There is nothing quite like eating at Walt Disney World. With its huge variety of restaurants and menus, you would be hard-pressed for even the finickiest eater not able to please his palette. Any reader of my articles knows that my wife and I are regular diners here at Disney. One of our favorite places is the Biergarten in Germany at EPCOT. This cozy and warm setting is themed like, what else but an authentic German Pub and Restaurant.
Now one thing must be remembered: German food is good solid, rib-sticking food. It is robust in flavor and texture, and includes a lot of meat, notably sausages and wieners at the front. The Germans are world-renowned for their worst and game meats. When we first decided to eat at Germany, my wife was a bit reluctant. She is sort of a fussy eater and was not too sure about the menu. Not to pass up a Disney eatery, she tried it and it is now one of her favorites. But one of the best things about eating at Germany is not just the food, but a hidden little gem of a floor show that is performed nightly by the German band the “Oktoberfest Musikanten. There are traditional German songs and you will see a performer ringing out a song on a table full of different sized bells, slowly at first, than more rapidly as he goes on. It is truly amazing how fast he can ring them. There are also times when three Alpine climbers will play the super-long Alpine Horns, all this in a party Atmosphere, which is what all German Biergartens are famous for.
Germany, like all of Disney’s restaurants is themed. When you walk in you are transported to an outdoor Biergarten, complete with a beautiful full moon rising, looking up toward the right side. All of the buildings surrounding the stage are perfect replicas of the architecture found in any Baverian hamlet in Germany. The tables around the stage are in a horseshoe shape, starting from stage level to the top, in terrace fashion. The buffet is on the top. Now the seating is family-style. This means that you may be seated with other guests at the table. The only problem is that some guests may not like sharing a table with strangers, but my wife and I have meet many interesting people and we had a good time. But if you are visiting the World without children, you may get a table with a lot of kids, and if the parents do not supervise them, it can get a bit noisy. But once the band starts playing and everyone starts raising a stein of beer or any beverage as the band ergs you on to the traditional German “Prost” you quickly get caught up in the fun! Even the kids start dancing when the band plays. Also, you can count on a few Polkas to keep the feet moving.
Now on to my favorite part of the restaurant: The Food. This is buffet-style and there is plenty of variety, and as with all of the Table service we have sampled, the food is hot, fresh and simply delicious! The menu includes: Assorted breads, red cabbage, German sausages, wursts, pork, chicken, meatballs, cold meat platters, Sauerbraten and Salmon, Potatoes, vegetables and of course my wife’s favorite, Spatzle and German potato salad, bean and beet salads. One of my favorite German dishes served is the Pork Schnitzel with Hunters sauce. There is also mixed greens for salads and herb and Tarragon dressing. And for the younger kids, there are Mac and Cheese and chicken tenders. The dessert bar which is decadent offers famous German Apple strudel, Black Forest cake, Bavarian Cheesecake and Linzer Tortes. After or before dinner, indulge in a Stein of German beer, or mixed drink of your choice. There is of course, Water, soda, tea and coffee. The German Biergarten has everything you could want in a restaurant: Atmosphere, Food, Entertainment and lots of fun.
A bit of trivia about the Biergarten: Oktoberfest was started in Germany on October 17th, 1810. It was a celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig l of Bavaria to Princess Theresa of Sachen-Hindburghausen. It was the largest public celebrations that Munich has ever seen. The traditional Oktoberfest runs 16 days from late September to early October. And as in the Biergarten in EPCOT, it is Fun, food and of course, Steins and Steins of German Beer.
The Biergarten accepts the Disney Dining plan for 20% off the meal. Beverages are purchased separately. Reservations are strongly suggested. There is a Lunch and Dinner Buffet offered. Certain items on the Dinner menu are not on the Lunch menu. Dinner prices as of March 2007 are: Adults $23.99-Children age 3-9 $11.99. Lunch: Adults $19.99-Children age 3-9 $10.99. Lunch is from 12pm to 3:45pm and Dinner is from 4pm till park closing. So for a little entertainment with your meal and if you feel like hoisting a 33oz Stein filled with authentic German Beer, look no further than the Biergarten in Germany; that is Germany in EPCOT.