Walt Disney World’s newest character dining experience, Storybook Dining at Artist Point, is now up and running, so of course Harrison and I were quite happy to volunteer to head over to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to check it out! Wilderness Lodge is one of our favorite resorts, and although Artist Point used to be one of my old favorite restaurants before it changed to a character location, I was very excited to see the changes that had been made. Well spoiler alert: we loved it! Everything from the decor to the food was absolutely perfectly themed, and this is definitely somewhere we’d recommend. Read ahead for a full review of the new Storybook Dining at Artist Point.
Artist Point can be found at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a short boat ride from Magic Kingdom (read my review of our stay at Wilderness Lodge here). The restaurant is at the very back of the lobby, next to the Territory Lounge (a great place to grab a drink if you have to wait for your table!) We arrived quite early for our 5.50pm reservation but decided to check in anyway, thinking we could take a walk around the resort if we had to wait. The Cast Member checking us in did confirm that we would probably be seated closer to our reservation time and that we’d receive a text when our table was ready, so we set off to stroll around the grounds of Wilderness Lodge since it was a beautiful evening. Well, we didn’t even get 20 feet before the text arrived that they were ready for us, so we headed back to the podium to be seated.
Although my family aren’t generally huge fans of character dining, in the past we’ve found a few that we really enjoy, including the Bon Voyage breakfast at Trattoria al Forno; at this location, instead of a buffet, the food is served family style with the option to order your own entree. Storybook Dining has adopted the same model (an indication, in my opinion, that this has proved popular with the guests) and although the price is prix fixe and the meal begins and ends with shared appetizers and desserts, you do get to choose your own entree. The current prices are $55 for adults and $35 for children ages 3-9 (prices accurate as of January 2019 and do not include tax or gratuity), and one table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan. Characters at this dining location include Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy, who come around to greet guests while they dine, and the Evil Queen, who is available to meet at the end of your meal.
The Decor of Artist Point
With the combination of the rustic decor of Wildenress Lodge and the setting for the story on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Disney really has outdone itself here with the theming; I honestly can’t think of a better pairing! Artist Point has always been a beautiful restaurant, with windows that overlook the grounds of the resort, and it now has some new touches that make it even more special. Trees have been added throughout the restaurant, complete with fairy lights that change color as different characters are introduced and different songs are sung. The restaurant still very much feels like the signature location that it is, but also seems much more whimsical and in keeping with its new character status.
We were lucky enough to be seated at one of the tables next to the windows, so we were able to sit and watch the sunset as we ate our meal. The view was quite spectacular! As we were seated, we were each presented with a menu (Harrison had a kids menu since he’s six, and I was given a menu that included not only the food options, but some specialty drink options as well) and on our napkins we found a card in the shape of the poison apple with all of the characters signatures on. I thought this was a lovely touch, especially since we don’t usually collect characters autographs, but it’s nice to have a keepsake from a special dining experience.
The Dining Experience at Storybook Dining at Artist Point
We were given plenty of time to look our menus over and peruse the options before we ordered. The shared appetizers and desserts are listed on the menu so you can get an idea of what they are, something I really appreciated; even though those items are set, it’s nice to know what they are so you can adjust your entree order accordingly. I knew I would love all of the appetizers, so wanted to go for (what I thought would be) a smaller entree, especially since I definitely wanted to save room for dessert!
The kids menu had some great options too, including their own appetizer. Harrison is a pretty picky eater and likes his food as plain as possible. I had suggested that he get the grilled chicken since I knew that’s something he’d enjoy, but then he saw the note at the bottom of the entree list: “chicken tenders available” – never have I been so annoyed that he can read! Three guesses as to what he got after he saw that?! Honestly though, I think this is a GREAT option, as many kids do like familiar food and this was something nice and simple.
Our server came over to take our order and I decided to try the ‘Enchanted Apple” specialty drink. Although a non-alcoholic drink is included in the meal and our server kept our water glasses full, I wanted to try something special. The drink was the perfect mix of sweet and tart, and I really enjoyed it.
Our appetizers arrived quickly, and I was happy to tuck right in! We received two of each appetizer as well as Harrison’s kids appetizer. I started with the ‘Winter Squash Bisque’, which would end up being my favorite of the appetizers. The soup was rich and creamy, and the toasted marshmallow lollipop added a slightly sweet note. They were served in a small black cauldron which was a very cute touch!
The second appetizer was the ‘Hunter’s Pie’, which was a warm chicken pie. The pie itself was good, but when you added the fruit preserve, it really took it up a notch!
The third appetizer was the ‘Shrimp Cocktail’, which was served in a really nice glass container. The shrimp were served cold and they were a really good size. The miso added a really nice flavor to the shrimp, and it was nice to have a cold appetizer after the first two warm ones to freshen things up a little.
