Cue a horse-drawn carriage with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in festive Italian attire … a comical Italian grape-stomping … a fanciful ribbon cutting … Thursday’s celebration made for fun to officially open the doors of Via Napoli, the newest Epcot restaurant located in the Italy Pavilion.
On hand were Dan Cockerell, vice president of Epcot; Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group (PRG), which operates Via Napoli; and Chef Joachim Splichal, founder of PRG and one of the most talented chefs on the American culinary scene. Among guests we sighted Paul Bocuse, the legendary French chef who opened Les Chefs de France at the Epcot France Pavilion. Architects, designers and others who created the light-filled restaurant were celebrating en masse.
Though official opening is not until Sept. 10, the restaurant is welcoming walk-ins. You can start making reservations today for Sept. 10 and thereafter (407-WDW-DINE).
Pizzas were flying as news cameras roamed the restaurant to record the happy occasion. Here are some photos shot by our own Disney crew: