If you’ve ever been wandering around near Epcot, wondering where you could get a slice of Walt Disney World’s best pizza, your first thought has probably been Via Napoli. But have you ever considered making a pit stop at Boardwalk Pizza Window, thinking it might be a hidden gem–one of Disney’s best kept secrets?
Of course not. The very notion that Boardwalk Pizza Window might be surprisingly good is patently absurd. I know one of the hallmarks of blogging is “you’ll never believe it–everyone else was way wrong–we thought X was surprisingly great/awful” but a contrarian opinion does not work. Boardwalk Pizza Window is exactly what you think it is.
Even if you’ve never tried Boardwalk Pizza Window, it’s not difficult to survey the landscape, seeing the BoardWalk Joe’s Makeshift Marvelous Margarita stand on one side, and an ordinary pizza window on the other side, and figured it’s just an high foot traffic spot to shove in an opportunistic pizza spot. Heck, the fact that Disney couldn’t even be bothered to give Boardwalk Pizza Window a clever name shows what they think of the place…
Until our most recent trip, we had never tried Boardwalk Pizza Window. Like most “good” Walt Disney World fans, we’ve walked past it, giving a contemptuous stare at the people in line who opted for that over the gloriousness of Via Napoli only a few-hundred yards away. That’s about it, though.
Anyway…moving on to this highly-anticipated review. While writing it, I decided to give the social media crowd rare insight into my “creative” “process” with this draft screenshot:
For those of you who have made the mistake of sticking with this post and reading through to the end, you’re in for a treat. And by treat, I mean that in the same sense that one would call Boardwalk Pizza Window pizza “food.”
As I see it, the problem with Broadwalk Pizza Window is that it’s neither atrocious nor is it good. Even though I had to subsist on this stuff for a few days during Hurricane Irma, I was really hoping it’d be a culinary crime. Those are the best reviews to write.
That’s why I enjoy visiting places like Planet Hollywood Observatory. (And you thought it was only self-loathing!) That was basically what you’d get if you put a notorious celebrity chef in charge of an Applebee’s that was tasked with feeding bears preparing for hibernation. Even if it’s inexplicably good, there’s comedic value in it. It’s also a victimless crime; everyone can have a good laugh at Guy Fieri’s expense. (Meanwhile, he is laughing all the way to the bank.)
Boardwalk Pizza Window is less fun to review. My feeble attempts at ‘roasting’ it are meaningless to most people who eat there, since they are merely doing so out of convenience. They’re grabbing a quick meal on the run to take back to their room because kids are on the verge of melting down or are getting something when everywhere else is closed. In short, people know what they’re getting themselves into with this pizza, but do it anyway for lack of feasible alternatives.
In fairness, there are no doubt others who stop at Boardwalk Pizza Window. I’m guessing it’s popular with Millennials since the internet tells me they’re the cause of everything bad these days. Even stressed out parents are going to find that this causes further stress (and probably cancer), and are better off grabbing items from Boardwalk Bakery.
With that in mind, there are two categories of people who should consider stopping at Boardwalk Pizza Window: 1) those preparing for hurricanes and needing to stockpile food in their room at the last minute; or, 2) those in the midst of a zombie apocalypse who find themselves in a world with only Boardwalk Pizza Window and Beach Club Marketplace open for business.
Since this is technically a food review, we should probably cover how pizza from Boardwalk Pizza Window tastes. It’s not very good. Surprise! It’s basically frozen pizza, and by that I’m not talking the good stuff like DiGiorno. Instead, Boardwalk Pizza Window is serving up Great Value brand pizza that was freezer burnt and also undercooked.
The crust is the biggest offender here, but I do have to give them points for at least using a tenderizing agent on the cardboard, as it makes it easier to chew. The cheese is only 45.5% plastic, which is also a plus. On the plus side, the sauce seems to be mostly tomato paste, and is fairly unoffensive.
On an even more positive (and serious) note, the sausage, roasted peppers, and balsamic glaze on the Signature Pizza were shockingly decent, and helped carry what otherwise would’ve been a fairly bad pizza across the finish line of mediocrity.
One other thing you should know about Boardwalk Pizza Window is that it’s apparently notorious about screwing up orders. While I was waiting for our pizza, they messed up three orders in front of mine. One guest was quite irate, as her pizza had been sitting in the back for 10 minutes before they triggered her buzzer.
My initial thought was that this was all an anomaly, a result of the kitchen being flustered due to pre-hurricane demand. However, if reviews on Google are any indication, this is a surprisingly common problem. Maybe the kitchen staff is trying to do people a favor, getting them to give up on their order and just leave?
With all of that said, Boardwalk Pizza Window is still not the worst pizza at Walt Disney World.
Heck, it’s not even the worst pizza at the Crescent Lake resorts. For that honor, we must head over to Beach Club Marketplace, which is exactly what we did the day after finishing our Boardwalk Pizza Window stockpile…
In what I can only imagine is some sort of pizza-inflicted version of Stockholm Syndrome, we opted to grab a pizza at Beach Club Marketplace after the storm had cleared. There is no reasonable excuse for this–Epcot had reopened, and every restaurant at Walt Disney World was an option for us.
Yet, we ordered this. If you’ve ever had a Lunchables pizza, you’ve had this. (Actually, that’s sort of demeaning to Lunchables.) It was far worse than Boardwalk Pizza Window, and the worst thing is that Disney knows exactly what they’re serving here. It’s not as if this was prepared incorrectly or a mistake was made–this is how the “pizza” was meant to be. Even if we asked to speak with a manager, what would they have told us? “Yep, we don’t care, and it shows.”
Okay, you probably get the idea. Bottom line: stay away from any pizza you might encounter around Crescent Lake. Even if no other restaurants are open and your only alternative is going to bed hungry…just go to bed hungry. (In reality, Ample Hills is very likely to also be open, and nothing beats ice cream for a late night meal.) Eating at Boardwalk Pizza Window is like willing riding Primeval Whirl: you know exactly what kind of mischief you’re getting yourself into…and the experience might cause you to hurl.
Do you agree or disagree with our ‘analysis’ of the ‘cuisine’ at Boardwalk Pizza Window? Are you this pizza joint’s #1 fan? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!