The Art of Making Pizza at Naples in Downtown Disney

naples collage

The kids making dinner with me is both fun and tiring. They both love making pizza. We started when Big B was just three years old. Now, both kids enjoy rolling the dough, spreading the sauce, and adding toppings. We got a special treat last Saturday when Chefs Umberto and Melissa from Naples taught us the art of making pizza.

We attended a media event hosted by GigaSavvy at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, one of the many Downtown Disney restaurants. The location could not have been more perfect for a pizza party. Upon arriving at Naples, we headed up the tile-lined stairwell to the second floor. We went beyond the restaurant through to the outside patio. I loved the outdoor patio, with the string lights, the wall fountain, floor to ceiling doors, and blue and yellow banners hanging over the party area.

naples ristorante outside patio

We were greeted and given aprons to put on. It immediately put us in the mood to make some serious pizza. After we settled into our seats, the kids headed straight for the beverage station where an assortment of Italian soda flavors were offered. The kids had a tough choice, but eventually picked strawberry and chocolate. I had a taste of the chocolate flavor and it was oh so yummy.

Italian soda station

We’ve had many pizza nights at home, but having a professional chef show us tricks and give us tips were pretty special. Before we got our hands dirty, Executive Chef Umberto Rubelli and his assistant, Chef Melissa, talked to us about what makes pizza at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria stand out. Basically, they use very simple ingredients. The sauce is made with tomatoes and salt. That’s it. No spices, no herbs. The flour for the dough is imported from Italy. The chefs stressed that by making pizza with good quality simple ingredients, each ingredient shines which results in a mouth-watering pizza.

tossing pizza dough

One by one, each family took turns getting a personal tutorial in pizza making 101. Chef Melissa taught us how to press the dough the right way.

Chef Melissa showing how to press dough

After we each had our dough ready, she poured sauce on the dough and we selected our toppings. This was Little B’s pizza. All he wanted was mozzarella cheese. You can’t get any simpler than that. I opted for a modified margarita pizza and added a little prosciutto for protein and red onions for a little more flavor. Big B topped his pizza with two types of cheese, one pepperoni, and a little bit of prosciutto.

cheese pizza before

After all of our pizzas were ready, the chef put our pizzas in the oven. Naples has two ovens: one upstairs and another downstairs. Pizzas made during pizza making parties are cooked in the upstairs oven. The oven gets up to 800 degrees. It takes a minute and a half to two minutes to cook a pizza at 700 degrees. The oven uses hardwood, white oak ordered from Mexico, to give a little more flavor. Less than 10 minutes later, our creations were ready to be eaten. Below is my pizza. I couldn’t believe that I created that. It looked so gourmet! And, without bragging, it tasted like it too. Honestly, when the chefs said that simple ingredients is all you need, they weren’t kidding. It was delicious.

modified margarita pizza after

The pizza making party at Naples at Downtown Disney is a fun way to celebrate events. For $27 per person (plus tax and service charge), you get the intimate setting, the good food, great service, hands-on experience, and instructions by a professional chef. Plus, you get this view of Downtown Disney from the patio.

view from Naples Ristorante outdoor patio

Pizza Making Party at Naples

  • Chef-guided pizza making experience
  • Good for groups up to 30 people
  • Menu includes choice of salad, pizza, and beverage
  • Can customize to add beverage station, desserts, and appetizers for additional fee

In addition to the pizza we created, we feasted on bread and salad. After we boxed our leftover pizzas, they served desserts. We each got a piece of tiramisu, cannoli, and slice of chocolate cake. Thank goodness everything was portioned well. I actually had to half the cannoli with hubby since I was stuffed.

chocolate cake

Our experience at Naples was fantastic. I actually want to come back to try the Tour of Italy buffet. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

Visit the Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria website to learn more about hosting private events. You can connect with Naples on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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