As DVC members, Paul and I have found ourselves making fewer dining reservations ahead of time. It can be surprising and fun to see what elusive last-minute bookings you can find. On our most recent December trip, we decided to jump on one of these spontaneous reservations and found ourselves at Storybook Dining at Artist Point. It’s worth having a reservation at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge around Christmas for an excuse to see the lobby. The place is stunning. Even though we had been fortunate at the beginning of this trip to stay at Copper Creek, we were excited to see the lodge one more time. As soon as we found the reservation, we ordered a Lyft from Jambo House and headed over.
Since changing Artist Point over to a character meal, it has become a popular dining experience. I do not recommend banking on a last-minute reservation. If you really want to dine here, I would recommend booking six months out. Upon checking in, they informed us that they were running a half-hour behind. Running behind wasn’t a problem for us as we had no other plans and found ample seating in the Territory Lounge for some pre-dinner cocktails. If you’re waiting with hungry little ones or have other plans later, I could see this being an issue.
Unfortunately, the service at Storybook Dining was nothing to write home about. Our server was absent throughout most of our meal, it took a while to get drinks refilled, and some things were missing from my entree and it took a long time before we were able to ask for them. This is just one experience, but not what I usually expect and receive when dining at Disney.
On the other hand, the character interactions were top notch. Paul and I, honestly, are not huge on character meetings. When we go to character dining, it’s because we want to try the food. The characters you can expect to see at Storybook Dining are Snow White, Grumpy, Dopey, and the Evil Queen. Each character interaction left us smiling. The Evil Queen was particularly fun. If you or anyone in your party are Snow White fans, this would be a worthwhile experience based on the characters alone.
I appreciate what they are trying to do with the food here at Storybook Dining. It is creative and fits the overall motif. Some of the dishes were excellent and some were not. The appetizers and desserts are preselected samples for the whole table. These seem to vary based on the season. The only choice you make is your entree. There were seven entree choices of either beef, pork, seafood, chicken, or vegetarian. Regardless of which entree you choose, the dining experience is $59.00 for adults and $35.00 for children or one table service credit on the dining plan. Here are the dishes we had and our thoughts on them:
Mushroom Bisque: This was one of three appetizers. All of the appetizers were individual sample-sized for each person at the table. This soup was excellent. It was creamy and well seasoned. Paul and I both wished we could have just ordered a whole bowl of this as an appetizer instead of the two bites that left us wanting more.
Hunter’s Terrine: This was a strange appetizer that would not be a great choice for picky eaters. It seemed like an attempt at a charcuterie with a sliced and cold sausage-like chicken, pickles, whole grain mustard, flat and crispy biscuits, and fruit preserves. It was odd-looking and not our favorite flavors. We both agreed we would rather have had more soup.
Wicked Shrimp Cocktail: This was wonderful but small. Each person gets one shrimp with arugula and sauce. The shrimp was cooked perfectly and the soy-miso avocado chili sauce was tangy, sweet, and a great addition. This dish also left us wanting more and we again felt like we would rather have a larger appetizer of this as opposed to the three samples.
Royal Prime Rib Roast: This was my entree. There was a little mix-up in the kitchen as Paul asked for asparagus with his pork in place of the wilted greens. The waiter explained the greens were more a garnish, but still offered to bring Paul asparagus which was nice. What happened was three pieces of asparagus came out with my prime rib instead of carrots. I was looking forward to the carrots and I dislike asparagus (which I gave to Paul). It was no problem to ask for the carrots. It just took a while for our server to come back. The meal itself was good. The meat was tender and cooked to the right temperature. It was served with horseradish mashed potatoes and a popover (basically Yorkshire pudding). While I’m not a huge horseradish fan, the horseradish in the potatoes wasn’t offensive. I know popovers are typically made of meat drippings, but you could squeeze this like a sponge of grease if you wanted to. It was still tasty. I just felt a little guilty after eating it. When the carrots came, they were delicious. The only other thing I could say is that the prime rib would be better with some au jus on the side. I would still consider ordering this again.
Magic Mirror Slow-Braised Pork Shank: Paul ordered the pork shank and found it to be very tender with an excellent gravy and a red wine reduction. It was served with regular mashed potatoes. Overall, he felt this was a dish worth ordering.
Miner’s Treasure: This was one of the adorable sample-sized desserts served. Like the appetizers, you received three different individual desserts for each person. This one was my favorite and was layered oreo cream and chocolate candy pieces. I enjoyed the creativity of “mining” for the treats in this dessert and like some of the appetizers, I wish I could have ordered a larger size in place of three small desserts.
Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie: This had a cute presentation, but was a dessert we both said we could have lived without. I would compare it to a very tart apple pie. Aside from that, it was somewhat forgettable.
“Poison” Apple: This was another good dessert. It was a mousse-like chocolate in the shape of an apple. It was great and I’m sure we could have easily had more of this.
The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen: This was an additional “gift” dessert and was all about the presentation. It is basically caramel popcorn with some chocolates. It comes presented to you in a chest with some sort of dry ice so that it “smokes”. The presentation is fun, but again, we would rather have more of the better desserts.
Like most character dining experiences, the atmosphere was a little loud and hectic. However, the theming here is woodsy and beautiful with a wonderful glow at night-fitting in with the Snow White theme.
Overall, we had a fun experience at Storybook Dining at Artist Point. While it’s not a restaurant we feel the need to get back to soon, I can see where this would be great for children or anyone who is a big fan of Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, or the Evil Queen as you will have great interactions with them all. The food was creative and the presentation was fun. I would recommend giving it a try.