PHOTOS: Secrets inside Maria & Enzo's at Disney Springs

By Allison Walker Torres, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018, 7:48 PM EST

A brand-new themed experience is now open at Disney Springs.

  • Maria & Enzo's now open at Disney Springs
  • Restaurant captures taste of Southern Italy
  • 80 percent of cast members from Italy

Maria & Enzo's is a two-story restaurant adjacent to The Edison. Decked out in mid-century decor, it's an old air terminal (as the story goes) that was repurposed into restaurant space.

On the day of our visit, a family from Kansas was first in line to experience the taste of Southern Italy.

“I went in and looked at the pizza," Dave Stoman said. "It looked like good pizza, so you'd figure the pasta's going to be just as good!"

“(It) kinda reminds me of the 50s," his wife said.

The theming tells the love story between Maria and Enzo.

“Enzo was a pilot and he traveled all around the world," explained assistant general manager Justin Jaret. "So he really wanted to tie together his love and culture of Italy, Maria’s food, and his occupation as a pilot.”

Here’s a fun fact: If you look up at the ceiling and see images depicting Daytona, for instance, the city is actually located in that direction.

“There’s a pictograph pointing in each direction and a city that represents that location," Jaret said. "Like New York is to the north and Cuba is to the south.”

Another factoid: You could end up a VIP.

“Some guests come in, and they’re automatically upgraded (to the first class lounge)," he said. "There’s not really a secret to it.”

TIP: There's a secret door inside the first class lounge. It doesn’t have a handle, but you have to know where exactly to pull. That will lead you into the new speakeasy – Enzo’s Hideaway.

But wherever you plunk down, you’re eating foods that Italians know about from the South.

“Italy – as simple as it sounds to Americans – it isn’t," said corporate Chef Theo Schoenegger. "It is not spaghetti and tomato sauce."

Chef put out a huge spread to show us the kind of food offerings. From risotto fritters and cold cuts, to veal and swordfish, Chef says the flavors are unlike anything around Central Florida.

Another fun fact: Chef Theo says 80 percent of the cast members are from Italy; The rest are Italian-Americans.

Maria & Enzo's is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to midnight.