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On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, we were so excited to dine at the new signature character dining experience at Walt Disney World. Located at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a DVC resort located on Bay Lake. This resort is accessible from Magic Kingdom via the Friendship Boats, and also via bus, Minnie Van and ride share. Although perhaps not the most convenient resort to visit, this is one of our favorite Disney resorts as it is themed beautifully and like a mountain cabin. This is also our home resort for DVC.
There has been an incredible amount of buzz and hype around this new experience. When Artist Point first closed, a lot of folks were upset because it was a popular restaurant that people didn’t necessarily think needed re-themed. Artist Point was originally themed to compliment the resort and the western mountain feel.
When the restaurant re-opened it was one of the most in demand dining reservations on property. The meal is a character dining experience themed towards Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Enchanted Forest. See the connection there? See what they did?
Storybook Dining at Artist Point currently open for dinner from 4:00 – 9:00 pm seven days a week. If paying out of pocket, the meal is $55.00 for adults which is ages ten and up. For children the cost is $33.00 per child. The meal is one dining credit and we will elaborate more on our thoughts on that in a moment. Last note for cost is that currently this dining option does not accept Tables in Wonderland.
As mentioned above, this meal is one dining credit on the Disney Dining Plan. For us, at the end of this experience, the meal most resembled Cinderella’s Royal Table with better food. As many know, Cinderella’s Royal Table is two dining credits. The appeal for that experience is getting to meet a plethora of Princesses in one swoop. You are absolutely paying for the experience of eating in the castle and meeting those princesses.
At Storybook Dining at Artist Point you are paying for the experience of eating in the Enchanted Forest, meeting the characters and the food. Speaking of food! Let’s talk about that!
There were several alcoholic and non alcoholic specialty drinks to choose from including the Enchanted Apple which is an apple tini type drink, and a brew of peaches which includes bourbon and peach and raspberry flavors.
I selected a non alcoholic beverage that was a virgin wildberry mojito. It was really good. The Through the Forest included wild berry syrup with lime juice and mint. I highly recommend this drink and if you are looking for an alcoholic version I would ask your server if they could add white rum to it.
The meal is Prix fix for appetizers and Desserts while you get to select your own entree from the menu. There are several small plates brought out for appetizers so that each guest can taste several items. The tastes are very autumnal themed. In very small cauldrons comes the Winter Squash Bisque.
Served with a homemade marshmallow on a wooden stick laid over the cauldron, the accent adds a touch of sweetness to the otherwise savory dish. This was one of my favorite things from the night. If you aren’t a fan of squash or thick bisque like this, this might not be for you but it isn’t a large portion so always good to try something new.
Next up is the Wicked Shrimp Cocktail. This dish comes with two shrimp (for a table of two), yes I know, only two shrimp. They are large shrimp but I feel like we can do better than just one shrimp per person. This dish is served in a glass jar with a lid and comes chilled with soy sauce, miso, avocado and a few greens.
I didn’t really understand this dish. It didn’t fit with the theming of the restaurant in my personal opinion but it is something that is suited for most palette’s so most people will enjoy this even if they don’t have a bit more of an adventurous palette.
Lastly we were served the Hunter’s Pie. This dish comes with one pie per person and is a chicken and black truffle filling encased in a golden pastry. Served alongside is a stone fruit jam. Bryson really enjoyed this dish.
For me, something was off with the melding of flavors. I didn’t think that the filling was great, it reminded me of a breakfast sausage. I think it just wasn’t what I was expecting because I was expecting more of a vegetable and beef filling. So, next time I will know what the flavor is going to be so maybe my tastebuds will be more open minded.
The appetizers are brought out all at once and placed on your centerpiece which is a revolving piece that looks like a tree with the leaves being the surfaces for the plates. These details were what did it for me at this experience. I thought the details were really thought out, planned well and accentuated the theme of the experience in a great way.
The menu is reminiscent of a storybook with the first page highlighting the beginnings of a Disney fairytale. The second page has cocktails and a review of the appetizers that brought to the table. The next page has a listing a description of all of the entrees offered as well as the desserts that are prix fix and all included with the price of the meal. The final page marks the end of your culinary adventure.
The entree selections included a seafood stew of shrimp, scallops and mussels in a tomato broth, Prime Rib with au jus and yorkshire pudding, butternut squash gnocchi in a rich sage and parmesan cream sauce, roasted chicken with chestnut butter, slow-braised veal shank served with celery root mash and winter greens and a butter poached kinglip (fish) served with root vegetable risotto and a citrus beure blanc.
Bryson selected the prime rib which was a large portion and came to temperature which he ordered as medium-rare. The steak came covered in au jus which he did wish would have come on the side instead because he prefers not to have au jus so good tip is if you are the same to ask for that to come on the side. The horseradish mashed potatoes were very tasty; not too strong of a horseradish flavor but added a nice zip and great flavor.
