One of the perks of moving to Florida a couple of years ago is the ability to be Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World. And one of the perks of being AP holders is an ability to take little short trips here and there to WDW to get our fix.
We’ve been blessed to have taken six trips to WDW since moving to Pensacola. Some people think that’s a bit excessive (I’m looking at you, Herman Fuselier!)
Some people wonder how we don’t get bored of seeing the same things over and over. The answer to that is pretty simple. Every trip, we make it a point to see something new, ride something new and eat somewhere new.
This past trip, that somewhere new was Biergarten in the Germany pavilion in Epcot.
It’s always been a place that’s intrigued me, but because of my finicky nature when it comes to food, I was always scared to branch out and try it.
After some urging from people who’ve been before, and a couple of glances at the menu (meats, meats and more meats), I decided to skip out on our old tried-and-true Via Napoli for the country next to it.
My first impression upon entering Biergarten is that it definitely takes you to another place. Unlike other restaurants that still have views of outside, this place is completely Germany inside. From a working watermill to a faux sky that even has a moon, you feel like you’re not in Epcot anymore.
First things first, Biergarten is family-style seating. If you’re not familiar with that, it’s a table of eight (or 12 for bigger tables) and you’re sitting with other couples/families, depending on your party size. We were sitting two other couples — one older couple and one newlywed couple.
Now, my kids aren’t angels, but they’re also very well-mannered and polite kids. I heard one of the older couple say “Oh great, we have to sit next to kids.” The waitress was going to sit us in the middle with the two couples on either side, but I told the couples to sit together and we’d sit on the end. I think it actually worked out better that way, because the two couples spent most of the meal ignoring us and talking amongst themselves.
Just keep that in mind if you’re going by yourself or as a small family. It’s hit-or-miss from what I hear. You could either get seated with two couples who don’t like kids, or get seated with a similar family. I wish that were more consistent. But anyway.
Biergarten is an all-you-care-to-eat (when did they start using that PC term?) establishment. Two sides to choose from, both sides serve the same thing. Scope out the sides and go to the shorter line (usually the left).
It’s hearty German food, so expect roasted chicken, pork roast, sausages and brats, schnitzel, spaetzle, etc. There’s a pretty wide assortment of salads, as well.
As scared as I was to eat there, I was in heaven:
As you can see, not a single green thing on that plate. I’ve got some meatballs, roasted potatoes, sausage, pretzel bread, regular bread, roasted chicken, more sausage, and macaroni with cheese custard (kinda weird, but OK). What you don’t see is the pork roast I’ve already devoured.
All of it was pretty good. The sausage was delicious, and coming from Cajun country, that says a lot. The only thing I would say didn’t really do it for me was the meatball. The sauce was pretty good, but the meatball itself lacked flavor.
Desserts there were really good too. I had some warm apple cobbler with a vanilla sauce on top. I also sampled some vanilla pudding and black forest cake with cherries.
All in all, I would have to say that Biergarten was one of the best meals I’ve had in Disney. The kids agreed, with both of them making return trips to the buffet for their favorites.
Of course one of the highlights of the experience was the musical performance. They perform every hour beginning at 1:15 p.m. So that’s an inside tip, if you want to see the show, you may want to consider a 12:30 p.m. ADR. We did 12 p.m. and ended up having to wait around for 15 minutes for it to start.
It was well worth the wait, though. The show lasted about 30 minutes and included some polka, dueling cowbells and those Ricola horns. My youngest son couldn’t resist the temptation to go out and dance, and before I knew it, he and my wife were cutting a rug (or banging the hardwood).
Overall, I’d have to give the experience an 8 out of 10. I have to take a point off for seating arrangements because I could see a situation where that might ruin an otherwise good experience.
I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to take a little bit of a break in Epcot during the day. You can easily take an hour and a half here and have a good meal and great atmosphere at a decent price.