Re-Review: Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

I already know what you’re gonna say. “AJ, you JUST went to Artist Point.”

And you’d be right. We reviewed this signature spot not long ago. And even Disney signature dining spots that I frequent, like Le Cellier or Flying Fish Cafe, usually don’t get that much coverage here on the blog.

But here’s the thing: that last visit was NOT awesome. From food to service, we left having felt completely underwhelmed. And I received several comments from readers requesting a “re-review” when a brand new chef took the helm.

So on a recent trip, I knew I had to check in. Even if everything hadn’t instantly transformed bippety-boppety-style, I was hoping to see some movement in the right direction.

Read on to see how the evening unfolded.


The decor of Artist Point, like the rest of the Wilderness Lodge, pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts style as well as the sweeping vistas of the Pacific Northwest.

Artist Point

Artist Point

But it differs from the rest of the resort in that it’s a touch less rustic, a bit more refined. Whereas the rest of Wilderness Lodge plays up warm wood hues with exposed beams and woodwork to drive home that cabin feel, Artist Point is dressed up with a creamy palette and beautiful artwork celebrating the region. [Read more…]

First Look: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic 2015

Earlier this week, we had the chance to check out a sneak preview of some of the wonderful offerings at the 2015 Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic.

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Logo 2015

The Swan and Dolphin Resorts’ companion event to the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off TONIGHT! And if you haven’t gotten your tickets already, no worries — you can purchase them at the Will Call Table.

The Food and Wine Classic consists of two different offerings. You can attend informative seminars, where you can learn about everything from Cheese Pairings and Pasta Making to Wine Blending and how to make the perfect Caipirinha!

But there’s also the Causeway Grandtasting. Set up between the two resorts, the Causeway offers tasting-size portions of special dishes that represent all of the resort’s restaurants. There are also additional areas highlighting the diverse talents of the Swan and Dolphin Culinary Team.

I have plenty of new stuff to share with you, and there are some great food and drinks returning. Let’s take a look around at what the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic has to offer this year!

NEW! Carnival Corner

Carnival Corner will be a brand new addition to this year’s Food and Wine Classic! The area, inspired by sweets and treats from childhood, will showcase the Swan and Dolphin Food Trucks/Trailers.

Carnival Corner Food Truck -- Funnel Cake Truck

Carnival Corner Food Truck — The Funnel Cake Truck Is Ready To Go!

In this special area, guests can enjoy four different fun foods: Mac and Cheese, Corn Dogs, Funnel Cakes, and Nitro Kettle Corn! [Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Review: The Parisian Afternoon — Sandwiches, Macarons, and Bubbles

We’re spending a leisurely afternoon at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

While we love taking a turn around World Showcase to try all the great eats, it’s always fun to take in a few of the Festival’s Special Events each year as well. And you can always count on a terrific experience when you book events in Epcot’s France Pavilion.

Join us today as we head up the spiral staircase for a special Parisian Afternoon at Monsieur Paul.


Monsieur Paul is a hidden gem in Epcot’s France Pavilion. Nope — I’m not speaking figuratively. I mean, it’s actually hidden. To find it, head back through France as though you’re going to visit Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. It’s a little easier to find than it used to be, though, thanks to the awning that bears the restaurant’s name.

Monsieur Paul Entrance

Monsieur Paul Entrance

You’ll find the check-in desk right inside the door. For Festival Special Events, the host or hostess will ask for your name, and then cross it off the printed list. At this time, you’ll head up the Art Nouveau staircase… [Read more…]

Food and Wine Festival Review: Food for Thought with Chef Norman Van Aken

We’ve finally made it! The 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is opening next week!

Table Setting and Food for Thought Presentation

Soon, it will be time to Dine Our Way Around the World, as the World Marketplace Booths begin serving dishes inspired by flavors throughout the world! And with more than seven full weeks of Special Events, Culinary Demos, Beverage and Mixology Seminars, and special exhibits, this event is a food lover’s paradise.

While we anxiously count down these last few days until all the fun starts, we’re taking a look at some of the events we enjoyed from last year.

