Recommended: No for the food. Yes to see the Princesses in one swoop.
Located in Norway, but surprisingly void of Anna and Elsa, I’m torn on whether or not to recommend Akershus, which is the only character meal available in the EPCOT World Showcase.
If you are looking to collect a lot of princess autographs quickly, this would be the way to go. A number of princesses, like Snow White and Belle, are not available for very hospitable hours. Usually, you have to already know where they’ll be and line up a half an hour before they arrive to get your photo and autograph. Typically, once the princess arrives to her outdoor station, the line to meet her has already been cut off. Then, if it rains, the character doesn’t come out at all. So, when thinking of Arkerhus in those terms, it is an easy way to meet five princesses in one shot.
They say the line up can change any time, but these are the princesses that we saw:
Snow White only hangs around in EPCOT these days, and she is one of those weather-permitting princesses. We’ve had trouble getting to her in the past, which is what brought us to Akershus in the first place.
However, be warned that there are NO Photo Pass photographers once you get to your table, so you will be on your own there. There are also a lot of tables crammed into a little bit of building (Akershus was clearly built before Disney World saw the volume of tourist that is does today), so getting great pictures that show off the princesses beautiful dresses will not be a likely possibility.
We also felt very rushed with the time the princesses gave our table. Much like Chef Mickey’s, we got about 2 minutes per princess in. It was, hello, hugs, autograph, pose for photos, and goodbye. They keep these characters on too tight of a schedule, it would be nice if the kids could have a few more sentences with each one and create a stronger memory of the event (like my daughter training squirrels with Rapunzel or teaching yoga to Merida).
The Akershus building is magnificently beautiful. It feels like an Old World castle that has been refurbished by a modern owner. As you can see in the photograph above, the walls are stone, and put together in an uneven, ancient architecture type of style (something like Merida’s castle, I suppose).
The artwork on the walls ranged from tapestry and flags to very somber paintings.
And even the roof was magnificent. My daughter said it looked like Elsa’s snowflake. While the waiter denied any resemblance, I’d be surprised if the designers of Frozen didn’t find some inspiration in this building.
The food is where the experience gets iffy for me. Norwegian food is weird, if not gross. At Akershus, there is a set price, and that include the salad bar, an entree, and a plate of three Norwegian desserts for the table. Here’s a not-too-great picture of the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast.
It came with potato dumpling and Brussels sprouts, but they had been cooked (boiled?) until they tasted the same with the same bland texture. Definitely not my favorite meal from Disney, although my father highly recommended the meatballs.
The dessert portion of the meal was interesting. They brought out two sets of the desserts, which included a piece of Apple Cake (not my cup of tea, personally), Chocolate Mousse (amazing, actually), and Rice Cream (no, not Ice Cream, a tapioca kind of warm, solid, goop – not a fan!). Having two sets of desserts for five people, and only one of those desserts being any good, essentially leads to a fight over the Chocolate Mousse. That is worth the fight, fork your children if you have to so that you can try a piece! haha. But, really, it would have been nice if everyone has a smaller sized sampler plate than making everyone share. I actually missed out on the photo opp here, but I found a picture from DisneyFoodBlog.com to share.
I also didn’t appreciate that we were a party of 5, we had made reservations months in advance, and we were crammed into a table for four. There was not enough room for plates, the kids had to climb over people to get to the princesses, and the room we were in (the rounded room in the castle tower portion) was already a tight enough space without putting someone on the end like a baby in a high chair. That was very poor dining management from whomever decided to seat us there…
So, if you’re looking for a good place to eat, skip Akerhus, there is much better places in the World Showcase. If you’re looking for a guaranteed slew of princesses, this is your best bet in EPCOT. It just depends on what you’re looking for.