Happy Magical Monday! Today, I am excited to share my favorite princess dining experience- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall! This Princess Storybook Dining experience features a rotating group of princesses, so you’ll never be guaranteed to see any one in particular. However, I love the atmosphere, menu, and the special parade!
You’ll begin your princess adventure by adventuring to Norway in EPCOT. This will soon be home to the new Frozen ride. But, until then, you can walk through a small building that houses some of the inspirations of Frozen. It’s pretty interesting to walk through once, but nothing exceptional. You’ll check in outside the restaurant. At this point you’ll want to be sure that your family has been correctly identified as having an allergy. (You can do this online under Special Requests or over the phone when you make your reservation. A bright red allergy stamp will appear on your meal ticket.
Once your party is called inside, you’ll wait to see your first princess, who will have her own PhotoPass photographer. It’s a pretty background, and the line includes a little story to make the day even more magical.
Now, as I said, the food was my favorite part. Our visit was the first day of the new menu, so I’m not certain how often it changes. However, there were many allergy friendly options. The first course (appetizers) are served on a buffet. After speaking to a chef, he brought out all the appetizers I could enjoy from the back. And, most of the appetizers were gluten free (a few had my other allergens in them.) Do not eat off the buffet, there is bread up there, which would be a cross-contact nightmare!
I also had a wide array of choices for my entrée. While only one dish was labelled as gluten, dairy, and egg free, the chef offered to modify almost every one. I personally chose the salmon, which was labelled GF, DF, and EF. The cool thing about Akershus is that they put a lot of work into their allergen menu. Any dish you see on the allergy menu is NOT the same as the dish on the regular menu.
As you can see, my mom’s salmon is significantly different than my allergen one. I appreciate this allergen menu because they strived to make so many dishes avoid many of the top allergens. And, it means that the dishes are more cohesive, rather than plain steaks without the sauce. So, this was by far my favorite aspect of dining at Akershus.
My sister loved her entrée too. Her sandwich was huge, but she ate the whole thing anyway.
For dessert, there is a prepared assortment of Norwegian inspired treats. This part of the meal is of course gluten-filled, but they looked tasty!
I, of course, was given another dessert. Sorbet! While most trips I become sick of sorbet and opt out of my appetizer, I hadn’t had it in awhile. And, I must say it was a refreshing way to finish off my meal!
Now, let’s not forget the princesses! Not only do they come around to your table. We saw Belle, Snow White, Aurora, and Cinderella. But, there is also a Princess Parade, where everyone joins in to march around the restaurant. It’s pretty cute, and fun for kids of all ages! Finally, every trip to EPCOT brings new excitement. Last year, I visited during the Wine and Dine Festival, and this year we were there for the International Flower and Garden Festival. Flip through the gallery to see a few of the sculptures we saw around the park!
To wrap up, I was impressed by how the chef hand delivered and returned to check on me after every meal. This was the same as Cinderella’s Royal Table. The benefit to Akershus was a more naturally allergen friendly menu leading to more menu selections. However, if you dine at either location, you really can’t go wrong!