DiningWalt Disney World (FL)

Storybook Dining at Artist Point

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I was a big fan of the original Artist Point. It was one of my favorite restaurants for theme and food. And I’m not a particularly big fan of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. So it has taken me many years to get around to eating at the “new” character meal in my old favorite haunt. But I’m happy to say that some of the best parts of Artist Point are still alive and well. And even without the characters … dare I say it … I still might find this rather expensive meal to be worth my time and money. I would go as far to call this my personal favorite meal of our entire trip – and it certainly wasn’t the most expensive!

Storybook Dining Logistics

Location and Transportation

Artist Point is located at Wilderness Lodge, very near Magic Kingdom. When you enter the main lobby from the front doors, the check-in desk is in the back left behind the large fireplace. If you’ve never been to Wilderness Lodge, I highly recommend arriving a little early and spending time looking at the indoor spring, admiring the Disney totem pole, and sitting in a rocking chair while you admire the Lodge.

If you’re relying on Disney transportation, you have several options for getting to Wilderness Lodge. You can transfer to a resort bus from Disney Springs, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, or Hollywood Studios. Or, you can get yourself to Magic Kingdom, and then take the boat to Wilderness Lodge. If you’re looking for a faster, non-transfer option, you can also use your car, or take an Uber/Lyft/Minnie Van. Unless you are already staying at Wilderness Lodge, you will need to have the name on your reservation ready to give at the gate if you are arriving by car.

Reservations and Availability

When Storybook Dining first opened in 2018, it was virtually impossible to make a reservation. You had to take full advantage of your 60+10 day window, get up at the crack of dawn to be one of the first eligible people attempting to make a reservation, and you had to cross your fingers and toes. This difficulty in obtaining a reservation lasted until the pandemic.

Then, Storybook Dining reopened with a slightly modified menu and limited character interactions, and availability issues eased … slightly. Fast forward to 2023, and reservations are no longer impossible. They certainly aren’t readily available either, but as long as you’re booking close to the opening of your 60-day window, you should have options for dining times that will work with your schedule.

Cost

At the time of this writing, pricing for dinner at Artist Point is $65 per adult and $39 per child. That’s before taxes and gratuity. But Annual Passholders and DVC members can both currently receive 10% off at this dining location.

When the 2024 Disney Dining Plan begins, this will become a 2-credit dining location, and while essentially all 2-credit meals are a poor use of the Disney Dining Plan … this is one of the worst. Because it’s a relatively inexpensive prix fixe meal.

Storybook Dining Atmosphere and Characters

The decor and theming at Artist Point is – stereotypically – magical. There are branches with leaves and lights sprouting right out of the wooden beams from the original restaurant. If you are dining after dark, the lights change color, and the whole room really does feel like it’s set in an enchanted forest. Some animatronic woodland creatures would have fit right in.

Except that they almost certainly wouldn’t physically fit right in. I’ve seen pictures of the dining room at Artist Point pre-pandemic and as recently as 2022, and it seems like they’ve recently increased the number of tables stuffed into the room by 20%. I’m a small person, and I felt like I could barely scoot my chair back without running into the party behind me. If characters were in the walkway, there was no getting around them. This all certainly added to the liveliness of the meal, but it also felt a little stuffed to the maximum.

Our table was right next to the middle of the dining room, where there is dedicated space for meeting the Evil Queen. This meet used to be ad hoc – you could go up and get your photos at any point during your meal. But since the Queen needs a break every hour or so, this usually led to backups of parties who all waited until the end of their meal to meet the Queen, then lingered awkwardly in the middle until she came back from break. Now you are extended an invitation to see the Queen at some point during or after your meal, and you are expected to make your way to her location as soon as you receive the invitation. She is icy, and she plays her role well. So sitting right next to her adds a certain … spookiness to the whole affair.

About once an hour, lively music will play and announce the welcoming of Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy. They all do a little dance throughout the room, and then break apart to start in three separate areas and make their way from table to table. Since there are so many tables and so little time, most table stops were brief – just a picture or two. But the characters seemed to try to make up for this by doing more quick rounds of walking around and gesturing to tables they had already visited again to make you feel like they remembered you and were still having fun with you.

We did have a couple of cute interactions because we brought friendship bracelets for Snow White and Dopey that we had made at home before our trip. Snow White took hers and put it on, then posed for a second round of pictures as she talked about the “jewels” that we had “mined” to be a part of the bracelet. And when Dopey got his, he gleefully took it and ran offstage like it was precious treasure he needed to hide away.