Harrison’s appetizer was perfect for him; veggie sticks with ranch, apple slices, a cheese stick, and a warm biscuit that came with a ‘create your own’ honey butter. The butter and honey was in a small jar and the idea was that you shake the jar until the butter is made, and Harrison got to shaking right away! Well, try as we might we could not create that butter, so our server offered to try. This poor man tried and tried, even continuing to shake the container as he walked around and checked on other tables! Eventually he asked in a somewhat pleading voice if we definitely wanted the butter, to which we assured him that he could stop! If we get to go back then I would love to give that another try because it’s such a cute idea.
Not surprisingly after eating two of each appetizer, I was pretty full! For my entree I had chosen ‘A Stroll through Nature’, which was gnocchi served with butternut squash and arugula in a sage cream sauce. I had thought this might be a smaller portion but it was actually a really good size. The gnocchi was perfectly cooked and the butternut squash added some nice texture to the dish. The sauce was rich and creamy and perfectly paired with the rest of the dish. It was so good that I really tried to eat the whole thing, but had to admit defeat about halfway through the dish. Oh, and Harrison devoured those chicken tenders!
I was pretty stuffed by this point but I have never been one to turn down dessert, especially when it just appears on my table by magic! Again, we received two of each dessert and since Harrison doesn’t eat anything sweet (seriously, I know) I got to eat two of each! Again! I began with the ‘Miner’s Treasures’ which was a sponge cake with buttercream frosting and little chocolate gems, all layered together in a small glass. This was good, but very sweet and since it wasn’t anything too different, I only had a few bites before moving on.
Next up was the ‘”Poison” Apple’, which was a white chocolate and apple mousse. This was absolutely delicious, and the presentation was beautiful. I managed to eat both of these pretty easily, and kind of wished there were more!
Finally I tried the ‘Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie’ which was a warm pastry shell filled with gooseberries. The server had said it would taste a lot like apple, which it did, just a little more on the tart side. I had a couple of bites but by this point they would have had to roll me out of there if I’d eaten any more!
Once the server had brought the check and we’d settled up, one final thing was brought to the table, and that was the ‘Hunter’s Gift to the Queen’. This was a beautiful chest filled with maple popcorn and chocolate ganache hearts, all of which I may have bundled up into a napkin for the car ride home. Maybe. Not confirming anything.
As you can tell, we loved the food! There was definitely a theme to the dishes and everything paired so well together. The entree options really had choices to please everyone, and the appetizers and desserts would be suitable for most palates. The kids options were great, with some more adventurous choices as well as those nice plain options as well. I spoke to a few other diners as we were walking out and everyone seemed happy with their choices.
The Characters at Storybook Dining at Artist Point
The main draw for this location is that it comes with some rather unique character greeting opportunities. While Snow White can be met at other dining locations and even in the parks themselves, this restaurant is one of the very few places you can meet the Dwarves and the Evil Queen. I was excited to meet all three of them since I don’t think we’ve ever met them in the past, and I always love meeting the villains!
Similar to the Bon Voyage breakfast, the characters at Artist Point are announced individually and then parade through the dining room before meeting the guests. As each character comes through, the fairy lights on the trees twinkle in time with the music and change different colors, and the effect is charming.
Our first character was Snow White. We don’t meet the characters very often and even Harrison, who normally talks non-stop, was a little shy around Snow White. She asked him a few questions before offering a hug and a photo opportunity. He was quick to give the hug and although he didn’t say much to her, he watched her as she walked around the dining room and waved every time she came past, which I thought was very cute!
Next up were the Dwarves. First we got Dopey, who was so much fun and so silly. He played peekaboo with Harrison from behind a pillar next to our table and Harrison thought he was hysterical, he was definitely his favorite character of the evening.
Then we had Grumpy, who was very…well, grumpy! He came to our table and stomped his foot and threw my napkin on the floor, and motioned that I was taking way too long to get my camera ready for photos! It was very funny, especially once Harrison told him that he should try to smile more and Grumpy stared him down! He was my favorite character interaction of the night for sure!
The Evil Queen doesn’t come to the tables the same way that the other characters do; instead, she has a photo set up in the middle of the restaurant and you can meet her at the end of your meal. Harrison was very nervous to meet her and she was definitely very imposing, but it was very cool to meet her and have that interaction.
I definitely think the draw of this meal are the unique characters that are available to meet, and they didn’t disappoint in their interactions. We didn’t take up too much of their time, but I watched them a little with other tables and everyone seemed happy to pose for pictures and sign autographs.
Final thoughts on Storybook Dining at Artist Point
I really like this new way of doing character dining that Disney has embraced! I’m not a huge fan of buffets in general, especially not with little kids, so offering this prix fixe option where you pick an entree but still get some choices to share is absolutely perfect for us. The food was fantastic, and I’d love to get back and try some of the other entrees. The unique characters offered here really are a huge draw, and it’s the perfect setting to meet the Snow White characters in. I know reservations for this are going to be hard to come by for a while, so I would recommend making a reservation as soon as you possibly can!
Have you tried the Storybook Dining at Artist Point yet? Let me know in the comments!