Storybook Dining at Artist Point With Snow White – A Review

After booking a last minute trip during spring break with my daughter and grandson, I was certain we’d never score a reservation for the new Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. I was honestly stunned that not only did I snag a reservation, but I was able to change it three separate times to accommodate our ever changing schedule. This, perhaps, should have been a sign of things to come. This is one story that doesn’t necessarily have a fairytale ending.

We arrived for our 5:50 dining reservation about 20 minutes early, and when we checked in, we were told we’d be seated about the time of our reservation. By 5:45, we were already comfortable at our table, gazing around at the beautiful surroundings. It does look like they’ve taken you into the woods, where you would expect to find the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage. It’s rustic and woodsy, but still bright and inviting. We loved the vibe.

Trees at Storybook Dining

The grown up menus are encased in a rustic looking leather portfolio. It evokes a feeling of nature, and you could well imagine this is the type of “book” cover that might have been on one of the little tables next to Snow White’s bed. Love.

Adult menu at Storybook Dining

Our waiter comes over and informs us that in about five minutes, Snow White will appear from a door at the far end of the dining room, and she will be followed soon after by Dopey and Doc. He then gestures towards the Evil Queen, who is standing in front of a large scale book, and says that once the bill is paid, we can get in line to have photos taken with her on the way out. It seems like a fun way to end the evening.

Dinner here is a prix fixe menu, about $55 for adults, depending on when you go. The table is served three different appetizers, each guest chooses an entree, and then the table is served three different desserts. I’ve never been in love with a restaurant that doesn’t really let me choose which options I’d like to eat, so I take this with a grain of salt and hope for the best.

The shared appetizers and desserts are served on a really adorable yet surprisingly annoying Lazy Susan that resembles a branch of a tree with three large leaves. The plates are placed atop the leaves. This is totally cute, until you realize that the child you are there to photograph is on the opposite side of this giant Leafy Susan thing, and you cannot get a good photograph of him no matter how you angle yourself. You pretty much have to get up to take any photos around this thing. This is not a bad thing, it’s just not nearly as convenient as pointing the camera across the table to get a great photo at eye level with the little guy. When I tried to move the Lazy Leafy Susan thing, the base of it was sooooo sticky, it sort of grossed me out for any food that might come into contact with it, but I also learned that it’s darned heavy. It wishes not to be moved. I ended up pushing it ever so slightly out of my way so I could at least interact with my grandson during the meal.

Lazy Susan at Storybook Dining

So now let’s get to the food.

Appetizers included a butternut squash soup, served in tiny cauldrons, with a caramel/marshmellowy lollipop that was meant to be melted into the soup as you stirred. Except in our case, the soup wasn’t hot, so the marshmellow didn’t melt and sort of sat as a too sweet lump in the middle of the soup. The soup was sweet already, and a huge hit with Calder, who easily ate up both my cauldron and Brighid’s.

Next up was a Hunter’s Pie – a small, flaky pastry dough surrounding some sort of ground meat. I learned online later that the meat is chicken, however, we didn’t get that from the taste of it. It comes with an accompaniment of a stone fruit jam. The pastry dough is delicious and a beautiful, flaky, golden brown. The chicken inside is tough and a bit chewy. It looks like a meatball, although the flavor is a bit bland and nondescript. The stone fruit jam was slightly sweet, and it added much needed flavor to the chicken, although because the chicken was so bland, it overpowered it a bit.

Storybook appetizer selection

Finally, there is Wicked Shrimp Cocktail. I’m not sure where they catch the shrimp in the heart of the forest, so it’s a bit odd to see a shrimp cocktail among the appetizers. There is one shrimp per person at the table, and it is in a jar with miso, soy, Thai chili, and greens. This one was too spicy for me – heavy on the Thai chili. I just didn’t like the taste of this at all. My daughter also dismissed it after the first bite, and while her tolerance for spicy food is way greater than mine, it just didn’t taste good.

There is a decent selection of entrees, with something for every palate – seafood, beef, chicken, and even a vegetarian option. The waiter highly recommended the prime rib and the veal shank, so we went with those. The veal was fork tender, served over a celery root mash. It was a little awkward eating, in a bowl, but because the meat was so tender, it didn’t really require much in the way of cutting. The prime rib was okay. It really could have used more seasoning, but the “popover” (a Yorkshire pudding type of accompaniment) was quite yummy, and the horseradish mashed potatoes, while powerful in flavor themselves, were almost necessary to add a bit of taste to the beef.

