Disney Springs announces two new restaurants to open this winter

October 30, 2017, 9:51 AM · The Walt Disney World Resort and Patina Restaurant Group announced this morning that Patina would open two new restaurants at Disney Springs this winter, adjacent to the previously announced Maria & Enzo's and The Edison in the resort's ever-expanding shopping and dining district.

Enzo's Hideaway and Pizza Ponte will be sibling restaurants to Maria & Enzo's, which will be a table service Italian trattoria. (A trattoria, TIL, is less formal than a ristorante, but more formal than an osteria.) Here's how Disney describes the Hideaway:

A speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. Inspired by Florida’s true history of rum running, Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and serve a casual menu of hearty Roman dishes, such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe.

Pizza Ponte will be a "fast casual" concept.

Pastry specialties include Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts), Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice.

Patina Group also runs Via Napoli in Epcot, so the TL;DR on Pizza Ponte might be the quick-service version of that popular table service pizzeria. Patina also runs Tutto Italia Ristorante and Morimoto Asia at the Walt Disney World Resort.

All three restaurants are expected to open sometime this winter. No more specific opening date was announced.

Replies (11)

October 30, 2017 at 10:22 AM · After seeing the new Downtown Disney, ahem, "Disney Springs" first hand last week, it's really just more of the same. The complex is still more of a shopping mall than an entertainment destination, and while it's nice to have some diverse restaurant and bar options available for adults, like Pleasure Island used to be, Disney Springs should not be receiving more publicity than the theme parks that actually support tourism to Central Florida.

Certainly, the conversion to Disney Springs is a huge improvement over the mess that Downtown Disney became after Pleasure Island shut down, but it's not all that it's cracked up to be. Perhaps guests who live in smaller, less affluent places around the country/world will be drawn to some of the upscale retailers they don't see at home, but for me, Disney Springs doesn't provide anything I can't get within a 5-minute walk of my downtown DC office or within a 30-minute drive from my Northern Virginia home at any of the handful of upscale malls in the DC Metro Area. Sure, I may have to visit 3 or 4 different malls to replicate the full lineup of Disney Springs offerings, but there's very little there I cannot find at home, which is a bit of a departure from what Downtown Disney tried to be. While some of the newer restaurants offer some unique themes and celebrity chefs, again, it's not a huge departure from what most people living in a major metropolitan area can get at home.

I promised TH an honest review of Disney Springs, and for me it just doesn't measure up, and the glossy veneer of a "theme" doesn't change the fact that the renamed complex is nothing more than a glorified outdoor shopping mall. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, because after all, tourists come to Orlando to spend money, and what better place to separate people from their money than a shopping mall, especially if it's got Disney's seal of approval. However, to say that anything major has changed, aside from the logistics of getting in and getting out, is a huge exaggeration. I'm sure locals love it, because it makes Orlando more like other major US cities and injects some level of class into an area that's more known for strip malls and discount stores; but from a purely objective perspective of a guest that lives just outside a major US city, Disney Springs, while nicer and more convenient to visit than Downtown Disney was over the past 5-10 years, is really nothing special.

October 30, 2017 at 10:40 AM · Russell: I definitely agree on Disney Springs. Very much a glorified shopping mall. I don't even get the point of some of the stores, like who goes to Disney World to buy Ugg boots? All of the high end retailers are nice to walk by but I would never imagine walking into them. Although that's me personally, I'm sure there is an appeal for international tourists and convention guests especially to have this "big city" type of shopping and dining on property.

More to the point of the original post though, Robert: I don't think I would call Pizza Ponte a second version of Via Napoli. The pizza sounds like a totally different style than what is served at Epcot. I'm in the camp that LOVES Via Napoli, so I'm excited to try another spot run by the same people. But I don't think Pizza Pointe will be simply a "quick service version of Via Napoli."

October 30, 2017 at 10:52 AM · Russell, not all of us in the world live within a half an hour of luxury, upscale malls.
October 30, 2017 at 11:56 AM · That's eresy!
Bucatini is the traditional/ideal pasta format for Amatriciana, carbonara has to be matched with rigatoni.
We already have an awful Food and Wine booth to represent our country, that's time for the Italian ambassador to intervene.

