Review: The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

Welcome back to Saratoga Springs Resort!

Saratoga Springs is a Disney Vacation Club Resort, with easy access to Downtown Disney by boat, bus, or foot path. Tucked into the main building that houses reception, a merchandise shop, and the Turf Club Bar & Grill (the resort’s Table Service restaurant and lounge), you’ll also find the Counter Service option for Saratoga Springs: The Artist’s Palette.

Having really enjoyed dinner at The Turf Club Bar and Grill a few months ago, I was looking forward to spending a little more time checking out The Artist’s Palette.

And since the hunt is currently on for the Triple Crown with “American Pharaoh” leading the way after winning the Kentucky Derby, what better time to visit this equestrian-themed resort once more?

Building housing Artist's Palette and merchandise shop

Building housing Artist’s Palette and merchandise shop

The Artist's Palette Sign

The Artist’s Palette Sign


While Saratoga Springs Resort itself is themed after upstate New York — a place known for spas and horse-racing (hence, the Turf Club), The Artist’s Palette is modeled to resemble a city artist’s loft.

The Artist's Palette Seating

The Artist’s Palette Indoor Seating

The Artist's Palette seating

The Artist’s Palette Indoor Seating

Wood and brick walls, along with a lofted ceiling and lots of windows, provide a peaceful, simple setting that allows the bold and colorful lighting fixtures to really pop. I don’t know if this was the intention, or maybe it was just having painting on my mind due to the theme, but all the primary colors remind me of paint colors on a white palette just before mixing.

Signature Lighting Fixtures

Signature Lighting Fixtures

Lighting Fixture

Lighting Fixture

Naturally, large pieces of artwork complete the scene.

Artwork and Lighting

Artwork and Lighting



During your visit, be sure to check out the work of any little budding artists staying at Saratoga Springs ;).

Artists of the Day

Artists of the Day

Work of the Artists of the Day

Work of an Artist of the Day

Outside, you can find a few tables — not to mention rocking chairs — as well.

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

These overlook the main pool area, and face the beginning of the waterfall at High Rock Springs. Overall, it manages to feel calm and serene, even while being the busiest area of the resort.

View from outdoor seating

View from outdoor seating

High Rock Springs

High Rock Springs

And, since we’re outside, I’ll show you something that has absolutely nothing to do with food ;). This one’s for my [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Saratoga Springs Resort

We’re off to the races!

And by “races,” I mean sitting and enjoying dinner ;). Today we’re heading to The Turf Club Bar and Grill at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. The theme of this Disney Vacation Club resort reflects upstate New York and celebrates its history of horse racing.

Naturally, this theme extends to its solo Table Service Restaurant – The Turf Club (a common name for dining establishments offering great club views of the races at many horse racing destinations across the country).

Oh, and if you’re curious about where you can find THIS chocolate dessert at Disney World, you’ll want to stay tuned!

Sign leading you to the Turf Club

Sign leading you to the Turf Club

Heading towards the Turf Club Bar and Grill

Heading towards the Turf Club Bar and Grill

And so with that, I say… “Riders up!” Let’s dig in!


Upon arriving for our Advance Dining Reservation at 5:00 pm (the earliest seating at this dinner-only spot), I noticed that just behind the check-in stand was a beautiful wooden piece resembling an old-fashioned horse stable.

"Horse stable"

“Horse stable”

Okay, that’s not entirely true… I didn’t pick up on the fact that it was supposed to be a stable until exiting the restaurant, which is why this picture was taken from the back :). Once I realized it, I thought it was pretty clever. All that to say… themeing here is quite subtle. Dark woods and deep greens are predominant, and the overall effect is appealing.

Indoor Seating at the Turf Club

Indoor Seating at the Turf Club

Of course, you will find a few nods to the equestrian theme throughout the restaurant.

Framed horse racing gear

Framed horse racing gear

Carpet decoration

Carpet decoration

Covered, outdoor seating is available, offering views of the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

And our host checked with us if we would like to be seated outdoors, but since they day was still very warm, we chose indoor seating.

Indoor Seating

Indoor Seating

Table for two

Table for two

Overall, think less whimsical, and more [Read more…]

Where can I find THAT Chocolate Dessert at Walt Disney World?!

Food pictures can be SOOO enticing! Here at the Disney Food Blog, we totally get that. We’ve been getting lots of questions about a chocolate dessert featured on the Walt Disney World site. Today, I want to share the recipe AND where you can find it on your next trip.

Chocolate Espresso Torte

Have you seen this picture while browsing through the Disney World site?

Chocolate Espresso Torte in Disney World

Chocolate Espresso Torte in Disney World

If so, you may have wondered where you can find it. The chocolate espresso torte is served at the Turf Club restaurant at Saratoga Springs Resort!

Since this location serves dinner only, you’ll want to plan your Advance Dining Reservation accordingly. And note that the dessert menu can change at any time!