Desserts here are also served as a trio – small, individual sized portions for everyone at the table. The desserts were a small, gooseberry pie topped with meringue; the Miner’s treasure – which was sort of like a cupcake in a jar type of thing with layers of sponge cake and buttercream frosting; and a poison apple – which was a white chocolate apple mousse with a tart center. The Miner’s Treasure was – to put it mildly – awful. It was a way too sweet dessert, with what tasted like stale spongecake and a thick, gritty frosting. There were chunks of something in the cake, but we each only took one bite before passing on it, so I’m not sure it added anything (internet research tells me they are chocolate bits). The gooseberry pie was a pleasant little dessert, with a tart filling. It’s not anything I would order if I could choose from a menu, but it was okay.

Miner's Treasure
Gooseberry tart

The star here is the poison apple. It’s light, just slightly tart, and a nice blend of dessert flavors. Again, I don’t think it’s something I’d order if I saw it on a menu of options, but when not being given choices, it was the best of the bunch.

Poison apple dessert

The meal ends with the waiter bringing over a small, smoking chest. The contents of the chest are the Hunter’s Gifts to the Queen. If you know the story, the huntsman was supposed to bring back Snow White’s heart, and inside the chest you’ll find a chocolate heart for each guest at the table, surrounded by cracked maple popcorn. I would have happily given up the entire dessert portion of the meal for a small bowl of the popcorn. I want to say up front – it had a slightly stale texture to it – but that is my favorite way to eat a caramel corn type of popcorn. This was sweet, with a hint of salt, and slightly chewy. Between Brighid and I, we got seven pieces of popcorn, and I was so glad she opted out of her share.

The Hunter's Gift

Because Brighid is pregnant, she couldn’t enjoy any of the specialty cocktails, so she instead got the Transformation Potion – a lemonade with a shot of blue stuff on the side that changed the color of the lemonade to a beautiful purple. It came with a blue lollipop spoon. I opted for the Enchanted Apple specialty cocktail. Slightly sweet, slightly tart, with a sugar rim around the glass. Tasty.

Enchanted apple cocktail

Overall, this is not a meal we’d repeat – although with a new granddaughter on the way, we may have to at some point. The character interaction with the baby was absolutely wonderful.

Calder and Dopey

For that alone, if there were options to choose your meal on this menu, we’d come back. But if you’re paying close to $60 a person for a meal and not enjoying either your appetizer or your dessert, you lose a lot of the value in a character meal. I’d rather pay for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, where you often find the Seven Dwarfs, and know we are getting something for the money we are going to enjoy.

Calder and Grumpy

Oh – and we did not get to see the Evil Queen. By the end of the meal, the line was pretty long, the baby was done sitting still, and both Brighid and I needed to visit the restroom. I’d suggest not waiting until the end of your meal, as our waiter advised. There are periods of lull while you wait between courses and characters that might be a better time to meet with her.

Calder and Snow White

On a scale of 1-5, we have this meal at about a 2.5. Great characters, nice entrees, but the rest of the meal was majorly disappointing.

Liberty Tree Tavern – Gastric Bypass Restaurant Review

One of our favorite Walt Disney World restaurants has always been the Liberty Tree Tavern.  LTT is an all you can eat, family style dinner that features several of the popular Disney characters dressed in colonial garb.  The meal here is all traditional American fare, hearty and homestyle.  This does not necessarily bode well for those of us who have had Gastric Bypass Surgery.

We attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party recently, and while we had booked an advanced dining reservation for LTT months in advance, we debated over whether or not we should go.  Of course this is a great restaurant if you come with a big appetite, but I do not have that huge appetite anymore, so dining here doesn’t hold the same appeal for me.  But, this is a great place for character interaction, and Granuaile is seriously into characters this trip, so we make the decision to go ahead to the restaurant.

It should be said that Disney really does try to honor your compromised eating capacity.  This is the second all you can eat Disney restaurant I have been to since my surgery.  I asked the waitress when we sat down if they offered a discount for gastric bypass patients, and she asked to see my card.  I know many of you have dining cards from your surgeons that tell them you’ve had surgery, but my doctor doesn’t give them out.  That didn’t matter here.  I explained to the waitress that I could show her my scars, my sagging skin, my droopy boobs, and my medical alert bracelet, but I had no dining card.  She sent a manager over, who very quickly and politely offered to discount my meal to the children’s price.  That’s a $15 savings here!  Woohoo!!

