Walt Disney World has announced a new menu coming to the Artist’s Palette this month. This post dispenses with dish details, with a sneak peek at photos of the food available for breakfast, lunch, dinner–plus desserts–at Saratoga Springs Resort’s counter service restaurant.
The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa will debut a variety of new dishes starting August 9, 2023. Whether you like sweet, savory, or a little of both, you’ll want to check out this location on your next visit once you see what the talented culinary team is cooking up.
For those unfamiliar with it, the Artist’s Palette is located near the Carriage House (main lobby) of Saratoga Springs Resort. It’s within walking or boat distance of Disney Springs, which is really the only convenient way to access Artist’s Palette if you’re not staying at Saratoga Springs Resort. But if you’re already at Disney Springs, arguably the culinary epicenter of Walt Disney World, why would you want to leave and commute to a food court?!
That’s a good question, and we don’t have a great answer to it. We don’t consider Saratoga Springs to be a destination resort at Walt Disney World. (No offense to the many DVC owners who adore SSR and may treat that as heresy…it’s also our home resort!)
We also don’t consider Artist’s Palette to be destination dining. With that said, we once did consider it to be superior to most of the counter service options at Disney Springs. That hasn’t been true for a while, but hopefully it’ll change with this new menu!
Against that backdrop, let’s race over to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa to see what flavors The Artist’s Palette team has painted up…
The Artist’s Palette serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Starting tomorrow, it will be home to a new selection of eats and some returning favorites, all available via mobile order.
Start your day with Chef Nick Walker’s new plant-based creation, the Avocado Toast. This breakfast dish features avocado, cherry tomatoes, radish, pickled red onions, arugula, and “aïoli” (air quotes) on toasted sunflower bread.
If you’re in for a sweeter start, try the French Toast Strata, a popular breakfast offering at the Artist’s Palette.
The French Toast Strata is now updated with a delicious crème anglaise. It’s also served with fresh berries and your choice of bacon or sausage.
The Artist’s Palette grab-and-go market section is filled with new offerings, including the Charcuterie with Chef’s selection of cheeses, cured meats, and traditional accompaniments.
Another addition will be the Turkey BLT served with chef’s house-made pimento cheese.
According to Walt Disney World, there will be new sandwiches inspired by Western New York.
The Beef on Weck is the classic mainstay of the region. It’s made up of sliced brisket and horseradish cream on a caraway brioche bun served with au jus and Saratoga chips. Another handheld option is the Tuna Salad Sandwich on toasted sunflower bread.
After the response to this approach with BoardWalk Deli, I’m not sure why Walt Disney World is going down this path again. Do they not realize New York is a huge demo for Disney? Do they think you all don’t know any better? Is the view ‘any engagement is good engagement’? Or perhaps, this time will be different, and these will actually be authentic? I don’t know, but I will confess to being amused by seeing angry comments from Northeasterners about BoardWalk Deli, so I don’t mind this one bit!
For pizza lovers, The Artist’s Palette is home to a pizza hearth and dough prepared in-house.
The Margherita Pizza remains but has been updated from its previous iteration, now with mozzarella, fresh pizza sauce, and basil pistou on house-made pizza dough.
As dinner time rolls around (after 4:00 p.m.), the Artist’s Palette will feature three create-your-own entrées – the Homestyle Meatloaf, Sautéed Garlic Shrimp, and Herb-roasted Chicken.
All three of these dishes are served with your choice of two sides – Yukon gold mashed potatoes, garlic green beans, roasted rainbow carrots, steamed white rice, or edamame succotash.
The longtime fan-favorite Saratoga Salad is a menu mainstay of the Artist’s Palette, and isn’t going anywhere. It combines mixed field greens, feta, dried cranberries, apples, spiced walnuts, crispy ciabatta croutons, and lemon-poppy seed vinaigrette.
Another signature offering is the Ham & Cheese Panini. This bite features sliced ham, smoked gouda, dijon mustard, and quattro formaggi spread pressed to perfection.
The bakery team has put together two new treats for the Artist’s Palette. First up is the Derby Day Pie. This delight is inspired by traditional sweets from a day at the racetrack and features a pie shell with chocolate-nut filling topped with buttercream and horseshoe décor.
Also new is the signature Artist’s Palette Cookie is a mouthwatering sugar cookie with icing ‘paint’ and strawberry biscuit stick ‘paintbrush.’ It’s adorable and delicious.
Normally, we wouldn’t share a menu update announcement for the Artist’s Palette. It’s really not the type of thing that gets the people going–it’s probably fair to say that none of you have been on pins and needles waiting for a new menu for the Artist’s Palette to drop. As noted at the top of the post, it’s not destination dining nor is Saratoga Springs a destination resort. So pretty much the only people eating here are those staying at SSR, and the decision to dine here is mostly of convenience.
Beyond that, this update honestly sounds fairly middling. If these are the new dishes that Walt Disney World chose to feature, they’re likely the highlights. Some sound good, but just as many sound so-so at best. Still, it’s a step in the right direction, and seeing menus expand back to pre-closure size is a positive.
Ultimately, we’re sharing this new menu because the Artist’s Palette was once one of the Top 10 Counter Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World, and I’m hoping that maybe it can reclaim its spot. More significantly, the Artist’s Palette is one of several restaurants that has gone downhill in the last few years during the ‘era’ of scaled back menus at Walt Disney World. If the culinary team is debuting a bunch of new dishes here–at an out of the way and relatively unknown spot–what else is next?
To answer our own question, we really hope that all of the monorail loop counter service restaurants (Contempo Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill, and Capt. Cook’s), Sunshine Seasons, Primo Piatto, Spyglass Grill, Cosmic Ray’s, Pecos Bill, and others that I’m probably forgetting are the next to receive menu refreshes. All of those are once-excellent options that are still varying degrees of good, but not nearly what they once were. It’d be nice to see another counter service renaissance at Walt Disney World!
Thoughts on these new menu items debuting at the Artist’s Palette for Fall 2023? Have you dined here recently? How do you think this stacks up to counter service restaurants at other restaurants, or options at Disney Springs? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!