For my entree, I went with the dish called “A Stroll Through Nature”. This was the butternut squash gnocchi served with arugula, butternut squash, sage and parmesan. This dish was absolutely delicious and very rich. I expected the gnocchi, which is typically a pasta dish made of potato (usually) to be made of butternut squash but the butternut squash was served tossed into the dish and I actually like that more. I had zero complaints about this dish except that I ate it all and was stuffed to the gills. The sage added a wonderful touch to the dish; I would highly recommend it.
The desserts were next and were again served on the moving centerpiece modeled after a tree in the forest. Your meal comes with three desserts brought in this way and one final treat at the end of the meal.
First up is the fairy tale pie. This looked more like a cobbler to me but was incredibly tasty and I enjoy cobbler more than I enjoy pie so for me this was a win. The gooseberry tasted a lot like an apple pie with a very tart finish. The crumble on top was sweet and had a crunch to it; we both really enjoyed this dish.
The miner’s treasure was next and came with a white chocolate piece on top that looked like Dopey’s hat. This was a blue green sponge cake (don’t worry, it won’t stain your mouth), chocolate gems that were really cute and were candy coated chocolates in the shape of stones or gems and buttercream icing. I didn’t expect to enjoy this but I really did. I thought it was really good. The buttercream was very sweet, this was the sweetest dessert option but it was delicious.
The final dessert was the poison apple. This is definitely the dessert that was the most social media ready but for me, that’s where the hype ended. It wasn’t bad and I appreciate what the chefs did when creating it. Shaped like a red apple straight out of the story, the apple was a white chocolate apple mousse with a sour center. It wasn’t bad but for me, this was my least favorite of the dessert options. I love the idea of it and it tasted fine but there was nothing special about this other than the look.
Finally, at the very end of your meal, a castmember will bring out a smoking box. Inside the box are red chocolate hearts and caramel corn in dry ice. This is really cool… until they unceremoniously dump the contents onto a plate and that’s that. There has to be a better way.
I am not trying to be negative. I think the idea of it is beyond cool and I was so excited for it to happen but when they just dump it onto a plate and walk away, it leaves you feeling a little unfulfilled. However, I do understand that if each table received their own box, a number of these boxes would most likely somehow manage to walk out of the restaurant each night. This is why we can’t have nice things.
The characters are some of the most unique in Walt Disney World. There are only two times a year that you are able to meet the seven dwarfs. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Although this is only Grumpy and Dopey, they are amazing.
This was hands down our favorite part of the experience. Dopey and Grumpy are outstanding and incredibly interactive.
There seemed to have been some sort of backstage glitch when it came to timing during our meal. We have only dined here one time so we don’t know if this is planned but it seemed not to have been planned. The characters disappeared for quite a while after we were sat and did not reappear until we were completely done with our meal.
I can’t imagine this was intentional because it would slow down the ability to turn the tables and bring more guests in and then when Grumpy made his rounds, the castmember who was his handler seemed to try to rush him past our table after only a quick photo. Unfortunately for him, we enjoy our character experiences even though we do not have kids so we wanted to be sure we got our time with the Grump, and we did.
Snow White was adorable. She was perfect and I honestly believe this was my first time meeting her at Walt Disney World. She was gorgeous and so kind, just like we knew she would be.
Then of course, there is the queen. While Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy make their rounds to the tables in Artist Point, the Queen is front and center in the middle of the restaurant and if you want to meet with her you line up after your meal has completed.
She was terrifying. I’m just going to be real with you. She was absolutely terrifying. I was so excited to meet her. I have, what is lovingly (I’m sure) called resting bitch face. I do and I’m okay with it. I’ve embraced it. But, obviously, this is something that the Queen and I have in common so I was pretty excited to out RBF her. I didn’t. She won. I bow down to the Queen. She scared me. In a fun way because she was a blast to meet.
The characters are worth the entire experience, if you enjoy meeting characters and especially unique ones such as these.
The characters will sign autograph books which was interesting because when you sit down there is an autograph card shaped like an apple with all of the signatures on it so be sure to take that as well if you are interested.
This experience was awesome. We are still talking about it. In our personal opinion, for us, this was far better than Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table which we felt are the two most comparable dining experiences. That being said, we have only dined at Be Our Guest for Breakfast and Lunch so that might not be a completely fair comparison.
The food at Storybook Dining was superior to Cinderella’s Royal Table by leaps and bounds. This was a very well rounded dining experience. The food was great, with a few slight hitches but again, that could have just been for our preferences and palette, everyone is different. The characters were interactive and amazing and the theme was awesome. This was a hit for us and we can’t wait to go back.
Have you dined at Storybook Dining at Artist Point? What were your thoughts?
That’s it for this post. Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.