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Time to head To Infinity…and Beyond! (Except you’ll pretty much stay in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.) Recently, I headed over for a late lunch (early dinner?) at Pizza Planet to see what was up!
A perennial kids’ favorite, families LOVE this place! The pizza-heavy menu and oodles of video games make this a good family stop in a park that’s not necessarily known for its kid-oriented counter service options. And while the food probably won’t wow you, the chance to let the kids burn off some energy might.
Did you know that Pizza Planet has been mentioned in every Pixar film except The Incredibles? Remember the “YO” truck in Toy Story? Pizza Planet Delivery Guy!
Modeled after the fictional restaurant Pizza Planet from the Toy Story franchise (complete with a huge arcade!), you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into the film as you enter the place.
It’s actually housed in part of the old Backlot Area at the Studios, right across the way from Muppet Vision 3D.
Even if you’re just looking to escape the heat for a little, this place is huge and offers seating upstairs, downstairs, or outside.
Inside, colorful murals depict a planet of hot, cheesy goodness!
And look who flew in to keep watch and make sure the ordering process stays orderly?
Bright primary colors and fun theming are everywhere.
Once you get your food (don’t go during dining rush hours — lines here can get catastrophic), choose a downstairs seat, or take the stairs or elevator upstairs for more options. The outside seating is often nicely shaded, both under an overhang as well as umbrella-shaded tables.
The video games are, of course, a big draw here. It’s a great place to unwind in the a/c without having to stand in long lines. With so many games to choose from, there’s plenty to go around!
And I love the giant Little Green Guys!
See? Family time in action.
The cool claw vending machines let you try your luck at snagging a Disney plush! (These were always my favorite when I was a kid! …Well, these and skee-ball.)
It’s pretty awesome to look down from above and watch the gaming action. It’s a great feature as well for parents who want to give the kids a little freedom – but not too much.
One thing that I found to be particularly fitting (and funny) was the very conspicuous ATM and change machines. Disney leaves no opportunity to tell your kids that you don’t have any cash or quarters on hand for those video games. 😉
But what about the food? Let’s get to it!
This huge counter service spot consistently gets good reviews from readers. It’s always among the top picks for counter service at Hollywood Studios. This I have to attribute to the fact that there are video games and that the place is massive, because there isn’t a whole lot of variety at Pizza Planet. Basically, you’ve got fast food pizza.
But there are also a few salads and desserts, including an interesting cupcake option that we’ll get to in just a sec!
I spied a few side salads in the kitchen prep area. Since this was probably my third meal of the afternoon already, I decided to just go for the gusto and stick with the pizza and cupcake. 😉 I promise to get a salad next time.
Like I said, there isn’t much variety in the pizza. They’re all thick-crusted with a pillowy consistency, and reminded me of a slightly underdone, super-doughy chain pan pizza. The toppings didn’t cover the whole surface and were mostly bunched up in the middle.
It tasted fine, but it’s not the best pizza you’ll ever eat (I hope). That said, the kiddos will LURVE it. Well, they’ll take two bites then go play video games…which is LURVE when it comes to Disney World.
My favorite part of the meal was dessert though, hands down. This Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake was really good, and I’m not even a big coffee fan!
The coffee flavor was subtle enough to allow the chocolate to take center stage. The whipped buttercream frosting was much less heavy than what some of the Starring Rolls cupcakes feature. Think Contempo Cafe cupcakes as far as frosting texture here. And the crushed toffee and candied nuts around the edge provided some nice texture.
The rich, moist chocolate cake was a really nice foil to the lighter frosting.
Do I think that Pizza Planet has the best food ever? No way, man. If I’m after fantastic pizza, I would probably head to Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italian Pavilion, or to…like…New York City.
But I can see why this enormous eatery holds a special place in the hearts of readers, especially those with children. It’s a great place to chill and let the kids run around in a fairly confined space, while blowing off a little bit of theme park steam.
Be aware that it can become very loud and crowded, owing to its rampant popularity. Still, with such a large space, I’m confident that you’ll find a place to enjoy a bite and a game. And be sure to save room for that cupcake!
Do you love Pizza Planet for the games or the eats? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts!