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The Princess Storybook Breakfast at Akershus: A Walt Disney World Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 06-26-2014
For as long as I can remember, the breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table in the castle at the Magic Kingdom has been the hottest ticket if you want to start the day by dining with the Disney princesses.
However, Cindy's hass never done much for me, despite its wonderful setting. Instead, I've always preferred the Princess Storybook Breakfast held at Restaurant Akershus in Norway, Epcot.
We hadn't been to Akershus in a while, so on our most recent visit to Walt Disney World, I thought it was about time to put that right. We were on the Deluxe Dining Plan, and I figured it would be a good use of one credit, given that breakfast here would otherwise have cost us $39.99 on the day we dined. Like many other character meals, the price can vary by season, with the rule of thumb being that if it's peak period, it's also peak pricing.
Although the line to get into Restaurant Akershus looked daunting when we arrived, we were quickly seen and taken inside, where the first princess we met was Belle, who was greeting guests for the "official" photo. I was impressed by the fact that this photo was included in the price, but then again, you do pay a lot for the privilege of having breakfast here, so I guess you should get something in return.
On the morning we dined at Akershus, the other princesses in residence were Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel. Not long after we arrived, they did a cute procession through the restaurant with the children, which was a nice touch, and they also make the traditional visit to each table.
While we enjoy the opportunity to meet the characters without a long wait in line, we also enjoy having a good meal. So how did Akershus perform on this front? Breakfast is all-you-can-eat, although there's a difference between hot and cold items. If you want hot items, then your server will bring those to your table. Because I don't eat meat, I got a separate plate with just the scrambled egg and potato casserole, but the usual "pre-plate" also adds in sausage and bacon.
However, for me, it's the cold offerings that I love. In keeping with the Norwegian location, there's smoked salmon, peppered mackerel, tomato herring, and best of all, lots of cheese, including my favorite, Jarlsberg. I first sampled this many years ago at Akershus and fell in love with the stuff. We're lucky enough to be able to get that cheese in our local supermarket, so it's something we now get to enjoy at home -- a little taste of Akershus whenever we're not at Disney!
There’s also a yogurt and bagel station, along with various offerings of fruit, assorted cream cheeses, cereal, preserves and jelly, but perhaps the most popular part of the morning buffet is the section dedicated to baked goods. As well as the more traditional items, such as apple turnovers, cinnamon rolls, croissants, and cherry Danish, you can also find some unusual items, like lingonberry muffins. Not sure what a lingonberry is? Neither was I when we first visited Akershus, but I quickly fell in love with the things. Lingonberries grow wild throughout Scandinavia, and they’re a distant cousin of cranberries, but are smaller and juicier. If you get a chance to try anything with lingonberries in, definitely give it a go. It’s a very pleasant taste, although slightly unusual.
One piece of advice I can give you about the buffet is that, if you’re not interested in the princess parade, or perhaps your children have already participated in an earlier one during the meal, then it’s a great time to go up and get what you want to sample. We found the lines almost non-existent during the procession.
One of the other wonderful things about dining at Akershus is the interaction you can enjoy with your servers. I’m sure with the advent of Frozen, the Norwegian servers probably get a lot more questions about their beautiful homeland. Having been fortunate to visit it twice (once to Oslo only, where we visited the original Akershus castle, and one on a cruise along the Norwegian fjords), we’ve had some wonderful conversations with servers over the year about their country, although sadly on our most recent visit, the server we had was in training, and didn’t really engage with us as much as some others have.
Despite the fact that our most recent breakfast at Akershus felt very relaxed, and we certainly weren’t rushed at any stage of the meal, we were surprised by how quickly we saw all the princesses. Just over half an hour after being seated, we'd had visits from all of them, which is a big difference to some other character dining locations, most notably the Crystal Palace, where we’re often left waiting to see one or more characters… usually my favorite grey donkey, Eeyore.
So all in all, is the Princess Storybook Breakfast worth doing? If you have a princess fan in your family, then it’s a real must-do. Even if you don’t have a princess fan, there’s a good selection of food available, although with the price they charge, it is a pricey option for breakfast. We’ll certainly be back to Akershus, although maybe for a lunch or dinner, so we can get our fill of Norwegian food!
About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai'i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!
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