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If you are looking for a great way to meet Disney princesses without waiting in long lines or using your FastPasses, then you should consider booking a character meal like the one at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavillion at Epcot. This is also a cheaper option if you don’t want to spend the extra money or use two dining credits at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the castle at the Magic Kingdom. Cinderella’s Royal Table is an amazing experience that I think everyone should try once, though. Click here to read about our experience there. Anyway, we decided to try Akershus for our daughter’s first princess character meal, and I am so glad we did! We have some wonderful pictures and memories now.
Getting to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
We decided to do breakfast for our meal at Akershus, and we opted to go at opening so that the seatings would not be behind schedule. I was able to score the Advanced Dining Reservation, or ADR, at our 180-day mark. We are planners, and I wake up early to score those reservations on our ADR day. I will say that you probably don’t need to make this reservation so far in advance unless you are trying to get a breakfast at opening. With the arrival of the attraction in Norway, Frozen Ever After, many people are trying to get a pre-park opening reservation at Akershus so they can get in line for the attraction before all the rope-drop people get there. If you are not trying to ride this attraction, you can still get ADRs pretty easily for other times of the day.
We arrived at Epcot at opening, but we did not have a pre-park opening reservation, so we waited until rope drop to make our way over to Norway. We walked briskly through Future World and entered World Showcase on the left side. We walked past Mexico to Norway and got in the check-in line. We did wait a few minutes, and in June, the morning temperatures were already rising with a healthy dose of humidity, so standing in a line outside at this point was not too pleasant, but it wasn’t unbearable, either. Let’s just say we were glad when we had checked in and our name was called.
Meeting Belle at Akershus
When you enter the restaurant, the first thing that happens is a photo op and meeting with Belle. Kristin was wearing her Belle outfit, so she got a lot of attention from Belle. Kristin also was so excited that she was having trouble holding still to take the picture! This is also the picture that will be added to your Magic Band. Belle also signed our autograph book, and soon we were shown to our table.
Breakfast at Akershus
Another reason we chose breakfast was the selection of food was more likely to satisfy my two picky eaters. I didn’t think the lunch and dinner menu would go over too well with them, even though I’m sure it’s fine for most people. We like to use All Ears for dining information. Click here to read more about the breakfast menu. You can access the most up-to-date dining information at this site. We love it!
We were seated in a little alcove of the restaurant with three tables inside. We could see the main dining room, but we weren’t really seated in the main dining room. Here is the view looking into the restaurant.
It was nice to be a little ways out of the main action. I think Kristin actually ate more food this way. Our server took our drink orders, and then we were able to visit a little cold buffet with cold meats, fruit, yogurt, and pastries. My picky eaters headed straight for the pastries. I can’t really blame them, though!
Meeting the Princesses
After our little trip to the cold bar, it was time to meet a princess! That’s the main reason we were there! Snow White appeared first.
Mary Poppins was featured on this day. She is not a regular, as I understand. We were excited to see her!
About the time of this meeting, it was time for a parade around the restaurant. Mary Poppins took Kristin by the hand for the parade. As I mentioned before, it was hard to get Kristin to hold still.
After the parade, our hot food arrived at our table. It is nice that this part of the meal is served family-style. We had scrambled eggs, sausage links, bacon, and potato casserole. The potato casserole was so cheesy and good. It was my favorite part of the breakfast!
Soon Cinderella stopped by.
We ordered seconds on the hot food, and soon Sleeping Beauty was at our table. I like that she is kind of holding Kristin still for the picture.
We finished our second helping of food, and we were stuffed! We had seen all of the princesses, and we had done a parade. Our wonderful breakfast was over.
We charged our meal to our Magic Bands. We don’t do the dining plan; we actually save gift cards for about two years to pay for our meals and tickets at Disney. After trying the dining plan once, we wanted to find a way to dine with more flexibility while still pre-paying our way. We earn a lot of gift cards through Swagbucks and other programs. We discovered that we could earn gift cards for our meals and that even saved us a lot of money! Most often, we redeem for Target gift cards and then use those to buy Disney gift cards in the actual Target store. If you are interested in earning through Swagbucks, click here on my affiliate link. Feel free to ask any questions about this in the comments of this post. I am always excited to share how we can afford to go to Disney World every other year!
When our royal dining experience was over, we hung around Norway for some photo ops. Kristin took this picture.
The Norway Pavillion is really beautiful, as are most areas in Disney!
We had a great time exploring a little, and then we actually headed back to the resort for awhile. I know this sounds crazy. We had already done an Epcot morning on a previous day, and we had Fastpasses for the evening, so we went back to rest and swim. We were staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge: Kidani Village for this trip, and it is an amazing resort. To read more about our experience at Kidani, click here. To read more about how we afford to stay at deluxe Disney resorts for about the same price as a Disney moderate resort, click here.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a wonderful way to meet Disney princesses without waiting in lines or using your FastPasses. You also get some great food while you’re there. We had a great time, and we would go again. The only problem is that Kristin isn’t quite as excited about meeting princesses as she was even just a year ago. If you’d like to read about that trip, click here. I think there is a window where the Disney magic is really present for kids, and as they get older, it becomes a little less. Don’t get me wrong; we will still meet characters and do character meals, but it’s just not as magical as she gets older. Well, it’s magical for me. Maybe the window of magic reopens after a few years. I am definitely the most excited about seeing the characters and doing the character meals. Maybe as adults we are looking for that magic of childhood again. I know I find it at Walt Disney World.