Monday, October 1, 2018

Disney may close one of their newest restaurants

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA DISNEY
  • Photo via Disney
When PizzeRizzo opened in 2016 many celebrated it as a sign that the Muppets were safe. The Hollywood Studios counter-service pizza restaurant replaced the extremely unpopular Toy Story-inspired Pizza Planet, and drew inspiration from the nearby Muppet Vision 3. By all accounts, PizzeRizzo was anticipated as the next phase of the Muppets.

However, when it opened many were surprised to find the restaurant hadn’t received an extensive Muppets presence – most of the theme focused on the New York setting instead of the Muppets. Plenty of decor on the walls was Muppet-based, but many complained that the Muppets felt like an afterthought in the space.

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA DISNEY
  • Photo via Disney
The area housing the new restaurant and the Muppet Vision 3D attraction was renamed Muppets Courtyard, but the name didn’t last long. Disney switched out the Muppets name for the more generic "Grand Park" a year later. Grand Park references the nearby LA-themed Grand Avenue, home to Baseline Tap House. The two "Grand" areas do blend, despite one being LA-themed and the other having a distinct NYC vibe.

Now, just shy of two years after its grand opening, the pizza joint is rumored to be closing. No hours for the restaurant have been posted after Oct. 27, and cast members are claiming they have been told the restaurant will close in the coming weeks. Despite this, it is still unclear if the restaurant may reopen seasonally or fully sometime in the future. In recent months the restaurant has seen its hours slashed, regularly closing after the lunch rush with no dinner hours.



When the restaurant reopened as PizzeRizzo, the menu didn’t make many changes from when it was Pizza Planet. Like most of the pizza at Walt Disney World, the PizzeRizzo menu wasn't especially enjoyable. The location also has suffered from being in the back corner of the Studios, behind an ever-changing maze of construction walls.

Next year, with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening nearby, the area is expected to see a flood of guests as they wait to enter the new land.

Long-term, the area formerly known as Muppets Courtyard has been viewed as a potential expansion pad for Star Wars land, though that’s unlikely thanks to the layout of the Star Wars area. Grand Park is wedged between the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the current Star Tours attraction. The current Star Tours does reference the new Galaxy’s Edge land in the ride, but the ride is somewhat dated, making the likelihood of it staying pretty low.

Replacing Muppet Vision 3D would also not be a popular closure for many fans, as it's one of the last projects Jim Henson worked on before his untimely passing on 1990.

For now, we know that PizzeRizzo will more than likely close in the coming weeks, though you may be able to experience the lousy pizza and meager theming sometime in the future.

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