Biergarten Review


Biergarten is a buffet restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase Germany at Walt Disney World that is set in the middle of a Bavarian Village celebrating Oktoberfest year round. Biergarten serves authentic German cuisine for lunch and dinner (menu). At the center of the village is a stage where costumed musicians perform traditional Oktoberfest entertainment and where guests can get up and fun fun on the dance floor. Biergarten is a 1-credit restaurant on the Disney Dining Plan, and also accepts Tables in Wonderland. As a buffet, it’s priced slightly below average for a table service restaurant, making it a good option if you’re paying out of pocket, but a poor option for maximizing your value on the Disney Dining Plan.

Biergarten is an interesting restaurant. The exterior is somewhat understated, with only the painted name of the restaurant above a small archway at the back of Epcot’s Germany pavilion. However, once you step inside, you’re inundated by the sounds of the traditional oompah music, other entertainment, and a Bavarian Village setting (outside, no less!). The seating is communal, which may not appeal to all patrons, but was fine by us. The other guests at our table chatted with us throughout the meal and we had a good time. If you’re looking for a romantic meal or are shy, this may not be the best dining option for you.

This review covers two visits to Biergarten, the most recent of which occurred in Fall 2014, after which this review was updated/basically re-written… (more…)

Best Disneyland Christmas Snacks

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One of my favorite things about Disneyland Resort at Christmas is the food. Yeah, yeah, “it’s a small world” holiday, Haunted Mansion Holiday, and World of Color – Winter Dreams are all good, but is there really as big of an E-Ticket at the Plaza Inn Yule Log? Is there anything more ‘magical’ than playing with goats and then heading to the Big Thunder Ranch for Peppermint Ice Cream and Brownie Skillet? Not only are there a lot of great desserts at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for Christmas, but there are interesting special items available for the holidays.

Eating all of the special Christmas menu items at Disneyland Resort would be a herculean task, and this is a task we’ve proudly(?) attempted to undertake in the name of research. There are probably an upwards of 40 special menu items available for Christmas each year, with most on special placard menus at the restaurants. Many of these items ostensibly have nothing to do with Christmas (like the Hot Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich at Jolly Holiday Cafe). Others sound delicious in theory, but are sort of duds (like the Golden Horseshoe Ice Cream Nachos). Others still just sound like really bad ideas (like the Cherry Cobbler Flatbread at Village Haus).

This post takes a look at some of our favorites that we recommend seeking out if you have the chance…

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Yule Log – Any day of the year, Plaza Inn is a gift to mankind thanks to its amazing fried chicken. During November and December, it approaches dangerous levels of awesomeness due to the fried chicken plus the Yule Log. How does the Yule Log taste? Succinctly put, the yule log had us saying “yum” and “wow” about every seven seconds! Less succinctly put, the Yule Log is the perfect combination of sponge cake and cream, with rich pumpkin or chocolate mousse. None of the flavors overpowers or is too rich, meaning a single guest can easily conquer this entire largely-sized dessert. Usually, November is a pumpkin yule log and December is a coffee or chocolate one. Plan trips both months to try them each. Worth the airfare. (more…)

The Disney Jumbo Turkey Leg Review

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I have a confession: until recently, I had never consumed a jumbo turkey leg at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or any other Disney park. Don’t get me wrong, I am an avid carnivore and a huge fan of eating large chunks of meat off the bone, but something about the turkey leg just looked…unappetizing. However, since I always want to do what the cool kids are doing, and since I wanted a somewhat fitting post for Thanksgiving, I decided to give one a try. This post covers my review of the ubiquitous Disney turkey jumbo leg, plus about 900 words of filler since the review itself only needs to be like 2 sentences.

First, let’s start with a bit of unnecessary background. According to a recent New York Times article, the turkey leg made its Walt Disney World debut in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom near the Big Al stand in the 1980s. As a Country Bear Jamboree fan, I could not be any prouder that the prolific history of this snack involves the Magic Kingdom’s most storied attraction. I’m also not surprised that Big Al is mentioned in the same sentence as the jumbo turkey legs. He seems like a jumbo turkey leg kind of bear. Since every red-blooded American enjoys a good piece of bone-in meat from time to time, the turkey legs were an immediate sensation, and eventually became somewhat of a culinary symbol of the Disney Parks, much like the churro.

As an “eating things that are awful for you” craze swept America in the 2000s, sales of the turkey leg exploded, with an estimated two million plus turkey legs sold per year in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. With this has come coverage in mainstream media, as well as controversy from animal welfare groups that have wondered just what kind of mutant turkey is producing legs that large. I remain fearful of the day one of these artificially bred turkeys is fed after midnight and transforms into something truly terrifying. (more…)

Yak & Yeti Restaurant Review

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Yak and Yeti Restaurant is a table service dining spot in Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World serving Pan-Asian cuisine. This review covers the lunch and dinner menu at Yak & Yeti, and includes photos from our meal at the restaurant. Here’s some standard background info about Yak & Yeti: it participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service meal, but does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. Yak & Yeti does, however, offer a 10% Annual Passholder discount. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it is a moderate pick in terms of value if you’re looking to maximize your bang for buck on the Dining Plan. It also participates in Landry’s Select Club. If you don’t know what that is, good for you.

When is “I didn’t hate it” praise rather than a thinly-veiled insult? Well, here it is praise. I fully expected to dislike Yak & Yeti, or at least expect it to not live up to my low expectations for it. This is because Yak & Yeti is part of the dreaded Landry’s restaurant group. Not that every restaurant in the Landry’s portfolio is awful (far from it), but it seems Landry’s has a habit of buying out successful independent restaurants, and…to keep this succinct…let’s just describe it as reducing their quality. Suffice to say, I’m not a fan of Landry’s.

“That restaurant got a lot better after Landry’s took over” is one of those ‘said no one ever’ type of quotes. Some Landry’s restaurants, like Rainforest Cafe, succeed with their interesting premise, but often fail when it comes to cuisine. Other Landry’s restaurants are former fine dining locales that still offer good food, but have dumbed down their menus to offer something less sophisticated or of lower quality than it was previously.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Yak & Yeti, but I wasn’t expecting much. My expectations were exceeded as soon as a I walked inside to find an incredibly detailed restaurant… (more…)

Top 5 Bakeries at Disney World

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Fans of baked goods and desserts rejoice, as here’s our top 5 best bakeries at Walt Disney World! All participate in the Disney Dining Plan with both snacks and counter service meals offered. Notable about this list is that every single location here is located in the Crescent Lake Resort Area (or Epcot Resort Area), with no locations being in the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or any of the resort hotels in the area.

While the Magic Kingdom used to have one of the best bakeries in the Main Street Bakery, since it converted to a Starbucks location, its menu has been a subpar and generic mix of Starbucks desserts, and options like Gaston’s Tavern and Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery simply have too thin of menus to really compete with the other entries on this list. In fact, outside of the locations on this list, there are few spots at Walt Disney World with enough menu options to really qualify as standout bakeries. There are many spots with a couple of standout items, but few locations with heavy-hitting bakery menus.

As big fans of desserts and sweets, this is a bit disappointing, although probably a good thing for both our wallets and our waistlines, as it’s probably for the best that we can’t do a daily “Walt Disney World Bakery Hop” on our trips. As much as we might lobby for cupcakes being made their own food group at the top of the food pyramid, you’re still only “supposed” to have 4 servings of cupcake per day, and we would definitely exceed that amount if more bakeries would around Walt Disney World. ;)

With that said, here is our list of the top bakeries at Walt Disney World. Below each pick is a brief synopsis as to why it makes the list… (more…)