Joking... almost

October 30, 2017 at 12:15 PM · We were in Orlando for 2 weeks in May, and will be there for a week and a half starting November 1st. We had several good evenings at Disney Springs. Nicholas Marks was very entertaining at the Market Place Stage. It's not just about the shopping.

We are looking forward to our reservations at Chef Art Smith's and I'm sure we will have a drink at Jock's Hanger Bar. People watching is also fun, keep your eye out for Mr Maserati. he's there almost every night in his colorful outfits.

October 31, 2017 at 6:40 AM · I live in NJ, but work in NYC in Rockerfeller Center.

We have numerous Patina Group restaurants within a blocks of our office. They all have a few things in common; Mediocre food, higher than average prices and mostly appeal to tourists. I guess that is why they flourish in Disney World.

We did eat at Via Napoli when they first opened years ago. We received our food just minutes after ordering and it wasn't hot. This means that the kitchen is a glorified buffet and they just plate it and bring it.

I guess that many tourist from smaller cities or rural areas just don't any better. I for one am not excited about more restaurants from Patina.

October 31, 2017 at 10:04 AM · What I don't understand is why Disney is continuing to outsource interests in Disney Springs?

For one, the Disney culinary department has a diverse and successful portfolio of restaurants across WDW. I had my first meal at Tiffins a couple of weeks ago, and it was delicious. I have yet to have a disappointing meal from any of the signature restaurants across WDW (V&A's, Flying Fish, LeCellier, Chef D' France, Artist Point, and more), yet when it comes to developing and executing concepts in Disney Springs, Disney Culinary is left on the sideline when new eateries are needed.

I have only eaten at Via Napoli once, and that was during a F&W Festival event. Sure, the pizza was good, but I'm not buying all the marketing about the water, and have tasted similarly good pizza outside of NYC and Italy. I just wish that Disney would look more internally to develop and execute some of the restaurant concepts at Disney Springs. They have the expertise and track record.

October 31, 2017 at 1:50 PM · As somebody who lives in the third largest city in the United States, I seriously have no idea what Russell is talking about.

Yes, there are are a few stores that we can find on Michigan Avenue, but a vast majority of the stores and restaurants are NOT in Chicago. We got a lot of stores in this city!

I am not sure what Russel wants out of Disney Springs. It is a place with stores and restaurants. That's how its been since the 70s.

By the way, our contribution to Disney Springs is Frontera, Homecomin (half) and the Boathouse.... You're welcome!

November 1, 2017 at 7:05 AM · I expected a complete overhaul of the concept from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. I thought the injection of theme and the promise of a "unique" shopping and entertainment complex would see a dramatic change to what Downtown Disney had become after the demise of Pleasure Island.

I will say that the place is certainly much prettier with a more appealing facade and significantly improved access (parking). However, of the stores (retailers, not restaurants) now inhabiting the complex, it's nothing more than a high-end mall. As I walked through the retail areas, there were about a handful of stores that I could not find in one of my local malls (Springfield Town Center, Tysons Corner Center - admittedly one of the largest malls in the world, Pentagon City, National Harbor, or Potomac Mills). Some of the retailers occupying the largest spaces have locations all across the US like UNIQLO, Anthropologie, Columbia, Kate Spade, Lego Store, Levi's, Sephora, Under Armour, and Volcom. Downtown Disney had a few of these type of stores, but it seems that Disney Springs has doubled-down on upscale mall staples instead of trying to bring something unique. The enlarged and improved World of Disney store was a welcome change.

Certainly the restaurants bring some unique concepts - we got a sneak peak at what Wine Bar George will be like during a F&W Festival event hosted by George Miliotes himself, but the ideas aren't exactly cutting edge, and the corporate nature of the eateries, instead of being created by Disney as I noted above, is disappointing.

As far as the entertainment goes, it's no different than what it was as Downtown Disney with street performers here and there, and a couple of stages featuring more accomplished acts and visiting performers. Certainly it's a step up from your run of the mill local mall, but not a huge departure from what many larger, cutting edge retail centers are doing around the country (there are at least 6 different malls/town centers in the DC Metro Area that offer local artist performances in their venues).

