Walking through Cinderella Castle, guests are transported into Fantasyland all around them. While the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel dominates your field of view, sneak past it to find one of the often-overlooked quick service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom…the Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant.
At first glance, the restaurant does tend to blend in with its surroundings. Once inside, however, you’ll find an extremely family-friendly dining location. Especially appealing to a younger crowd, Pinocchio Village Haus can be an easy win for a family looking to take a break mid-day or even into the dinner hours.
Nestled directly beside ‘it’s a small world’, the Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant is styled like an old German cottage or house. In case your German is a little rusty, haus means house. A mixture of brick and make up half of the exterior building. Plenty of intricately cut wooden timbers are the accents that really give the “cottage” style building its character.
Plenty of windows give you a forced perspective that this village haus is up to 4 stories tall (it’s really just 2 ½. Underneath most of the windows sit flower boxes brimmed with a colourful array of flora. The roofs themselves are a combination of red and blue shingles, bringing even more colour to the exterior of the building.
The Pinocchio Village Haus posts a sign bearing the name of the restaurant over both the entrance and the exit doors. The latter even has a small statue of Pinocchio above it. There is a small courtyard fenced off outside. Tables with umbrellas sit inside the courtyard to accommodate an overflow of guests, or those who wish to dine outside.
Inside Pinocchio Village Haus, guests are directed into the ordering area, which is still designed to look like the exterior, complete with a bright light “sky” above. Once you have placed and picked up your order, you can head into one of the themed rooms.
While it does feel like one large space, there are defined rooms with a surprising number of tables to accommodate the lunch or dinner rush. Frescos are painted along the walls, depicting scenes and characters from Pinocchio, along with lyrics to classic songs from the film. The largest area is the Stromboli room, but you’ll find other characters like Figaro, the Blue Fairy and Jiminy Cricket.
With nice weather, there is a staircase that will take you up to a 2nd story balcony outdoors that overlooks Fantasyland.
While it may seem like every table is the same, there are some extremely coveted seats inside this restaurant. In the Monstro-themed room, there are about a half dozen tables seated next to large glass windows. The windows overlook the loading dock for ‘it’s a small world’. Guests seated at these tables will catch a glimpse of each boat passing by as they begin the happiest cruise ever sailed. You can wave at the boats, or you can pick up one of the signs that ask guests to “give someone a high five” or “sing It’s a Small World”
These are difficult tables to get, as you’ll find guests getting antsy when they sense a table about to open up. If you happen to snag one, great! Try not to be disappointed if you don’t get to sit there. As always, be joyful and have some courtesy and goodwill towards your fellow guests. This is not the place to cause a scene, and it won’t ruin your vacation if you don’t experience these tables.
This ends my public service announcement for the tables at Pinocchio Village Haus.
As a quick service restaurant, the prices should not be surprising here. Entrées are in the $10-15 USD range, with sides and desserts typically between $3-5 USD.
Guests using the Quick Service Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan will require one quick service credit (it’s 1-credit for the DDP+ or the Deluxe Dining Plan).
I always like to mention that this restaurant is also set up for mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience App. If you want to avoid waiting in line to place your order, you can order ahead of time through the app and then let them know when you arrive. Shortly thereafter, you’ll receive a notification that your order is ready for pickup and you can get it from the mobile ordering window.
The Mobile Ordering is a great way to beat the crowds, especially during the busy lunch and dinner rush (12-1pm and 5-6pm, respectively).
The exterior may have a German feel, but Pinocchio is fundamentally an Italian story. The menu is largely (or loosely) Italian…and I’ll get to that paradox in our 10¢ below.
At the present moment, the menu consists of some very family-friendly Italian-inspired dishes. There is a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich or Chicken Parmesan Pasta. An Antipasto Salad with salami and provolone cheese is also loosely Italian. The main game here, however, are the flatbreads. Gourmet Cheese, Margherita, Pepperoni and Meat Lovers flatbreads are probably the easiest crowd-pleasers on the menu. Let’s not kid ourselves here, it’s pizza on flatbread. That’s a perfect way to convince any picky eaters to order, while still convincing yourself that it’s an Italian restaurant.
Lauren and I ordered a flatbread each, Lauren opting for the Margherita Flatbread and I went for the Meat Lovers. Feeling a need to load up on carbohydrates, we also ordered a side of garlic breadsticks with marinara sauce. I seem to recall being told that they were a great addition to the meal…truthfully they were not memorable at all. The same could be said for our flatbreads too. It was very generic, with nothing overly stand-out or memorable about any of the dishes.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that we’re probably not the target market for this menu. Pinocchio Village Haus is in Fantasyland for a reason. It’s meant to cater to the families who need their kids to eat something…anything…while they’re in the parks. Each of our flatbreads satisfied our hunger, and they weren’t bad at all. They just weren’t anything special. Personally, I feel like if you know that the menu will be pretty average going into it, you won’t be disappointed. If you expect the type of flatbread you might encounter in Tuscany, you will wind up leaving unfulfilled.
You will find that there are a large number of allergy-friendly items that can be made to order. As is the case at any Disney quick service restaurant, allergy-friendly meals do take longer to prepare, so keep that in mind.
Each restaurant at Walt Disney World has a plant-based option on the menu. Unfortunately, at Pinocchio Village Haus, that option is penne pasta topped with marinara and a sprinkling of basil. It’s not exactly an inspired dish and you’re likely to find better options elsewhere if you wish to pursue the plant-based option.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Lauren and I are probably not the target demographic for this particular quick service restaurant. It’s meant for families, and more specifically, families with young/picky eaters. This is a very basic menu of pasta, chicken, marinara sauce or pizza (flatbreads). There’s nothing wrong with it, but take it at face value. It’s not fine dining and it’s not even really meant to be something unique. It’s meant to be a crowd pleaser – appealing to a wide audience and it gets the job done.
With quick service restaurants, you can always be hit or miss. When it’s the lunch rush, and the cast members are preparing dishes frequently, you’ll probably have something hot and fresh. In the off-peak hours, the food quality may dip a little bit because of the lack of guests.
Our typical strategy is to try and Mobile Order our meal. When we arrive, we’ll find a table and wait for the order pickup notification. During the busiest hours, you could be waiting in line to order for a while. That’s not unique to Pinocchio Village Haus, all of the quick service restaurants have long lines in the lunch and dinner rush.
I’ll reiterate that you shouldn’t expect to get the prime tables looking into ‘it’s a small world’. If you happen to get lucky, great! Don’t be aggressive about the tables…and don’t stand there, lurking while you wait for a family to finish up their meal. It’s not worth it. When you’re finished your meal, you can always walk your kids past the window to have them look into the attraction, and that’s all you really need. If you’re desperate to see the ride, walk on over and get in the stand-by queue. It’s the best view you can have.
All that is to say that we don’t love Pinocchio Village Haus. It certainly serves a purpose, and as much as we weren’t blown away by the food, it definitely wasn’t bad. It’s just not a must-do restaurant for us. We’d rather head over to Columbia Harbour House or pick up something quick from Casey’s Corner. Your experience may vary, but I feel like my role here is to at least set your expectations lower for Pinocchio Village Haus. If you happen to go and have a pleasantly delightful experience, then I’ll be very happy for you. I just wouldn’t want to build it up to be something it’s not.
As a final note, I have to talk about the paradox of having the exterior of the building modeled after German cottage houses, but the theme and menu reflecting Pinocchio’s Italian background. The real explanation will only come from the Imagineers that first created Fantasyland at Walt Disney World in 1971. The original movie was set in an alpine village in Italy, near the alps, but the architecture in the movie is not the same as Pinocchio Village Haus. The German-style cottage fits with more of the general theming in Fantasyland as it was meant to reflect a European village that encompassed a number of different regions.
By all accounts it was a matter of merging two design concepts together. The exterior fit with the original theming of Fantasyland in 1971. Snow white would have been a good fit in the building, but since the Snow White’s Scary Adventure attraction occupied the building that is now Princess Fairy Tale Hall, it was too far away to extend the theming. Pinocchio needed to be reflected in the land somewhere and this German-styled building made the best fit. The debate behind the logic and the setting continues…
Disney QUIPS – Pinocchio Village Haus
Quick – An Italian-themed Pinocchio-inspired quick service restaurant put inside a German-styled cottage.
Unique – Frescos painted on the walls reflect characters from Pinocchio. A second story balcony with tables offers a view over Fantasyland. Inside, the Monstro Room offers limited seating with a view into the ‘it’s a small world’ attraction.
Impressions – It is a family-friendly restaurant that caters to a wide variety of picky eaters, offering simple, crowd-pleasing dishes and a relaxed atmosphere.
Palate – There is nothing overly special on the menu here. Flatbreads pizzas are the mainstay here, with a few Chicken Parmesan dishes.
Skip or Stay – If you are a family with younger, picky eaters, this might be the best location for you in the Magic Kingdom and it would be a “Stay” for you. If you’re not looking for pizza or pasta, this is a “Skip” restaurant.