My daughter and I had dinner with the princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot’s Norway pavilion a while back and I have been meaning to share a review! So get ready for lots of cuteness and some not-so-weird Norwegian food.
Akershus is the only table service restaurant in the Norway pavilion in Disney World’s Epcot. It is also one of the only places to dine with the princesses, the other locations being Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom and 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian Resort.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served here. It is a very popular location so reservations are definitely recommended – I would suggest getting one at the 180-day window if at all possible!
The restaurant is housed in this gorgeous building and is easy to find at the front of the pavilion.
First you will check in at this podium and you may be given a buzzer. We were right on time for our fairly early 5 pm dinner reservation and we were escorted right in.
Next you will have a chance to have a group picture taken with a princess – ours was with Belle, which I think is the norm here. I was fumbling with my camera and getting my Magic Band scanned so I unfortunately didn’t get a picture.
The restaurant isn’t huge and definitely has a royal feel thanks to the chandeliers, banners and wall decorations. We were seated quickly and greeted by our server soon thereafter. All of the servers are natives of Norway and it is so much fun to ask them questions about the food and their culture.
While the food is great, without a doubt the princesses are the main attraction here. This was the first time my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter had met them (with the exception of Cinderella) and she was familiar with all of them from books and movies before we went. She was completely amazed that they were all here in one place!
The princesses started visiting our table about 30 minutes after we were seated. There were four circulating around the restaurant: Aurora, Snow White, Ariel, and Cinderella. These change often and may also include Jasmine, Mulan, or Mary Poppins.
They were all SO sweet with my little one and I loved that they got down to her level to talk with her and hug her.
At one point later in the meal, music sounded and it was announced that the “princess processional” would be starting shortly. All of the little ones gathered around the nearest princess who led them around the entire restaurant in a little parade.
When my little one disappeared around the corner with Ariel, I wasn’t sure how this would go (she was only two after all!). But she reappeared a few minutes later, all smiles and practically floating on air. 🙂
While she pranced around the table a few minutes later, my server asked if I was enjoying myself and I said I would never forget this and started getting all weepy. I was feeling so grateful that I got to share this time with my daughter while she was so little and sweet! This is Disney magic at it’s best.
The approach at Akershus is unique – the first course is an appetizer buffet, then you select an entree off of the menu, and dessert is served family style at the table. This clearly aims to please everyone, and I loved all of the options. After our server took our drink orders we were invited to visit the appetizer buffet.
I started with salad and my daughter had some bread and fresh fruit (which I didn’t get a picture of).
Then I tried some of the Scandinavian seafood on the buffet, including delicious smoked salmon and seafood salads.
There was also a selection of meats, cheeses, and some other cold salads. Everything I tried was excellent. I especially like a Norwegian specialty called Gjetost, which is a brownish cheese that is slightly sweet. I loved being able to try some different food without having to commit to an entire meal!
All of the entrees on the menu sounded tasty which made it really hard to choose. I am a seafood lover so I went with the Oven-baked Cod with Fingerling Potatoes and Garden Vegetables in a White Wine-Garlic Butter Broth. The menu changes often, so check here for the most up-to-date menu.
My fish was outstanding. It wasn’t overcooked and the sauce was delish. I was glad I didn’t get too full from the appetizers so I could eat it all! I enjoyed a glass of Savignon Blanc with it, which complemented the dish perfectly.
Many folks don’t know that you can get another entree if you don’t like your first one or want to try something different since this is an all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurant. So don’t be afraid to be adventurous here!
My daughter chose the beef with rice and veggies from the kid’s menu. Other options were meatballs, pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken and salmon. I tried some of her beef and it was tender and flavorful – I highly recommend it.
She was so in awe of the visiting princesses that she didn’t eat much. Look at that face!
Our server brought us this lovely plate of desserts to finish up our meal. It included traditional Norwegian rice cream topped with strawberry sauce, apple cake with cardamom whipped cream, and chocolate mousse.
They were all excellent and offered nice variety. I especially like the mousse and my daughter loved the rice cream. I had a cup of coffee with dessert since a non-alcoholic beverage is included with the meal.
Dinner at Akershus isn’t a cheap affair. As you can see from the receipt above, an adult meal here is $53.24. Since my daughter was under three, her meal was free. Children’s meals are around $25 here.
Since we were on the Disney Dining Plan as part of a Free Dining promotion, I was able to use one table service credit for my meal. This represents incredible value of a table service credit on the Dining Plan (get all of my advice on using the Disney Dining Plan here).
There’s not many dining experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life, even at Disney World. But the memories I have of our dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall are so precious that I hope to have them for a lifetime.
Have you dined at Akershus or do you want to? Please leave a comment below!