1174 – PizzeRizzo – Orlando Parkstop – Stop Hate Fundraiser
A visit to a very muppety pizza place perfect for pillowtime. Park Stop is working with the theme park fan community to help stop discrimination with an online charity event to raise money to support LGBTQ youth. All proceeds from this event go to The Trevor Project.
Please support and let me know when you do!
Episode 1174 – PizzeRizzo – Orlando Parkstop – Stop Hate Fundraiser
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for a episode of Sleep With Me. This is a special episode because we’re raising money for a fundraiser. I guess that’s by definition, Scoots. You say, you’re fundraising for a fundraiser, eh? That’s right; Alicia Stella and Orlando Parkstop are doing a Stop Hate fundraiser. You could go to orlandoparkstop.com/charity or just use the link in the show notes or google it. It’s the Stop Hate fundraiser event that supports that Trevor Project. If you support this fundraiser, let me know about it. If you support it for a hundred bucks or more, whether you purchase something in the auction or you just directly donate it, let me know about it. I will send you a thank-you video.
If you support more than $1,000, let me know and I’ll go to this restaurant that we’re talking about and I’ll send you a video from there. If you drop $10,000…'cause I know there are listeners actually in a position to do so, a couple out there, probably. Let me know about it; I’ll figure out a way to buy you a pizza or a cannoli there or somewhere else. So, again, support this Stop Hate fundraiser. It’s benefiting the Trevor Project, and you could do it at orlandoparkstop.com/charity or use our show notes, or join in the social media. This will be a sleepy episode; don't worry, holy cow, because we’re all a big sleepy family. We’re all united here in the deep, dark night, united…so, welcome in, 'cause we’re working together to support each other, and I’m here to support you and take your mind off stuff while you fall asleep.
If you’re new, don't worry; this will be sleepy. We’re gonna be talking about PizzeRizzo later. First, there will be a long, meandering intro to ease you into bedtime. First there’s support — that’s how we keep the show free for everybody — but this podcast is a bit different. It’s just here to take your mind off stuff and keep you company while you fall asleep. So, if you’re new, just see how it goes. A lot of regular listeners say, hey, it takes two or three tries to get used to this show, 'cause it doesn’t…it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. So, I’m glad you’re here, and…yeah, we got coming up the support, then a long, meandering intro to help you get ready for bed and get comfortable, 'cause it’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. Thanks for making it possible, my patron peeps.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press Play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts on your mind you’re thinking about, thoughts about the past, the present, the future, thinking thoughts. It could be anything coming up for you emotionally, feelings, anything you’re feeling physically, any physical sensations, changes in time, temperature, routine.
Whatever it is that’s keeping you awake…you could be anticipating something, you could be going somewhere, you could have something coming up, you could be looking for a distraction during the day, you could work on one of the many shifts we give love to. We love the first shift, the second shift…oh boy, do we love the third shift and the fourth shift, but also we love…if there’s a shift that has a number that…with one of those symbols I don’t comprehend or Met…shifts in the Metric system…they did…I was…one time they did…when I sent my hair to The Hague…or was it the…? Where they said, well, we keep all…'cause my hair is very straight and thin. I said, well, I…I said…they said, what’s going on with this hair you sent us? We needed one thing of your hair to show a perfectly straight line of hair.
This was also in my imagination, by the way, just in case you’re saying, holy Hague. I don't know if anyone’s ever said that, but that might be the first time that’s ever been said. You say, what do you call it when the Pope visits The Hague? I don't even know. What do you call it when the Pope goes where Scooter thinks the…the Center of Weights and Measures for the Metric system are? Or what would Batman say? That’s another one, but that’s more a dated reference. I got off topic, though. Oh, because they said, you’ve caused…the punchline was a joke that I never said. They said, you caused a shift in the Metric system. ‘Cause I sent them…what I was trying to make interesting but I couldn’t figure out a way, was like, oh, I sent them my hair. On request, by the way.
I don’t do it on…when my imagination sends me a request, I respond to it, rarely, but only in this case to put you to sleep. But I sent it through a particle collider first, but I didn’t let The Hague know about it. That’s when they said, you’ve caused a shift in the Metric system. I said, I thought we were playing that ship game. I thought you were supposed to say, you sunk my rubber ducky fun. Again, all in my imagination, so don't worry. No shifts in the Metric system; just a shift in my ignorance from the…one system to the other. What is…oh, I was talking about shifts, though. But the reason I go through all the stuff of what might be keeping you awake is to let you know that at this show, we are a community of people that are…struggle to get to sleep, trouble staying asleep.
We’re together in the deep, dark night, and it’s important for me to tell you that because it is digital. We can feel disconnected, and we could be together alone. That’s been my experience when I can’t sleep, because most of the other people in my life have been able to sleep. But Sleep With Me is a place where we’re alone together, I think, until I can think of a better analogy for it, or a pithy saying. Sleep With Me is where we’d…where shifts in the Metric system bring…to get…we’re together…we’re alone together and together alone. I’m not…even though…I’m not making light of that. It’s true. That’s why I make the show, because I know how it feels in the deep, dark night. I want you to know that.
I know it feels lonely and I might not know a lot of the other stuff you’re feeling, but I could probably relate to it, and if I can’t relate to it, somebody else that’s listening right now can. Maybe no one’s been through what you’ve been through, the same thing, but I think a lot of people can relate to it, 'cause I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years from people of why they can’t sleep and what they’ve been through or what they’re going through. That’s the most important thing I’ll say on this show, other than the other side, is that you deserve a good night’s sleep, too. You deserve a place you could get some rest, a place you don’t feel like you’re dreading bedtime, a bedtime you could look forward to or at least feel neutral about so that you could get the rest you need so your life is more manageable.
If your life is more manageable, then you’re out there living your life, right? You don’t have to…oh my gosh, tomorrow, holy cow…and last night I had…last night was a rough one for me. I’ll just be honest. This doesn’t fix everything, having a bedtime routine and everything. It was a strange situation 'cause…this is what I mean; maybe no one…I felt like no one’s been through this. I had a guest who needed to stop at my place. They were driving from Southern California all the way to Canada, and they were like, hey, can I crash on your couch for a few hours because I can’t even…I don’t have time quite to sleep the whole night. So, I knew they’d be leaving at a certain time, and so, that made me…where I couldn’t…you know what I mean? That awareness just…I was tossing and turning.
