What's Going on With Pizza Planet at DHS?
Do you remember watching the first Toy Story movie as a kid? I can remember how mesmerizing Pizza Planet looked. It was essentially Chuck E. Cheese's for cool 90s kids that drank Surge and played Super Nintendo. I couldn’t help but think, “Man, if only I could go there one day. If only that place existed!” Then, in 2007 I went to Walt Disney World for the first time and everything changed. That’s right, Pizza Planet was real all along! There is a real Pizza Planet with pizza and arcade games and best of all, it is located on Disney property! Only,… Its kinda half assed.
Don’t get me wrong, Disney Imagineers are the absolute greatest when it comes to, well,… Imagineering! So much so that I wish I could take them and make them redesign the entire country to be half as cool as Disney Parks. The thing is, they dropped the ball with Pizza Planet. Sure it has the pizza and some arcade games but… it is nothing like the movie. The atmosphere is all off and the pizza is just quick service pizza that could be found elsewhere on Disney property. Not to mention the selection of arcade games range from terrible to Angry Birds. I just wish Disney went all in when they decided to make Pizza Planet a reality.
(Was preserving the innocence of my childhood not their number one priority!?)
Well now, there may be some hope for a better and improved Pizza Planet! Maybe, maybe. This all goes back to D23 Expo 2015. Disney announced their big plans to create Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land at DHS. Just a few short months later in November, they announced that Pizza Planet would be closing in January 2016 for the majority of the year for “refurbishment”. Not much was said after that other then the restaurant was expected to reopen in late 2016.
Shortly after the announcement of the refurb, rumors began to surface that the restaurant would not reopen as Pizza Planet but rather, a Muppets-themed restaurant. This makes a lot of sense considering that the Muppet*Vision 3-D attraction is right across from Pizza Planet. Disney has also been working hard to relaunch the Muppets brand lately with a recent film as well as a new TV show. If these rumors are in anyway true, what does this mean for Pizza Planet? Is this the end for the quick-stop-pizza-shop?
Well actually, no, and this is where the addition of Toy Story Land comes in. As of now, it is understood that the plan is to build Toy Story Land in the same area as the highly successful ride, Toy Story Mania! This especially makes sense seeing as the nearby attraction Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show is set to close this April to make way for Toy Story Land. With that said, it would only make sense to have a Toy Story-themed restaurant in Toy Story Land rather than elsewhere in the park. Maybe Pizza Planet is turning into Muppets Grub or whatever, that does not mean all is lost for Pizza Planet. Toy Story Land could bring the true reincarnation of Pizza Planet that I have wanted ever since I was four-years-old. Perhaps they will nail the theming since it is a part of the encompassing Toy Story Land. Perhaps there will be a revamped menu with Pizza that is unlike any pizza in all of Disney World. Perhaps there will be beloved classic arcade machines that will appeal to gamers of all ages.
Unfortunately, all we can do for now is wait for an official word from Disney but until then, it sure is fun to speculate!