The Legend of Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Welcome guest author Kevin Carpenter who brings us the back-story of the Wilderness Lodge Resort’s Artist Point. Kevin works in professional soccer and has contributed to Celebrations Magazine and ESPN Cleveland. You can follow him on twitter at @kejcarpenter. Thanks, Kevin, for taking us back in time…

Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge remains one of the most popular destinations for a fine dining experience on Disney property. Whether it is the restaurant’s ambience or famous berry cobbler, guests have flocked to Artist Point since its opening.

Yet few know Disney’s “official” backstory for the resort’s flagship dining establishment. The stories that WDW creates around its restaurants, hotels, and attractions help establish the extraordinary attention to detail that is the foundation of these well-known areas of Disney World.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

During Wilderness Lodge’s first few years, all guests would receive a copy of the Silver Creek Star newspaper upon check-in. While this newspaper included information on the resort and various guest amenities, a closer read reveals its true treasure: the Disney-created mythology behind the Wilderness Lodge and, for our purposes, Artist Point.

Wilderness Lodge and Artist Point both officially opened in 1994, but that is not how the Silver Creek Star remembers it…

The Silver Creek Star

The History of Artist Point

Filled with inspiration by the stories of Lewis and Clark, Colonel Ezekiel Moreland set out for the American West in 1822. On his travels, the Colonel made a discovery that would change his life forever: Silver Creek Springs. His prize, a valley full of unrivaled natural splendor, would eventually house the Wilderness Lodge.

The Colonel quickly sent for his daughter to join him at the new settlement. Genevieve Moreland, known to her friends as Jenny, worked back east as an art curator before receiving her father’s summons into the wilderness. Prior to her departure, though, Jenny met Frederich Alonzo Gustaf, the man for whom Artist Point would one day be named. A young Austrian artist, Gustaf dreamed of capturing the majesty of America’s West on his canvas and so joined [Read more…]

Review: Wilderness Lodge’s Artist Point

Ah, Artist Point. This restaurant and I have had a love-hate relationship, to be sure. On my first visit, I loved it. But after the second visit, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to go back.

On my third visit last December, I was in heaven.

Artist Point is one of Disney’s lesser-known signature restaurants (read about the dress code here). Located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, it specializes in cuisine inspired by the American Northwest (think salmon, big game meat, apples, berries, and mushrooms, for starters).


The high-ceilinged restaurant is understated, decorated with muted earth tones and a mix of light and dark wood. Chunky craftsman-style chandeliers punctuate the dining room, and soaring murals of Pacific Northwest scenes provide a [Read more…]

2011 United Way Chef’s Gala To Be Held in Epcot on May 21st

Benefiting Heart of Florida, The United Way’s Chef’s Gala will be held in Epcot’s World Showplace on Saturday May 21, 2011. The 19th annual Chef’s Gala touts the event as “A Tasteful Way to Make a Difference” which raised almost $170,000 last year! Walt Disney World has hosted the Chef’s Gala since its inception with over a million raised in that time!

Chef's Gala

The festivities begin at 6:45 pm. with a cocktail attire dress code.

6:45 – 8:15 pm Champagne Served and Martini Bar Opens
7:30 – 10:00 pm Chefs Begin Serving

Guests will enjoy a silent auction and wine reception. This tasteful event continues with a scrumptious tasting featuring over 20 top chefs (and restaurants) from Central Florida. There will also be paired fine wines, desserts and specialty coffees. For questions about wine and wine pairings, Sommeliers will be on hand.

Participating restaurants include: Artist Point, Kouzzina by Cat Cora, La Luce by Donna Scala, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, Sanaa, Todd English’s bluezoo, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Tusker House Restaurant, The Wave…of American Flavors, Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery, Epcot Bakery, Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company.

Ticket Info: [Read more…]

Disney World and Disneyland Dining for Valentine’s Day

Romance can be found all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland. And at these dining venues, there won’t be a single character in sight! Some restaurants feature special menus for Valentine’s Day.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Sweetheart Dinners
These special meals for two are offered all year-long at Walt Disney World, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to splurge on this decadent dining experience.

Enjoy a 3-course, prix-fixe meal that includes an appetizer, entrée and a shared dessert. Toast your love with a selected beverage in etched champagne flutes, then take [Read more…]

Disney Food Trends: Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Even Chef Mickey is in on the trend...

I’ve been noticing a few food trends while traipsing through Disney parks, and I think they’re important to mention — especially since they seem to be popping up on every menu re-vamp out there.

First, we gotta take a gander at good old macaroni and cheese. When I asked Disney World’s Sanaa Chef Bob Getchell about the gourmet mac and cheese trend that seems to be taking over Disney restaurants, he mentioned that chefs like to make food they themselves love; many have fond memories of mac and cheese while they were growing up, and they want to create new and improved contemporary recipes for the dish. Here are a few of our favorite versions on and around Disney property:

Yachtsman Steakhouse
Yacht Club Resort’s Yachtsman Steakhouse gets a nod due to a relatively new mac and cheese dish I found on the menu in October. Their truffle mac and cheese uses huge orecchiette noodles and Reypenaer cheese with a touch of truffle oil and a topping of crunchy onions. It’s served in a cast iron baking dish that lends a rustic look — very fun! The best part — it tastes amazing. Rich, tangy, creamy sauce nestles into those pasta pieces and serves as the perfect accompaniment to the meal. This is sold as a side dish only, so be sure to look for it at the bottom of the menu.

Yachtsman Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Side Dish

Le Cellier
Not to be outdone, Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse has also introduced some mac and cheese on the menu. Served in a cast iron skillet, elbow macaroni is [Read more…]

What Disney Foods Do YOU Crave?

