If you are looking for a unique character experience accompanied by an Italian and sea themed breakfast, then Trattoria al Forno is the place for you! Located at Disney’s Boardwalk at WDW Resort, this restaurant features characters from The Little Mermaid and Tangled, offering unique breakfast selections, accompanied by delicious cocktails and specialty beverages.
Due to its waterside location on the Boardwalk, Tratoria al Forno is accessible by several different modes of Disney Transportation. Depending on your starting location, the most direct route from a Disney resort is to take a bus to Hollywood Studios, then catch a relaxing boat to the Boardwalk. You will see the signs for Trattoria al Forno as you approach the landing, and the restaurant is just a few steps away from the boat launch. Or, you can take the newest mode of Disney transportation, in a brand new gondola on the Disney Skyliner, if you are arriving from Pop Century, Art of Animation or Caribbean Beach.
Once you are checked in for your reservation, you can wait in the beautifully themed lobby near the bar/lounge, with beautiful wooden tables and fixtures, including chandeliers. There is also a small souvenir shop area, with toys and accessories that match the Adventure theme of Breakfast, including princess/prince costumes so that your little ones can look the part for their character interactions.
We were seated promptly and greeted by our server right away, with a frying pan (on loan from Rapunzel) full of beautiful and decadent pastries. One of which looked just like the sun emblem from Rapunzel’s kingdom. They were almost too pretty to eat, but eventually we gave in- totally worth it! We were a party of four, and there were enough pastries for each of us to have two along with one or two left over.
We ordered our drinks, my daughter choosing her specialty beverage of a non- alcoholic pina- colada, my husband chose the Caprese Bloody Mary, I chose the White Sangria and my friend chose the Italian Iced Coffee. Our drinks arrived promptly as well, despite the obviously busy server, who made sure to pay special attention to each of her tables, never making any of us feel rushed, yet while attending to everyone’s needs efficiently and quickly. The drinks were all made well and very refreshing. I don’t care for Bloody Mary’s but my husband assured me it was the best he had ever had. My white sangria was loaded with fresh fruit and had just the right combination of sweetness and crispness, a perfect brunch cocktail, because after all, it’s vacation! I did taste my best friend’s Italian coffee, which was not too sweet, as so many of those drinks are, nor too heavy with the liqueurs to make it feel sticky; it was the perfect balance of coffee-ness with creaminess.
Deciding on our meal was probably the hardest part because it all looked so good! Upon reviewing the menu at the time of this article (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/boardwalk/trattoria-al-forno/menus/) it appears that the menu varies slightly by season. For example, my daughter chose the Tower of Pancakes with bacon (choice of sausage as well) and her tower came topped with Strawberry Compote, as we were there in June. Currently, the Tower of Pancakes comes with Apple Compote, likely due to it being the Fall season at WDW. Her pancake tower was beautiful and to her credit she did a very good job at putting a dent in it, but I can’t stress enough how generous the portions are at Disney, especially at table service restaurants. My friend and I both chose the Tangled Eggs, which is an open faced omelet with mozzarella, tomato and basil, complete with choice of bacon or sausage and breakfast potatoes with Sunday gravy. To be quite honest, my mouth is watering just remembering that breakfast! The gravy wasn’t too filling, and the omelet was light, fluffy, and the basil/tomato/mozzarella combination was exactly as I expected. Not too overpowering, not too many veggies for breakfast. Unfortunately, I was too excited to take a picture of my plate; I just dove right in and enjoyed it! I can assure you that it was presented beautifully, served nice and hot. It was a perfect way to start a hot summer day at Disney. While you could easily head to Epcot or HollyWood Studios after a breakfast here, we chose it as our “non-park day” and were happy to head back to our resort and lounge by the pool with very satisfied appetites.
My husband chose the Swimmer’s Delight, described as an egg white omelet, smoked salmon, with goat cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes, served with a side of breakfast potatoes. Please be assured that he was as delighted as he could possibly be. While salmon might not be the most appetizing thought for breakfast, it was cooked perfectly, and not overpowering. It was actually a tough decision for him to make, but upon completion of the meal, he stated there were no regrets!
Right after our drinks were served and we were happily nibbling pastries, the characters began making their entrances. This character meal is unique in that it offers two popular princesses, Ariel and Rapunzel, with their prince counterparts, Prince Eric and Flynn Ryder. All the characters are announced, and when they join their counterparts they partake in a lively dance around the dining room. While Flynn was dancing by, he noticed my daughter’s autograph book, and commented right to Rapunzel, “Look they got my nose right!” My daughter was of course thrilled. She is almost 11 now, but when she was three years old, Tangled never left our DVD player. Flynn Ryder was her favorite prince character and she was obviously still smitten.
Each character paid special time and attention to every single table and to their credit was all perfectly “in character.” One of my favorite parts of character dining is the ability to watch children at the other tables, and see the joy and magic in their eyes while they interact with their favorites. While I was sipping my sangria and nibbling my pastry, I took notice of an older girl, who had special needs. She was dressed head to toe in Rapunzel like clothing, complete with a flower crown in her hair. When Flynn Ryder approached her table, she was so excited she was shaking, jumping in her seat, with her eyes shining brightly. I couldn’t hear their exact exchange, but he made a big deal out of her appearance, spending a lot of time with her, taking pictures and signing her book. That moment set the bar for our interactions, and they still didn’t disappoint. Prince Eric asked us if we had any new ideas for his next statue pose, Flynn Ryder asked my daughter if she was going to enter the talent show at the Snuggly Duck, Ariel “remembered” that she signed Abbey’s book the year prior, so she wanted to hear all about our adventures since then and Rapunzel updated us on a few of Pascal’s latest antics, and asked Abbey if she enjoyed painting and said she could give her some tips and tricks.
Overall, I highly recommend dining at Trattoria al Forno for the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast. The character interactions were unique, the atmosphere was exciting, full of anticipation for the rest of our trip. The customer service was outstanding- in fact our server and the Chef went over the top for my husband. While we were there for breakfast, he noticed the dinner menu contained cavadelle pasta with meatballs, his favorite type of pasta.
Our server was more than willing to ask Chef to prepare a “to go” box of the entrée, even though it was right in the middle of breakfast/brunch. He walked out on to the Boardwalk a very happy man, despite having eaten a huge breakfast, he couldn’t wait to eat his lunch, prepared with love and a little bit of Pixie Dust!