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The Pinocchio Village Haus in the Magic Kingdom

Jack Spence Masthead


Before I discuss The Pinocchio Village Haus, the counter-service restaurant found in the Magic Kingdom, let me give you a little background about the marionette this eatery honors.

The original story of Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi of Italy. His story tells of a woodcarver named Geppetto who carves a marionette and dreams that someday his creation will become a real boy. The name “Pinocchio” means “pine eyes” in Italian. The first half of Collodi's story was written as a serial during the years of 1881 and 1882. It was later expanded and completed as a children's book in February 1883 (The Adventures of Pinocchio).

Initially, Collodi did not see children as the primary audience for his story as it dealt with more mature themes such as food, shelter, and the hardships of daily life. In fact, the tale takes on a very adult perspective at the end of the 15th chapter, the last of the serialized version of the story, when Pinocchio is gruesomely hanged for his many faults. It was Collodi's publisher that requested the story be continued and Pinocchio be brought back to life and redeemed. Collodi agreed and introduced the Fairy with Turquoise Hair to perform this magic. It's in the second half of the book that the tale begins to lean more toward children's literature.


Collodi's Pinocchio


“The Adventures of Pinocchio” was brought to Walt's attention in 1937, during the making of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Walt read the book and immediately knew he wanted to animate the story. Bambi was to be the studio's second animated movie, but the book was proving difficult to adapt to film and would require more time than expected. The project was put on temporary hold. This opened up a spot for Pinocchio.

In the beginning, the Disney script writers used many of Collodi's characters and plot points as described in his book. But this wasn't working as the original tale was much too harsh. After Walt read some of the early drafts, he became unhappy with the direction the project was taking and put a halt to production until the story and characters could be rethought.

One of the first changes came to Pinocchio himself. Collodi's character was a wisecracking sarcastic individual. He was tall and lanky, had a long pointy nose, and wore a dunce-like hat (see above). Walt realized that audiences would not be sympathetic to such a persona and would probably cheer his hanging. So Walt asked lead animator Milt Kahl to redesign his protagonist.

The revised character looked much more like a real boy. First, Pinocchio went from a tall, adult-like stature to a shorter, child-like height. The dunce cap became a Tyrolean hat. His long, thin nose was transformed into a much smaller and charming feature. And he went from five skinny fingers to four pudgy ones (a typical cartoon character adaptation). Only his arms and legs retained a puppet-like appearance with angular dimensions and joints at the elbows and knees. His personality also went under the knife and Pinocchio emerged as an innocent, naïve, and caring individual.


Disney's Pinocchio


Jiminy Cricket also went through a transformation. In Collodi's version, Jiminy was a minor character and far more cricket-like in appearance. He was known only as The Talking Cricket and was killed accidentally when Pinocchio threw a hammer at him.

Ward Kimball altered Jiminy' s appearance to resemble a small, dapper man (minus ears). Ward would later say, “The only thing that makes him a cricket is because we call him one.”


Jiminy Cricket


“Pinocchio” was released on February 7, 1940 and received generally positive reviews. However, the movie did not make as much money as its predecessor “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” A large part of the movie's financial failure was due to the outbreak of WWII which cut off the European and Asian markets to American films.

“When You Wish Upon a Star” became a major hit and won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The melody has since become the representative song of The Walt Disney Company.


Pinocchio Movie Poster


Disney offers copious amounts of information when it comes to the detailing of their rides and attractions. Books have been written on this subject. But when it comes to their restaurants and shops, facts are difficult to come by. This isn't a purposeful withholding of information. Disney just figures that most people really aren't all that interested in this aspect of theme park design. Because of this, I could find precious little “official” information on The Pinocchio Village Haus.

The Pinocchio Village Haus can be found at the back of Fantasyland. This is a major food facility in the Magic Kingdom and feeds thousands of people each day.


Entrance Sign


The original story of Pinocchio was set in the Tuscan region of Italy. So I've always found it interesting that the Imagineers chose Bavarian architecture to house this restaurant. Perhaps it was Pinocchio's newly acquired Tyrolean hat that inspired the Disney film storytellers to move the film's action to Northern Italy and the Alps.

The first three pictures below were taken from the movie “Pinocchio.” Here, the architecture hints at an Alpine village. However, the actual buildings of Fantasyland (pictures four and five) have a much stronger German feel than Italian. In addition, the Italian influence of the story is also downplayed at the Magic Kingdom with the inclusion of the German word “Haus” in the restaurant's name.


Pinocchio's Village

Pinocchio's Village

Geppetto's Shop

The Pinocchio Village Haus Magic Kingdom

The Pinocchio Village Haus Magic Kingdom


I think the architecture of Disneyland's Pinocchio attraction and its version of Village Haus Restaurant better captures the mood of the movie.


Pinocchio's Daring Journeys Disneyland

Village Haus Restaurant Disneyland


Despite the fact that the Imagineers used questionable (in my judgment) architecture for The Pinocchio Village Haus, it helps to understand their overall intent when designing Fantasyland. Fantasyland is a make-believe place. It is supposed to represent a quaint European village that encompasses a number of different regions, all protected by the walls of Cinderella Castle. For example, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Peter Pan, and “it's a small world” feature a medieval tournament/tent look while Castle Couture, Sir Mickey's, and Seven Dwarf's Mine exhibit the attributes of English Tudor.


it's a small world

Castle Couture


This next picture is looking above and beyond The Pinocchio Village Haus. If you'll notice, you can see the castle wall surrounding this “village.” In addition, more castle walls are being built as part of the new Fantasyland expansion. As part of the backstory, as you pass through these walls, you leave the protection of the castle and enter the “countryside” of Fantasyland. This is where you'll find the Dwarf's Mine, and Beast's and Prince Eric's Castles.


Castle Walls

Castle Walls


It takes a large building to house a counter-service restaurant. However, a structure of this size would not have been found in medieval Europe. So the Imagineers designed the exterior to look like several buildings. This can be seen in the subtle changes in architecture from one “building” to the next and the different colored roofing tiles and shingles.

Upon closer examination, it would appear that some of these structures were designed as places of business while others, dwellings. Of course, during this era, most business owners lived above their shops. The numerous weather vanes atop the roofs would represent the various families living below. The word “Village” in the restaurant's name also helps convey that these are numerous small structures, not one large building.


Building Exterior

Building Exterior

Building Exterior

Building Exterior

Building Exterior

Weather Vanes


While researching this piece, I came across a picture I took from the Skyway in 1975. If you'll notice, the shingles were much less colorful than they are today.


The Pinocchio Village Haus in 1975


Outside of these shops and homes is the village square. This is marked by a fountain/well. Wells were often found in the middle of town and would be the place for the local citizenry to gather, gossip, trade, and obtain fresh water. There are also numerous tables and chairs in this area for outdoor dining.


Village Square


Nearby is a bell tower " and this Disney version contains a real carillon. In days of old, bells were used to sound the hour and announce special events. The carillon at The Pinocchio Village Haus can be heard every quarter hour.


Bell Tower

Bell Tower


Often found near The Pinocchio Village Haus is Stromboli's wagon. Here, you can purchase various Disney-themed souvenirs. However, due to the Fantasyland construction and space constraints, this villain's cart is currently parked backstage.

The Pinocchio Village Haus has entrances on all sides of the building. In most cases, these are used for both in and out access. However, during busy times, cast members will man these doors for better crowd control. The main entrance (pictured below) will be used for entrance only while the side doors for exit only. In addition, people will not be allowed into the dining rooms until they have their food in hand. This may seem rather strange, but it actually helps keep more tables available. If guests are allowed to hold tables while waiting for others in their group to order meals, the table is “out of service” yet not being used for food consumption. Believe it or not, this is in your best interest.


Restaurant Entrance


The ordering area was designed to resemble a large, open-air courtyard (although completely indoors). A lighted ceiling represents the sky and it is lined with tiled and shingled roofs. Timbered walls, stained-glass windows, and ever-blooming flowerboxes complete the appearance of a village square. A stringless Pinocchio looks down from above with food and drink in hand.


Food Ordering Area

Food Ordering Area

Food Ordering Area

Food Ordering Area


The Pinocchio Village Haus has a number of dining rooms, each named for and themed after a particular character. The largest of these is the Stromboli Room.


Stromboli Room

Stromboli Room

Stromboli Room


I have read two different accounts pertaining to the function of this room " given that it exists in a real Alpine village. First, it could be a tavern. This can be deduced by the room's décor, the chandeliers, and the mugs and beer steins found on the overhead shelving.


Steins

Steins


The other account states that this is an “outdoor” puppet theater. This can be reasoned by noticing several different aspects of the room. First, the large stained-glass windows that separate the Stromboli Room from the ordering counters feature marionettes in various poses. Second, the balcony on the other side of the room would be the puppeteer's catwalk --- the area where he would control the marionettes. And finally, a large fresco on the wall which reads, “Stromboli presents Pinocchio the string-less puppet.”


Stained Glass Puppet

Stained Glass Puppet

Balcony

Stromboli Marquee


Since I do not have access to the Imagineers thoughts on the subject, I have no idea which (if either) account is correct. But in the scheme of things, it really doesn't matter. The atmosphere is fun and lively in this room.

Other, smaller dining rooms flank both sides of the ordering area. Each of these rooms pays homage to a different “Pinocchio” character with colorful frescos. These rooms include The Blue Fairy, Geppetto, Cleo, Figaro, Jiminy Cricket, and Monstro. The following two pictures are of the Geppetto Room and the Jiminy Cricket Room, respectively.


Geppetto Room

Jiminy Cricket Room


Take a look at some of the charming frescos found throughout the restaurant. They tell the story of Pinocchio if you take the time to look at them all.


Pinocchio Fresco

Figaro Fresco

Blue Fairy Fresco

Jiminy Cricket Fresco

Geppetto Fresco

Can Can Fresco


Instead of frescos, the Cleo Room features stained glass to give her a watery atmosphere. In addition, the room has a number of cuckoo clocks, something Geppetto enjoyed making.


Cleo Room

Cleo Stained Glass

Cuckoo Clocks

Cuckoo Clocks


J. Worthington Foulfellow (Honest John) and Gideon have not been forgotten and can be seen in this beautiful woodcarving.


J. Worthington Foulfellow (Honest John) and Gideon


Perhaps the most sought after dining area can be found in the Monstro Room. This is because several of the tables in this section of the restaurant sit beside windows that overlook the “it's a small world” loading area. When the restaurant isn't under “crowd control” measures, these are some of the first tables people will hold while others in their group order food.


