Under duress, the website would admit that it is not really a morning person, which is why there are several hundred lunch and dinner reviews on this website and perhaps three breakfast reviews. But with FastPass+ allowing guests to book convenient afternoon FastPass+ experiences in advance, new nighttime spectaculars at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom(?), and wait times that drop significantly as early as 8pm, late morning/afternoon theme park arrivals are more viable than ever. That may open up your mornings for the occasional table service breakfast, many of which are considerably less expensive than meals later in the day, in addition to being much less busy than prime time dinners.
Looking over wait times at Magic Kingdom on August 14th:
Long operating hours during the summer are to your advantage with Magic Kingdom open somewhere between 11pm and 1am from early June through late August. Here on Sunday August 14th, the overall wait time already hits 20 minutes by 10am. That still offers a great opportunity to experience the highest priority attractions first thing followed by lower priorities through lunch, but waits take off faster than ever with FastPass+ returners clogging up lines and stealing capacity once the clock strikes Park open. On the other hand, the overall average wait falls to under 20 minutes at 9pm and continues to be under 20 minutes for three full hours thereafter. Of course, waits are short that late because relatively few people are able to stay up and be out that late, but late arrivals are a viable and sometimes better strategy than early morning arrivals. The website may run through some late arrival touring plans along with more table service breakfast reviews in the future if there’s interest.
But back to the Crescent Lake area, which is one of the most picturesque on property.
A common question is: “Should we visit the BoardWalk area if we’re not staying there?” My usual answer is that it’s a great spot to visit on a second, third, etc. trip if you’re planning a meal/appetizers/drinks at one (or more) of the various restaurants/lounges. But it’s hard to argue that spending a couple of hours exploring the relatively uninteresting Beach/Yacht Club properties is going to be more fulfilling than spending the same amount of time digging a little deeper into the Morocco, Japan, or other Pavilions at Epcot or seeing a show or other entertainment offering that may be new to you.
But as a somewhat frequent visitor, it is one of my favorite spots to enjoy some fresh air and the various dining options, including the recently-opened Ample Hills Creamery and AbracadaBAR, in addition to the re-imagining of Flying Fish, $64 pasta dish and all.
Trattoria al Forno replaced Kouzzina back in December 2014, offering breakfast reservations from 7am to 11am and dinner from 5pm to 10pm.
The website reviewed dinner positively last year, though it noted that the menu, atmosphere, and execution probably aren’t enough to get most people away from Tutto Italia or Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion. Italia offers a more authentic experience in a more vibrant setting while Napoli is dirt cheap if you can convince three or four people to go in on a pizza together.
The breakfast menu:
With more than ten items all under $15, the menu is relatively robust offering breakfast standards like waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage gussied up with some potentially Italian touches like fennel sausage, polenta, fonduta, and mozzarella offering some unique flavors that you aren’t going to find at Kona Cafe or The Wave. You can even add a Mickey Waffle for $4 or a 6-ounce Strip Steak for $13.
Here’s a lousy picture of the current dinner menu with Disney’s link here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/boardwalk/trattoria-al-forno/menus/dinner/
Even the cheese pizza, at $17, is more expensive than any of the breakfast entrees.
Not sure how long it’s going to be until the Shadow Match changes to “Pair the Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Characters with the Epcot Attractions They’re Taking Over”
According to Wikipeida, the only resource worth referencing, “A trattoria is an Italian-style eating establishment, less formal than a ristorante, but more formal than an osteria. There are generally no printed menus, the service is casual, wine is sold by the decanter rather than the bottle, prices are low, and the emphasis is on a steady clientele rather than on haute cuisine.” Considering Tutto Italia and Mama Melrose both fall under the “Ristorante” banner, one wonders how much of this definition fits al Forno, but this is Disney after all.
Some artistic license is expected.
There are technically four different dining rooms, though most breakfast diners will sit just inside the entrance or straight back.
The atmosphere is a nice blend of classy and informal with a variety of homely knickknacks hung up on the walls and some upscale lighting fixtures and other touches.