In 2014, one of the Special Events was Food for Thought, an event where celebrity chefs shared favorite recipes while sharing their personal stories. (Read our review of the event featuring Chef Rick Bayless last year here.) During these events, guests also enjoyed three dishes from one of the featured chef’s cookbooks. In 2015, you’ll find a similar event called “What’s Cooking With”.

I had the pleasure of attending one of these events last year, and I learned some great tips and techniques from Florida-local Chef Norman Van Aken. Let’s check out some of the delicious dishes we enjoyed.

Food for Thought with Chef Norman Van Aken

I arrived at Festival Center for this event a few minutes early. It actually took place during brunch hours.

The Festival Stage was decked out as usual. Located at the back of the Festival Center, this is where all festival Culinary Demonstrations as well as many Special Events take place.



It’s a neat venue, because it’s actually open to the rest of the pavilion; if you happen to be passing, you can actually take in the presentation from outside of the dining area for free. :-) Of course, you won’t get to try any of the goodies. [Read more…]

News: Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

More news on the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival front today!

Food and Wine 2015 Info Graphic Square URL

If you enjoyed the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival last year, we have great news: the package is returning again in 2015! And even better — Walt Disney World passholders can book the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for a 15% discount!

Not to be confused with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tasting Sampler, or the Epcot Food and Wine Premium Package, the Ultimate VIP Tour Experience for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival offers you a combination of VIP experiences, special events, and opportunities to learn from Disney Chefs and other Festival notables in a whole new way.

Your special Food and Wine Festival experience, which will last the full day, includes all of the following:

  • Seating for What’s Cooking With…, which includes a champagne toast (See our list of who will be appearing each week on our Food and Wine Festival Special Events Page)
  • A special beverage demonstration, including Wine, Spirits, and Craft Beer, in the VIP Lounge at Festival Center
  • Escort to experience Soarin’ and Test Track attractions
  • A Private Tasting and Pairing Event with Disney Chefs at the new Sustainable Chew Marketplace Booth which includes tasting of 3 of the most popular Food and Wine Festival pairings
  • Backstage VIP Tour of The Land
  • Gold Badge Seating at the Eat to the Beat Concert, plus another champagne toast
  • VIP Reserved area for IllumiNations viewing

Please note that terms and inclusions in the package are, of course, subject to change. [Read more…]

News: Full Menus Announced for the 2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

While we’ve been focusing on all the excitement that Fall brings for Disney Food Fans, we have another fun event to update you about — the 2015 Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic!

Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic Logo 2015

The two-night event, back by popular demand for the sixth year in a row, will once again take place over Halloween Weekend in 2015. Mark your calendars for Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31!

The Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic is made up of two components: Seminars and the Causeway. Seminars center around learning more about food and beverage in a fun, interactive way. For more details on this year’s Food and Wine Classic Seminars, be sure to check out our Food and Wine Classic Seminar Page.

But guests stay and play for the evening on the Causeway!

If you’re new to the Food and Wine Classic, the Causeway is a collection of food and beverage booths set up in the walkway that links the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Every single restaurant from both the Swan and Dolphin — all nine! — participate, and bring tapas-sized eats to the party. Chef Robert Ciborowski, the executive chef of the Swan and Dolphin Resort, also prepares some dishes in Cib’s Smoke Shop.

Shula's Booth Is Always Popular at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

Shula’s Booth Is Always Popular at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In addition, there are tents representing beer and wine from all over the world, offering tasting portions. [Read more…]

News: Victoria and Albert’s Debuts New Ten-Course Menu

If you think you’ve done it all at Victoria and Albert’s, it’s time to think again.

The Chef’s Degustation Menu is comprised of 10 small courses, and will pay tribute to Chef Hunnel’s travels through Europe and Asia. As always, the menu will also be influenced by seasonal flavors.

Guests who opt for this meal will enjoy a few extra touches: they’ll choose options from a cheese trolley, will be treated to table side butter carving, and receive a custom chocolate box at the end of their meal.

If guests are looking for a premium experience that explores wine pairing, the restaurant will also be offering food and wine pairings in the [Read more…]

News: 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Probable Booking Date, and More Special Events

A day after the big news about ABC’s The Chew filming from the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we’ve got more updates for ya!