Monstro Room

Monstro Room

Monstro Room

Monstro Room

it's a small world Loading Area


But for me, the best tables can be found upstairs on the outside balcony. When the weather is nice, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal and watch the crowds below.


Staircase

Balcony

Balcony

Fantasyland


As with all Disney restaurants, the menu at The Pinocchio Village Haus is constantly changing. However, the offerings usually have an Italian leaning " which works well with the Pinocchio theme. Recently, flatbreads have been added to the menu. I've had the opportunity to try two, the Barbequed Chicken Flatbread and the Caprese Flatbread. Both were quite good and I would definitely order them again.


Barbequed Chicken Flatbread

Caprese Flatbread


I've eaten at The Pinocchio Village Haus a number of times over the years and have always been pleased with the taste and quantity of the food " keeping in mind that this is a counter-service eatery and not a deluxe restaurant. To see the complete menu, click here.

If I have to find fault with this restaurant, it would be that it's a popular place to eat. This means it will be crowded and very noisy if you dine at peak hours. This is another reason I seek out the balcony that only has five tables and is removed from the madding crowds.

The Pinocchio Village Haus usually opens each day at 11:00am. Closing times vary with park hours.

I'm going to end today's blog in a rather unorthodox way " with pictures of my guest bathroom. However, as you will see, it does fit the topic at hand " Pinocchio.

When the Disney Stores first opened, they carried some high-end merchandise as well as traditional souvenirs. One day while browsing the store at Pier 39 in San Francisco, I came across a full-sized, fully functioning marionette of Pinocchio. I didn't have a clue of what I'd do with him, but I knew I had to have him. Somehow, he ended up in my guest bathroom and a collection grew around him.

This first picture is an overall view of my current guest bath.


Overall view of Bathroom


This next picture is a close-up of Pinocchio. The following photo is the ingenious way I figured out how to suspend and display him " from Mickey's glove.


Pinocchio

Mickey's Glove


On the counter top I have several pictures and other related Pinocchio pieces.


Counter Pieces

Counter Pieces


These next several photos capture the pieces I've placed above the toilet. Cleo and Figaro are simple plush toys and Cleo has been placed in a cheap goldfish bowl.


Above the Toilet

Cleo and Figaro

Pinocchio Pieces Above the Toilet

Pinocchio Pieces Above the Toilet


On the opposite wall I have a number of 3D plates and pictures of other characters from the film. These pictures are nothing more than drawings I found in a child's book. I framed these drawings with inexpensive frames and ready-cut matting I purchased at an art supply store.


Oppisite Wall

3D Plates

Cheap Pictures


I might be biased, put personally I think I've pulled off a classy bathroom using Disney characters.

People often ask me if Pinocchio is my favorite Disney character since I themed an entire room around him. Not really. I just fell in love with the marionette and had to figure out what to do with it.

Remember, when you wish upon a star, dreams come true.



The previous post in this blog was Backlot Express Restaurant.

The next post in this blog is Do You Pay Attention Quiz -- Questions.

Comments (75)

Josh:

hey Jack
The Pinocchio Village Haus is somewhere that I don't get a chance to eat because it is indeed always too crowded. I do hope that next time I visit, I will be able to eat there. I also love what you did with your guest bathroom. It fit the bill perfectly with this blog. can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

Sarah:

Hi Jack!

Thank you so much for this article! PVH was where I worked when I was a college program Cast Member so of course it will always hold a special place in my heart!

For the life of me I can't remember what was on the menu when I worked there, but it was different than what they have now and I don't like the current menu as much, but I always have to stop in and visit on all my trips even if I don't eat. It's a beautiful building and love exploring it even now.

The Fantasyland costumes have changed since then also and I happen to think the ones they had when I was there were much better, but maybe I'm just biased!

Anyway, it was fun strolling down memory lane with you and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the pictures. Thanks for putting a big smile on my face. It was a great way to start the morning!

Thank you,
Sarah

Brian M.:

A Pinnochio-themed bathroom and you've avoided the temptation to do any Monstro theming. Impressive.

Mike Venere:

Very good counter service for pizzas with younger children.
Also to note about the changing menu was a couple years back.....as your desert option you could get an aprox. 12oz milkshake that came in a plastic collectible cup.
The cup wasn't the strongest collectible, after a few years in the dishwasher it fell apart.....
No longer is this an option though.

Liz:

OMG!!! I totally love this article and the pics of your guest room are stunning! You're incredibly creative. Great Job!

dani:

Jack, I am totally coming over to use that bathroom!

Joshua Olive:

Jack!

While I love the write-up and photos of the restaurant (especially the skyway photo!), my favorite part of this post is the Pinocchio themed bathroom. Love it!

Two quick things:

1. I love that Jiminy Cricket postcard of him peering through the window that you have repurposed with that particular frame so it looks like he's actually peering through a window. Well done.

2. That shower curtain puts me in mind of the curtain on Stromboli's wagon. You've got the marionette - all you need is the little Russian and Dutch girl marionettes and you could put on a great show!

As always, thanks for a great post; you are the best kind of Disney fan, and I always appreciate your perspective.

Steve Smith:

Perhaps the Pinocchio Village Haus is actually Swiss. Italian, French, and German are three of the four official languages (along with Romansh, a dialect that is closer to old Latin than modern Italian) of this Alpine confederation, so you could conceivably have a mixing of the three linguistic elements in the name.