Also, the thing…usually…my bedtime routine was also interrupted. This is the Scooter Show now. It’s not Sleep With Me. But my…the thing that I use to read, its batteries…conking out. So, I hadn’t charged it, and so, I couldn’t read my book. Boo-hoo-hoo. It’s true, though. I don't know, I go through all that to know…I know if your life is more manageable and you’re getting the rest you need, maybe you could flourish, and that means your world’s a better place and our world’s a better place. ‘Cause I haven’t been super-grouchy today, but you don’t want…just like me; even if I’m a little bit grouchy and irritable, that’s gonna impact somebody else, right? So, that’s why I make the show. Now, the thing is, one, the show does not work for everybody, and it works for almost no one on the first try.
So, if you’re new here, give it a few tries and see how it goes. That’s just what most regular listeners…including the majority of people that pay for the podcast to be free for everybody…including most of those people. So, they said, yeah, the first time I was skeptical, then I didn’t understand when…it doesn’t work like anything else. Then I realized, oh, it doesn’t work like anything else. It doesn’t really…it works by barely working. Now, there is a percentage of people that just don’t like me or the podcast, and that’s understandable, too, because I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, obviously. So, sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou has other sleep podcasts on there. Because the thing is, whether…you still deserve a good night’s sleep whether you like me or not. That’s fine. So, check that out.
Those are some things I want you to know. The other thing is that this podcast is not a podcast you really listen to. That’s one of the things why it takes a few tries, 'cause you say, oh, okay, I just kinda barely pay attention to you. I say, you can. Some people listen to me at a mumble, some people listen and then…but they’re…and they’re listening along. This was a discussion on Discord. Oh, when we correct Scoots when he’s wrong; what method do you do…? What listeners were talking about…oh, I use this method, I use that method to correct Scoots; a little bit of interactivity and…but some people aren’t listening, but other people are like uh-huh, yeah, Scoots. Okay. Uh-huh, uh-huh. You probably don’t even remember the tangent you just went on. I say, you’re right about…no, I do; The Hague.
I had that great joke about the Pope at The…what happens…what did the Batman say to the Pope at The Hague? No, what did the Pope say to Batman at The Hague? Holy Hague, Batman. When he was dressed as Robin for Halloween, that would be…so, that’s a pretty complicated joke. You’d say, in any other…you’d say, uh-huh, Scoots. Uh-huh. Nice try. That was a good try. I wouldn’t say it was a college try, but it was a good try. So, thank you. So, just kinda barely listen to me because I’m not here to be listened to, but I’m also not here to put you to sleep. I’m here to be your friend in the deep, dark night and keep you company while you fall asleep, to take your mind off of stuff. The shows are over an hour because there is no pressure to fall asleep here.
There’s over 500 free shows in the archives, a ton of different styles of shows. You can pick what works for you as you become a regular listener. Paid listeners get access to over 2,000 things. So, there’s no pressure to fall asleep. You say, well, I got more than a hour, or I got eight episodes. I think that’s what happened to me last night; I was trying to stay asleep and fall asleep, you know? That just doesn’t work for us. You need a little distraction, and that’s the role I’m here to fill. I’m not here to put you to sleep; I’m here to be your friend, your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-bud, your bore-bestie, your neigh-bore, your bore-bor, your bore-bee, your bore-bud, your bore-bruh. Whatever it is, I’m here to be your friend in the deep, dark night and keep you company whether you’re awake or asleep.
There’s people listening who can’t sleep at all or who are having a tough day and need a break or who are driving. Just heard from somebody that’s…that are listening for the companionship or the company so they feel alone but together. But that also means you don’t have to pay attention to me. I’m here to the very end whether you’re awake or asleep. So, that’s that. The other thing that really throws people off other than my personality, the show takes some getting used to, you don’t really listen to it, it doesn’t put you to sleep…give us more good news. Okay, the structure of the show also really throws people off. It is very intentional and built in a certain way, but you could adjust it. But at first, I strongly recommend giving it a try.
For some reason…I say this advice…I haven’t always said it; probably for the past three or four or five years I have, just because it would be…I can understand when people are skeptical or irritated or doubtful, because you’re desperate to fall asleep, right? You’ve been through a lot, you’ve probably paid a ton of money, tried a bunch of different stuff. None of it’s worked consistently. That’s how you get here. Maybe somebody told you about the show, but you’ve gotten tons of other advice about stuff. So, if you’re irritable, I understand. That’s why I take the time to explain all this. So, the structure…the show starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Tonight we’re talking about Alicia Stella’s fundraiser, which I hope you support. That’d be awesome.
But sometimes the teaser — the top of the show, we call it the teaser — will be…I’ll say something funny. This time I was just saying, hey, let’s do something together positive. But that way, you say…you feel seen and welcomed. You say, I might check that podcast out. Then after the teaser or the start of the show or the introduction, whatever you want to call it, is support so the show can be free. When I’m recording this, I just got through a large portion of feedback, and it was from people that…it was from people that don’t support the show and trying to get to the bottom of it. The majority of people that took the time to do it were people that are like, I’m just not in a position to support the show, and thank you…I’m glad it’s free for everybody. So, the support makes that possible.
I’m sorry if…I guess if you don’t believe that or whatever, but it does. So, that’s why we have support. Then there’s a long, meandering intro which is separate from the support. So, when…sometimes when people…they get upset about the support, they lump the intro in with it. I don’t want you to miss out on the intro at first, because the intro is a show within a show and it’s here for you. It’s different every time. That’s one of the most essential principles about the show, is that…sure, it would save a lot of time, it might be more efficient to make one intro or a fairly standard intro structure. I mean, we do have a loose structure. But the thing is, from my experience and from the feedback I get is that your brain adjusts, or whatever part of us keeps us awake at night adjusts.