You start the meal out with the Declaration Salad.  This is a salad of mixed greens – all the stuff you wouldn’t eat as a kid and can block you up big time now – with a strawberry viniagrette.  I love this salad, and I think I ate too fast or too much.  You’ll learn why I think that in a minute.  The waitress also brings out a plate of rolls with a honey flavored butter.  You know I skipped the bread, but those of you who do not have issues with bread may be tempted to use way more butter than your stomach can handle.  It’s delicious.

After the salad plates are cleared away, the waitress brings a bowl heaping with piping hot mashed potatoes; a generous sized portion of macaroni and cheese; a bowl of vegetables; and a platter that held large portions of roast turkey with stuffing, smoked pork loin, and beef.  I helped myself to the pork, a small piece of the beef, and a little of the turkey, and a small scoop of mashed potatoes.  It wasn’t long into the meal when I felt that feeling – you know, when it feels like the food won’t go down, and may not ever come back up?  I don’t know if I over did the salad or if the mustard sauce on the outside of the pork is doing a number on me, or maybe even the bite of mashed potatoes is revolting.  I make a couple of trips up to the bathroom, hoping something will come up, but nothing does.  I’m not sure what to blame – maybe I didn’t chew something small enough – but this is certainly ruining the meal for me.

The meal continues for a while with me bouncing back and forth, up and down the steps to the bathroom (word to those needing assistance – the bathrooms are on the second floor here, and you will need to climb the stairs to get there.  If you cannot climb the stairs, you will have to leave the restaurant and use a facility nearby.), hoping to dislodge whatever I have stuck.  It finally starts to calm down, just in time for dessert – NOT!!  The dessert is to die for, but not sugar free.  Tonight, it’s a warm apple cobbler, covered with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream.  They are able to accomodate a special request, but you must contact them in advance to arrange for a sugar free dessert.  It doesn’t matter – I’m not going to try to put anything else in at this point!

There are certainly plenty of protein choices to be had here – especially if you have no trouble with things like beef.  The turkey was moist and tender, and certainly pouch friendly, but the smoked pork was a little tough.  That may have been the culprit in my incident.  Next time, I think I’ll stick with what I know will work, and avoid pushing my luck with the salad and tougher meats.

Liberty Tree Tavern is located in Liberty Square – Magic Kingdom

“Goofy’s Liberate Your Appetite Character Dinner”
DINING

Menu Date: December 2007

Characters are Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale

PRICES have changed since October, 2007

  • Adults $28.99
  • Adults with medical proof who ask at the hostess station are charged for a Little Patriots meal $13.99
  • Little Patriots (ages 3-9) $13.99
  • 2 and under are free
  • For those Guests not dining, a $5.00 entertainment fee will be applied to your bill.

Serving from 4 p.m. – closing varies depending on park hours

Admission into the Magic Kingdom is required.

BILL OF FARE

  • DECLARATION SALAD – Tossed Mixed Greens, served with our special Tavern Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • PATRIOT’S PLATTER – A generous serving of roasted turkey breast, carved beef, and smoked pork loin, with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herb bread stuffing, and Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese
  • Rolls and gravy also included
  • BEVERAGES included in meal price
    • Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Orange, Lemonade, Birch Beer
    • Coffee, Regular or Decaffeinated
    • Hot Tea
    • Hot Cocoa
    • Milk, Whole, Low-fat, Skim or Chocolate
    • Nestea Iced Tea
  • Cappuccino, Espresso, Bottled Water and Tavern Punch are an additional charge
    • Bottled Water (Still or Sparkling) $3.25
    • Cappuccino $3.69
    • Espresso $3.19
    • Fresh Orange Juice $2.29
  • SPECIALTY BEVERAGES
    • Patriot’s Punch – Enjoy a frozen beverage from our Patriot’s Punch Bowl served with a Liberty Tree Tavern Collector’s Mug — Take home a piece of the Tavern $8.19
    • The Spirit of ’76 – Take home the spirit of Liberty, one of the Tavern Keeper’s Collector’s Mugs from the top shelf $5.00
  • DESSERTS
    • Warm cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream included
    • Assorted fresh desserts from Martha’s kitchen additional $2.25 – $5.50 each

For your convenience, you may purchase film, disposable cameras, autograph books and souvenir mugs from your server.