Gene:

We used to have those same shower curtains, Jack! But in our bathroom, the cat was real and did not remain in place. Thanks for sharing.
After 30+ years of looking up and waving at people in the windows of the Village Haus from our SMALL WORLD boat, we finally got to sit up there during Extra Magic Hours (when the place was deserted) a year or so ago. Better late than never.

Jack's Comment:

Those shower curtains (and matching towels) were bought at Target. This goes to show you the classy places I shop. LOL

Sue V.:

Wow! What a blog. I have been in this restaurant many times and it is usually so crowded and loud that I don't pay much attention to what it looks like (although I do look for Figaro, since I have a cat named Figaro). And I had absolutely no idea there was an upstairs balcony. I'm heading there next time. You always help me find new things at a park I've been visiting since '72! Thanks again. And I love your bathroom - you should do Disney decorating blogs as well!

Matt:

Jack, again, great blog with great detail that I never paid attention to before. We love sitting near the window overlooking "its a small world" if we can get it.

Thanks again for great work. Next time we are in MK, we'll pay more attention to the details everywhere we go. You know, slow down and "smell the roses". ;-)

NT3:

Great job as always. I'm loving the look at counter service eateries. Much like I said last week about the Backlot Express, despite walking by PVH countless times over the years, I've always skipped it in favor of other counter service spots. After this article, that will change.

And that Pinocchio bathroom is awesome. When I own a house, I'll definitely be paying tribute to Disney in a room or two.

cathy mullen:

Hi Jack,
I enjoyed this blog because I have never stepped inside this counter service. Maybe on my next trip I'll have to try this restaurant or at least visit to enjoy the scenery.
Now your guest bathroom is awesome. Are all of your rooms in your house decorated with a Disney theme? If so I'm sure all of your readers would love to see more.
Your so amazing Jack!

Betsy A.:

Hi Jack,
Great blog! My family and I always eat at the Pinnochio Haus on our trip to the world. We always manage to find a nice table and we enjoy the food. I am looking forward to trying the new flatbread pizzas when we go in August. Loved your Pinnochio themed bathroom! We are considering creating a Little Mermaid themed bathroom in our house and the pictures of your creative decorating have inspired me. Thanks!

Rose:

I was enjoying your blog and thinking I have never eaten here and MUST!! Then I saw the bathroom. WOW thst is the best bathroom I have ever seen! Thanks for sharing it with us!!!
Awesome!

Melissa:

Now that's what I call a bathroom! You should be flushed with pride!

I never saw the Pinocchio figure with the coffee and cake before - adorable.

The Stromboli room could be a tavern AND a theater. In ye olden days, inn yards often served as impromptu theaters, especially for traveling companies.

Jeff:

Very nice blog, as always Jack. Pinocchio is one of my favorite Disney characters, and it saddens me that classic characters are often overlooked in favor of Nemo and Lightning McQueen. Today's blog definitely served as a remedy for that! Thanks as always!

Iris:

1. Another really fun blog today, Jack.
Mike and I don't usually eat where they serve food on paper plates, lol. And the only time we ever tried to eat at Pinoccio's was in 1999 when the boys were 5 years old - it was a mad house and we didn't stay.

You make it very appealing.

2. Love your guest bathroom. It looks like it could be located at the restaurant. Really tastefully arranged :)

vanessa gordon:

As usual ,you have written an excellent piece...Now I discover ,not only are you a incredibly talented writer, but an incredibly talented interior decorator too !
I used to make my DH crazy pointing out all the little details I see in the parks, but now that he also reads your blogs he likes to point out to me all the little details he has learned from you ! THANK YOU !

Tim:

Great article, as always. It's kind of easy to take charm and character of Village Haus for granted. A lot of the time it sort of gets dismissed as "that crowded pizza place in Fantasyland" so seeing the detail and texture of the restaurant is kind of refreshing. We'll have to stop in to try the new menu items sometime soon.

ClareC.:

I've enjoyed PVH on recent visits (although I've missed some of the details you pointed out) but the upstairs balcony is always roped off. Can you recommend any certain times/days/seasons that I'd be more likely to snag a table up there?

Jack's Answer:

Usually the balcony is roped off on slow days. It's also sometimes roped off in the morning because someone forgot to take down the rope. Disney closes the balcony (both inside and out) to make it easier on their CM's. It takes a lot more man-power to maintain just a handful of tables when they're upstairs and everything else is downstairs.

Selena Barker:

Thank you for your wonderful blog. I had no idea on the back story of Pinocchio and thoroughly enjoyed learning about the original story. I do love Walt's version better and glad that he made us love Pinocchio. Pinocchio's Village Haus is my favorite place to eat at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. We mainly started eating there because of how young our 3 boys were when we started and they offered some very good options for their age. Now it has become a tradition. I love your bathroom and find it quite fun. And, what a nice marionette! Pinocchio gave us "Wish Upon A Star" which always give me such joy and excitement when I hear it.