So, having a different intro to look forward to where I’m gonna get mixed up, I’m gonna go off topic about something but you never know what it is…and you know you’re gonna say, there goes Scoots again. You say…I mean, he…those are one of his few…he makes these joke-like things and it almost makes sense. He doesn’t realize that it’s not…The Hague is where…whatever. That’s where they…that’s where the bearer bonds are, or something. But, you know, he’s trying. So, we love him. So, that’s the intro. It’s meant to ease you into bedtime, though, also, not just to introduce the show, not just to make you a feel of, but to be part of your wind-down routine. Now, there are people that skip the intro, 2% of people. There’s a percentage of people that fall asleep during the intro.
But for most people, it’s part of the wind down. Bedtime is not just a switch for most people. So, having the intro is easing you into bedtime, whether you’re getting ready for bed, you’re doing some sort of other relaxing activity, or you’re in bed getting comfortable. That’s how I’m here to be your friend, really, is to ease you in bedtime. I’m not really tucking you in 'cause most of us would say, no, that’s okay. I’ll pass on the…being tucked in. If you could stay over there via Bluetooth or whatever, that’d be great. I say, no problem. Job done. You just stick to the rambling. No tucking in. Virtually tuck me in from afar. I say, that’s what I do. Holy cow, do I. Holy Hague, Batman, that’s what I’m here to do. So, yeah. I’m trying to think of any other…I can’t think of any other things about…you want me to…? What time are we at?
Oh yeah, we’re already over time. I was gonna look up The Hague. Oh, well, I’ll keep talking while I look it up. So, the…that’s the intro, then there’s support for the show between the intro and the story so it could be free, and then there will be our bedtime story where we’ll be talking about some of Alicia Stella’s coverage of PizzeRizzo, some of my memories of PizzeRizzo, which were of not PizzeRizzo. Yeah, and then there’s some thank-yous at the end. So, that’s the structure of the show, that’s why I make the show. The Hague is actually a city, Scooter, in The Netherlands, facing the North Sea. It is the administrative center and seat of government, and the capital city of The Netherlands is Amsterdam. But The Hague, according to Wikipedia, is the de facto capital.
I don't know, I haven’t found anything about weights and measures, though. So, I don't know if it is…has anything to do with international weights and measures, though in your brain it does. Yeah, I don’t see anything about it. You’re not…notable people…you’re not in there, Scoots. I’ve never been there, so…but I’d like to. One day, I’ll go there not in my imagination and walk around, and maybe I’ll record it. But if you support this fundraiser and use the link in our show notes, let me know about it, please. Thanks so much. I’m here to put you to sleep and keep you company. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple ways we’re able to do it for you for free twice a week.
Alright everybody, Scoots here, and we’re doing…this is a episode…I’m trying to look stuff up as I get…sorry. But this is a fundraiser episode, and my phone…my computer’s not at my…internet’s not working properly. This is the episode portion, so you may have heard about it. But just in case you skipped the beginning of the episode, this is part of the Stop Hate fundraiser that Alicia Stella does over at orlandoparkstop.com. You could participate by using the link in our show notes or going to orlandoparkstop.com/charity, or if you google Orlando Parkstop Stop Hate fundraiser, the fundraiser’s going on throughout June. It’ll be huge. If you do support the fundraiser and you go to…you use the form…it’d be great if you just spread the word about the fundraiser, too, on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, or whatever social media you use.
But let me know about it. Fill out the form at sleepwithmepodcast.com/sponsors. Instead of saying a sponsor, just let me know that you supported the Stop Hate fundraiser. I’ll send you a thank-you video and…for supporting it. I know Alicia Stella has a YouTube channel about theme parks and a podcast. Huh, my internet’s out on my phone, too. This really does not…my internet does not want me to get this done right now. But so, my point is that…oh, there we go. Alright, now we’re in business. Okay, I had to take a little sidetrack there 'cause my…I don't know, my iPad’s not working with me, which is fine.
But the goal tonight is to talk about the pizza restaurant in Disney World called PizzeRizzo, but it has a extra E in there, because Alicia Stella that’s running this fundraiser…and we don’t know one another, but I’ve been a fan of Alicia’s work and followed it from afar, and then I said to myself, why should I be apathetic about this? I listen to the fundraiser…probably personally I support it. In the past I was like, oh, I’ll support it, but…I said, why not take all the people that listen to the show…do a fun, sleepy episode about it? I guess it’s probably better for the intro, but just in case. So, that’s what we’re doing, but we’re talking about PizzeRizzo at this point to keep putting you to sleep. So, let’s just head over.
So, it’s orlandoparkstop.com/charity, and it’s the Stop Hate fundraiser event, June 2023. There’s gonna be…you can bid on auctions or you could just donate. There’s gonna be limited art prints, collectibles, auction, prize giveaways, interactive games, and it all benefits the Trevor Project. Parkstop is working with the theme park fan community to help stop discrimination with an online charity event to raise money to support LGBTQ youth. All proceeds from this event will go to the Trevor Project. It starts June 3 and runs all month. You can use the Donate page to make a donation now, and follow Alicia Stella and Orlando Parkstop on Twitter for fundraising updates.
The goal is to raise $10,000, which I would hope our listeners…we could…there’s a large number of people probably not listening right now…maybe some people are asleep, but that would be…200,000 people will definitely listen to this episode, so whatever…what is that, like thirty-three cents? No, not even fifteen cents per listener. It’d be great to support it. I don't think…maybe I should be more…if anybody…if you…if one person supports it, it’s a success. So, I don't want to set myself up like a lot of times I do. Say, well, we got so many listeners; it’d be easy. Okay, so we’re gonna be talking about this pizza restaurant, PizzeRizzo. Let’s see, we’ve got a couple Alicia Stella articles about it. I don't know, should we start with this Touring Plans one? Well, let’s just start with the Orlando Parkstop article here.
Of course I’m having a little bit of trouble with it, but…okay, so, we’re at orlandoparkstop.com. This article came out on…Seven Hidden Things in Muppet References to PizzeRizzo. That’s P-I-Z-Z-E. One word, though…capital R-I-Z-Z-O in Hollywood Studios. I’ll kinda paraphrase through here. Hopefully I’ll have gotten Alicia Stella’s permission to use this. But yeah, check it out. It’s by Alicia Stella; April 3, 2020, Hidden Easter Eggs. So, I’ll go through this, then I’ll try to talk about my basic personal memories. That’s the thing; if we raise some money, maybe I’ll do a in-person review at PizzeRizzo. It’s not well-known…we’re gonna read another Touring Plans article or kinda paraphrase from it to check it out.
