Why can't Disney make a good slice of pizza?

November 12, 2014, 10:31 AM

Seriously... why does Disney insist on selling that bready, tasteless pizza puff you find at Redd Rockett's and other restaurants throughout the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts?

Okay, I get that people must like it. Fine, but why not also sell a more traditional thin-crust pizza for people who prefer pizza that tastes like pizza instead of pizza-colored white bread? It's not hard: shape some basic dough, top it with crushed tomatoes and mozzarella, then put it in a blazing hot over for a few minutes. It's not like there aren't hundreds of assembly-line quick-serve pizza places starting up all over the country that serve pizzas that put Disney's to shame.

Yes, Disney has those great flatbreads at Boardwalk in DCA for a while, but now they're gone and replaced by Disney's Pizza-colored Bread Triangle®. The only places at Disneyland and Disney World that still sell excellent pizza are Via Napoli and Naples, both of which are operated by Patina Group, not by Disney.

I'm not asking for Tony Solaroni here (though a Tokyo Disney-like seafood pizza in America would make me deliriously happy). I just want some better pizza.

What do you think?

Replies (18)

November 12, 2014, 11:32 AM

preach it!

November 12, 2014, 12:05 PM

Why can't Disney sell a good cup of coffee? Ask Starbucks.

November 12, 2014, 12:51 PM

Robert, try a Turkey Leg instead...

But I have to Agree, all major theme parks should have a good slice. If they have to charge more, fine... Folks will pay for quality.....

God save the queen! (Just saying)

Edited: November 12, 2014, 3:49 PM

I agree!!!! Robert, this should be on the home page!!

I think people continue to buy it because, well, it's pizza & you generally can't go wrong with pizza. After you eat it, technically you aren't hungry anymore, but I'm curious how many people would actually rate it high, quality wise.

There needs to be a "DCA style" makeover to those disney pizza recipes!!

Edited: November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM

I think it's because it has become a default entrée for young picky eaters (along with chicken nuggets and mac and cheese). There's no need for Disney to raise the quality of the pizza, because most who are eating it are doing so because it's familiar, not because it tastes good. Some parents just default to pizza because it's the only thing they know their kids will eat (some out of fear for wasting food by presenting something else to their children, others because their children will refuse to eat anything else for one reason or another). Why should Disney trim their margins to create a product that those who are eating it will consume it regardless of quality?

Those who want good pizza know where to get it, or know enough to avoid the generic theme park pizza.

November 12, 2014, 9:16 PM

AMEN!

I think there is something about Florida and not have the right conditions for making pizza. I am a little surprised on California.

I do think Via Napoli makes a mean pie, but then again, I think you were looking for a slice.

November 13, 2014, 7:07 AM

Russell said -
Why should Disney trim their margins to create a product that those who are eating it will consume it regardless of quality?

As I already stated - Folks will pay more for quality... You can still have low quality frozen crappy pizza but Disney could also have another higher slice at a slightly higher price.... Call it something like Neapolitan slice...

November 13, 2014, 8:52 AM

People will pay more for quality, but if presented a menu with the existing pizza costing $8.00/slice and a higher quality pizza at $10/slice it would create confusion for the customer.

Instead Disney has provided Via Napoli at EPCOT, which serves a more authentic pizza, along with Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs that serves a much higher quality pizza.

A lot of it comes down to facilities, and it would take a monumental upgrade to replace existing equipment in practically every single restaurant to bring in what is necessary to cook higher quality pizza. My guess is that Disney probably uses standard broiler conveyer ovens for their pizza and other baked items (probably heated to 450-500 degrees). An oven capable of cooking higher quality pizza would probably only be used for pizza, so menus or cooking techniques on other items may need to be changed or the kitchens would need to be equipped to handle an extra pizza-only oven. It would be quite an undertaking for something that I don't think would make a huge amount of money for Disney.

Edited: November 13, 2014, 11:10 AM

I don't think that Disney should offer multiple types of pizza in the same restaurant. But I think it could do the current bread loaf in one place, and different styles in others. I believe that offering a wider variety of items results in increased spending. Obviously, one needs to find the sweet spot between stimulating that extra spending and incurring extra costs that cancel that extra income. But I think that Disney is erring on the side of cost containment here, and that's a bad trend for Disney to be following.

November 13, 2014, 11:30 AM

My kid wants the generic bready cheese pizza (plain, no pepperoni or other topping), generic mac and cheese (no 4 cheese gourmet crap), and generic chicken tenders (McNuggets best, processed chicken mystery meat, no real chicken breasts).

I suppose they can make the children's version of these foods and then have the adult version if they so desire, but the restaurants will have many returns. Before, I bought the adult version to share with the whole family, but they seldom eat the adult version. So they get their own version.

November 13, 2014, 2:09 PM

Would you people settle down! Disney is currently designing a better pizza. It will be available in 2019.

(Snark)

November 14, 2014, 8:27 AM

I thought they would have that ready for 2017 in Pandora, and that it would say your name (extracted from your Magic Band) as you took a bite.

November 15, 2014, 7:36 AM

Making good pizza is an art, and people who are practiced at that art aren't going to be working for Disney.

November 17, 2014, 11:57 PM

Last time Disney was close to anything resembling quality pizza was at the worlds fair in Flushing, NY.

November 19, 2014, 10:08 PM

People making good pizza not going to Disney? Disney has some pretty good chefs working for them!

I think the answer is that a good pizza cannot be rushed. Thus the "fast food" pizza that Robert is talking about is no good.

I think he would agree that Via Napoli and whatever DL calls their Via Napoli is pretty good.

November 21, 2014, 2:07 PM

My guess would be that Disney really, REALLY wants you to but pizza at a sit down meal, rather than the fast food version.

November 21, 2014, 4:28 PM

When I visit an amusement park, if I go to a counter service restaurant I'm looking for a quick meal and don't mind if it's fast food quality. If I want good quality food, I'll take the time to go to a full service restaurant. For this reason, Disneyland's pizza has never bothered me, as it's still at least as good as what you'd get from a Pizza Hut and if I want quality pizza I can just walk out to Naples in Downtown Disney.

As for why Disney does it, I'm sure it comes down primarily to cost and convenience. If you charge more for something, you're likely to sell less, so unless the park sold different types of pizza at the same price they would probably lose money on the better but more expensive pizzas. The cheaper it is to make, the more profit the park gets as well. Finally, it is much easier to have one standard recipe and set of ingredients for the entire park than to have several different variations for different locations. It's not that it can't be done, just that it may not yield the best return on investment.

December 12, 2014, 11:58 AM

Maybe it's just the Toy Story lover in me but I really enjoy Pizza Planets pizza, and the some what pretzel styled crust. I will agree when it comes to a traditional New York Style of Pizza it's over priced. My Wife and I went to Via Napoli, her first time ever and my first in years, and I was very disappointed. Would have preferred Papa Johns for sure.

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