Christine Ascoli:

It's amazing how many times I have eaten at Pinocchio VH and never noticed any of these beautiful details. Makes you realize that when you are in Disney World, it really is important to sit back and take it all in. Sometimes you get caught up in the rush of it all, figuring out what the kids want to eat, finding a table and then eventually eating in a hurry to make your FP time that you miss all of the beautiful surroundings. Thank you Jack for pointing them out..makes me look forward to the my next trip even more!!
And your bathroom is stunning...if I could convince my hubby, my entire house would be Disney :)

Louise:

Thanks for the in depth look at Pinocchio Village Haus, Jack. Maybe it's my german and swiss roots, but I adore this place! We eat there at the start of the trip, and when we sit down in the balcony, I know I've arrived! I like to take pictures (that provide a different perspective) from the outside balcony that I first learned about in another blog post of yours. Have you noticed that when you're on the balcony people look up like, "How'd she get up there?", like it's backstage or off-limits or something. I've not tried the new flatbread pizzas yet, but I (preparing to get flamed) am one of the few, I guess, who love the lowly Disney counter service pizza. Thanks to Touring Plans, when we're at Disney world, we get up early for park opening and then we're hungry at 11. At 11, it's easy to get the table overlooking Small World at Pinocchio's. Also, what a neat bathroom! You've incorporated a marionette into an adult room and made it look classy. I, for one, would love a peek into any other Disney-themed rooms you have.

Regina Allen:

Jack ~
As always, fantastic blog!! I've never tried Pinocchio Village Haus, but it may have to be a new counter service I try next trip! I love how you write about the history of a place then show the pictures. It makes it so much more interesting when I see it in person. And....LOVE, LOVE the bathroom. Who'da thought it all started with a marionette!! Next time I re-do my bathroom or any room, I'll call you for advice. lol!!

Dan:

As always, nice of you to stop and smell the roses for those of us who always seem to forget to do so (even though we were there five times last week :) ).

I ALWAYS make sure to wave at the tables while riding it's a small world, absolutely thrills the kids sitting there.

Hi Jack,

We've never eaten in this restaurant - I'm not quite sure why but it could have something to do with always choosing Columbia Harbour House. We will definitely have to try it.

Love the bathroom - I'd love to have my whole house themed Disney.

Wendy

Laurie:

Great blog Jack! I didn't know the background of Pinocchio's story so I always thought it was German based on this restaurant! Admittedly I really don't care for the movie and remember being terrified of the Monstro scene. I did eat here on my trip last year and were subject to the crowd control where we couldn't get a table until we had food. I found it very frustrating as we had two small kids in two separate strollers and could not carry our food and push our strollers. Even carrying them and a tray of food would have been really difficult. Plus I was hot and hungry so it was even more frustrating because there were plenty of available tables. We most likely will avoid it in the future as we prefer Columbia Harbour House and Cosmic Rays where we can hold tables with no issue. And I love the food at Columbia Harbour House!!

Jack's Comment:

Just so you know, when "restaurant crowd control" is in effect, it is also implemented at Cosmic Rays and Pecos Bill's. Columbia Harbour House may or may not restrict tables.

Ann Marie Bouchet:

Jack--as always--loved every word of this blog. We have eaten at PVH lots of times, but it has always been so crowded that I never noticed all these things. Now I will be craning my neck to find them all.
NOW--about your bathroom...it's AWESOME. Not too much and looks like fun. It is always fun to have stuff to look at while you are answering the call of nature. If the rest of your house is like this, I would love to come for a visit. How's that for a less than subtle invitstion?
Again--always love your views of WDW and wish I could go as often as you are privileged to. Thanks......

Stacy:

Jack,
I enjoy reading your blogs. This one is especially exciting for me. We always make a stop into Pinocchio Village Haus-I'm sad the chicken parm. is not on the menu any longer. I can't believe what I've missed by focusing on getting the kids fed! I can't wait to go back and look at all the beautiful murals and carvings. I have new things to take photos of on our upcoming trip! Thanks for all of the details and history you've provided!!!

Sarah:

Hi Jack!

In planning my first Disney World trip (well as an adult anyway), I've been using all ears as a resource and came across your blog! Not only do you provide some valuable information, but really keeps the magic alive between trips! It's fun when sitting down to dinner, everyone asks "What did Jack write about today?" and I often pull up your posts to show pictures to the family.
Thank you for what you do!

Sarah
Boston, Massachusetts

Donna:

Loved, loved, loved the article. I have been to Magic Kingdom 10+ times, but not once have I stepped inside this restaurant. You have now put it on the top of my "To Do On Next Trip" list.

The guest bathroom is amazing & inspiring! Will steal the idea of framing pics from children's books, thank you for sharing your ideas! They're awesome!

Jenny Sperandeo:

Hi Jack! Let me start off by saying that we always eat here at least once when we are visiting WDW. We always try to grab a table overlooking the It's a Small World attraction (It used to be my favorite as a kid).
Second, I love what you did to your gueat bath. It totally ROCKS!!!!
Also, do you plan on doing a blog on Olivia's in the Old Key West Resort???? My husband and I ate here for lunch a second time last week, and were again very impressed. I think it's one of WDW's hidden gems. The complimentary mimosas for our anniversary were a special touch. :)

Jack's Answer:

Olivia's was one of my first blogs -- a number of years ago. Although I'm sure the menu has changed, I know the ambiance has not. I eat here often and agree it's a hidden treasure.

Go to the AllEars Search Engine and type "Jack" and "Olivia's" to find my blog.

Kristi:

Great post! I've only eaten at PVH once in all my trips - the crowd is always so intense that we generally skip this one, though it's never completely off the list. Maybe one of our next trips it will have some open tables :)

I'm inspired by your bathroom - when my 6yo son is tired of his Finding Nemo theme, this will be on the list of possibilities!

I've got one question for you about PVH. Someone on another disney fan site recently mentioned a "wish book" located there. The general response was that most people had neither seen nor heard of this. What, if anything, do you know about it?


