Eating Around The World

My Walt Disney World Dining Project

“Jubel, Trubel, Heiterkeit”: Biergarten (Dinner) September 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — scarlettashley1 @ 4:14 pm

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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 scarlettashley1@yahoo.com, 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!

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19 Responses to ““Jubel, Trubel, Heiterkeit”: Biergarten (Dinner)”

  1. Vance Says:

    Another great blog! I haven’t been to Biergarten but it is on my to do list (every time I make an ADR I’ve had to cancel it) so hopefully I’ll get to it soon. Yeah you totally shouldn’t have let those people bum you out…should have told them that your 10,000 readers care and that’s why you do it. You do use a Tables in Wonderland card though right?

    • You definitely need to check it out!! It’s also really easy to get a walk up usually if you don’t have an ADR.

      I do use a Tables in Wonderland card…best $75 I ever spent! I tried to keep track of how much money it saved me, but by the time the card paid for itself several times over I gave up!

  2. Susanne Says:

    We had a similar visit to Biergarten. My husband has been to Germany several times and was really looking forward to it. But, and this really seems to make a difference, our table-mates were duds. Not rude like yours, but totally boring and they really didn’t even talk to each other, much less us. We tried, but no luck. Service was iffy, mostly because our server was “in the weeds” and , so, it was a chore to find her every single time we needed something or wanted another beer or beverage. Food was meh, much seemed dry and flavorless. Entertainment & atmosphere were delightful though. We will give it another try, hoping we were just there on a busy, “off” kinda night.

    • Yeah, I really think the table mates are a big deal. I think I’d like to go with a group of 8, just so we could have our own table! Our service wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either…basically, it didn’t even warrant a mention in my post! I think you should definitely give it another try though, I know I will! And even if the food isn’t great again, at least the entertainment and atmosphere will be awesome!

  3. Shane Says:

    Biergarten is always available, in case you want a Candlelight Processional package, and I think it’s really good food.

  4. Snowpup Says:

    Well, it hasn’t put it on to my ‘must do’ list, but I certainly will stick it on my ‘might be worth a punt’ list. :0)

    Another great post, and the CMs and Mal’s interaction brought a huge grin to my face.

    • Yeah, knowing you, you’ve probably been to Germany and Oktoberfest and had fantastic, authentic German food…also, you don’t drink, so you wouldn’t be going for the beer…so yeah, it shouldn’t be on your “must do” list. However, if you’re ever in Epcot, and can’t get a walk up anywhere…you should totally go to Biergarten. You would at least appreciate the entertainment.

      Our interactions with the CM’s was definitely one of the more magical moments we’ve had at Disney World. It was so fantastic!

      By the way, I think this is the first post I’ve written where you aren’t the first comment. What’s up with that? Slacker!

  5. Susan Says:

    I agree that maybe they had an off day for some of the items (La Hacienda, anyone? wink!) but I think maybe you’re right that it was the time of day. Shouldn’t be, though! I still love it no matter what :b) Malcolm is so darned cute in those photos!

  6. AJRitz Says:

    Another great review – has me tempted to fiddle (again) with ADRs for our trip that is now less than two weeks away! One question – my wife and kids don’t eat pork. Were there enough beef/chicken options to make the buffet worthwhile for them?

    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! ADR’s are such a never ending process…I am constantly looking up available ones, changing mine, shuffling…it’s crazy!

      There are several beef and chicken items, as well as not-meat items, on the menu. There is obviously a lot of pork though…you might want to check out the menu on allears.net.

  7. Amber Says:

    I just have to say I LOVE reading your posts! You do such a great job! As for taking pictures. I remember the first time I started doing that my husband thought I was crazy! Now he totally appreciates it. He loves being able to see the amazing food we had and share the pictures with us – visuals are so great when describing food! I look forward to reading more pots! Can’t wait to read about Sci-Fi. We love it!

    • Thanks! It’s always good to hear that people love the blog!

      Normally, people don’t seem to think it’s too weird that I’m taking pictures of my food and the restaurant. I mean, it’s Disney World! I’m usually not the only one doing it! I don’t know what was up with my table mates…they were just duds I guess!

  8. Jenn Says:

    Bummer about your table mates. It’s so much more fun when you get to strike up conversation with new folks. I’ve always thought I might like to try it here but with so many other places, it has never made it to the top of the list. Maybe some day.

    • Jenn Says:

      almost forgot!!! Haven’t had a chance to say congrats on Zinn’s arrival! Enjoy your new little one!

    • You totally hit the nail on the head! There are just too many other places to go at Epcot. Biergarten is (usually) very good…but it’s not Les Chefs or Via Napoli or whatever. If it was in one of the other parks, I think it would be way more popular, but there is just too much competition at Epcot.


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