Speaking of, if you’re not able to get it at Turf Club when you visit, you can always make it at home!


Here’s Disney’s Turf Club Chocolate Espresso Torte, courtesy of [Read more…]

4 Great Counter-Service Turkey Options in Walt Disney World

It’s the Holiday Season! Festive holiday decorations are making their appearance in the “World,” and plans for merry-making with family and friends will be set in place.

Don’t get me wrong – that’s great and all. But let’s face it… those of us who gather here at Disney Food Blog are really thinking about all the FESTIVE FOOD we’re going to enjoy! Specifically, we’re ready to talk TURKEY (and gravy, cranberries, and stuffing) at Disney World Counter-Service locations! These are some great choices if you’re touring the World during the holidays and don’t have time for a sit-down situation. Grab your holiday eats on the go!

Holiday Turkey Sandwich – Earl of Sandwich

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the Holiday Turkey Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney: turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry all on Earl’s artisan bread.

Holiday Turkey Sandwich

Maybe you are among those who love it so much you have all but written a Shakespearean sonnet in its honor. And if you count yourself among the diehards, we certainly wouldn’t judge you if you danced a jig or threw a small party when it was announced that the Holiday Turkey Sandwich would be served at Earl’s year-round. It’s music to our ears!

Turkey Sandwich – Everything Pop Food Court

But Earl’s isn’t the only place where you can enjoy holiday flavors any time of year… Let’s head over to Pop Century’s Food Court, Everything Pop!

Everything Pop!

On the menu, you’ll find a listing for a “Turkey Sandwich.” But c’mon… this is Everything Pop we’re talking about, and we know their propensity for unusual eats! So it should come as no surprise that this is more than a simple turkey sandwich. Just check out the ingredient list!

Everything Pop Turkey Sandwich on the Menu

That’s right: oven-roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, watercress, and cranberry mayo in between two slices of Texas Toast.

Everything Pop Turkey Sandwich

Before we get into the details, here’s a quiz for you! At Thanksgiving dinner are you more likely to: [Read more…]

Guest Review: The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

A HUGE thanks to guest author Sarah Orr! Today, she’s highlighting The Artist’s Palette at the Saratoga Springs Resort in Walt Disney World. Take it away, Sarah!

Hello everyone! Get out your crayons and color me happy today…because like most of you, I love talking about Disney Parks restaurants. So grab your paintbrush (or tip sheets?) and please join me as I step foot inside The Artist’s Palette for the first time.


The Artist’s Palette is inside the Carriage House at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa in Walt Disney World and is one of our choices in the “trifecta” of eateries at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. (The other two are Turf Club Bar and Grill, a table-service restaurant, and The Paddock Grill, a quick-service dining venue located at the Paddock Pool.)

Entrance at sunrise.

Entrance to The Artist's Palette.

The Artist’s Palette is a quick-service restaurant, market, and gift shop in one. It is connected to Turf Club Bar and Grill on one side, and the lobby and reception area of the resort on the other.

Outdoor Tables.

Forget any “muddy track” visions. A few tables, chairs and rocking chairs are waiting for you outside on the patio, and overlook the beautiful High Rock Spring Pool.

Outdoor Seating at The Artist's Palette.

Rocking Chairs.

Classic, pastoral music sets a serene tone as your eyes are drawn up to the canvasses painted by New York artist Laura Fayer hanging from the ceiling. (No monorails whooshing overhead here!) This is a fairly [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Disney Resort Pizza Delivery

Join us in celebrating our updated e-Book — The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 — as we share fun and useful info from the guide!

Disney Resort In-Room Pizza Delivery

As many of you know, room service is available at Disney’s deluxe resorts as well as the moderate resort, Coronado Springs. Yet, for those guests staying at value, most moderate, and select villa resorts, you’ll have to fetch your meal from the quick-service restaurant or order pizza delivery!

Disney resorts with In-Room Pizza Delivery include: All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Caribbean Beach Resort, Old Key West, Pop Century Resort, Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Port Orleans Resort Riverside, and Saratoga Springs Resort. Note that deluxe resorts and Coronado Springs often offer pizza options on their room service menus as well — so you can pretty much get some sort of in-room dining pizza anywhere you stay in Disney World.

Pop Century's "Peace of Pizza" Delivery Menu! (Prices may change!)

In addition to pizza delivery, Disney’s Art of Animation, does have a few room service entree options after 4pm like pasta and Buffalo chicken wings/nuggets!

Extra Room Service Options at Art of Animation Resort

Disney Dining Plan pizza delivery meals consist of two non-alcoholic beverages, 1 pizza entree, and two desserts, which will cost two DDP table-service credits. This charge is per meal rather than per person.

Payment is made via cash, credit card, or your Disney room charge. Gratuities are included!

But Be Wary of Ordering from Under-The-Door Pizza Flyers

Just a quick note for those planning on pizza in your room at your Disney resort. The options we’ve mentioned above are all Disney-run pizza delivery options through the resorts’ dining systems and restaurants. The menus for these delivery options will be in your room on a cardboard placard with Disney logos when you arrive.