Jack's Answer:


I've never heard of this either. Sorry. Maybe someone else will see your question and provide us with an answer.

Dave:

Great article Jack! I've always loved this place. I'm not sure why people are always so hard on this place. The food is the same or better than most counter service places in WDW. One of the things I like best is that they always seem to have several temporary menu items to try.

I also never knew about the upstairs balcony. Can't wait to try it!!

You made me miss the Figaro Fries! I wish they'd bring that back.

Jim:

Wow great blog! We love to sit in the PVH and watch the small world boats go by. It always kept our daughters busy so we could eat. I am curious as to how they will blend the PVH into the Beauty and the Beast. That will be two large restaurants right next to each other but i guess that could be good on crowded days. Also the guest bath looks great. Almost too nice to use, but great to look at.

Mad Capn Bob:

I grew up in the US Army, and for a little over a year, we lived in Bavaria (army base Storck Barracks, in the village of Illesheim, very near Bad Windsheim), and I've always found that part of Fantasy Land puts me strongly in mind of Germany...in fact, much more so than the Germany pavilion in EPCOT. It's one of my favorite "little spots", in fact, its a downright Gemutliche ecke"...

Laurie:

Love your blog! Love your bathroom!!
A few years ago when we ate there my daughter found the "wish book" and there was a feather pen in which to write in it. It was a lot of fun but maybe they don't have it anymore. It was a cool little find that made her day.

Jennifer A. McFarland:

What a great article! I love Pinocchio and I thoroughly enjoyed all the little tidbits of information I didn't know! I enjoy this restaurant and am hoping to one day be able to eat at those Small World seats but they're always taken!

Your bathroom is AMAZING; I can't remember ever being so excited looking at pictures of someone's bathroom!!

carol:

jack your blogs are the greatest i have been to magic kingdom over 20 times and now want to go back just to take in all the scenery! to think disney spends so much time on the details. who knew!

Dave:

Hey Jack,
Thoooughly enjoyed the back story for the Pinocchio Village Haus. We've eaten there lots and lots of time, the food was always good and the service quick. There were times it was tough to find a seat, so we changed our eating times. We've also been lucky a few times to have the tables overlooking the start of "It's A Small World", these are great tables and its great fun to wave everyone on the attraction off for their journey.
You're bathroom is great. You ARE a true Disneyphile!

Liz:

Jack,

Great as always. We were there in February of this year. I've been to WDW many times but had never gone to PVH. We sat in the Monstro room but when we got up to throw out our trash, I noticed the staircase that led to the balcony. I decided to check it out since it was not roped off. There was no one up there, nor anyone on the outside balcony! A real hidden gem. My family went up there and then exited out the upper balcony. We were able to get some great photos of Fantasyland and the expansion.
We always visit Disney in the off-season so crowds are quite low. The Village Haus still had a lot of diners but all were unaware of the special seating upstairs!
And, your bathroom is truly fantastic!

Mindy Woon:

Jack,

Great blog as usual. This was the first restaurant we took our then 3 year old son to and we even got a table overlooking It's a Small World ride. He loved it. Back then they sold hot dogs and not the Italian offerings they have today which is more appropriate to the story. Your blog brought back wonderful memories.

Your bathroom is amazing. Sometimes decorating to a Disney theme can go so wrong and look like a kids room but you have done it so tastefully and whimsically that everyone can enjoy it. Thanks for sharing.

Mindy

Don Luebben:

Jack...

I really enjoyed all your pictures and amazing stories. Can't wait to dine upstairs. That was a total surprise for me.
Did you see the "Hidden Mickey" on the back of one of the dining chairs? I remember seeing it when we dined there a few years ago.

Thanks again for the great stories about the Village Haus.

Jennifer:

Jack -

Thank you for the history of PVH and for the lovely pictures of your guest bathroom. Whenever we go to WDW, we try to get a seat near the windows overlooking "it's a small world". We haven't had the opportunity to sit outside yet, however we are going in September and I hoping to sit out there then!

Is the outside seating seasonal or year round?

Jack's Answer:

Disney closes the balcony during slow times of the years. They do this because they don't need the extra tables and it's one less area the cast members must maintain and clean. The other outside seating is open year round.

Kathy K:

The Pinocchio Village Haus - such memories! It was our go-to place when I was a child because my mom loved eating by the window overlooking It's a Small World. She adored the ride and just couldn't get enough, so we would always, always sit by that window. Thirty years later, I'm doing the same with my family. One of those traditions you didn't even know you were setting until you've grown up and started to pass it on!

MoiMoi:

Your guest bathroom is more than a little scary.

Reagan:

Jack,
Great article as ever! I enjoyed you showing us your bathroom. I remember one other time that you showed us other Disney-themed parts of your house. I know that Home and Garden TV has a show on My Yard Goes Disney. I think they should do a My House Goes Disney program and feature your house! Just a thought!

Sarah:

Love the article! As well as information on Pinocchio. I will be quoting this shortly... :)

Every time I have been to there the place has been empty! I travel with little ones (the 3 and under crowd) and enjoyed that we could always go in there and cool off from the September heat and let the girls relax for a bit and not be overwhelmed by the masses! I guess it is all timing.

