Disney World adds 'family style' table service option at Pizzafari

July 16, 2018, 8:00 PM · As if you didn't have enough options when dining at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney is throwing another choice at guests who want pizza at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Counter service, or family style?

That's the option that guests will find for dinner at Pizzafari, starting July 31. You can head up to the counter (or the My Disney Experience app for mobile ordering) and pick what you'd like from the menu, or you can opt for a sit-down, family-dining alternative.

The new option will cost $19.99 for adults and $11.99 for kids, and includes non-alcoholic beverages. For that, your family gets two salads (Caprese and Caesar) and three entrees (pasta, chicken, and pizza options) passed at the table, as well as dessert.

It's unclear from Disney's blog post as to how the selection of food will change with the number of people in the family eating. What's the minimum number of diners? How many extra diners do you need to get more food brought out? With entrees ranging from $9.99 to $13.49 at the restaurant, plus three bucks for drinks and five for a dessert, the family dining option could provide a deal if you hit the right sweet spot for the number of diners in your party.

Or... if you use the Disney Dining Plan. And here we see the real appeal of the deal, as Disney is charging just one Quick Service dining credit per person for this (sort of) table service meal. Again, though, YMMV vary based on what you would have ordered off the regular menu. Because at Walt Disney World these days, the most important part of any meal is... your ability to do menu math.

What do you think of this family dining alternative? Would you like to see it at more Disney quick service restaurants?

In other Disney restaurant news: Disney giveth and Disney taketh away. The "Monte Cristo" is now off the menu at Woody's Lunch Box. That took about two weeks.

Replies (3)

July 16, 2018 at 8:56 PM

Fam and I really enjoyed the family style BBQ restaurant at the much missed Big Thunder Ranch, but that was an out-of-the-way spot to sit for a spell and relax for a bit. It was also fun because of the seating arrangement you got interact with other families visiting the park. To me, that's family style.

July 16, 2018 at 11:45 PM

I assume table service meals is more popular at dinner time and counter service restaurants can use more traffic than decreased business AND they want bigger spenders. So they increase the value while not increasing the overhead or changing the kitchen. The desserts look great, but they just import them from their assembly line bakeries. I wonder how they allocate the food with odd number of patrons and everyone wants something unique.

July 18, 2018 at 9:59 AM

I think the "value" of this meal is dependent upon how they execute it. For instance, the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review and Spirit of Aloha dinner shows are served family style. However, it can be really inconsistent how platters are distributed across the tables and the awkwardness (and occasional difficulty) to get different options placed near your seat or to get refreshed platters if they run empty. So the actual value of the meal (and DDP value) will be completely reliant on how full those plates are, and may be incredibly inconsistent based on kitchen and waitstaff. Whispering Creek serves family style that is billed as all you can eat, but most guests report that they can have difficulty getting skillets refilled even when asking politely (even even impolitely when trying to roll with the craziness of the restaurant). Also, not all of the skillets are listed as AYCE, and there have been highly variable results in getting those refilled.

If there are only 2 people, do you get a whole pizza, or would they deliver half a pizza while delivering a whole pizza to a table of 4? Same with the pasta and salad - Are the portions based on number of guests, or just bringing the same sized platters regardless of the number in the party.

As with most Disney restaurants, it's probably best to let the drones do the research and then evaluate it once there are some reports out there, but before Disney makes adjustments to reduce the value (assuming this ends up being a solid value, especially for the DDP).

Not shocked at all to see the Monte Cristo 86'd. It wasn't a real Monte Cristo anyway, so eliminating the confusion is probably smart from Disney, though they could have kept the grilled ham and cheese as a choice between the plain, cheaper grilled cheese and the rather expensive brisket melt.

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