Character dining is not just for kids. Adults are welcome at any Disney character meal, with or without kiddos in tow. You’ll get the same quality attention from characters at your meal regardless of the composition of your dining party. I recently visited Walt Disney World for a quick trip with just my husband. He wasn’t in a park mood, but I did want some character interaction, so we settled on Storybook Dining at Artist Point.
Storybook Dining is in the Wilderness Lodge resort, not in a theme park. The somewhat out of the way location makes it perfect for adults as it tends to be quieter than the character meals in the parks and on the monorail line. It’s also a good option for an activity on a day when you don’t want to use a park ticket.
The atmosphere of Storybook Dining is more adult than something like the frenetic buffet of Chef Mickey’s. The menu is presented in a leather binder and the table is set with a cloth napkin.
Anticipating adult needs, this dining experience includes a menu of “wickedly refreshing” cocktails, beers, and wines. You could also ask them to bring you a standard alcoholic beverage from the full bar at Territory Lounge next door.
This is a prix fixe meal, with much of the menu set for you in advance. Each table is pre-set with a stand with three large leaves. The leaves serve as a stage where your waiter places appetizers and desserts for the table.
The appetizers, noted above, include a mushroom bisque; a shrimp cocktail served in a sauce of soy, miso, avocado, thai chili, and greens; and a hunter’s terrine, which is basically a chicken pate served with fruit preserves and house-made pickles. Every table automatically receives a tasting-size portion of all three appetizers.
I found the mushroom soup to be a bit on the salty side, and I’m a person who loves salt. My husband and I both enjoyed the terrine and shrimp. There are menu options for children and guests with food allergies, but these are not presented to adults dining without children unless you ask. Mushroom, pate, and shrimp with chili are a stretch for some finicky eaters, but they are just right for many grown-up taste buds.
The only real choice in your meal comes when it’s time to choose your entree. There are seven options including beef, chicken, pork, fish, and one vegetarian choice.
I selected the gnocchi and my husband chose the pork shank. Both were delicious, but heavy. Had we thought things through we both might have ordered the fish, simply because the oppressive Florida heat outside already made us feel sluggish.
Like the appetizer, a selection of desserts arrives automatically and are presented on the leaf-shaped table stand. The sweets include “Miner’s Treasures” a trifle of layered sponge cake and berry panna cotta, a tiny gooseberry pie, and a “poison” apple of chocolate mousse.
The pie tasted just sort of generically sweet to me, but the other two desserts were lovely and flavorful. Following the main dessert there’s an extra treat of a the “Hunter’s Gift.” This is a small portion of maple-glazed popcorn served with heart-shaped chocolate candy. The Gift is presented by your server in a box that has a layer of dry ice in the bottom, so it looks mystically smoky or mystically foggy (we weren’t sure which it was supposed to be). Following the presentation, your server dumps the gift onto one of the leaf trays.
By the end of the meal, we were no longer hungry. I wish we had been given the option to take the post-dessert treats back to our hotel in a box or bag.
Since this is a character dining experience, there were, of course characters in attendance. The Evil Queen stands in the center of the dining room. Appropriate for her stature, you go to her for photos, which she poses for begrudgingly. Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy make the rounds of the room, stopping at each guest table. We had terrific interactions, with the characters spending as much time with us as they would have with a table full of kiddos.
From an adult perspective, my only real complaint about this meal is that approximately every 15 minutes there was a brief parade or party in the room, which consisted of about 2-3 minutes of loudish uptempo music and a character promenade through the room. After the second of these parties, we just sort of tuned them out.
Overall, this was an excellent choice for adult character dining. Mostly quiet setting, great character interaction, and sophisticated food. If you’re in a party of adults but want some Disney merriment, Storybook dining should be on your list.
Storybook Dining at Artist Point is open for dinner. This dining experience costs $55 per person.
Would you do a kids-free character dining meal? Let us know in the comments.