I am semi disappointed (but not really) that Dumbo will not be right next door - I can tell you I have gone to use the restroom and discovered a very short wait to go running back in to tell my husband to get the girls we are riding Dumbo NOW! :)

Wendy:

I love this blog Jack..thanks! I'm not sure why but in all the years I've been going to WDW I've never stepped foot in Pinocchio Village Haus...thanks for the great review and I will be sure to stop in the future!

ps...I love your bathroom!!!

Pam Hopson:

I knew I kept coming back to this blog for some reason. I finally made it to the bottom and I must say that I absolutely LOVE your guest bathroom! And, I also did enjoy the lesson on the restaurant and Pinocchio's story as well. Thanks for sharing.

Joy:

Thanks for the great blog on the Pinnochi Village Haus! It was very informative and has inspired me to eat there on our upcoming trip to WDW.

T. Scheuring:

Just read Jack Spence's article on the Pinocchio Village Haus restaurant in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. What a wonderful article about the place. I found out that there was an upstairs dining area outside - I'm ashamed to admit I never knew those dining tables were available there! Must also thank him for letting us peer into his Pinocchio room at home too. What a magical place to head to while visiting!!!

Cynthia:

First-how cute is that guest bath!! Thanks for sharing....

Second-I don't think I ever read a blog of your without learning something. I cannot begin to count the number of times we have eaten in the Pinocchio Haus and I never knew there were outside seats on a balcony! Cannot wait til October to have lunch there!!!!!

Autumn:

You did an amazing job pointing out all the wonderful details! I've eaten there dozens of times and never noticed most of it. I can't wait for my next trip. I'll definitely be wandering around looking for some of the artwork you pointed out. The bathroom looks great btw!

Dan:

Another great blog, Jack! If you have $1500 laying around, you might like this!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Walt-Disney-Productions-1940-RARE-Pinocchio-ACTUAL-Production-Drawing-Sketch-HTF-/200730575621?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ebc798305

sharon:

Thanks for all the great info on the Pinocchio Village Haus,I have only gone in a few times and missed alot of the details will check it out next week when i go. Also love your guest bathroom great job, just curious do you have any other rooms that have a disney theme?

Jack's Answer:

Every room in my house is decorated in Disney -- tastefully, of course. However, only the Pinocchio bathroom and the Mickey Mouse guest bedroom have a dedicated theme. All other rooms contain a wide variety of collectibles. Next month, I'll showcase my Mickey Mouse room.

Rob Dickinson:

Awesome!! LOVE the Bathroom. I'm holding it from now on till I get to use it. On my way Jack :)

Rob

Meg W:

Hi Jack,

I see that you also have the postcard of Jiminy Cricket looking into the candy shop. I just came across this when sorting through boxes in my parent's attic the other week, and remember buying it when we went to WDW in 1988. I think it's such a lovely image and unique postcard, and remember it being a wonderful little reminder of our trip, one of those things you look at over and over.

Love your blog, by the way!

Best wishes,
Meg

Carol:

I have been to the Magic Kingdom a number of times and knew nothing about this restaurant. I think I get certain ones in mind that are my favorites and stick with those. Thank you for sharing the information on this one. I am now completely interested in trying it out on a future trip. I enjoy your blog and the detailed information that you provide. I learn a lot from you.

weepstah:

Great article, so much good info. Hoping the balcony will be open when I go down late next month. Theoretical question: What do you think the impact of Be Our Guest will be on the Village Haus?

Jack's Answer:

I just discovered that the outside balcony is currently closed at PVH. From up there, guests can look over the construction walls at the new Fantasyland and Disney does not want people talking pictures of this area before it's completed. So you won't be able to sit there on your upcoming trip.

As you know, at lunch, the "Be Our Guest" restaurant will be counter service (somewhat). At dinner, it will be table service. For dinner, I see no impact on PVH. At lunch, EVERYONE will want to try the new restaurant. However, long lines can be quite a deterrent. Many people will show up at Be Our Guest, see the lines, and leave. Since PVH is right next door, it could get slammed.

But what do I know. LOL

Mary-Jane:

Good Morning Jack,
Once again, you have written a wonderful piece that makes me want to pack my bags and book a flight to WDW. My family and I have never been to PVH, opting instead for Columbia Harbour House or Liberty Tree Tavern while at MK. Your description makes me want to experience the charm of PVH on our next visit. It just made our "must try" list. By the way, have your ever considered theme decorating as a career?

Steve:

Jack,Our family of 4 always sat up on the balcony. Many years ago, while we ate, the kids realized they could hold fries out and the gulls would take them out of their hands. You know the rest of the story. In a matter of seconds, an entire Japanese tour group was fleeing below us. We grabbed the children and retreated, in anticipation of a scolding from staff. I felt bad about what we did, but the sight and sounds below had me laughing so hard I was in tears. The next trip I noticed wires, electronic devices, and even plastic owls being used. I don't know what they use now, but it seems to work well. We hope to bring some of our grandchildren down next Spring, and tell the tale to them as we eat on the balcony. Ah the memories. We love the character of that place, mostly due to the stained glass. I love reading your blogs as it is like listening to a friend tell me about his latest trip to WDW.Steve

Carol:

Loved this very informative article about Pinocchio's Village Haus. Sadly, the outside eating balcony is not open anymore. That is where we always eat and during our recent trip the last week of June, it was closed off and on the inside door leading out there is now a sign that says "Cast Members Only". Over the windows that look out to the outside balcony, they stapled some sort of white cloth so you can't even look out. We did eat our lunch at one of the tables upstairs and we were the only people up there. That was still nice, but not as enjoyable as eating outside.

