*This dining review took place August 2012
|Landcape of Flavor — Art of Animation|
The Art of Animation just recently opened and with it comes a new food court experience called Landscape of Flavor. I had heard from many people prior to my visit that they had Babycakes cupcakes and were going to be pretty good at food accommodation. I also had seen the menu, which had a lot of variety and customized dishes. Very cool. So, we decided to pop by for lunch on while at WDW for a long weekend break. We had never been to the hotel at all, so there are going to be a lot of pictures here showing the resort, as well as my first experience descriptions. I have to apologize for not taking more pictures of the menus, etc. I have to say, I was 1) hungry and 2) a little shell-shocked at the new resort. It’s pretty impressive!
The entrance is very much like the other value resorts, especially Pop Century. Lots of great color and larger than life images of Disney characters. Though you can’t see it in this picture, I noticed that the bus wait queue’s were covered with awnings unlike some of the other value resort bus queue’s. This is a very nice addition!
I loved the colorful entrance and the images of favorite Disney characters!
The first thing you notice is this mural of Disney animations and a huge chandelier! The lobby area is so bright and vibrant. The color was amazing. Through the Ink Paint Shop, you find Landscapes of Flavor.
Just directly ahead of the Ink Paint Shop is this lovely mural of Disney drawings in various stages. So cool! You get to look at these while waiting to checkin or visit Concierge.
RAWR! Adorable drawing of Simba from the Lion King!
Lobby checkin area. The picture doesn’t do the colors justice. It was a gorgeous transition of colors of the rainbow.
Now onto the food!!! As I said before, Landscape of Flavors is located through the Ink Paint Shop. You’ll see the big sign! First off, I have to say, this food court has striking interior design. It’s really colorful and vibrant, and I loved the different areas that represented different sections of the hotel. We sat in the first area–the Lion King! The paintings here were magnificent–I wish I could have them in my own home–wow!!!
|Lion King seating area in Landscape of Flavor! Beautiful colors and paintings.|
|Check out area at the Landscape of Flavor|
|Wow, look at all the Babycakes!|
The first thing I did upon arrival was rush to find Babycakes! I had heard that they go quickly and since it was already around 12:30 pm, I wanted to see if they still had them. They did! I found them in the refrigerator section of the food court. There were a lot there, so I was glad to see that. Now the Babycakes in this package are the brownie bites with different flavors of frosting. They include: mint, mocha, vanilla (dyed with natural dyes in shades of purple, pink, and yellow), and chocolate. It was $3.99 for a 4 pack, which means you could use your snack credit to purchase these! That’s great news. Here is the back of the package with the ingredients:
|Close-up of the cupcakes! My favorite is chocolate mint!|
So after I acquired the Babycakes (see I have priorities–dessert first!!!), I went to look for a chef. Now, if you know most of the food courts, you will know that they typically have different sections or areas for ordering. Landscape of Flavor works in mostly the same way. They have 4 areas that I remember–a custom burger station, a mongolian bbq section, Indian/tandoor section, and a sandwich/salad section. I thought about getting in line somewhere and asking for a chef, but I saw a chef standing in between the sandwich/salad and tandoor section, so I went over and asked her for some assistance. Boy, she was really helpful and friendly. She asked what I want, and when I asked for recommendations she said “whatever you are in the mood for” which is nice. I was in the mood for a chicken burger, which I saw on the menu. I also asked if they had the Udi’s gluten free/dairy free buns because I had heard that they only had gluten free buns and maybe the Ener-G tapioca rolls. I was curious. She said that they had the Udi’s buns, which I kept asking “are they dairy free?” “are you sure they are dairy free?” and she said yet. Normally, I wouldn’t have questioned so much, but since I had heard they didn’t have dairy free buns, I was a little more worried than normal. She said she would check on the chicken burger because she knew it had a binder in it. While she checked on it, I decided to browse a bit for allergy friendly items.
First up is the alcoholic beverages. I found Angry Orchard which is a hard cider (and very good) and Red Bridge Gluten Free Beer.
I also saw that they had a variety of snacks like apples and grapes.
The chef came back and said that unfortunately, the chicken burgers were not safe. Sounded like it was a wheat binder. Rats! I don’t eat beef, so I was a little bummed about the chicken burger–perhaps if I had been staying there or had some time, they could have made one that was safe. I know they made them in-house. Tandoor items were marinated in yogurt and I really didn’t want to wait a long time, so that section was out. I did then notice that there was a BBQ pork sandwich on the sandwich side, so I asked if that was safe. Turns out it was. So, I got the BBQ pork on a Udi’s bun with french fries…yep fries! Chef said that the fries are in a dedicated fryer (even without allergies) and that they only cook fries in it. Woohoo! I love fries!
While I waited for her to prepare my food (yeah I did a lot of waiting here, which was ok) I looked around some more. I found Rice Chips (Lundberg) and Surf Sweets Candies (one of our sponsors for our Special Diets Dessert Party!!) Nice to see some more options there. I think the only GF/DF rice crisps that were safe were the sea salt ones.
Then, my sandwich arrived! Yeah! I was so impressed because unlike many of the other food courts, the meal was on real china! Wow…very cool. They also have real silverware. I like it because it definitely has the fast casual vibe like Pei Wei or Panera Bread.
|French fries and BBQ pork sandwich on a Udi’s bun!|
So onto the actual food eating…I had whipped up some serious hunger by this point. I admit, I ate a few fries in line…what can I say, a girl’s gotta eat! The fries were very good. They were seasoned with a spice that looked like the same spice they used on their house-made potato chips. The BBQ sandwich was really good. Very saucy, if you like BBQ sauce on pulled pork. It was different from Flame Tree BBQ which is more smokey and a dry rub with no sauce. This was more sweet in its flavor and fairly generous in the saucing, which was good because the bun soaked up a lot of the sauce. The bun was good–seemed bigger to me than the other Udi’s buns that I’ve had on property. But, I will say that I didn’t get sick, so I think it must been OK with the dairy. Sorry, I realized later I should have taken off the bun and had a picture sans bun top, so you could see the BBQ pork better. Guess I was just too hungry.
|Close-up–you can sort of see the BBQ pork and seasoning on the fries|
I will say that the portions here are pretty generous–this was $8.99 and there did not seem to be an up-charge on the sandwich price with the dietary bun, so that was good. My mom had a smoked turkey sandwich which was huge and decently priced at $8.99 too.
I will say that I wish I had looked a little more at the options, but this is just another reason to go back to visit. All three of us eating here found the food to be very high quality and reasonably priced. I also liked the variety–and I’d be curious to see if I could get Mongolian BBQ or some type of stir fry there. I also wonder if you could contact them ahead of time for something related to the tandoor area. Looked really good. I know that the chef who was at Sanaa (where I ate dinner that night) just came over there to work with the Tandoor side, so I would say you are getting Sanaa quality Indian food at a slightly more affordable price. It looked amazing!
Overall, I was really pleased with my first experience at Landscape of Flavor! It was really nicely set up and there are a ton of choices. They focus on customizable, and I think that’s important for those of us with special diets. I also love the products related to special diets there, especially Babycakes! One of the blog readers said that they also carry Babycakes cookies and they are housed in the kitchen, so you would need to ask. They also have the Enjoy Life crunchy cookies and OMG I can’t believe it’s GF products in the back too. I’m definitely planning on coming back to try out some other options when I have more time! Between the very accommodating chefs, selection, and variety–I will definitely be back. I’d say a solid 9 out of 10 for my first visit there! Folks with special diets are going to love this place!