We’d rescheduled dinner at Artist Point a couple of times but this turned out to be the perfect time to have what felt like a mini-vacay – just the pick-me-up we needed this week.
Friday night we realized this was also the Guess Who weekend at Epcot for the Flower Power Concert Series. The Guess Who was my favorite group from the 70s and I was excited – didn’t want to miss this. Should we reschedule Artist Point? Rich looked at the time and said, “Too late” – our ADR was less than 24 hours away (the official cancellation policy window). Okay, we’d go to dinner – maybe just have appetizers and dessert and then hop over to Epcot for the concert.
We found our way motoring down I-4 instead of taking the back way. Sometimes we prefer coming in like tourists, as if we’d just flown into the airport. It was starting to feel like a mini vacay already. Our spirits picked up even more as we entered the Wilderness Lodge grounds. I was fiddling with my iPhone and Rich said, “You don’t want to miss this” as we pulled up to the guard gate. He was so right – we hadn’t driven up to WL in years – had only arrived by boat – and we hadn’t eaten at Artist Point in years either when, actually, it may be our favorite restaurant at WDW, and one of our top restaurants anywhere.
We valet parked, courtesy of our Tables in Wonderland card, and sat down in big comfy chairs in the lobby to take it all in. Ah… it felt good to be home. A friendly CM stopped by to say hello. We’ve always loved this about WL – so friendly and welcoming. Then we toured our favorite gift shop – I picked up a little red pocketbook with an outside pouch for my iPhone – but, alas, it did not fit. I still love it.
We then went to the podium and were seated shortly. Now, one reason we were so motivated to finally get back to Artist Point is that we read the fabulous review on the Disney Food blog. Oh my, it all sounded so intriguing, especially the sake flight and Asian entrees. BTW, we’d toured this sakery in Oregon when we lived there and thought it might be fun to touch that here. I’m not a huge fan of sake but it’s pretty tasty if it’s paired right.
Well, none of that happened for us – no amuse bouche, no special tastings, no mention of the sake – we had to ask about it and even then, it was a bit obscure. The only thing I got out of that review was the mention of the Kung Fu Girl Reisling, which I had with dinner but I won’t go into the meal itself – Rich is going to write up one of his fabulous reports on the meal.
Not sure if the Disney Food blog people got special treatment or if that was a special introductory night or what. Or maybe it was like Samantha Brown saying, “Oh they’ll bring out this big fish and show it to you beforehand” about her dining experience at Napa Rose – of course, they did that for her – she had a big camera with her – lol!
Anyway, we looked at the menu and so taken with this setting and anticipating the excitement of a full meal, we skipped the idea of just appetizers and dessert. In fact, we decided to go all out, linger, and skip the Guess Who concert – that would just interrupt the flow of the evening, which is exactly what we needed that night. It felt like a mini vacay.
After dinner, we strolled the grounds, admiring our surroundings and made our way down to the boat dock, and boated over to Ft. Wilderness. We love this about WDW – the ability to hop on a boat and have a little boat ride – woo hoo! Then we walked around a couple of the RV loops, peeking into the big RV bus type vehicles versus the 5th wheel, still thinking about the possibility of becoming full-timers. My parents had an RV and my aunt and uncle had a 5th wheel and we’re thinking we’d be more likely to do the 5th wheel thing, driving a truck, rather than the whole bus thing. Anyway, that was so fun!!!
Then we boated back to Wilderness Lodge in the dark, offering a most surreal atmosphere. We noticed the large crowd for the boat going to the Magic Kingdom that night – still busy, busy, busy for spring break here. We stopped by the gift shop for a bottle of water, one last stop at the restroom, and then picked up our car with valet, noticing the cozy atmosphere and wishing we didn’t have to leave. But, alas, we headed home, taking the quieter, back way.
It was so hard to leave, to break the spell, but we were making plans for our next mini vacay – this is what’s so fabulous about living nearby – the ability to choose an experience based on your mood with the plethora of Walt Disney World offerings. For us, this night, we needed Wilderness Lodge, Artist Point, and Ft. Wilderness – so special on their own with an added feeling of home thrown into the mix.
To read Rich’s post about the meal, click here.