Perhaps my expectations were too high for Disney Springs because TH talked so glowingly about it, but after seeing it first hand, it's really not that much different at its core than what Downtown Disney was. Perhaps I'm also jaded because the DC Metro Area has some of the newest, and biggest shopping malls in the world. I recently visited one of the newest (DC Wharf) at its grand opening a week before our Disney trip, which features 4 celebrity chef restaurants (among other lower key eateries), a 7,000-person concert venue, and 2 public performance stages on the water - essentially a slightly smaller version of what I saw at Disney Springs. The increase in outside retail makes a big chunk of DS no better than Mall at Millenia (even with the improved parking, Disney Springs can still be a pain to visit over a normal shopping mall like Millenia). The restaurant concepts definitely bring a welcome infusion over what was a sad state 5 years ago (Raglan Road was the only place worth visiting before), but it's disappointing that everything being executed here is from an outside restaurant group and not from Disney. It's also extremely disappointing to see so many of the venues missing launch dates and delaying openings indefinitely (Wine Bar George was supposed to be open this summer, and will be lucky to be open by early next year, same for The Edison). I expected Disney Springs to bring some more Disney to the complex, and aside from the well themed facades and a few of the stores peddling Disney souvenirs, there's very little Disney at Disney Springs. As we walked through the complex on a busy Friday night, most people were just strolling through, with very few actually going into the stores and even fewer with shopping bags in hand. I don't know if those visiting that evening were all just there to eat, but there was far more window shopping going on than actual purchasing, perhaps a indicator of the lack of unique retailers available in the complex, and obvious markup being charged on standard items sold in the major stores.

November 5, 2017 at 5:58 AM · Russell is right! Disney Spring is just a shopping mall. They have removed the entertainment portion, and expanded the retail stores and restaurants. Disney Quest is gone. Pleasure Island, as a nightclub scene, is gone. Cirque du Soleil is going at the end of the year.

Sure, the shopping experience and variety of restaurants are of value. But guests get a lot of that in every theme park.

There is "some" entertainment in shopping. Guests do spend money. But the prices at any mall are way too high.

I live in Maryland, about 25 miles east of Washington, DC, and the malls here are just like the ones in DC or Northern Virginia. I avoid them as much as I can. The internet has taken a lot of business away from the malls. Likewise, the internet is selling a lot of the same things that you can buy in Disney.

I just came back from another week in Disney World, and once again, I am convinced that the shopping in Disney is overpriced. Almost nothing is "made in the USA".

Two years ago, I was in the store at the American Adventure (EPCOT) and they said that this store was to only place that was 100% "Made in the USA". (The street Kiosk did sell Trading Pins made in China.) But, I found books that were published by Prentice Hall, but printed in China. This past week, I found a LOT of things Made in China. I was told that they no longer claim to sell only "made in USA" products.

Trading pins? I asked if any were made in the USA. No. But people are willing to pay $7 to $15 for these pins.

Disney has become a retail mall with some entertainment to draw people.

Russel... you're right!

November 6, 2017 at 7:16 AM · As George will probably attest, a trip to Arundel Mills (a local massive shopping and entertainment complex near BWI airport), is very similar to what guests can get at Disney Springs. Many of the retailers between the 2 complexes are identical. Disney Springs may have a leg up on Arundel Mills in terms of restaurants, with the suburban MD mall having mostly chain restaurants and just a couple unique concepts, but Arundel Mills has Disney Springs beat on entertainment with a Dave and Busters, Medieval Times, and a casino. As George can also confirm, if you want a slightly more upscale retail experience, you can drive less than 10 miles east from Arundel Mills to the Mall at Columbia and find a much better collection of restaurants and upscale stores, but not the diversity of entertainment, with just a few of the larger bars offering small performance stages and the adjacent Merriweather Post Pavilion with its increasingly sporadic concert schedule.

I'm not saying people at other parts of the country have the same access to entertainment, retail, and restaurants, I'm merely stating that the conversion to Disney Springs (compared to what Downtown Disney was before the demise of Pleasure Island), has brought the complex in line with other shopping/entertainment complexes that can be found in major metropolitan areas. DC, which isn't even a top 5 market, has more than an handful of locations within 35 miles of the city center that can closely match (maybe not in sheer volume, but certainly in quality and diversity) what Disney Springs has today.

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