The fine folks at Beers and Ears have been blogging about beer since December 2010, compiling an exhaustive list of the beers available in Walt Disney World. In January 2012 they released a free iPhone app which has been updated a few times since. After using it fairly frequently, I can highly recommend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in beer and/or Walt Disney World.
One of the app’s greatest features is that the main beers tab allows you to check off the beers you’ve had, and if you have iCloud enabled, they will be synced there as well in case something happens to your device. You can search for beers by name, by location in WDW, or by map. When you click on a beer, either from the map, main menu, or any other area of the app, you get a detailed description of the beer, a list of locations where it is served throughout WDW, and opinions on taste. Many beers have photos as well, which appear to be self-shot by the appmakers themselves.
I personally think the map is the coolest part just for the “wow” factor. The app uses a Google map showing Walt Disney World with cup icons depicting the beer-serving places. The sheer number of icons really gives you a sense of how much beer is available around WDW, and shows how glaringly dry the Magic Kingdom is. The zoom function is fairly seamless and feels very satisfying. Keep in mind that I have only used this app over my home wi-fi network and I haven’t gotten a chance to test it over 3G inside the parks.
When you tap on the cup icon on the map, you can see the name of that particular beer-serving establishment, and if you press the arrow next to the name you can see which particular beers they serve. The app was even recently updated to show the pool bar at the newly-opened Art of Animation resort (unfortunately, the beer selection there appears subpar). The “go to” button in the top right of the map allows you to search for a specific resort by name (in case you don’t happen to know exactly where Pop Century is located on a map).
You can also access an alphabetical list of all the beer-serving places by clicking the “locations” button in the top left corner of the main beers tab. Finally, the Beers and Ears folks included a tab within the app for their blog, which is helpful and gives you something fun to read while drinking your beer.
Overall, the app is smooth as silk and operates effortlessly, with no crashes, bugs, or problems that I observed. Again, I’ve only used it at home but it certainly seems stable. The check-off function and detailed beer descriptions allow you to have fun with the app wherever you’re using it. The map function seems like it would be very useful to have while in the parks, and when used at home it allows you to feel extremely sad about not being at WDW. I wish I could visit every single little cup icon.
Beer fanatics, newbies, and those somewhere in between will all find something to enjoy about the Beers and Ears app, and if you’re a Disney nut (which you probably are if you’re reading this), you’ll get an extra kick out of the super-smooth map function. And the best part? It’s completely free!
|App Name:||Beers and Ears (iTunes)|
|Available on:||iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (requires iOS 4.0 or later)|
|Overall:||Download it before your next trip!|
James King is a fun-loving character who wishes he could just ride Space Mountain all day, every day, instead of sitting in his office at work. He first visited WDW as a young teen but didn’t really catch the Disney bug until a more recent trip with his wife Estelle Hallick, when he realized that you don’t have to grow up just because you grow older. He loves to play video games and listen to loud music in his free time but nothing compares to the joys of roaming the Disney parks with his beautiful wife. When’s the next trip again? James regularly writes on This Happy Place Blog, and you can follow him on twitter.