The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is one of the more popular table service restaurants in Epcot for a number of reasons. Even before Frozen came along, the Norwegian pavilion attracted large numbers of guests due to both its attraction and its restaurant. But if Akershus has nothing to do with Frozen, why is it so popular? Let’s take a look.
8. Early Entry into World Showcase
Even though World Showcase opens at 11am, guests can still book a breakfast reservation before then and get early access to this section of Epcot. While nothing else will be open, you’ll get to walk through the pavilion without the large crowds. The buffet style meal consists of mostly American dishes like eggs, bacon and sausage with some bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon thrown in. This appeals to early risers and picky eaters who aren’t ready yet to try Norwegian cuisine.
7. Taste of Norway Buffet
For lunch and dinner seatings, the Taste of Norway buffet offers and all-you-can-eat (but really shouldn’t) array of Norwegian seafood, cheeses, and cold meats along with fruit and salad. This serves as your pre-meal appetizer so while you can go back for seconds, you’ll want to leave room for the main course.
6. Norwegian Dishes
When it comes to the lunch and dinner entrees, Akershus has something for every palate. Of course pan-seared salmon is featured, along with traditional Kjottkake (meatballs), goat cheese ravioli, slow-cooked beef sandwiches, and for dinner you can also get a New York Strip steak or go for the more traditional Vilt Lapskaus, or a venison stew with vegetables and cabbage. Kids get their own menu of more recognizable dishes like meatballs, macaroni and cheese and chicken, but also have a salmon dish created just for them.
5. The Royal Chef’s Dessert Plate
For dessert, guests get not one, but three Norwegian desserts at the end of their meal. These include chocolate mousse, rice cream with strawberry sauce, and apple cake topped with whipped cream. The portion size is just right and a great finale to your royal experience.
4. Specialty Drinks
This one is for adults. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is also host to a variety of specialty drinks found only in restaurant. They include a variety of wine and beer drafts local to Norway, but also have their own cocktails called The Oslo, Kristiansand, and Prince of Norway. Coffee lovers can also choose the Viking Coffee to go along with their dessert and keep their energy up.
3. The Medieval Décor
Although it doesn’t look like Cinderella’s castle from the outside, Akershus is most definitely a palace. The décor is inspired by real Norwegian castles and play on styles seen in medieval architecture. The high ceilings, beams, and banners transport you back in time and there’s even an open story book on display. The tapestries add to the medieval feel and are incredibly detailed. While waiting for your food to be served, be sure to take in the scenery.
2. Free Souvenir
When you first walk into Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, you’re greeted by Princess Belle who poses for a picture with you and takes a few moments to speak with you. Later on during your meal, you get a free copy of the picture in a paper frame as a souvenir. It’s a great way to start your meal.
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1. A Parade of Princesses
Of course the number one reason Akershus is so popular in Epcot is because guests can see multiple princesses in one location. Besides Belle, princesses like Snow White, Jasmine, Aurora, Ariel, and Cinderella will wander from table to table to interact with guests. During the meal, there will also be a Princess Parade where young guests, boys and girls, are asked to join the princesses as they march around the room. It’s a great experience that gives fans of all ages some one on one time with the princesses without feeling rushed.
What also makes Akershus Royal Banquet Hall a top pick is its close proximity to Future World. Guests only need to pass through one other pavilion, Mexico, to reach it and don’t need to walk all the way to the back of World Showcase. Whatever your reason for choosing this restaurant, it will be one you’ll want to return to. Just be sure to get reservations well ahead of time as bookings fill up fast.
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