But it’s not known…well-known for having delicious food, though people do like it, including famous people like Alicia Stella and Jack Black. PizzeRizzo is in Disney Hollywood Studios and it’s a Muppet-referenced restaurant. So, if you look around…and it has tons of stuff. I’ve been in there, though I don’t remember ever being in there…the last time I was in there was before I got sober, so it was a long time ago…that I remember being in there. It’s a little hazy when I was in there, but I could talk about that just 'cause…but…seven hidden things Alicia talks about in this article…there’s also a video version. It’s pretty cool because it is very themed. So, it’s across the street from…now I guess I’m already going on my tangent. Yeah, I’ll go on my tangent first. So, the cool thing is it’s very themed.
So, this is the Muppet…I think it’s called Muppet Courtyard now. I don't know, I listen to podcasts but I never retain any of the information about the history of this area. But there’s Muppet Vision 3…so, the three cool things…actually, so if you’re…instead of going…one of the ways you go to Star Wars…or before Star Wars was there, there was other stuff. I think that’s where you would see the Christmas lights, the holiday…Osborne Holiday Light Spectacular was the Backlot. Like, the New York Backlot was there? But anyway, now it’s a tunnel where you go into Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Also, the sci-fi dine-in is nearby. This is…well, I wouldn’t say…the restrooms are very high-traffic, but in this…just a small zone near PizzeRizzo is three different restrooms.
So, that’s one thing, is that PizzeRizzo…I don't know if there’s a restaurant in PizzeRizzo…a restroom. I gotta probably check that out. Also, I’m not sure if you’re allowed to refill your own drinks. That would be a big thing for me…for Hollywood Studios, because that’s the only thing; the other restaurants that I eat at at Hollywood Studios would be the Backlot Express and the ABC Commissary. Both those allow you to refill your drink, and when you’re paying Disney prices for a fountain drink, that’s kind of…and you’re like me…especially now that I drink Coke Zero. So, this is unanswered questions about PizzeRizzo. Maybe…if this works and a couple listeners like you get involved, I’ll go there in person. So, I guess I’m wonder…I’m wa-wa-wondering about that.
But anyway, this is in a…the Muppet Courtyard. So, if you did…if you took a left instead of going to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge…there’s also BaseLine Tap Houses nearby, which I hear has a awesome pretzel. I could go there; I don’t drink, but I don’t mind watching people drink, really. But so…okay, so, if you go into this courtyard…and right in front of you will be a Miss Piggy…what’s that thing called? The Statue of Liberty statue fountain. Great picture…great area to take pictures, by the way. Then if you’re facing the Miss Piggy fountain…please let me be correct…I don't know any of the details about the fountain, but I think there’s other cool details. Probably maybe some of these…of Gonzo’s friends. But you could go to the right and go into Muppet Vision 3D, which is a very fun movie.
Actually, it…in the last year or two, or…well, I don't know. The last few times I’ve gone, pre everything 2019 to 2022 or whatever, I kind of had this idea that I did not like…I liked my memories of the first time I saw Muppet Vision, but I don’t…at the time, so during the downtime when I wasn’t visiting any parks, I was like, I don't think I like that. It was basically with everything going on, it was…but so, I went back and now I was like, oh no, I love this movie. There’s a couple lulls, but there’s so many surprises. If it’s your first time, there’s surprises. If it’s your fiftieth time, there’s still stuff surprising. There’s also so much things to look at. The last time I went on…went there, I think I went to that movie twice, I’m pretty sure. Not in a row.
One of the times, I just watched Walder and…whatever…Walter and…why can’t I pronounce that? Stadler and Waldorf. That’s why I can’t pronounce it. Walder and Staldorf. I can’t say it. Sadler and Waldorf, who are the critics…because their animatronics are really…they’re Muppet animatronics, but they do the thing…this all went away at some point, but where if you’re watching them, they’re watching the movie at the same time you are and they’re reacting to it the whole time. Again, I’m not somebody that catches every detail, so I don't know if it’s on some sort of loop or whatever. But those are the details that made people my age want to become imagineers.
So, I don’t…sometimes I don’t get…I guess I can see with the corporate thing of how to…it gets de-prioritized, but it’s like, those are the things that are so cool, along with all the other surprises in the show, which there are quite a few. Actually, the animation isn’t really that bad. It has Muppets, which played a huge role in my life, but there’s a digitally-animated being in the 3D movie, which is a 3D being. My memory of it…or maybe they re…I don't know if they redid anything, but my memory of it was very harsh and that’s one of the reasons I was like, I don't think I’ll ever see that movie again. But I was wrong. The other thing is, the queue is…there’s a queue where you’re going into Muppet…I think you end up in Muppet Labs. So, there’s tons of different cookie…what are those called again?
Not cookies, right? Not cupcakes; they’re Easter eggs in there. Hollywood Studios actually has a few cool Easter eggs, and then there’s this pizza restaurant, which has…full of hidden Easter eggs. Hopefully I’ll…we’ll learn a little bit more about it, but mostly this is just here to put you to sleep and to get you to support the Stop Hate fundraiser. You could learn more from Alicia Stella’s website. Oh, there’s even a audio version. Cool. So…oh no, video version; sorry. Maybe I could put the video version on mute in a minute. Okay, so, that’s Muppet Vision. Now, strong recommend, especially throughout the age ranges. There’s something for everybody, and it’s air-conditioned, and it’s indoors. Usually there’s not a long wait. There is a outdoor queue if it gets super busy.
