Okay, so first, for anyone who doesn’t know, I had my baby. Zinn was born on September 6th at 2:40am and weighed 8 pounds and 7 ounces. However, I had stockpiled quite a few dining experiences, and was spacing out writing about them, because I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to get back into the parks and back to eating out. So, even though little Zinn is here, you’re still going to be reading about experiences where I’m pregnant for a little while. In fact, I’m still writing about my mom’s trip a month ago! Yikes, I need to catch up! Here we go…
So, in my very first post, I believe I said that I had never been to a table service restaurant in any of the Disney World Parks. That was not entirely true. I had been to one. For Malcolm’s first birthday we all (Will included!) went to Epcot, and we decided to go to Biergarten for his birthday dinner. We had a fabulous time! The food was good, the show was super fun…I loved it!
My mom actually lived in Germany for a while, and really enjoys German food, so I knew I wanted to take her to Biergarten. Since we left early on our first Epcot day and had to cancel our dinner there, I knew when we planned a second day that we HAD to get there for dinner. To make sure we’d be hungry we decided to plan just 2 meals, and make our dinner reservation fairly late (7:45pm).
After a fantastic day of touring World Showcase (since we’d already done FutureWorld), we showed up to Biergarten at about 7:35, and were told it would be just a short wait. We parked the stroller and, since it wasn’t too crowded, decided to let Malcolm get out and wander around the area near the hostess stand. There were several Cast Members (the hostess, greeters, etc) in the area, and one of them went to the hostess stand and pulled out a soccer ball. Three CM’s spent the next 15 minutes playing ball with Malcolm! They would toss it to him, and he would chase it and throw it back…Malcolm had the best time. They were all so good with him, and really wore him out so that he was ready to sit patiently when we were seated for dinner. It was also so much fun for my mom and I to watch that the time we waited went by super fast. It was such a small thing, but it was really a magical moment for all of us. In fact, when we were seated, the CM’s seemed pretty sad to say goodbye to Malcolm, and one even told us that he was going home to tell his fiancee that it was time for them to have kids!
So, we go in, and they have us wait just inside the door. For those who have never been to Biergarten, the tables all seat 8 people, and if there are less than 8 in your party, you are seated with other families. We waited inside the door until they called the other parties who would be sitting with us, and then we were led to the table.
Our table was right next to the stage and dance floor, which I was excited about, since Malcolm would be able to watch the musicians and see people dancing. We were seated with another party of 3, a couple and their teenage daughter, and an older couple. Everyone seemed really nice, though none were very openly outgoing. After we placed our drink orders, my mom and I tried to make conversation with people. The family of 3 was the most responsive, the couple didn’t talk to any of us much at all.
At Biergarten, it is always twilight, and it is always Oktoberfest. The restaurant is set up to look like a quaint German village town square. I love the inside of the restaurant. It’s so pretty, and the theming is so fantastic. I always seem to forget that I’m inside and it’s not actually twilight.
I was taking pictures of the restaurant to use in my blog post, and everyone at our table thought I was totally crazy! They all made fun of me blogging about Disney restaurants and asked why anyone would want to spend the time and money going to every restaurant on property just to write about it. So, in case you’re wondering why there aren’t a lot of pictures of my food, that’s why. I took one picture of my plate while standing up by the buffet, but didn’t take pictures of any other plates (the other 2 I had, or any of my mom’s). I know I shouldn’t have let those people bother me, and I should have taken all the food pics I wanted…but they were really rude!
We wanted to get our food before the show started, so we hit the buffet. My first plate was mostly salad, bread (starters for me), and macaroni and cheese and roast potatoes (for Malcolm). I really love the pretzel rolls they have at Biergarten! I dip them in mustard and they are super yummy! I’m also a big fan of the roast potatoes, but then again, how hard are roast potatoes.
Anyway, I went back for a second plate, and stocked up on sausages, chicken, spaetzle, and the other German specialties. Sadly, I was NOT impressed. Almost everything was dried out and felt like it had been sitting out for a long time. I was so surprised. The one other time I had been there the food was fantastic! Often, locals and regular Disney World travelers will describe Biergarten as a hidden gem, and one of the better values on property, but not today. I asked my mom’s opinion, since she has actually spent time in Germany. She did say that the red cabbage was phenomenal, however, the roulades, which she had been looking forward to more than anything, were inedible. Luckily, the desserts were delicious! I tried one of everything and was quite pleased with that decision.
About half way through our meal was when the Oom-pah band came out. Even with the food being sub-par, I think the entertainment was totally worth the cost of dinner. They played some traditional German drinking songs, a polka, and even an alpine horn and cowbells! Lots of kids and adults got up to dance…Malcolm and I do a mean polka…which is difficult to do when you’re almost 9 months pregnant and your toddler weighs 30 pounds! There was even a little boy break dancing!! It was so cute! We had a fantastic time dancing with the band, and my mom knew all the words, in German, to several of their songs, so that was pretty neat.
When we were leaving, as soon as we walked out the door, the host stand cast members saw Malcolm, and immediately grabbed the soccer ball to resume playing with him! It was so sweet! They really seemed to genuinely enjoy playing with him. After a few minutes we had to drag him away so that we could watch Illuminations, and the CM’s looked honestly upset to have to say goodbye to their playmate. It made me feel so special that they had such a good time with my son.
All in all, if this had been my first time at the restaurant, and I didn’t know that the food was usually much better, I would still want to go back just for the entertainment. I would imagine that it’s also really fun if you sit with a fun group at your table, instead of the party poopers we were sat with. I will still recommend Biergarten to people, and this one bad experience won’t keep me from going back.
Has anyone else had a bad experience there? Part of me wonders if the quality was poor because we went later in the dinner service. I’d really love to have others feedback! You can comment here, tweet me @scarlettashley1, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or friend me on Facebook under Scarlett Ashley.
For the next post (and last one from my mom’s visit) we go to the Sci-Fi Dine-in restaurant. Stay tuned!