Time FrameNovember 18, 2016
Pizza Planet had it's last day of operation on January 18th and is undergoing an extensive retheme to a Muppets inspired restaurant called "PizzeRizzo". The original refurbishment dates had the restaurant closed from January 19, 2016 through November 7, 2016. The new official opening date for the restaurant is November 18, 2016.
According to the Disney Parks Blog the story of the restaurant is:
Rizzo The Rat owns and operates the pizzeria, where guests can grab a pizza pie and a cold drink. Enjoy a casual Italian-American dining experience in a whole new way, through the eyes of the lovable, wisecracking Muppet.
Walt Disney Imagineering hid hints of Rizzo, his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years throughout the two-story quick-service location. In addition to the expansive indoor and outdoor seating area, guests will be able to dine in a “cheesy” banquet room, or take five in a special booth designated just for Rizzo’s celebrity friends.
The menu for the restaurant appears similar to Pizza Planet but it is unknown if the pizza quality will change. Per the Disney Parks Blog:
Entrees are served with a side Caesar salad, and include personal-sized Pizza Pies, available in four varieties—vegetable, pepperoni, meat lovers and cheese, as well as a Meatball Sub. If you’re looking for a lighter option, the Antipasto Salad features a bed of Romaine lettuce piled high with tomatoes, Mozzarella, Kalamata olives, ham, pepperoni, salami and Balsamic Vinaigrette.
For dessert, indulge in traditional Italian sweets like Cannoli and Tiramisu. Specialty drinks will also be available, including a non-alcoholic Peach Bellini, and a Wildberry-Basil Lemonade Limoncello in addition to beer and wine for adults.
November 14, 2016: Disney removed the construction walls around the soon to open Pizza Rizzo restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Twitter user @bioreconstruct shared several photos of the new location (Tweet 1, Tweet 2).
October 28, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that PizzaRizzo will officially open November 18, 2016.
July 28, 2016: New concept art has been added along the construction walls for his project and WDWNT.com has posted a photo.
July 15, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that a rethemed Pizza Planet will open this fall as PizzeRizzo.
May 23, 2016: WDWNT.com confirmed that Pizza Planet will be re-themed to the Muppets and the new name will be "Pizza Rizzo". The name reportedly appears on internal documents and the restaurant is expected to re-open in late 2016.
March 18, 2016: @OrlParkNews on Twitter reported that Mupper*Vision 3-D and Mama Melrose's are now part of a renamed "Muppet Courtyard" area.
January 23, 2016: WDWThemeParks.com has posted a refurbishment update that includes Pizza Planet.
January 16, 2016: In a Premium Episode of the Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim reports that Muppet*Vision 3-D will remain and Pizza Planet will be replaced with a Muppets themed restaurant, likely the Swedish Chef's Cooking School. It is expected this location will remain as a quick service restaurant.for a Cast Member parking garage
January 12, 2016: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that Disney has filed a Permit for work at Pizza Planet. The notice identifies the area as, "Muppet B Complex" and the expiration date for the permit is November 30, 2017.
January 8, 2016: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Pizza Planet will remain as a quick service pizza location when it re-opens after the refurbishment, but it is unknown whether or not it will retain the Toy Story Pizza Planet theme.
December 29, 2015: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Pizza Planet is expected to be closed for refurbishment from January 19, 2016 through November 7, 2016. At this time, the extent of the work has not been revealed, but WDWMagic.com user marni1971 has suggested that this could be rethemed to a Muppets themed restaurant.
November 19, 2015: WDWNT.com is reporting that Pizza Planet is set to close on January 11, 2016 and is expecting to re-open later in 2016. The article speculated that the restaurant could receive a Muppets re-theme.
November 14, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WhatJaneSays has reported hearing that Pizza Planet and Mama Melrose's are expected to close after the holidays and speculated that either one could receive a Muppets inspired re-theme.
February 18, 2004: Jim Hill wrote an article on JimHillMedia.com where he called back to his Laughing Place article from 2 1/2 years prior. In the article he discusses The Great Gonzo's Pandemonium Pizza Parlor, a restaurant that would have replaced Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano.
August 2, 2001: Jim Hill wrote an article on LaughingPlace.com discussing the history of Disney's relationship with Jim Henson. The series was ultimately not completed.