Jack's Answer:

I had to put on my thinking cap, but I know what is going on... From the outdoor balcony, you can see over the construction walls for the new Fantasyland. Disney does NOT was people seeing this. I can assure you, once the new Fantasyland opens, so will the outside balcony.

A similar situation has occurred at Columbia Harbour House. Disney has covered all of the upstairs windows that look out onto other construction. Once again, they don't want people taking "premature" pictures and posting them all over the internet.

Hi Jack... We are big Disney fans, and love going to the parks every year. However, this is not one of my favorite rest. The last time I ate at the Pinocchio Village Haus was December 2010. The food was very marginal compared to other quick service rest, and it was, in my opinion, very dirty... We sat up on the balcony that overlooked the rest below. We noticed that the enormous light fixtures that were hanging from the ceiling had not been cleaned in many, many years. There had to be at 1 inch of dust on the entire light, and when the A/C kicked on, some would let loose and float below. Again, we love Disney and thier rest, I would not eat there again... Thanks.

Charlotte:

We have been to the world four times and have never eaten there, thank you for the pictures I would never have guessed it was so beautiful inside. I don't know why.. except that we were so disappointed in "small world" having been spoiled by a childhood spend at Disneyland (the DW version is a sad excuse for the ride, really a shame), we just assumed it would be similar. That and the fact that everyone is sick of pizza by the time we get to that area.

I did want to mention that if you love your marionette you need to get him out of the bathroom, the humidity is terrible for him.. or any other important keepsakes.

Jill Hogg:

I just love your guest bath! It's very tasteful and not at all tacky. I LOVE the Mickey glove holding the marionette. Very cool. And one idea I plan to borrow is to buy a relatively cheap Disney picture book and frame the photos! Terrific idea!!

Lesley:

Jack,

Thanks for such an interesting article! Anyone can do a restaurant review but to delve into the history of the story behind the restaurant really makes all the difference in the world!

I absolutely ADORE your guest bathroom! Pinocchio stands as one of my all-time favorite Disney movies, and you've made such creative and tasteful use of its characters in your decorating scheme. Wonderful!

Mark:

That balcony outside is one of my favorite spots in the entire Magic Kingdom. Quiet, with a great view and even some people-watching possibilities. It's even fun to be there for fireworks. Hopefully, it won't be crowded now that the secret is out!

Heather:

Jack, thank you so much for this great post and all the photos!

Each time my family and I visit Walt Disney World, on our first and last days, we always visit the Magic Kingdom and we always stop at Pinocchio's for lunch. It helps to set the mood for us on our first day as we take a break from the noise and attractions, and it gives us something to remember on our last day. It's probably one of our highest priority, "must do" Disney World traditions.

So, I love the place already, but your attention to and analysis of the various details and aspects of this restaurant really brings me to a whole new level of appreciation.

I feel that the restaurants and shops at Walt Disney World are as much a part of the whole experience as the attractions are. I know that for me, some of the things I remember most fondly, and also look forward to the most when I'm planning my next trip, involve eating at my favorite restaurants or browsing in particular shops in the World.

Jay:

Jack:

In 80 days (not that we are counting), we will be taking the kids back to Disney World for their 3rd visit. I have promised them each time we go, we will try / do something different. Dinners are usually 50% new and 50% of what we know.

I always print off the parks lunch menus and bring them in a binder with us. I don't know if it was my poor planning or didn't hear much about The Pinocchio Village Haus in the Magic Kingdom.

From reading the nice blog and seeing the pictures, this is one place I will have to point out to the kids to try this time. I have friends that are vacation clubbers and I always ask them for ideas, but I don't recall them telling me about this place.

I will definetly have to check the map and make sure I didn't miss any other nice counter service restaurants.

From your article and pictures, it really looks like a nice place to eat and hang out for a while to rest. The upstairs small tables look really nice to sit at and enjoy.

Thanks again for the article and information, this is just another reason why I come to AllEars.net and do my reasearch. I am never disappointed and seem to learn a little more eat time.

Beth:

Brilliant article. Thank you. Beth

Jack wins for best house ever.

When I get a house (after moving to FL) I will challenge you to a "who can have the most awesome room" duel! You will probably win, but it sounds like a good time to me! :D

Jack's Comment:

In a couple of weeks, you'll get to see my Mickey Mouse Guest Suite. Stay tuned.

Alice N:

This was lovely.
Thank you.
The Village Haus has always been a favorite since I was very young. In fact, it is _the_ top memory I have of Fantasyland at the time--curiously overriding Snow White's Scary Adventures and the like. The wall murals are amazing and so rich and beautiful, and I think the whole building spoke to me of a reality possible within the fantasy and all the windows and doors behind which I could imagine all sort of things going on.
I absolutely agree with the notion that Pinocchio (Disney's) is perhaps set in a multi-country alpine region. Which, I would say, helped its architecture marry well with both the now-gone skyride and the film look of Snow White (if I recall correctly).
I have long wondered if the Village Haus ordering area (and to some degree the Stromboli Room) perhaps inspired the 'outdoor' look of EPCOT's indoor German Biergarten?

Marsha Hoffman:

Your bathroom is so cool. I have a Winnie-The-Pooh bathroom, I believe in feeding my inner child. I love going in that room, it makes me so happy!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 9, 2012 8:04 AM.

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