If you use the paid FastPass, Genie+…you can almost always get a FastPass for it. Well, I don't know; that park…I don't know if you’re supposed…I don't know if…I’d have to check the latest thing on Touring Plans if that’s a good use of your…whatever the thing…whatever they’re called. Genie+ money. But across the way from the entrance to Muppet Vision is those restrooms I was talking about. They’re downstairs. But there’s this New York-style brook…brick building, and it has…here’s the other thing; it’s got quality neon. It’s got a giant neon sign on the roof, I think, with a billboard, but I don't see a picture of it right now. It’s got a neon pizza sign with Rizzo on the pizza sign. It says Pizza, and then it has a picture of Rizzo, who is one of Gonzo’s friends…appears in the Muppet Vision…definitely in the queue, probably…or the pre-show.
Okay, but it says, the…and it has a red awning. It’s styled like a New York City-style, old-fashioned pizza parlor. So…okay, I guess apparently at some point it was called Pizza Planet, which…they have that at Disneyland still. Original concept for this location was Swedish Chefs Cooking School. There’s Mama Melrose, and then it was gonna be The Great Gonzo Pizza Pandemonium Parlor, operated by the great Gonzo. Rizzo and friends would be running along above people’s heads. But those ideas were canceled in the nineties. The larger space, which I think this was, was probably used to show off movie props, it says. Then the building was taken over, yeah, by — this is from the Orlando Parkstop article — Toy Story Pizza Planet, a pizza restaurant and video arcade. Didn’t look anything like the place in the film, though.
It was themed to an old utilities plant and it lasted at the park for twenty years. Wow. It was closed in 2016. Whoa, hold on, there; 2016…so, I went there when it was Pizza Planet. I already got to make all of…what do you call that? So, I’ve been here, but when it was Pizza…no wonder I didn’t recognize it. I don’t know what…good question; what year do you think you went there, Scoots? Well, should I tell that story? Let me give you a little bit of the outside first. So, even on its sign, it says ‘The Best Pizza on the Planet’ as a reference to Pizza Planet, but it’s kind of hidden font, so it looks like it says ‘Pizza Planet’ when you’re looking at it from afar. Okay, let’s do a little investigation, though. This is good, 'cause then we have room for more Rizzo, if we get…P to the Pizze, R to the Rizzo.
That’s not the anthem, but if you’re eating pizza, you’ll need to put your hands up, anyway. Okay, so, at one point…once upon a time we made a family trip from my…so, it was the holidays. I don't know what year it is. Again, 20…trying to think what year it was or where we even stayed. I mean, there’s one important part of it that I’m…but I’m guessing it was 2010. So, I stopped…I got sober in 2013, so it definitely wasn’t 2013. Could have been 2012 or 2011 or 2010 or ‘29. It probably was closer to the end, now that I’m remembering some details. So, it could have been 2012. No, 2012 I think we spent…okay, so maybe it was 2011 or 2010. Oh no, that was ‘27…2000…so, maybe it was 2012. I don't know. Alls I know is that a large portion of my family — if not most of my family — we flew to my parents’ place where they live, about a hour north of Tampa.
My parents at that time had a two-person RV, which all of their children…it was very out of personality for them. So, we were obsessed with this RV and kinda beside ourselves, right? Sorry, I lost my place. But so…okay, so, we were obsessed with this RV because…and we all wanted to ride in it or whatever. Either leading up to this…so, my parents were gonna take the…no, they weren’t. Okay. So, we were spending the…I guess probably we were spending a couple days at Disney World, but me and two of my brothers convinced my parents to let us take the RV to Disney World ahead of them one night, 'cause one of my brothers had to fly back, anyway; he couldn’t stay. We would sleep in the RV for a night at Fort Wilder…Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds and RV Park.
This was back when I was pretty into consumption, so once we got the RV parked, it was about…we didn’t go…we went into…here’s what I remember; so, went to Disney Hollywood Studios. We spent a few hours there, then we went to check in and park the RV. Oh, then we ate dinner…I think we…or maybe we had breakfast the next day at the Trail’s End Buffet. I think we ate dinner there 'cause I remember we went into the pub next door. Then we went and we drank our way around the monorail resorts and stuff like that, then we went back to Disney Studios, which I don't know if it was MGM Studios at the time or not. At some point, we decided to have pizza and a beverage, apparently at Pizza Planet, and I don't…oh, I was well-behaved, I believe, but it was…we were…anyway, that’s just something I remember, is being there.
We were on the second floor 'cause there was two stories, and I remember eating a pizza and I remember probably being grouchy about it 'cause it was like, well, this pizza’s not that great. But it probably…I don't know. So anyway, that’s a little bit about it. The next thing Alicia…Orlando Parkstop has is Papa Rizzo’s original apron from 12…1915. According to one of the signs, I think this place has been open since 1908, The Famous Original. So again, it’s a very New York-style tribute. It’s very cool, I think. Okay, so, yeah, Pizza Planet, then Papa Rizzo. This is in…so, the apron…and it’s…so, this was before…I mean, no…I don't know what year Ratatouille came out, but…yeah, there…so, this was Rizzo’s father, Papa Rizzo…1916. There’s also a picture of them sponsoring a city baseball team, the City Razzos.
Pendant and baseball…so, human kids and…is that a cheerleader? Yeah, one of Ratso’s cousins…Rizzo’s cousins; sorry. What is it…Papa Rizzo…so, Ratso’s the first name. Rizzo’s the last name, right? Southern California…let’s see. So, that’s the baseball team. There’s a pendant baseball…oh, they have baseball bats for humans and smaller Ratso sizes. There’s a postcard on a cork board upstairs. This PizzeRizzo in Southern California has the second-most…is the second-most famous PizzeRizzo. So, it can be assumed that this first one was opened by his father in New York. So, this is the first one, so this…that’s another…oh yeah, Los Angeles. Let’s read through the thing. Okay, this is the postcard. It says, 100% Authentic New York-ish…New York-ish pizza. Host your next event with us.
Rizzo says, celebrate the grand opening of the second famous…this is serious imagineering, you know? PizzeRizzo with a free slice on me. Open seven days. PizzeRizzo; P-I-Z-Z-E-R-I-Z-Z-O. A valuable coupon; a free slice of pizza, valid next week only. Two stars on either side. 7th and Grand Ave in Los Angeles. Pizza, salad, sub…Deluxe Supreme Banquet Hall. So, that’s that postcard. That’s cool…and a little bit of the lore. What else we got here? Because of the Grand Avenue location, Rizzo had the first dollar framed and put on display near the dining room. But it looks like Pepe may have taken it, leaving a IOU in its place. There’s also a wide selection of PizzeRizzo merchandise that they supposedly sell, but they actually don’t. Oh yeah, so, there’s kids, and Rizzo’s playing baseball.
