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Review: The Fountain at Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Here’s the scenario: you’ve spent the day at the park, you’re exhausted, your kids are exhausted, your spouse is exhausted, you don’t have an ADR, and you’d rather not stand in line at another counter service restaurant. You need comfort food and you need it now.

I’ve got a great answer for you…

Atmosphere
The Fountain at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort brings back memories of your favorite diner. With a bright red stools at the tiled counter, an ice cream freezer flanking one wall, booths in the back, and more milkshakes than you can could possibly drink listed on the menu, this is the perfect place to sit back, relax, and indulge in some serious comfort food.

Fountain Counter

Fountain Dining Area

Fountain Ice Cream Freezer

Fountain Bakery Counter

Eats
At the Fountain, the menu is full of your favorites. Choose from hearty soups and chili, salads, and build-your-own burgers and hot dogs. Also available are tuna, turkey, and organic burgers as well as a vegetarian sloppy joe! Want your sandwich grilled? Check out the Griddled Fladen Breads and melts!

On our recent visit, we were ready for some burgers and dogs, so we ordered both, along with a bowl of chili and the chili cheese fries for good measure! I pretty soon realized that I had to ask for the recipe for their melted cheddar cheese. You guys know I love plastic cheese, and this was some of the best I’d had! If you’re anywhere close to the Swan and Dolphin, you must stop into the Fountain for some cheese fries!

Chili Cheese Fries

Yummy Cheese Sauce

My husband enjoyed the chili, and the burger was great. The hot dog was good as well, but the bun ended up being a bit too hard and chewy to make the meal ideal. I appreciate the effort to use a roll vs. a bun, but this was just wasn’t working out in terms of ease-of-eating.

Chili

Burger with Bacon and Cheese

Hot Dog

However, the real reason we’d come to the Fountain was to test out those incredible milkshakes we’d been hearing so much about! Check out the dessert menu — there are 8 types of shakes, not counting the “regular” kind!

I’d heard great things about the PB&J shake (and I wanted to compare it to 50′s Prime Time Cafe‘s PB&J shake) so I had to get that. We also ordered a plain vanilla shake (what better way to test out quality than get an original?) and a Caramel Apple Sundae!

The vanilla shake was wonderful — the epitome of what a pure, thick milkshake should be. Of course, I had to go and order a little side dish of hot fudge (research purposes!) and tested it out on the milkshake — delicious!

Vanilla Milkshake

hot fudge

Vanilla Milkshake PLUS Hot Fudge

The PB&J shake, however, was not what I was expecting! After the nearly vanilla appearance of the 50′s Prime Time Cafe version, I figured this would have the same issue. Boy was I wrong! This shake was pink and had a very distinct strawberry jam flavor. While the strawberry overtook the shake, I could still taste the peanut butter ice cream, and the Reese’s Pieces on the top actually added to the flavor in the shake. I’m not sure I would order it again, but it definitely delivered on the promise in the menu!

PB and J Milkshake

Finally, the gorgeous Caramel Apple Sundae was delivered. This is basically exactly what it should be: a huge piece of fresh apple pie covered in ice cream and caramel. Seriously — real apple pie! Voila! The only thing that could make this better would be hard-scooped ice cream. Not sure why they don’t have vanilla hard-scooped ice cream, but…alas…

Caramel Apple Sundae

Close Up of REAL PIE

Other Eats
If you’re on-the-go, you can stop by the Fountain’s to-go area for a quick bite.

To-Go Counter

Fountain To Go menu -- click for larger version

And there’s a groovy kids’ menu, too!

Overall
This is a wonderful place to stop for a quick bite or to indulge in some made-to-order comfort food. By far, the best reason to go is the spectacular dessert menu — I wanted to try everything! — and those awesome cheese fries. Plus, this restaurant is within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so it’s a great end point to a day in either of those parks, or a great opportunity to escape for a nice, quiet lunch.

Also, just want to make the promise that we’ll compare the Fountain to Beaches and Cream in a later post, but, I have to say, they both have their pros and cons! We’ll see who comes out on top… ;-)

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16 Comments

  1. Sara says:

    Ooooh the Fountain! I love this place, it’s such a great stop for some ice cream treats! That Apple Pie Sundae looks ridiculously good! (Also upstairs in the Dolphin is Sugar Cubed, a cute little store with fun candies you can’t find everywhere)

  2. AJ says:

    Sara — Thanks for the FYI on Sugar Cubed! Sounds like a place I definitely need to check out!

  3. Brenda says:

    We have always meant to visit the Fountain and then we forget about it on every trip. I had a heard a rumor that in the past they used to serve ice cream / beer floats but it looks like that’s off the menu now … too bad, nothing better than chocolate & vanilla ice cream swimming in Guinness topped off with hot fudge and whipped cream!

  4. Eric says:

    mmmm have to try this place next time around. Especially that Apple Caramel Sundae.

  5. Alan says:

    Being born in NYC and raised on Long Island, I believe diner food is ingrained into my DNA. While the prices are Disneyesque this is a fun place to eat some comfort food. I wish the menu was a bit larger like a real diner, but if you are a dessert person you cannot miss the shakes and sundaes.

    Once again, the Swan and Dolphin are leading the way, even with simple foods.

  6. Shayne says:

    Those chili cheese fries are calling my name! It all looks yummy. We’ll definitely have to make a trip over there one of these days!

  7. Kristina says:

    Excellent review AJ. And oh those photos are mouth watering! You’ve definitely got me thinking my family should eat there for at least one meal while we’re visiting Disney this Spring.
    Thanks!

  8. Galloping Gourmand says:

    Oh, this place beats B&C for me, but I’ll get to that when we have the Epic Battle of the Epcot Resort Malt Shops. I’m glad you finally made your way to The Fountain. It’s a hidden gem.

  9. AJ says:

    Brenda — Wha?!? Guinness floats?!? I need to be indoctrinated!

    Eric — Hopefully we’ll get to meet up there one of these days and do a combined post!

    Alan — I always wish the menus were larger at places like this, too. I love everything on the menu, so I just want more of it!

    Shayne — You guys are going to really enjoy it (and I’ve never seen it super busy…)

    Kristina — Thanks for the compliment! Please let me know how you like it when you go!

    GG — Ooh! Sounds like a plan!

  10. Josh says:

    Wow, great review!

    Now when I think of a PB&J shake I expect to see something similar to this with red and brown colour, not a vanilla-look.

  11. Rob says:

    We take a side trip every time we visit WDW to experience the Fountain’s Buffalo Chicken salad. It’s the best ever. SPICY!!!!

  12. Jen says:

    One of my favorite sandwiches is at The Fountain – the ahi tuna. It’s a piece of lightly grilled, rare, ahi tuna topped with wasabi coleslaw on a grilled bun. The textures and flavors all go so well together. Yummy! We just recently found your blog and have been enjoying it. The kids pleaded to stop in to the Writers Shop at HS to try the carrot cake cookies that you reccomended and loved them!

  13. David says:

    My wife and I stopped by the Fountain for lunch during this years Food & Wine festival. The burger (medium rare with Swiss cheese and bacon) was without question one of the best burgers I’ve ever been served. Delicious from the first taste to the last. My wife had the Reuben sandwich which was also terrific. A great spot for a tasty lunch, and great service to boot.

  14. Martha says:

    You can actually order the caramel apple sunday with hand scooped vanilla. Just let your server know…

  15. Juanita says:

    Did you ever do a comparison post between this and B&C?

  16. AJ says:

    Juanita — I didn’t do a comparison post, yet, but that’s still a great idea! I’ll get it on the list!

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