Well, I’ve been home from Walt Disney World for two weeks now, and I’m already craving some dishes and snacks I know I’m going to have on my next trip (um…Karamell Kuche, anyone?).

So, a while back, I asked over on the Disney Food Blog Facebook Page: What Disney Dish Are You Craving Today? I got some fantastic answers! Let’s take a trip down a delicious road of favorite dishes and menu items in Walt Disney World… (Note: You’ll see some sad news about the Jiko Filet with Mac and Cheese about halfway down the page. I’m just warning you.)

A Few of the Classics…

With all the changes in Disney World’s menus lately, it’s nice to know these favorites have been around for a good long time:

Fried Chicken at 50’s Prime Time Cafe
This classic, simple dish has been on the menu at 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for ages, and we’re glad it’s not going away!

Fried Chicken at 50's Prime Time Cafe

Folks wrote about loving the wings appetizer and the dessert — that fabulous Bananas Foster Bread Pudding — at [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 22, 2010

News you can use:

Swan and Dolphin have released more info about the Food and Wine Classic! Check it out here.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Fan Site offers the results of their recent reader poll: Best Eats at the Mara.

Daveland has some vintage shots of the Golden Horseshoe AND he’s got another Club 33 visit documented. I love when Dave goes to Club 33. He takes the best pictures.

Studios Central reviews Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Fairfax Fare.

Breakfast at Norway's Akershus

Eating Around the World brings her little prince to meet the princesses at Epcot’s Akershus breakfast.

Theme Park Insider shares his thoughts de cuisine from a recent trip to Epcot.

Makin’ Memories Photo Blog takes a look at Columbia Harbour House in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

A World View enjoys the character breakfast at Cape May Cafe in Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Main Street Gazette taste tests taffy!

The Disney Chick shares the recipe for and makes Artist Point’s Berry Cobbler!

No Park Tickets? No Reservation? No Problem!

The main complaint I hear regarding the re-instated 180-day window for Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations is that it’s impossible to get a seat in a restaurant “on a whim.” I wanted to address that concern and add another challenge: what if you don’t have park tickets, either?

I thought it’d be fun to tackle this situation and suggest a few spots in both Disney World and Disneyland for those who find themselves in this “pickle!”

Beaches and Cream Beef Sandwich Au Jus

Walt Disney World

Nope! I’m not kidding. It doesn’t have to be a hassle to find a good, table-service meal in Disney World — even when you don’t have a reservation or a park ticket! Here are four of my favorite go-to locations at all different price points:

Beaches and Cream $
Welcome back to the 1950’s soda shoppe! Beaches and Cream is located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and doesn’t even take reservations, so you won’t ever run into the no ADR problem! This spot serves simple, but delicious, [Read more…]

“The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney!”: Desserts

I am SO excited!! Dessert!!!

Here’s the final post in our series based on the Food Network’s (very cool) show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate. As many of you know, due to some keen suggestions from readers we’re splitting our series up into different sections: breakfast, appetizers & side dishes, snacks & drinks, entrees (lunch & dinner), and desserts.

Today, we’re finallly taking a look at desserts! I’ve done my favorite brand of informal polling (i.e. posted questions on twitter and facebook ;) ) to find out others’ experiences of the “Best Thing They Ever Ate” in Disney parks and resorts.

The following are the answers received from our readers about their favorite desserts! If your favorites aren’t here, please add them in the comments section below!

Yak and Yeti Cream Cheese and Pineapple Fried Won-tons: While I haven’t had the pleasure of trying these myself, you can bet Yak and Yeti is the first place I’m going when I arrive in September! (No kidding…it’s my first ADR…even before Liberty Tree Tavern lunch, and you guys KNOW how we feel about Liberty Tree Tavern lunch!)

Yak and Yeti Fried Cream Cheese Wontons.

Dole Whip: What better dessert [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: June 13, 2010

Wow! Lots of Disney food news popping up this week! Here are few of our favorite stories:

Also, I want to remind you to check out two new Disney Food Blog additions:

  • Our Disney Food Blog newsletter is ready to go — sign up here to have fun Disney Food news, info, tips, and photos to be delivered to your inbox straight from DBF headquarters!
  • The Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza flickr group is up and running! If you’re a flickr member, come join us and add your pics to the pool!

And now — on to the round-up!

Laura and Jeanine’s Salute to All things Disney but Mostly Disneyland has a great look at some of the World of Color picnic options.

Touring Plans Blog has an awesome post about dining in Disney with special diet needs.

The Disney Chick makes sweet bread from Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Resort!

The “World” According to Jack takes us to Tokyo Disneyland’s Club 33!!! It KILLS me that there are no food pics in this post, Jack. ;-)

Zannaland has her interview of Raglan Road’s Chef Kevin Dundon up this week!

Disney Every Day reviews Disney World’s House of Blues! Yum!

Main St Gazette heads to the Studio Catering Company in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

DF ’82 shares the menu from Hakuna Matata counter-service restaurant in Disneyland Paris. Frites Hakuna, anyone?

Chip and Co features their favorite Quick Service locations in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney Parks Blog showcases the opening of Disney California Adventure’s Wine Country Trattoria.

Also, check out a couple of guest blog posts I did this week (about Disney Food, of course!). Thanks to Anna and Grey for their hospitality:

Cookie Madness allowed me to showcase my amateur baking skills on this Artist Point Berry Cobbler!

Solo Friendly let me create an itinerary for my dream day traveling solo to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Finally, I know it’s NOT Disney, but…it’s cool…

Scott Joseph Orlando reviews The Three Broomsticks in Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.