There’s mugs and cups and…oh, there’s a baseball bat, hats, shirts. That’s what…Jack Black’s famous for wearing a PizzeRizzo…oh, here’s the billboard. It’s neon Rizzo…PizzeRizzo. There’s an arrow sign with market lights. The city’s top-rated pizza. This is another thing I hope Disney doesn’t go away from, is neon signs. Actually, there’s…the sign blinks, according to this, and shows…it’s…they make a joke about R-A-T. So, it’s the city’s top-rated pizza. Most of the lights go out ‘til it says ‘It’s Rats-a Pizza.’ So, that’s a thing. Then there’s…the phone number, according to Orlando Parkstop, has also hidden in there a RA…the phone number for PizzeRizzo is RA74996ABCDEFGHIJKL…that’s not 7, though. I don't understand how that works, but…or maybe it’s just the 7 looks like that.
Then they have a Zagat Survey. It says PizzeRizzo, 7th and Grand. Don’t be fooled by the hole-in-the-wall atmosphere and questionable kitchen staff at this Grand Avenue pizzeria. Excellent menu, and Rizzo’s Deluze Supreme Banquet Hall makes this family pizzeria — as the owner would say — a real classy joint. There’s also playbills, including one of Mice and Men, then there’s a ad for the…on the brick, there’s a painted sign; Rizzo’s Supreme Deluxe Banquet Hall…Deluxe Supreme Banquet Hall. It’s a real classy joint, able to accommodate up to 150 guests or 875 smaller friends, or…has a dance floor with a once…with a once state-of-the-art sound system. A great place to…wow, so a place…cheesy wedding music and songs from the nineties, and it has a dance floor. So, this is all stuff I had no idea of.
I hope I don’t miss out…I hope this place doesn’t close before I can get there. They even have flyers. Oh, that’s where the…see Olanda for your dream event today. There’s also a flyer behind that one, so there’s secret flyers, even. Parkstop has a nice picture of what it looks like, and it does look like the kind of banquet hall you would rent out for a sweet sixteen or a wedding or something. Okay, then there’s a sign…an information sign, which has the next upcoming event, and it has different Muppet references. Somebody Got Married; that might be from Muppets Take Manhattan. That’s the song, Somebody’s Getting Married. Even the names of the people getting married; Gill and Lil, with their family, Will, Jill, Phil, Bill. That’s a nod to the film.
The characters are part of…oh, those characters worked at the advertising agency where Kermit worked after Kermit was experiencing memory things. Then there’s another cook…what are those called again? Cookies? No, Easter egg, but you have to look close to see it. Behind it is details for Pa Otter’s Memorial Service, from Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas in 1977. The board says that the Frog Town Hollow Jubilee Jug Band played, which was Emmet’s band. Okay, the next round of hidden things are…the playbill…there’s things hidden from the Streets of America. So, that’s what it used to be called, the Backlots of Orlando MG…Disney MGM Studios. The Streets of America closed in 2016, actually, according to this article.
It was part of the production tour, then it was themed as a movie backlot, and they were city street facades. That was also the original home to the Muppet’s Courtyard and Muppet Vision 3D. Oh, and it was originally at Grand Avenue. That’s why it had a Grand Avenue address, because they replaced the area with Grand Avenue. So, it has a fake subway sign; 18th Street and downtown…to downtown in Brooklyn, the WND train, underpass to Uptown and Queens. There’s four records on there. There’s a 1-95 interstate sign, another subway sign. It’s time for the New York City Welcome Center…a couple license plates; ZZXKL and PH141, New York’s license plates, which are all props from that area to give it a more New York pizza style, pizzeria style.
That was originally…oh, 'cause there was a fake subway entrance on the Streets of America. Okay, then there’s the…another…oh no, this is another bill…what are those called? Cork board, where there’s tons of Muppet references. It’s filled with flyers and business cards and all sorts of strange Muppet stuff. You could spend a lot of time reading through it. So, great idea, Alicia; we will. Let me click on the photo and start zooming in and see what I can see. There’s the Motion Picture Dialect Coach’s Guild of America. PizzeRizzo got a 1991 something for New York accents. Then there’s a flyer for Fozzie’s Funny Business, available for weddings and funerals. Performances every Thursday at Rizzo Deluxe. Oh, it’s too bad they don’t actually have…they could…that would be cool.
If they really wanted to plus that place, they could put some…I mean, Fozzie animatronic or a pizza band. They could really capitalize on this nostalgia people have. Okay, then there’s Swedish Singing Cakes, maybe from the Swedish Chef. Smooth jazz melodies with Rolf, serving the Los Angeles area. Then we have a couple pictures, I think. I don't know what are in the pictures, so maybe we’ll check the article. Gonzo’s Royal Flush; so, Gonzo has a toilet store…a new show room on Grand Ave. It’s the largest retailer of salvaged toilets and urinals in the Tri-County area. I don't know, this is the kind of toilet-level humor that you could count on the Muppets for that I really don’t think…really has been…I don't know, it was unique in time, but we still have this stuff.
I guess Gonzo might be working…would have advertisements on TV and stuff. But Gonzo has a suit on. Attention executives; we’ve moved to our new show room on Grand Avenue. Porcelain Princess; that’s a 2,000-flush warranty. They’re the best-selling model. Try it and buy it. BOGO plungers blowout sale. It’s a buy-one, get-one. Two for the price of one. Queen and King of the Throne; those are top-of-the-line his and her’s specials with a Royal Flush. Then there’s even a urinal; Ceramic Commander. Middle manager’s special. So, I mean, just the detail. Then there’s a radio station. Oh, it has a website, but it’s covered up. The Rat Rocks, WRAT, 95.9. Then there’s a bow-tie card that I can’t read. There’s also cards underneath ones, then there’s a fish-juggler for hire. LW95263.
