My Latest Kosher Disney Experience: Biergarten – Part I

August 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm 1 comment

Back in January 2011, I had a new kosher dining experience in Walt Disney World. Prior to this visit, the only kosher experiences I’ve had were counter service meals and character breakfast buffets. But this trip was different. This wasn’t just a bring-the-kiddies-to-watch-Dad-act-like-one-of-them trips. I’m running a marathon. My first marathon. A Disney marathon. This was unlike any trip I had taken before, and it deserved something different and special.

So, I decided that I was going to set up a post-race, celebratory dinner in Epcot.

Why Epcot? Is it because of the unique international culinary cuisine of World Showcase? Nope. The dining experience of World Showcase is fairly lost on the kosher park-hopper. (Don’t get me started on my rant about World Showcase changing from the international, multicultural attraction is was in the 1980’s to the “Food Court Around the World” it is today. Maybe for another day…) No, it was because my family and my running buddy’s family would be spending the day in Epcot after crossing the finish line, and location was king for this meal.

So, a few weeks prior to my trip, I called the Advanced Dining Reservation line for WDW to make a dinner reservation for two families – four adults and four kids. Since the cuisine doesn’t matter – table service kosher meals are all the same no matter the venue – I was most interested in having something to wow everyone, and the only attraction in a table service restaurant in Epcot I could think of is Chef Remy at Les Chefs de France. The Cast Member on the other end of the ADR line reminded me that Sundays is the rodent chef’s day off, so I no longer had any real preference as to where to plant ourselves for our “feast.”

However, when discussing our other options for dinner venue, something unexpected happened. The Cast Member started telling me the differences among the restaurants regarding the kosher menus. Differences? There’s a stash of kosher meals in a freezer and they thaw out what you order within 24 hours of your reservation (which is why kosher meals are the only meals in the parks that have a full penalty for cancelling within 24 hours). Why would there be differences? For example, she told me that while San Angel Inn in Mexico had the Honey Glazed Chicken, Ginger Glazed Salmon and Lasagna meals, Rose & Crown in the U.K. had those three meals plus Brisket of Beef. This made no sense to me, but I assumed it was a computer thing and not an actual food or restaurant issue (evidence would come later to prove my thinking correct). I decided not to force the issue and I’d play along.

I asked the helpful Cast Member, “Okay, which table service restaurant has the most options available for our kosher menu?”

The answer?

“Biergarten.”

You got it. Of all places, Germany was the place where kosher-eating Jews can have the widest selection of kosher meals. So, eight Jews were going to descend on the Bavarian Village in the Germany Pavilion and have glatt kosher meals served to them by Deutschstämmige servers while celebrating with the traditional Oktoberfest band. Insert your own comment about the irony.

And so the ADR was solidified. Dinner for eight at Biergarten in Epcot for our post-marathon celebration. However, I didn’t leave my orders for meals yet for two reasons:

1. I needed to get everyone’s requests.
2. Just in case I would need to cancel, I didn’t want to leave my credit card with Disney just yet.

All I would need to do is call in our orders at some point before the 24 prior mark and we’d be good to go.

Stay tuned…

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Entry filed under: Epcot, Kosher, Travel, Walt Disney World.

Shabbat of Magic My Latest Kosher Disney Experience: Biergarten – Part II

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