California Grill will always be more popular because of the view of the Magic Kingdom (especially in the evening during fireworks).
Victoria & Albert's has a 5-diamond rating and the uber-exclusive Chef's Table.
Yachtsman is considered one of the best steakhouses in Orlando not just theme park goers, but also serious food critics.
Jiko has a very unique menu in a lively, modern dining room.
So from a popularity perspective, a restaurant that serves a rather limited menu and is down the hall from another restaurant that gets non-stop publicity (Whispering Canyon Cafe), Artist Point is by its very nature not going to be as popular.
That was the reason why I wanted to dine here. I tend to be a contrarian, and like to go places that are out of the way or less popular, and visit during off-peak times (I rarely visit theme parks that I don't have a season pass for during the summer months). Artist Point is considered a "signature" restuarant by Disney and the prices on the menu, but I rarely ever hear anything about it (much like Flying Fish, which I reviewed last year). This restaurant is a hidden gem, and while it's a bit pricey, it is worth the investment for special meals and occasions.
My wife and I ate at Artist Point on the last night of our Walt Disney World Honeymoon. We got married while still in college and I was an intern with Disney at the time, so we honeymooned at WDW on my company discounts. Still even with the discounts we were but poor college students, me an intern and my wife working in the college admissions office, so we still had something of a limited budget. We had one big ticket meal at the California Grill (a restaurant that still may be our #1 reason for going to WDW to this day) but made reservations at Artist Point for the last night as well.
We didn't want it to be a big meal, just something nice with a good experience (and a few drinks) before an evening in the Magic Kingdom, so we skipped appetizers and went straight to the entrees, with wine. My wife ordered the bison steak and I ordered the halibut. The menu listed her steak as coming with potatoes and asparagus, and my halibut listing a few things I, being a young dumb poor college student, had never heard of. The waiter asked if we wanted to add soup or salad, and had no reaction when my wife passed but seemed very perplexed when I passed. That should have been a clue to me. I should note at this point both our entrees were listed at around $40 each.
My wife's bison steak comes and it was a sizable chunk of meat, with a healthy helping of potatoes and vegetables. More than she could eat, in fact. My halibut arrived, and what do I see but the smallest sliver of fish I have ever beheld outside a fancy caesar salad, drizzled with a thin whitish sauce. I finished after two bites. It was very good halibut, don't get me wrong. But it was kinda hard to believe those two bites cost the same as my wife's equally delicious feast of meat, potatoes, and vegetables.
So my stomach still empty but for the wine and a little fish, we ordered dessert, the berry cobbler and a chocolate cake, to split and swap. Despite our limited budget and empty stomach I also ordered a wilderness lodge coffee, with whiskey and Baileys and whipped cream and chocolate, because of course I did. The desserts were excellent and with the buzz from a glass of wine and a very, very strongly doctored coffee with naught but sugar to soak it up I was beginning to forget about the halibut disappointment. But then the bill came.
We had discovered a curious thing throughout our week at WDW. The "Just Married" buttons we got on our first day in the parks got us way more perks than my silly cast discounts (interestingly cast discounts were strictly limited to only very specific hours at very specific locations, something that was not the case at Disneyland). We didn't have one single meal go by without either a free drink or dessert on account of our buttons. (I also think there is a secret torture chamber reserved for CMs who don't congratulate newlyweds, because even parade performers paused in the middle of a show stop to congratulate us.) Yet the bill came, and everything was fully charged, drinks and dessert and the whole lot of it. I was about to be disappointed again, signing off on the credit card slip and standing to leave when our waiter came charging up. "Don't think I'd let you get away without a celebratory gift!" he said as he produced two champagne flutes.
So for those keeping track at home, that is one glass of wine, one coffee with whiskey and Baileys, one glass of champagne, two tiny bites of fish, a a bit of cobbler and cake. After a short boat trip to the Magic Kingdom, we went straight on Haunted Mansion because, well of course we did and boy was that an experience.
So Artist Point was great, really good food and service. But unless you're ordering the bison steak, be sure to order and appetizer, and dessert. And have a snack before you go.
The only thing I might caution you on is that our server was a woman from France (though you would never know - no accent whatsoever, but she speaks French) who talked our ear off!!! She knew just about everything there was to know, and had worked there she said 19 years (with some time elsewhere in between).
We learned so much from her! More than I ever had a desire to learn, in fact.
Our reservation was for 8:45pm and we didn't get out of there until 11:55.
I mean, the food and atmosphere were incredible, but I did not expect to be there for three hours!
The only negative I experience I had was similar to another commentator. I had a waiter that, although extremely friendly and knowledgable, he wouldn't stop talking. Our dining experience took hours, in fact I remember wondering if we were ever going to leave. If you ever go there, make sure you do NOT have "Dizzy" Izzy (that's what he called himself).
BTW, you're dead on about the mushroom soup, I always get it!