That’s on top of other flyers, so it’s cool that there’s other flyers being covered by the flyers. Okay, then we have another set. What do we got? Something University…Harry…oh, that’s the person that…then Tossing Penguin Tuxedo Rentals. Something blue…I don't know…who was that…there’s a ad for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. I don't…something…I don't know what that one is, then the ad for interspecies wedding retirement…rat-irement parties, wakes…we put the ‘rat’ in ‘celebrate’. Deluxe Banquet Hall. That’s funny. What do we got? Professional wedding photographer, and then it has a couple…there’s some customers that are Ratsos at a table. First runner up; PizzeRizzo, the classiest banquet room…1989. That’s from the Banquet Hall Enthusiasts.
I’d like to listen to that podcast; Banquet Hall Enthusiast Podcast. There’s also something from a TV guide. Turn on the Fun; Jimmy Dean show, 10:00 AM or 10:00 PM. So, there’s even more stuff that…then there’s that Zagat Survey. So, that’s cool. I think it’s cool. Let’s see, what else…a normal picture of a happy couple on their wedding day, but there’s hidden Muppets in there. Statler and Waldorf and…yeah, you gotta take your time to look at the pictures and see everybody. There’s other historical photos from Little Italy in New York, but with a couple of surprises. Then there’s even more Muppets. When people try to think of the Muppets…you can find photos from the Muppet films, other productions…there’s a record for Mice Girls, a clever play on Spice Girls, and Muppets from Space.
Rizzo has a poster for Mice Girls up on the wall. There’s caric…however you say that. There’s one of the bunny, Miss Piggy, Kermit playing a banjo, Swedish Chef, Ratso, and then I can’t see the other ones. Let’s see what the songs on Mice Girls were. Mice Up Your Life, Wanna Brie? B-R-I-E. Bleu Become One…B-L-U…E-U. Say You’ll Be There…what else do we got? Pizza-Eating Contest Hall of Fame. These are the winners. The first annual was Big Mean Carl, second-annual; Big Mean Carl, third-annual; Big Mean Carl, fourth one; Sweetums, who appears in the movie across the street. Big Mean Carl won again in the fifth. The sixth one; Animal won. Gordon Heap won the seventh one, then Big Mean Carl; eighth. Mean Mama won the ninth. Big Mean Carl…Behemoth; the eleventh. Big Mean Carl; the twelfth.
Bread Buddy; thirteenth. Carla the Big Mean Mom; fourteenth. Timmy; fifteenth. Big Mean Carl and Sweetums; seventeenth. So, Big Mean Carl won one, two, three…oh boy, I clicked the wrong button…four, five, six, seven, eight. Eight out of seventeen, so just short…one, two, three, four, five, six, seven…oh, eight. No, no; Carl…oh, yes, eight out of seventeen. So, that’s fun. Okay, yeah, then there’s crates for Heckler Tomatoes for Waldorf and Stadler…Statler. Big Mean Carl…I don't know who Big Mean Carl is. Oh, there’s a caricature of Fozzie Bear. There’s…oh, this is in the VIP area which are corner booths upstairs…fairground-style, exaggerated features. Then some are drawn in the style of Alf…Al Hirschfeld, who…kinda with the elegant, curved lines.
Don’t forget to get a picture with Rizzo’s portrait carrying a pizza and riding a skateboard. Okay, we never did get the full Muppet Studios Courtyard, which would have had two restaurants and a ride, one where they’re running around, Ratso’s friends. But yeah, there’s nothing like the original. Okay, let me see what happens when I play this video. Alright, so, let me try to play this video and then…I do want to get to this other article, though, so let me see how long the video is. I think it covers kinda the same stuff, so…you should watch the video; how about that? Oh yeah, so, it shows a lot more of the cool signage. Yeah, a little bit better of the…oh, wait a second, here comes some of the Pizza Planet stuff? Hold on; I gotta still slow down now.
Okay, so, the Seven Hidden Things From PizzeRizzo, a nice shot of the whole facade…yeah, then kinda the reimagining of what would have been Muppets Courtyard. Wow, it looks really cool with the Swedish Chef. There’s one drawing…then there’s the current Muppet store and Mama Melrose. I think there used to be a Christmas store, too, down there. I think it may be still there. Then there’s some more artwork for the restaurant where Ratso’s friends would deliver food for you, which would have been interesting. Another shot of Muppets Courtyard, Muppets Studio, and then a shot of maybe when it had props, then a shot of it when it was Pizza Planet, and that was…I guess…oh yeah, now I see there’s big, green friends upstairs.
Didn’t look like Pizza Planet though, but…yeah, now the refurb. There’s some shots of the refurb coming soon. I think it even has…I don't know if it has outdoor seating, 'cause I don't know if you’d have that. Oh, there’s a water tower. Wow. Anything that has a water tower, that adds a lot, in my opinion. It also has Ratso on there, or Papa…and then they have the downstairs, which they’re showing has booths and tile floor, or a tile-looking floor, which adds a lot. Then the video’s showing some of the other pictures and the original apron, which is cool. Also a brick wall on…painted white, or a cream-colored brick wall, more memorabilia from their baseball team that the place sponsors, then the flyers for the opening of the new restaurant and some of the Muppet flyers, maybe.
Yeah, then we’re looking at…yeah, more of the decorations, Pepe’s IOU for the first dollar, who’s — I think — a crustacean. Yeah, and that’s more of the merch. I don't know if you can buy any of the merch. I wonder where Jack Black got his shirt. Then they’re showing a restaurant like it in one of the Muppet movies. Oh, I kinda remember some of that, then another outdoor shot of the pizza, beer, PizzeRizzo sign, then the big neon sign, neon sign at night blinking…oh, the pizza even…oh, wow, steam comes off the pizza. The rat’s dancing a little bit. Wow, that is cool. Neon signs are it for me, man. Then the ordering, different rec…more records on the walls, and another playbill for the pack of Raz’s pizza party…that was one of the other albums on the wall, then the…number four on this list was the Supreme Banquet Hall.
