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We recently told you about how Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort was reopening. Well, we were able to finally get a reservation for the restaurant and visited it on our last trip. And we can’t wait to tell you about it!
About Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
One reason why I love visiting the World Showcase at Epcot theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is the great food. The different country pavillions have outstanding restaurants with delicious cuisine from their country. It is a wonderful way to enjoy some of your favorite dishes from different countries – or to try different cuisines that you’re not as familiar with.
And this brings me to Akershus. My family is not particularly familiar with Norwegian cuisine. So we were really excited to try Norwegian food.
But here’s what makes Akershus unique among Epcot World Showcase restaurants. You not only get to enjoy cuisine from their pavilion’s country of Norway. But it is also a Disney character dining experience!
Yes, at Akershus multiple Disney Princesses step by your table during your meal. So it’s like a combination Epcot World Showcase restaurant and a character buffet dining experience.
So in that sense, it is perhaps the most kid-friendly of the Epcot World Showcase restaurants. Especially if you have a child who loves the Disney princesses.
Which is of course not to say that adults can’t enjoy the Disney character experience. On the contrary. I for one love to see the Disney characters and get the photos despite that I am, well, let’s just say a little bit older than a kid.
But yes, this is a restaurant that adults can enjoy whether or not they enjoy character interactions and kids can enjoy whether or not they enjoy exotic cuisines.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall has a wonderful castle feel to it. You really felt like you had stepped into a luxurious European castle.
I mean, you felt like you were walking into a fairy tale right when you walked in.
But at the same time, the restaurant definitely has a Norwegian feel.
So it is a wonderful blend.
I also really liked the music. They played instrumentals of Disney songs. They had an upscale, royal feel while still having that Disney feel. Songs we heard included “Little April Shower” from Bambi, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” from Cinderella, and “Heigh Ho” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
During the pandemic, Disney stopped its international program. When you went to one of the pavilions at the World Showcases, you did not get cast members from the country’s pavilion. This was a bit of a shame since you can learn so much from these cast members.
So I am really happy that now when you eat at Akershus, you get Norwegian servers! Having not had this available, I really appreciate it even more now.
Our server was from Norway, and he was great. He shared all kinds of stories from his childhood and gave us cultural context for a lot of the foods.
In addition to getting to learn from your Norwegian servers, you also get to have great interactions with Disney characters in this dining experience. The princesses who were there when we were there were Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, Snow White, and Ariel (in human form rather than mermaid form).
The character interactions are really great. The princesses were really great and stayed in character. They’d tell stories fitting for their characters, like Jasmine would talk about Abu.
You can get your picture with the princess or you can just get a picture of the princess, whichever you want. They are really nice about it. You can also get the princesses to sign an autograph book. So you might want to buy a Disney autograph book before you go to avoid paying the higher prices when you are at the parks.
One note about the princesses. The princesses leave at 8:00 PM. So if that is a big part of why you want to attend Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, make sure you book your reservation for an earlier time rather than a later time.
Family Style Meal
One way that dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a bit different than other buffets is that it is a family-style buffet. What that means is that you don’t get up from your table and pick out which food you want. Instead, you sit at your table and the food comes to you. They’ll bring out all the food and your family can try it. You can then ask for seconds (or thirds and so on) for any dish you love more than others.
There are advantages to this. Mainly that you don’t have to keep getting up. First of all, you walk around enough at Disney World. It’s nice to get off your feet for a while.
But more importantly, this also means you won’t have to worry that you’re going to miss any character interaction. The characters will come to you. And you should be there, so you’ll know you can meet all of them.
Salad & Bread
The meal begins with a salad and bread.
The salad was a Field Greens Salad with Lingonberry Vinaigrette.
The salad was very good. I had never had a Lingonberry Vinaigrette before. In fact, I wans’t familiar with Lingonberry at all. But I rather liked the Lingonberry Vinaigrette. It had a good, delicate taste that didn’t overpower the salad.
The tomatoes were also good and stood out. Additionally, the pickled cucumbers were good. And my family doesn’t normally like cucumbers. But these were different. Better than regular cucumbers, in our opinion.
Now, when I say they brought out bread, I didn’t mean just any bread. I actually meant Lefse with Cardamom-Cinnamon Butter!
This is really neat and very unique to the Norway Pavilion at Disney World. In fact, I had only had this once before. It was actually at Disney World at the bakery in the Norwegian Pavilion, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.
It’s a really neat food. You get to spread the butter on bread and then roll it up.
It’s really delicious. It’s kind of like a crepe.
This is also where it was neat that we had a server from Norway. He talked about his family would have Lefses with goat cheese, cinnamon, sugar, flour, and butter, and have it as a meal. It was really neat to give the food we were eating some cultural context.
But of course, you want more than just the first course to be good. It’s really important the main course is good since it is, well, the main course!
Luckily, it was!
Let me start with the Grilled Salmon with Herbed Butter. I thought it was so delicious! I wouldn’t even say that salmon is my favorite fish. But I found myself getting seconds…and seconds…until I had to ask the server to bring out more. It was just so good. The herbed butter really added.
Another great entree option is the traditional KjØttkake, or Norwegian Meatballs. The meatballs were good and flavorful without being too spicy. It was pretty soft, too. And it tasted good with the mashed potatoes.
Which brings me to the mashed potatoes. They also had Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, which were good as well (and even better with the meatballs).
Green Beans were also brought out during this course. We loved them. They were crips, not too chewy, and flavorful in a really great way.
The Macaroni & Cheese was also delicious, as in melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Another item available is the Kylling og Melboller. This is Norwegian Chicken and Dumplings. We were a bit mixed on this. Some in my table while others felt it lacked flavor, but others liked it a lot.
Another item we were mixed about was the cabbage. Some felt it was the ideal cabbage, while others didn’t like it (though they weren’t fans of cabbage to begin with).
The Royal Chef’s Dessert Plate
The last part of the meal is the The Royal Chef’s Dessert Plate. Your server will bring you out an assortment of Norwegian-inspired Desserts.
One of these desserts is a rice cream dessert with strawberry sauce. It was delicious with a wonderful strawberry flavor. I had never had a dessert like this before and it almost looked like ice cream. But don’t expect ice cream because it doesn’t taste like it. It is a wonderful taste though. We ate all of it.
The other dessert was a Chocolate Roulade with a lingonberry cream. Even though I love chocolate, the cream turned out to be my favorite part. This desert was really good. It had a wonderful blend of flavor.
I am a big fan of desserts and I found the desserts to be delicious. But what I found even neater was that I got to eat desserts I was unfamiliar with. It was neat to learn more about Norwegian desserts.
My family absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. It is a perfect blend of a Disney experience and a great Epcot World Showcase experience. You can meet Disney characters and have that experience. But you also get to try new Norwegian foods while being served by Norwegian servers. So it is really great on a lot of levels. And the food is delicious! So while the price of this meal is high ($63 for adults and kids ages 10 years old and older and $41 for children ages three to nine), it is worth it for such ana amazing experience.
Please note that you will need tickets to Epcot in order to go to this restaurant. And while tickets also can be expensive, there is a way to save money on your tickets. Find out how to get discounted Disney World tickets here.