For a while back in 2012, as the resort opened in sections, it seemed like we trekked out to Art of Animation Resort every other week. The website offers a massive amount of coverage on the resort and its construction:
Not to mention a lengthy review of the Little Mermaid rooms in this aptly titled post: Art of Animation Resort Little Mermaid Room Review.
Today’s update is probably less exciting, largely centered around the food court and resort store.
The resort offers a collection of merchandise that is at least new since our last visit:
It’s surprising how much apparel is available considering the lack of resort-specific shirts at the Contemporary and Moderates, which were all recently added.
Some Radiator Springs merchandise from California is also available:
I’d expect to see a whole lot more at Hollywood Studios in the coming years.
Art of Animation has moved to separate lunch and dinner menus. The items marked with sort of a weird red asterisk are only available after 4pm:
One of these four should be available as the daily dinner special, in addition to two Kids’ Picks available at this station daily:
- Chicken Platter with Basmati or Multigrain Rice and Grapes – $6.99
- Fish Platter with Basmati or Multigrain Rice and Grapes – $6.99
Past reviews have covered most of the items available, many of which sound a lot more promising than the execution, in my estimation.
One standout in particular is the cheesy pesto bread – I’m not sure there’s a better use of a snack credit if you’re looking for a filling snack.
Art of Animation was the first Disney resort that really started embracing the gluten-free and other allergy foods.
Odwalla snack bars, crisped rice treats, popcorn, and yogurt pretzels.
The Orlando Brewing organic beers are a little unique for those looking for a little something different. The Redbridge, Estrella Daura, and Angry Orchard are all gluten free.
This time around, Lisa ordered the Tandoori Boneless Chicken Thigh – with Naan Bread and choice of two sides – $9.99. In this case, the sides are squash and spinach and paneer cheese along with multigrain rice. It’s not the largest portion of chicken I’ve ever seen, but what is served is nicely tender with a very mild mild pepper kick tempered by coriander and cumin. Turmeric gives it its distinctly yellow color, but doesn’t provide a ton of flavor. Try not to drop any on your clothes because it’s not coming out. The yogurt marinade helps keep it juicy. Altogether, it tasted good and was high quality – there just probably isn’t enough here to fill up a big appetite.
The naan is smaller and flatter than when Art of Animation opened, but it remains appropriately crispy and retained a nice chew. The spinach and paneer cheese doesn’t have a ton of flavor, lacking seasoning. The cheese didn’t spice things up any. The squash is a little sweet and a lot squash-y. It can be a bit difficult to cut it off the skin, but the real silverware helps.
As a reminder, this is what the Tandoori Shrimp looked like with a larger piece of naan back in 2k12.
I ordered the $12.49 Saffron Seafood Pasta Saffron Broth with Clams, Mussels, Shrimp, and Fish over your choice of Pasta. Along with the fish, it’s the most expensive item on the menu (holla). This is a pretty lousy picture of it.
So is this. But there aren’t any other pictures of it on the Internet, so we’re both stuck. This is a ton of food – too-much-linguine-for-one-person, a filet’s worth of salmon, four or five sizable shrimp with their tails off, and three or four each of mussels and clams. While it was large in size, it was not as robust in flavor with a very weak tasting sauce. The sauce is thin and “feels” light, though the use of olive oil probably ups the calorie count. If you’re looking for seafood pasta, my advice would be to go with the Create Your Own with shrimp and a different sauce. Otherwise, the seafood was prepared rather nicely here – nothing overtly overcooked and the mussels and clams opened up without much effort. The pasta, on the other hand, was overcooked by a few minutes with a gummy consistency.
I’m usually a proponent of the create-your-own pasta, which is almost always made with fresh ingredients in large quantities. But I’m 0 for 3 at Art of Animation. The linguine with shrimp and pesto sauce on a previous visit was almost entirely devoid of flavor. You might have better luck.
One big problem at Art of Animation is the disparity in cooking/preparation times. The tandoori food is mostly ready to be plated, as are most of the sandwiches and pizzas. Once we decided which of the several stations we were going to, Lisa had her food in hand about two minutes later, while I was quoted a 10-minute prep time for my pasta. Understandable certainly, as the pasta and such need to be cooked, but Lisa’s options were to eat her food without me or wait for it be cold once I finally made it to the table. Keep that in mind when ordering and if you really want to eat together, ask how long it will take to pick up whatever it is you’re ordering.
Arcades are doing away with the ticket redemption system – the last day to redeem your tickets at Pop Century is February 14th and Art of Animation is likely around the same time. If you’ve got 500,000 tickets, it’s time to book a flight down or overnight me the card.
I’ll keep an eye on the teddy, who seems to be doing a pretty good Burt Reynolds impression up there, until you make it. And I’ll only eat half the candy.
It’s a shame because a lot of the ticket redemption games are fun. Maybe Disney will lower the price since they don’t have to factor in the price of two Tootsie Rolls into it.
Don’t ever let Lisa con you into betting on an arcade game. She will hustle you out of your Tootsie Rolls.
This was originally supposed to be part of a larger Animal Kingdom update, but the walls changed position the day after I took the pictures, rendering them irrelevant. Look for an update this weekend along with what’s going on at Magic Kingdom.