve on that process soon.

But after all is said and done, this is a definite do-again restaurant for us. We loved it! smiley for :D


I hope I get to try dessert one day as well.... :whistle:

Good point about the lobby area - it really does need to be bigger. smiley for :yes:

     chezp on March 3, 2012 @ 3:08 am
tinkerbellmom;3893557 >My family loved it here! It was my dd's 16th birthday when we went, they brought her a treat and sang Happy Birthday in Italian. It was a such a great experience. We all had different desserts and really enjoyed them.

Glad you enjoyed Via Napoli and welcome to the boards! :wave:

     chezp on March 3, 2012 @ 3:08 am
Hmm, Via Napoli. We ate here last March and I have one thing to say, AWESOME. I'm not sure about the "meat content" of the risotto balls, I just know they tasted awesome.

As for the pizzas being expensive, that's true, but we thought that the individual sized ones were actually large enough to share. We had a lot of food leftover, and yes we were on the DDP.

Still I would go back in a heartbeat!

     thepoohguy on March 3, 2012 @ 10:46 am
I've eaten at Via Napoli twice, once by myself and had the Margherita pizza and salad and the food was wonderful.

In December my sister and I ate at Via Napoli for our dinner choice for the Candlelight Processional Package. We loved it, it was a nice day and we were seated outside which was nice.

I had the Mozzarella Caprese for my appetizer and the Funghi Pizza, which had just the right amount of mushrooms on it and was fantastic. My sister had the lasagne, I don't remember which appetizer she had, but she loved the lasagne, we both had the Ugly but Good dessert.

After dinner we walked over to look at the ovens and watch the pizza being made.

We were very satisfied with our meals and my sister was really happy that I had chosen Via Napoli and we both agreed we'd go back again without hesitation

     helenk on March 3, 2012 @ 1:23 pm
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Updated 03-01-2012 - Article #781 



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