So, we got some more of the cork board, and…yeah, some of those jokes…interspecies weddings retirement…rat-irement parties. Oh, wait…okay, so, they just showed the…there was disco lighting going on at some point during the…oh, there’s even a disco ball. I really have to make a visit here. Yeah, then the…somebody got married; Gill, Lil, Will, and Jill. Then we see Kermie and Miss Piggy going down the aisle together. That’s cute. Yeah, then the hidden sign behind for Emmet Otter, which was cool, and Gill…all the other people that were helping Kermit when he couldn’t remember who he was and that he loved Miss Piggy and other Muppets. That was what…I don't know if Don Draper was based on Kermit for the…from those movies. Then we’re seeing the Emmet Otter band singing.
I guess there’s no mention of the Not-Great-Dreams Band. Oh, and then there’s some shots of the Streets of America before they closed, and…oh, I forgot there was…is that…I wonder if that’s still…there’s a hot-air balloon on top of the Muppets building, 7th and Grand Ave. Honestly, I had no idea that PizzeRizzo was somewhat of a new thing. I mean, whatever I said; four…seven years old now? Then some…showing some of the old Streets of America, then the cork board again with some of the fun stuff, and smooth jazz, man…Swedish Cakes Professional Wedding Photography. Looks like there’s a bat mitzvah, then the people sitting out front, some more Muppets photography…looks like stills from the movies, then the records, and then the poster from the movie.
Oh, Heckler Tomatoes; that’s what’s on the water thing, and then a tomato-loading zone. So, the tomatoes are stored in the water tower. Oh, and I think they were showing somebody…not Sweetums, though, 'cause Sweetums…oh, and then we see the VIP booths, which are just booths for big families. So, it’s cool that the restaurant has three themed areas. So, again, let me know if you donate, and if you donate more than a hundred bucks, maybe I could actually send you your thank-you video from PizzeRizzo. It’d be cool. Yeah, more stills from the movies. Now we’re seeing…this is the upstairs, then the outside again, another neon sign, then we’re seeing the food. There’s cannolis; I think I’ve been saying I’m gonna try a cannoli. I hope the cannolis aren’t…not a non-crispy cannoli, you know what I’m saying?
So, we’ll see. Okay, so let’s open up this other one, which was…this was Alicia Stella on Touring Plans. They have this thing where people get to…well, let’s just go to it. Okay, let me paste it in here. Okay, so this is from touringplans.com and it is…Saturday Six presents three…theme park hills to big farm on…Alicia Stella defends PizzeRizzo. This was August 21, 2021, and it’s on the Touring Plans website. This is Saturday Six, a popular series that comes out on Saturdays. In this version, there’s occasional moments where people enjoy things that not a lot of other people do, and despite the eye-rolling, we’ll defend these treasured moments ‘til we big farm. This is one with…oh, wait, there’s two…oh, Derek Burgan is the other…so, Derek Burgan’s the author.
There’s been other ones with Universal and other dining experiences, but very few, probably — Derek says — would choose PizzeRizzo, but Alicia Stella would. So, Alicia…this is a cool article. I’ll link to it. But these are some of the things that Alicia recommends about it; one, it’s air-conditioned and it has atmosphere. It’s got old Italian music playing, kinda like you’d hear in other Italian restaurants. There’s napkin-dispensers on every table, and you could eat outdoors, and they even have ceiling fans. So, if the weather’s right in Orlando, you could eat outside. There’s all the Muppet stuff, which is very cool, and so many…not cookies; they’re called…not cupcakes, right? Easter eggs.
So, there’s lots of Easter eggs, and it has…so, at Hollywood Brown Derby, I think they have caricatures of famous people instead of the Muppets, but here you get the Muppets, right? There’s electric albums…I mean, albums…this one…they have…there’s a bar, or there used to be a bar in San Francisco called Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. So, there’s jam. This is on the album, Can You Picture That?, Mr. Bass Man, and Saturday Night Life. Then there’s a album, The Irish Rodents, Salty Ratso, Pied Piper’s Call, Take It and Scurry, then Mice Girls, and then that…the Supreme Banquet Hall sign, tons of different things. The banquet hall itself…if you’re not in the mood for those old crooner songs, you could go up to the banquet hall.
There’s DJ-style party lighting, fancy decorations, and hits from the seventies, nineties, and nothing else, and a dance floor. Tell you what; if you donate $1,000, I’ll dance on the dance floor and send you a thank-you video. I just gotta figure out getting…there’s plenty of available seating, which is a problem at some of these parks. There’s…'cause you can eat inside or outside. You don’t need a reservation, so there’s plenty of places to sit down, different style places, too. There’s the pizza place, there’s the Italian restaurant-style place, and then there’s the upstairs and the banquet hall, and then the outdoor area. Alicia Stella’s a fan of the food. Sure, you might not like it, but it’s good. It looks like they have Caesar salads in little cups and personal-style pizza.
It may not be that special, the other stuff, but Alicia says, I love this Caesar salad on the side. Nothing like cold lettuce on a hot…yeah, for sure. You can also get a cannoli, so, yeah, that’s cool. I only had my first cannoli…also, they have seasonal cannolis, too; a holiday cannoli and a Halloween cannoli. Even when the…on Disney+ Day or something, they had Haunted Mansion…oh, the Muppets Haunted Mansion Eclair. Wow, that looks good.
Then there was a sugar cookie, and then the neon sign. Merchandise we used to sell…okay, so that was the joke there. There’s also…garbage cans are another…that’s, again, a honorable mention. So, yeah, that’s what I say, is go check out PizzeRizzo, but before you do that, support the Stop Hate fundraiser that Alicia Stella and Theme Park Stop are running, 'cause we’re all in this together, right? Yeah, let me know if you do support it. I’ll do something, and yeah, if you support it in a…if you’re in a position to support it in a super-generous way, let me know and I’ll try to send you a video…at some point I’ll plan a trip to PizzeRizzo and send you a video. So, thanks so much, and goodnight, everybody.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)
- Holy Hague
- Muppet-Referenced Restaurant (MRR)
- Ceramic Commander
- Alicia Stella / Orlando Park Stop
- The Rat Pack
Notable Talking Points:
- Shifts in the Metric System
- Smooth Jazz Melodies with Rolf
- Neon signs are it for me, man