Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a magical restaurant located in the Norwegian pavilion of Epcot. This sought after restaurant has authentic Norwegian cuisine and offers the opportunity to meet and take pictures with a handful of your favorite princesses. Everything here is just wonderful, from the setting, to the food, to the characters you get to interact with. Here are seven things we love about Akershus!
7. Photo with Belle
One of the first things that happened after you are called to go into Akershus is that you get a free photo op with Belle! She is dressed to impress in her ever popular ball gown, and you are able to chat with her for a minute or two before the picture is taken. A photopass photographer is there to take the shot, so this is the real deal!
6. Eating in a Castle
Okay, so this isn’t Cinderella’s castle, but that doesn’t make it any less magical! Once you walk in, there are so many different rooms and turns that it feels like you are dining in one of many great halls in an enchanted castle. The walls have high arches linking the different rooms together with high wooden beams across the ceiling. The architecture and style of the windows make you feel like you have left America and are sitting in a Norwegian castle. If you can’t get to Cinderella’s castle, this is the next best thing!
No castle is complete without its set of princesses, and Akershus doesn’t disappoint! While all of the princesses are not guaranteed, you are likely able to meet Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, and Jasmine. Again, they do cycle out but last time I went I was able to meet and take pictures with all of them. If you really want the chance to meet the princesses but don’t want to wait in long character lines then this is definitely the spot for you.
4. Princess Parade
You can’t have all of the princesses in one spot without… you guessed it… a princess parade! During your meal, the princesses will gather up all the youngsters to parade around the tables. It’s a fun way to have the kids feel special for spending some extra time with the princesses and it’s a great way to incorporate something interactive during the meal as well.
3. Selection of food
So, on to the food! The first thing that really stands out about this restaurant in regards to food is that there is a cold buffet bar, but you also order your hot entrée from a menu. The cold bar includes various salads, cold cuts, fish, and cheese. This can serve as your appetizer or as an accompaniment to your meal. Your waiter will come over and take your order from their menu. What many people don’t realize is that you can order as much as you want from that menu! You are paying one set price for the meal (much like a buffet meal) so if you wanted to order more than one entrée then you can do it! Yum!
2. Authentic Cuisine
Unlike other character meals where you get typical American cuisine, Akershus incorporates authentic Norwegian deliciousness. The breakfast is more tame and geared towards usual American fare such as eggs, bacon and waffles. If you want something a little more adventurous, I suggest going for lunch or dinner. Here you can have anything from oven roasted chicken to pasta to traditional Norwegian meatballs called Kjøttkake. This particular dish comes with a side of lingonberry sauce and let me tell you, it is absolutely amazing. The sweetness perfectly complements the savory spices in the meatball. And for those of you with dietary restrictions, fear not! As at other restaurants on Disney property, a chef will come out and walk you through the buffet line of what you can or can’t eat, and they will go through the menu with you as well. For my particular allergies of gluten and dairy, I was able to order almost everything off the menu!
1. Delicious Desserts
Ahh, and now, the finale. After spending time with Belle, meeting all your favorite princesses, marching around in the parade and working up an appetite, it is now time to finish the meal with the most delicious desserts you can imagine. At Akershus, you get not one, not two, but three desserts presented to you at the completion of your meal. These desserts are not always the same, but oh my gosh you will love them. On our visit we got a chocolate torte, an apple cake, and rice pudding. I unfortunately wasn’t able to take part this time, so they brought me out my own separate plate filled (and I mean filled!) with allergy friendly cookies, brownies and raspberry sorbet. It was the perfect ending to an amazing meal. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Akershus. It is one place you do not want to miss!
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