On the whole, the character interactions felt a little rushed, but the cast members were obviously doing the best they could to connect with each party under the time constraints they had.

Storybook Dining Food

Appetizers

Kids at Storybook Dining get their own appetizer boards, which are so artfully plated! I wanted one for myself. There was enough selection that even picky eaters are sure to find something they can nibble on.

Kids build-your-own appetizer board with honey butter, ranch dressing, and plenty of things to dip or spread

For adults, appetizers come on shared plates. We were given 4 portions of each appetizer – enough for the adults and the kids. But since the kids already had their own food, each adult just doubled up! And the good news is, appetizers are all-you-care-to-enjoy. This isn’t well-advertised, but if you ask your server for more of anything, they will bring it out to you.

Hunters Pie (far left), Shrimp (top) and Mushroom Bisque (bottom right)

Wild Mushroom Bisque
Chive Oil

This was one of the stand-outs of the entire meal. I could have ordered another 4 cauldrons, poured them into a bowl, and had it as a significant part of my meal. This dish is mostly a holdover from a beloved dish on the original Artist Point menu (pre-Storybook), and I’m so glad it’s still around so that more people can enjoy it. It’s hearty and creamy and pure mushroom goodness.

Hunter’s Pie
Turkey and Chicken, Cranberry Preserve, Crispy Sauerkraut

I was scared of this option, because I do not like sauerkraut. But honestly … I’m not even sure it was in the recipe at all. If it was there, it was totally overpowered by the meat and cranberry. This was like Thanksgiving leftover meatballs.

Wicked Shrimp Cocktail
Bloody Mary Vinaigrette, Seaweed Salad, Spiced House-made Seasoning

I’m a spice wimp, so this one worried me too. But I should know better by now – Disney has to cater to the masses. Even “spicy” things can’t really be that spicy, especially if they’re automatically served to every table. The shrimp were fine – probably overcooked. Out of the three options, this is the one I certainly wouldn’t have ordered more of. And I’m a shrimp fan. Still, passable shrimp.

Entrees

Kids Prime Rib Roast
served with choice of two Selections and beverage

Both of my kids opted for the Prime Rib Roast with broccolini and mac and cheese. One of these days I’ll train them to order different things so that we can experience more of the menu. But honestly … this was the right choice. The cut of prime rib wasn’t the best because it did have quite a few fatty sections throughout. It was, however, cooked to their preference (they love the “pink meat”) and it was really flavorful. All of the edible meat was gone by the end of the meal.

“Cottage” Beef Stroganoff
Tender Beef, Preserved Vegetables, Spätzle, Mushrooms, Aged Cow’s Milk Cheese

My husband ordered the beef stroganoff, which is a fun spin featuring spaetzle instead of the wide egg noodles you might usually find in the dish. The veggies and cheese on top felt like a bit of an after-thought (“hey, maybe we should add something with a bit of color to all of this brown”).  The main dish, though, packed a hearty punch. Maybe not something you’ll want to order at the end of a day in the triple-digit heat. But for a fall feel, this is a great (and filling) option.

The pork shank at Artist Point … which is a photo from another TouringPlans review years ago because the dish was SO good that I forgot to take any pictures.

Magic Mirror’s Slow-braised Pork Shank
Polenta, Gastrique

This is the only dish you need to know about. Full stop. As I saw other adult prime rib entrees going out repeatedly all throughout the restaurant, I thought I had made some sort of ordering mistake. Maybe I wasn’t in on the prime rib secret knowledge. But then my pork shank arrived. And my world changed (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little).

This is one of the best pork dishes that I’ve had in my life, and it’s easily within the top 5 entrees that I’ve had at Walt Disney World. The pork fell apart with a touch of my fork, and it was perfectly cooked. The polenta underneath perfectly complemented it in flavor and texture. And the portion was impressive! I don’t usually struggle to polish off large meals, and this one dared me to give up. I could have paid close to $50 for this entrée in a Signature restaurant and felt like I got a good value. It feels like a rarity to get a large portion of perfectly-cooked meat and a well-paired side in a Disney restaurant, and this hit it out of the park.

Shared Desserts

All kids and adults get to share desserts that are individual serving size. Just like appetizers, if there is anything you particularly love, you can ask for more to be delivered to your table.

Miner’s Treasures
Cookies ‘n Cream Panna Cotta, Chocolate Gems

This was the winner for our table. Admittedly, we are chocolate fiends. The presentation was cute, we love those chocolate “gems” anyway, and the panna cotta was the perfect amount of sweetness to finish off the meal. After finishing our first round of all three options, this was the one we ordered for a second round of dessert.

