You’ll rarely hear about one of the best Quick Service restaurants at Walt Disney World.
I say this because it lives in the shadow of Disney Springs. When you plan your meals, you target eateries there and totally forget about the nearby options.
That’s a shame because you can find delicious food at a Disney resort that’s worth visiting anyway.
Here’s a restaurant review of The Artist’s Palette, one of the best places you’ve (probably) never tried.
About The Artist’s Palette
I’m a member of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC), and people like me know one of the undeniable truths about the program.
You’re going to stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa at some point. I say this because it offers the most extensive inventory of any DVC property at Walt Disney World.
So, when everything else sells out, you may still find a room at Saratoga Springs. For this reason, DVC members tend to think of the resort as a compromise choice.
In reality, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Park officials reclaimed the land from the former home of the Disney Institute.
Then, they built one of the most luxurious hotels at Walt Disney World, one that’s themed to the classic Saratoga Springs vacations of yore.
Given the location, you’ll also discover many nods to horseracing here, which makes the hotel grounds worth exploring.
I’m a devout evangelist for spending some time visiting each Disney hotel. It’s the only way to discover some of the finest theming on the Disney campus.
At Saratoga Springs, a visit comes with a side bonus. You can walk in the hotel lobby, which is gorgeous, and look around.
Once you’re done, you can follow the only interior walking path available. After a few dozen steps, you’ll find yourself inside The Artist’s Palette Shop.
Yes, this hotel lobby connects to a general store AND a Quick Service restaurant. The restaurant’s seating resides in the same space as the shop!
For this reason, guests who vacation at Saratoga Springs inevitably eat at Artist’s Palette at least once, if not multiple times.
The Ordering Process
The Artist’s Palette changed its ordering process less than most other eateries during the pandemic.
Disney didn’t need to adjust as much because of the unique structure of the restaurant. It’s an open space in the middle of the store.
We’re talking about a complete kitchen that resides on one side of this open space.
So, Disney added a bit more social distancing and mostly left the food preparation process the same.
However, the lines at The Artist’s Palette were notoriously long. As I say, people staying at this massive hotel inevitably eat here.
For this reason, Disney switched to a Mobile Ordering requirement during the pandemic.
I understand that the restaurant is accepting walk-ups again – they weren’t when we were there – but why would you stand in line anyway?
Mobile ordering is just plain better, and you should use it everywhere. Once you place your order, you’ll receive a confirmation that will reserve you a table as well.
I’ve never had a problem getting a table here, even when the place seems crowded. Still, it’s nice to have a guarantee.
Please know that you can also dine outside, which allows for some lovely people-watching opportunities as well. On pretty days, I prefer this option.
I should add that The Artist’s Palette’s open kitchen allows you to eat with your eyes.
You can watch the chefs prepare the food, which might even influence your order!
What’s Good and What You Should Know
The pandemic has impacted The Artist’s Palette’s menu. This restaurant has really stripped down its offerings, removing some favorites.
DVC members wince at the missing calzone, possibly this eatery’s best dish. Hopefully, it’ll return once society solves the current supply chain problem.
As for our meals, the marathon runner at our party chose a health-conscious entrée, the Saratoga Salad with Chicken.
As you might expect from the name, it’s a staple here. So, don’t sleep on the chicken aspect.
You can see in the picture that it came with an entire chicken breast sliced and then thrown on a bed of croutons. Seriously, it was a LOT of croutons!
Since this salad includes walnuts, it probably didn’t need the extra crunch…but who’s complaining?!
Another staple here is the Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwich, which I’ve had multiple times.
The restaurant serves this with a unique mango ketchup that pairs perfectly with the pork. It’s a tropical kick that spices up the dish.
I also recommend the Cheese Steak Sandwich here, although I ask for the version without onions due to an allergy.
This brings me to an important point about The Artist’s Palette. To a degree, competition explains why it’s underrated.
However, this place also struggled with its negative reputation a few years ago. During the first decade of the restaurant’s existence, it…wasn’t good.
That statement no longer applies, as The Artist’s Palette has worked hard to redefine its perception.
So, if you hear that it’s not good, your first question should be whether the person has eaten there lately.
The thing with Disney restaurants is that last year’s opinion may not hold water today. That’s why MickeyBlog posts frequent restaurant reviews!
I think you can tell from the tone that I’m a fan of this place. Its location close to the lobby works perfectly for my family’s needs.
We can order something here and have it ready when we enter the restaurant. Or we can wait until we’re in the store.
We make our Mobile Order and then do some shopping on these occasions. For hotel guests, both strategies prove viable, depending on when you visit.
When you’re just seeing the sights at Saratoga Springs, you should order ahead. Otherwise, your food might get cold. It’s a good store full of distractions.
In truth, I struggled to separate the shop and the restaurant as I connect the two based on past experiences.
When I’m vacationing at Disney, I want inexpensive food that fits into my daily itinerary. The Artist’s Palette is perfect for that!
While staying at Saratoga Springs, you’ll find this place so much more convenient than a trip to Disney Springs. It’s less stressful, too!
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Feature Photo: Disney