However, for years now guests have been receiving flimsy paper flyers for [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Fish Fry

With Lent on the horizon — and with a few questions from readers recently about where to get a great fish fry in Disney World — I knew that now would be the perfect time to check out the best places to find that golden battered goodness at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let’s check out some of the best fried fish in Disney World

Best Disney World Restaurants for a Fish Fry

United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot

You can’t go wrong for fish and chips in the delicacy’s home pavilion in Epcot.

Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Whether you take a load off at the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room or grab some fried food to go from Yorkshire County Fish Shop, you’re in for a mild but authentic taste of one of England’s best exports.

While you’re there, enjoy a beer and a performance by The British Revolution or the Pub’s Hat Lady.

Cookes of Dublin and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

If you find yourself in need of a fish fix while you’re “Downtown,” head over to the Pleasure Island District for two authentic and delicious options. The One & One at Cookes of Dublin is one of our favorites on property.

Cooked to order and served piping hot, the fish is flaky and tender.

Fish and Chips from Cooke’s of Dublin

But if you have the time for a slower meal, you may want to consider the famous beer battered fish and chips on the lunch menu at Raglan Road Irish Pub right next door.

Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom

Here in Liberty Square, you can enjoy a counter service battered fish basket with broccoli, apples, or French fries at Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant. The proportion of breading to fish is perfect, and the fish isn’t too oily.

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House (photo from Kelly Amey via the DFB Flickr Group) 

Citricos at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For a slightly more upscale take on the English classic, take a monorail ride to the Grand Floridian and pull up a chair at Citricos. There, you should order the melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried Florida black grouper, which gets [Read more…]

Where to Get Waffles in Walt Disney World

We’ve gathered all kinds of waffle choices in order to bring this Waffle Gallery to you! Whether you’re hankering for a Belgian waffle with fruit topping, a waffle with powdered sugar, a Mickey shaped breakfast waffle, or even a waffle sandwich – we’ve got the deets on where to take care of your craving.

There are some really creative waffle creations in the mix, so be sure to add one or more of these waffle choices to your next Walt Disney World visit.

Giant Mickey Waffle

Yes, Disney World menus are ever-changing so always check the most recent menus prior to your visit. The waffles listed below are in alphabetical order based on how they’re listed on Walt Disney World menus.

Bananas Foster Waffles

Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge is home to some comforting waffle creations on the regular and kid’s breakfast menus. You’ll find more to tempt you further down in this list. The Bananas Foster Waffles are covered with warm bananas in a buttered rum-flavored sauce. Plus, they are Mickey-shaped!

Bananas Foster Waffles

Belgian Waffle

  • A Belgian waffle with Maple Butter and Candied Pecan Topping is offered at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
  • Seasonal Fresh Fruit, Maple Syrup and Whipped Cream accompany the Belgian waffle offered at Wolfgang Puck Express, Downtown Disney Marketplace.
  • Belgian Waffle Sundae

    Belgian Waffle Sundae

    At the AMC Dine-In Theatre in Downtown Disney, a pair of warm Belgian waffles are infused with maple flavor, then topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled in luscious caramel sauce and topped with a generous sprinkle of sweet and savory candied bacon. What a dessert!

    Belgium Waffle

  • A Belgium waffle with cinnamon Apple compote and [Read more…]
  • Disney Food for Families: Great Disney World Restaurants for Boys

    Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”

    The down and dirty dino loving boy will be right at home at the T-Rex Cafe.

    Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.

    Let’s break it down …

    Character Meals

    There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.

    Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.

    All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]

    Disney World Crème Brûlée Gallery

    I’ve had numerous requests from folks asking for a round-up of where you can get Crème Brûlée in Disney World, and finally we’ve put this gallery together!

    Garde Manger Caramelizes Creme Brulee

    For those who haven’t indulged before, classic Crème Brûlée is a dessert created from baked and cooled custard topped with (usually) blowtorched sugar forming a candied crust.

    Disney pastry chefs have bent over backwards figuring out how to put their own personal touch on this decadent recipe… Let’s take a look at some of the interesting ones!

    Please note that Disney dessert menus change all the time, so some of these may no longer be available on your visit.

    Be sure to let us know in the comments below about your favorite Crème Brûlée desserts in Disney restaurants!!

    White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

    Check out Portobello‘s yummy version! The white chocolate shavings really made this dessert!

    White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

    Pistachio Crème Brûlée

    A classic at Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom is this beloved Pistachio Crème Brûlée. And I fully agree with it’s cult favorite status — it was delicious!

    pistachio creme brulee

    Pistachio Creme Brulee

    Key Lime and Regular Crème Brûlée Duo

    Narcoossee’s serves this dessert as a duo — two for one deal!! The true winner is the Key Lime — it’s the perfect dose of tart and tangy with the [Read more…]