We’re coming at you today from The Fountain at Disney’s Dolphin Resort!
And if “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM,” this is THE place to get it if you’re staying at the Swan & Dolphin.
In fact, for those less familiar with Disney’s Swan & Dolphin Resorts, they’re just a stroll away from Epcot and Hollywood Studios, in the same general area of Disney’s BoardWalk, Yacht, and Beach Club Resorts. And if you’re having trouble getting into Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club (it’s been a little more challenging ever since they started accepting Advance Dining Reservations), The Fountain can be a terrific alternative.
But this isn’t just some shadow of Beaches and Cream. Boasting diner favorites (and twists on the classics) as well as one of the best ice cream selections on Disney property (shakes, sundaes, and more), The Fountain is worthy of a visit in its own right, and I’d like to show you why…
To find the Fountain, just look for this…um…fountain! It’s right outside the entrance to the Dolphin Resort when you’re coming from Disney’s Boardwalk or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the door will lead you right to the restaurant. (A little trivia — the Dolphin Resort is named for the Dolphin Fish — not an actual dolphin. That’s why there are fish on the roof and in this fountain.)
A quick look around The Fountain reveals its old-fashioned soda shop decor, complete with 1950s fonts and round stools right at the bar.
Meanwhile, the shades of pink and blue remain true to the general color scheme found all over the Swan & Dolphin, with a fun mix of seating options including both hightop counter tables and traditional booths.
As one might expect with a “soda fountain,” part of the decor is the food itself. Though I saved room for nothing but ice cream after my entrees on my most recent stop, even more desserts of the non-frozen variety have pride of place in the bakery case.
Nope, they don’t stop at ice cream… they also have a great selection of other sweets including cakes, cookies and pies.
The tempting crust-wrapped mini pies come in the Apple you see below, as well as Key Lime and seasonal varieties.
Be sure to take a look at a few of the hand-scooped ice cream flavors up for grabs, because you’re going to need some help narrowing down your options once you see the menu.
Included are classics like Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Minty Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but specialty flavors like Banana Walnut, Caramel Cappuccino, and rotating seasonal choices make the cut, too.
Now, who can look at all that and NOT be hungry? Grab a spoon (AND fork!) and join me!
Before we dig into some of that ice cream, the entrees on The Fountain menu are set up in a fun way, highlighting expected Fountain Classics like burgers, BLTs, and hot dogs. Fountain Features, on the other hand, include updated diner eats like a Lamb Gyro, Falafel, and an Open-Faced Reuben. Soups, Salads, and Starters round out the savory menu.
For my starter, I went with the Soft Pretzel Bites, which are served warm with Honey Mustard and Beer Cheese for dipping. (They had me at “Beer Cheese.”)
But I, of course, traded out my honey mustard and asked for a cup of hot fudge instead. I really don’t know why more restaurants don’t serve hot pretzels with hot fudge! It’s SOOOOO good! There’s your DFB tip for the day — always ask for hot fudge when you order a soft pretzel appetizer.
Now, many of you know that this New York native can’t ever turn down any version of Buffalo Chicken, so an order of the Buffalo Chicken Salad was… well, in order 😉 .
What you see below is what you get: fried Buffalo chicken, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, English cucumbers and buttermilk ranch dressing topping romaine lettuce. So, nothing super imaginative here, but the chicken definitely had a little of that nice kick I crave when it comes to Buffalo sauce, and the veggies were super fresh.
The Tomato Soup is definitely on the list for those diner classics, and this one fit the bill just fine, with the large herb croutons providing a hint of extra flavor. Though, for those of you who have tried the tomato bisque over at Beaches and Cream — this one doesn’t come close to that gorgeousness.
You’ll find the Philly Cheesesteak under the Fountain Features. It’s prepared like a good ol’ classic Philly Cheesesteak with sliced ribeye and sautéed onions and mushrooms. It can be ordered “Wit or Wit-Out” Cheese Whiz. (Umm… like going “Wit-Out” is even an option 😉 ). It’s the only sandwich on the menu served with French Fries (though you can upgrade to fries from the standard chips with the other sandwiches).
The final touch is that it’s served on a true Philly Amoroso roll, and that makes all the difference! This hearty sandwich almost didn’t allow any room for ice cream after.
Almost. 😉 Seriously, even if you are after a full meal at The Fountain, do yourself a flavor (ha!) and please save some room! You’ll definitely want to take some time to peruse the menu, divvied up into Ice Cream Specialties, as well as Shakes and Frozen Drinks.
Did you notice that The Fountain even has its own version of the monster Kitchen Sink Sundae from Beaches and Cream? The Fountain Funnel differs, however, from the Kitchen Sink in that it’s more customized, featuring your choice of seven flavors of ice cream, three sauces, and three toppings (not including the whipped cream that comes with it, and a cherry on top, naturally)!
It’s always worth checking out some of the more unusual option of shakes and malts. If you feel like adding an extra kick to your milkshake, check out The Grasshopper: Minty Chip Ice Cream, Bailey’s, Creme de Cocoa and cookies.
Hello! You can add a shot of vodka to the Strawberry Kookies Shake as well.
The Fountain’s take on a PB&J Shake also makes the list.
And you SUPER don’t want to miss out on the Caramel Apple Sundae, featuring a full slice of pie. That thing is a monster!
Needing a little caffeine fix after my rich meal, I went with the Fountain Frappuccino: a shot of espresso is blended with both chocolate and vanilla ice cream and chocolate and caramel sauces, all topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and malted milk balls.
It’s super creamy with a great balance between the strong espresso and the sweetness of the ice cream and toppings. The consistency is a little different than a typical shake since it’s made with soft-serve ice cream (rather than hand-scooped), which makes it a little easier to drink, and not quite so filling (though it’s still thicker and heartier than its Starbucks product-inspired namesake).
I was also surprised to spy the Ice Cream Panini on the Specialties menu. Your choice of ice cream is pressed in a Sweet Hawaiian Bun, with your choice of hazelnut crunch, chocolate coffee crunch, or candied cherries. And if it reminds you of the Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich (the Croque Glaces) at L’artisan des Glaces, you’re not alone.
They share the same fun combos of warm-and-cold, sweet-and-not-so-much altogether! For my Fountain Panini I chose vanilla ice cream with the chocolate coffee crunch.
Unlike the Croque Glaces, there is no sauce included in the Panini, but thankfully my server suggested a dipping sauce on the side. I went with caramel because you can never go wrong there.
And with that…
… it’s time to wrap up our visit to The Fountain!
The Swan and Dolphin Resorts have well-earned their great reputation for their top-notch dining choices. Plus, there are some extra perks to strolling a bit off the beaten path to get there: more often than not, it’s pretty easy to walk into many of the restaurants without an Advance Dining Reservation (in fact, The Fountain in particular doesn’t require any reservation at all). For those curious about some of the terrific options at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, I’d definitely recommend a trip to The Fountain as a good place to start!
Have you visited The Fountain? Please let us know about your experience with a comment!