Are you heading to Disney World and realized that Cinderella’s Royal Table is booked solid for the week? Were you planning your Advance Dining Reservations for this January and realized that the Royal Table will be closed for refurbishment? Instead of telling little (insert child’s name) that they cannot eat with their favorite princesses; how about trying Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway at Epcot. This is a great substitute restaurant if you meet any of the criteria stated above. I recommend this restaurant for two main reasons. 1. Experience and 2. Atmosphere.
I am suggesting this restaurant for breakfast because reviews based on lunch and dinners are not the best. I tried this restaurant for the first time this past June with two adults and my four-year-old cousin. Our reservation was for 9:15 AM on a Monday morning and we arrived at Epcot at 8:50 AM. If you have an early morning reservation before park opening you will be able to take some very nice pictures inside the park before the general public is permitted in.
Atmosphere – Once we arrived at Akershus (which I don’t think I will every be able to pronounce correctly) we waited outside for about ten minutes before being escorted into the restaurant. Akershus Restaurant is a royal dining room named for the Norwegian castle that sits on Oslo Harbor. The setting is that of a medieval castle. Banners hang from the vaulted stone ceilings. Thrones line the stone walls and the different dining rooms are set apart by large stone archways. Large lead panned windows throughout the restaurant allow plenty of light into what otherwise might be a very dark dining experience.
The Princesses – Once inside, we stepped into a room where we took a picture with Belle in her beautiful yellow dress. (The picture taken is included in the price of the meal and will be brought to your table during your meal.) The main reason for coming to this restaurant is seeing the princesses and seeing your child’s eyes light up as they approach your table. The princesses that you may see are Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Mulan, and/or Mary Poppins. The princesses will appear on a rotating schedule; that is, there is no guarantee which princesses will be appearing on any given day. Please be sure to keep this in mind if your little one has her heart set on visiting with a particular princess.
I would highly recommend this restaurant if you want to try a different experience from Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom or if they are completely booked. I also recommend going for Breakfast and reserving a reservation before the park opens to the public. This restaurant will book up fast during busy seasons so 180 days ahead of time is very important.
The Food – The food offerings at Akershus are not your typical breakfast foods that you may be used to at Disney such as Mickey waffles and bacon. For the price (Adult price range: $40.46-$46.85; Child (ages 3-9) price range: $24.49-$27.68), the food was not the best that I have had but it was satisfying. But let’s be honest, food is not the reason you are here.
Breakfast at Akershus is served family style at your table, along with trips to the cold buffet. The hot items, which are brought out on a platter by your server, include scrambled eggs, cheesy potatoes, bacon, and sausage. You may ask that your dishes be replenished as often as you’d like. The distinguishing feature of Akershus is the cold Norwegian buffet or oltbordt. For breakfast it holds a buffet of cold fish and cheeses, fruit, cream cheese, yogurt, and pastries.
Summary – If your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort will not be complete without a Princess meal then Akershus may be the venue for you. Though the food is not top tier, the restaurant still offers a few advantages over other options such as Cinderella’s Royal Table. Reservations are typically easier to obtain, the pricing is a little more palatable and the dining experience is not quite as harried. The interaction with the princesses is more relaxed. After dining here, your little one will leave Akershus feeling like royalty!