Fairy Tale Gooseberry Tart
Meringue and Gooseberry

If I hadn’t looked up the menu, I would not have been able to tell you that this was gooseberry. The flavor was very light, and overall this was probably the least impressive of the dessert options.

“Poison” Apple
Dark Chocolate-Apple Mousse, Sour Center

I was expecting a nice punch of sour from this dessert, and was left a little disappointed. First – if we left this choice on our plate while we took bites of the others, it started melting onto the plate. I’m not sure why – it’s not ice cream. But maybe the mousse was just a little problematic at room temperature. Then, the sour center was just sort of “meh”. Maybe a little sour, but not a big contrast to the surrounding mousse.

Special Parting Dessert

The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen

These were lovely chocolate hearts – but thanks to an ill-timed (but necessary) restroom break with both girls … none of the three of us got to see the presentation, which is what I am told makes this sweet ending so special.

Specialty Beverages

Wishing Apple Punch – $6.00
Crisp Apple, White Cranberry and Sprite®. 

My husband was on a quest for a good mocktail during this vacation, and this was his attempt to find one at this meal. Does this drink sound like cranberry-apple juice mixed with Sprite? Yes. Does it also taste just like that? Yes. This drink is probably more appropriate for the kids in your party. If you’re wondering what it’s like, mix some cranberry juice, apple juice, Sprite, and green food coloring at home.

The Smoking Mirror – $14.50
Johnnie Walker Black 12 yr Whisky, Wildberry, Lime, Rosemary Smoke

This was my second-favorite drink of our trip. I think smoke is becoming a little bit ubiquitous everywhere … but it’s because it works. Neither the wildberry or the lime were particularly noticeable over all of that whiskey and smoke. But the drink paired perfectly with my pork shank and polenta. And the presentation is fitting for this location.

Is Storybook Dining Right For You?

  1. Do you like pork shank? Then Storybook Dining is right for you. No further questions.
  2. If you’re looking for a character meal with the fab five and a buffet for your kids, this is not the option you should be choosing. Your kids will be limited to eating what they order, and there is not a particularly extensive kids menu.
  3. It’s also important to decide whether your children will be intimidated by or scared of the Evil Queen. You can always skip that interaction if you’d like, but you may be seated in a place where she’ll regularly be staring down your table.
  4. On the whole, with semi-unlimited appetizer and desserts, plus high-quality entrees with large portions, this is a rare character meal where I would feel comfortable paying the same price for the meal (at least for adults) even without the characters included. In fact, in 2018 Artist Point offered a prix fixe menu for $75. I did that meal and ordered the mushroom bisque, chilled shrimp, hanger steak, and creme brulee. And this meal was better than that one. Same bisque, similar shrimp, better entree, and a selection of unlimited desserts … all for $10 less 5 years later. I challenge you to find a similar “deal” anywhere else in Walt Disney World.

Have you done Storybook Dining? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

2 thoughts on “Storybook Dining at Artist Point

  • I unfortunately disagree with this. This was our last meal the night before we left Disney. We stayed for 9 nights, September of 2023.

    We loved the characters and the little dances they put on, but they were the only good thing about being here.

    The food was disappointing. Our meals came with a strange “bread” thing… honestly it was unidentifiable until we cut into it. Once someone was brave enough to try it, it was underdone. The dough was not cooked enough to even eat it.

    My 13 year old is picky (like most) and didn’t care for the appetizers for adults (which technically she is according to Disney rules). So she really didn’t eat much. Even the desserts were just eh…

    As for the adults, even my adventurous husband was disappointed (this is the military guy who will eat cardboard if it’s served to him. But has tried rattlesnake and enjoyed it… seriously if he said it isn’t great who would want it?).

    Definitely not worth the $300+ pricetag!! For a family of 4…

    If you’re going to splurge we enjoyed Be Our Guest, even with the poor reviews we had left prior. My 8 year old got a little white chocolate “chip” cup to decorate before he ate it. It was super cute. And my 13 year old liked the salad, bread and filet much more than anything at Artist Pointe.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your perspective. It sounds like you ordered the Prime Rib, which is served with a popover. Those are rolls made mostly of egg that are designed to remain puffed and “doughy” on the inside.

      Everyone has their own tastes and preferences. In general, Be Our Guest has a 67% satisfaction rating so far this year, and Storybook Dining is up over 90%.

      Reply

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