Food and Wine Festival Updates The Flying Fish Café at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn has announced its Winery Event Series taking place throughout this year’s festival. And for the first time, all Flying Fish events will be booked through the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Event booking system.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 30th, 2015 — that’s the day that booking will open for these Flying Fish events! And because Food and Wine Festival events normally begin booking on the same day, we suspect that this will be the day general booking begins for ALL Epcot Food and Wine Festival special events and low-cost events. Note that we don’t have this booking date confirmed by Disney for all events, so it’s subject to change. But we figured we’d let you know for planning purposes.

Flying Fish Cafe Food and Wine Festival Signature Dinners

Let’s take a look at this year’s special offerings from Flying Fish Cafe. Call 407-WDW-FEST to book on July 30th, 2015.

Chef Tim’s Interactive Saturday Afternoon Supper

Featuring Local Florida Products and Special-invited Growers/Producers/Providers [Read more…]

News: “Disney Family Culinary Adventure” Cooking Class Now Open to All Disney Guests

We recently told you about new cooking classes at Walt Disney World that take you behind the scenes and into the kitchen with Disney Chefs for a family cooking adventure.

And today, we’re back with tons of details about this hands-on learning experience.

Even Younger Guests Get in on the Action

Even Younger Guests Get in on the Action

The Disney Family Culinary Adventure takes place in the giant catering kitchens of [Read more…]

Review: Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Time to head on over to Artist Point in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

OK, so I’ve had a couple of really good meals here in the past couple of years, and they almost made up for the less-than-stellar meals I’d had at this Signature Restaurant in the years prior.

But, based on my last visit, Artist Point may be on the way back down the ladder when it comes to my recommended fancy dining spots in Disney World. Let’s take a look… .


If you’ve ever visited Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, then you are familiar with the decor here. Enter into the lobby of the hotel, and you are transported to Pacific Northwest hideaway. Lots of Arts and Crafts touches echo that sentiment, and Artist Point refines the aesthetic.

artist point wilderness lodge

Glass Sign at the Entrance

Where natural wood and stone and warm hues dominate most of the resort, here, you see a lighter touch. Walls are painted a warm white, and woodwork has been whitewashed. The overall feel is much less “lodge-y” and rustic than the rest of the resort — more of a “wide open spaces” kind of vibe.

artist point


Seating is comfortable, with high-backed, generously padded chairs. The views here are normally quite lovely, as the windows look out over the grounds and the lake.

Beautiful View

Beautiful View

I say “normally” because the evening I visited, all of the windows were blocked by a frosted film, presumably to block the view of the construction taking place below. While I understand that it was necessary, it was kind of a bummer to be seated by a window with no view. (But I still wanted you to see the view, so I’m sharing pics from a previous visit.)



Murals reside high above the dining room, and depict sweeping panoramas of national parklands. They are the work of celebrated artist Thomas Moran, well known for his “larger-than-life interpretations of the West during the late 1800s.”



The colors are gorgeous!



Smaller paintings also cover the walls, and are inspired by the work of Albert Bierstadt, who sketched landscapes of the Shoshone Indian country in 1859.

Overall, the restaurant is subdued and understated under its soaring ceilings, and I absolutely love the expansive view of Bay Lake (when you can see them).


Because Artist Point is a signature restaurant at Disney, you can expect that the menu will change here frequently — sometimes daily or weekly. I checked, and several of the items that we ordered aren’t on the menu right now. Still, you may see them again in the future, and they certainly still give you an idea of the type of food served here.

Appetizers Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Appetizers Menu — Click to Enlarge

The menu theme is Pacific Northwest, so you usually see a mix of seafood and some interesting game meats. There’s normally a buffalo and/or venison option, and you’re likely to encounter some Pan-Asian influences.

Entrees Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Entrees Menu — Click to Enlarge

We began the evening with a customary Bread Basket, served with Butter sprinkled with Black Salt. These were standard, but quite good.

Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter

I decided to begin my dinner my customary bowl of [Read more…]