If you have never walked around the Swan and Dolphin Hotels at Walt Disney World it is well worth the time and effort. The hotels themselves are iconic in their architectural themes and grand fountains. If you have a chance to grab a meal, there are a number of incredible options from the upscale Shula’s Steak House to the more casual Cabana Bar at the pool. In all, there are a total of 12 places to dine between the two hotels.
We went over to have lunch at the Fresh Mediterranean Market. We arrived at 11am, however, the restaurant didn’t open until 11:30 so we decided to try The Fountain Eats and Sweets which was open and just around the corner. They specialize in mostly ice cream treats though they do have a small café type menu.
I started with a cup of the Roasted Tomato Soup with Herb Croutons ($3.50). It was thick and hearty- pretty good.
For my main entrée I ordered the Seared Salmon Salad ($15.95). The salmon was drizzled with a caper cream sauce while the salad was tossed in a light citrus vinaigrette. The salmon was very good though the caper cream didn’t add a lot of flavor to it. The salad was very disappointing. It was nothing more than a very large bowl of mixed greens and a few tomato slices. I had a lot of lettuce. It was all lettuce. Maybe an addition of some hard boiled eggs or some cold green beans would have made it slightly less boring and slightly more worth the $16. I DO like how the salad was very lightly dressed instead of drowning in the vinaigrette and the tomato was incredibly ripe and fresh.
Chad ordered the Falafel platter ($11.95), part of the Fountain Features menu. Wow- tiny. Tiny. Tiny. Five little falafel balls sitting atop a drizzle of tahini sauce and served with a small side salad. It was an appetizer, not an entrée. Thankfully I had plenty of lettuce leftover so he had something else to eat. Like that filled him up. Absolutely not worth $12. He would have benefitted from a bowl of soup along with his platter.
Our other dining companion ordered the Classic BLT ($10.95) Even though Chad and I don’t eat pork, that is what we all should have gotten. His sandwich was big, stuffed with thick bacon, fresh lettuce and juicy tomatoes. The BLT also came with chips and a pickle. Now that looked delicious.
Now I understand we are at Disney. I understand Disney can and does inflate prices and people pay for the privilege of eating there. There could have been a few more veggies in the salmon salad. It’s supposed to be a salad of which a plate full of lettuce does not qualify in my book. The falafel platter could have maybe offered some hummus or something to make it a little more filling and hearty. Oh well.
We would never have eaten there in the first place if the Fresh Mediterranean Market had opened earlier. We wouldn’t eat at The Fountain again. Maybe if we wanted ice cream but that would be it. And we understand that ice cream will cost us a fortune but hey- it is Disney. Basically there are plenty of other great places in the area to have an overpriced lunch. Other restaurants that have better options and a better view. At The Fountain we overlooked a hallway in the hotel as the restaurant sits out in the open walkway. Boring.
If you’ve got the money to spend, walk over to Beaches and Cream at the nearby Beach Club resort. The prices are cheaper, the selection is larger and the atmosphere is a lot more fun.
Editor’s note: The Swan and Dolphin hotels are on Walt Disney World property though not operated by the company. The Beach Club is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company.