The service I’ve received here has always been attentive, but there are more stories floating around than most restaurants about inattentive servers or otherwise strange behavior. We saw a little of that as we were literally the only two people waiting in the lobby but the hostess still struggled mightily to locate us.
The show kitchen, located just off the main dining room, is more extensive than most. You might remember that Shutters officially has a show kitchen even though it’s literally visible to none of the tables inside the restaurant and is actually located across the walkway.
Tony Tony Tony, who won’t be speaking to me after finding out that’s what I call him, started with a $9.50 Peach Bellini – Prosecco with White Peach Purée, which may or may not actually be a mimosa.
Either way, it was nicely balanced and a nice start to any morning that’s going to be followed by a trip to Hollywood Studios.
A $4.50 Trattoria al Forno’s special blend of Coffee, Cream, and Sweetener served over Ice or with your favorite Italian Liqueur. Choice of Disaronno Originale, Frangelico, or Sambuca for $10.50.
I am more of an iced coffee person and with the RealFeel hitting at least 100 degrees on the daily, it’s a refreshing accompaniment to a hot breakfast. This had a nice bold coffee taste with just a little bit of cream and sugar to sweeten it up. Very good.
I ordered the $14 Breakfast Pizza – Fennel Sausage, Sliced Potato, Tomato Sauce, and cracked Egg, which is amalgam of a couple of the dinner options with toppings that include Fennel Sausage, Salame Piccante, and House-pickled Peppers or Smoked Prosciutto, Potato, Rosemary, and Mozzarella.
Since the breakfast version is the same size as its dinnertime counterparts, the pizza would be easily shareable among two people, particularly if you added a waffle or other side for a total cost of under $20 for two people. It was a personal struggle to finish 3/4th of it and only the thought of Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown run versus the New Orleans Saints on 1/8/11 giving me the strength to push through. You should be able to ask about toppings substitutions if you prefer bacon to sausage, another kind of egg, or prefer something to be kept off.
I thought the flavor profile was nicely balanced between the picante sausage and spices in the sauce, coupled nicely with the egg on top and the roasted potatoes, which added a bit of texture to the soft crust. Overall, I would have no qualms about ordering it again if it were somehow bloggable. It reminded me a bit of a deconstructed, flat breakfast sandwich. I guess.
Here’s the dinner version with the same sausage.
Anthony ordered the $14 Breakfast Sandwiches – Three-styles of Italian Pork with Eggs and Cheese on Mini Brioche Bun.
While the menu description is rather vague, this should be soppressata with caramelized red onion, prosciutto with cheese and fonduta(?), and pork belly with tomato basil all with your choice of egg in the middle served with what I guess we will call hash brown sticks. Combined, this is a significant portion as well and a nice opportunity to try a variety of flavors all served hot and fresh from the kitchen. Even the fries were crispier than usual – meaty and nicely seasoned. Very good and a unique offering.
From a previous review, the $13 Scrambled Eggs with Tomato, Basil, and fresh Mozzarella served with Breakfast Potatoes and choice of Bacon or Chicken Sausage. Everything was again served hot and fresh with particularly crispy, chunky bacon and perfectly executed eggs. A filling meal.
Overall, Trattoria al Forno impressed on food quality, variety, and atmosphere for a relaxing table service breakfast. Considering Disney’s quick service “Bounty Platter” is up to $9.49, a much higher quality, relaxing breakfast for $3-$4 more per person seems like a good value, particularly if it offers an opportunity to try some restaurants or experiences that might be prohibitively expensive at dinner.
If you’re driving or staying at a Crescent Lake resort then you might seek it out as part of a low-key morning before heading to Epcot or Hollywood Studios, but those relying on Disney transportation or staying elsewhere can probably find something more convenient. With Captain’s Grille at the Yacht Club across the way offering a great buffet, in addition to some fresh takes on breakfast, there’s some competition just a couple of minutes away.
The good news is that you’ll rarely run into a poor breakfast choice on property, usually for a lot less money than lunch or dinner.
We may take a look at a Polynesian Village Resort Studio and Bungalow next.