Girl Morning at Epcot: Our First Visit to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Zach’s family headed home the morning of June 10th but when the family trip got planned we decided to add on an extra night for us to stay just our little fam since we’d planned that weekend as family time already.
Originally for our June visit to Disney we had planned to do a day at the beach like we did back in April (you can read about it here)
We had that plan in place because last year when we’d planned to go to Satellite Beach in April it ended up STORMING the entire weekend so I wanted a time set aside as a back up.
Since the beach day in April went SO great we didn’t really need to do another beach day in June and since we knew we’d be spending a week at the beach in July we decided to opt out on the beach day and instead have a fun family Disney day doing things we really love but don’t do often.
Zach and Kye have been really wanting to go back to a Disney putt-putt course they played and enjoyed and Kye has been begging to visit Dave and Busters with the girls because he and Zach went on their guy’s trip last year.
I wanted to come up with something fun for the girl’s and I to do together since the guys wanted to go putt-putt just the two of them.
Literally a couple days before we left for the trip I thought to check in on the My Disney Experience app and just see what options there were for dining.
And an 8:30 AM spot was open at Epcot for Akershus princess breakfast!
I couldn’t BELIEVE that luck!!! I snatched it up and Zach was cool with us going first thing in the morning.
The great thing about our reservation was that the park didn’t open until 9 so we got special early access and had the park completely to ourselves.
We’ve never done an early park admission at Epcot and it was SO FUN!
Since we only had breakfast plans I let the girls choose a princess dress to wear around the park which was a first as well and they loved it and felt so fancy all morning 🙂 Duh, we totally talked like princesses the entire time.
We got right in on time for our reservation. Akershus is located in Norway so it’s
Y’all know I’m a BIG fan of character dining and I’ve been wanting to write a post sharing my thoughts about the meals I recommend but I knew I needed to have the Akershus experience before writing it because we’ve NEVER been before!
I’m always so pumped for a first time Disney experience.
And it’s proof that you can visit Disney ALL THE TIME and still have SO MANY THINGS that you haven’t experienced before!
When you sign in for your reservation you wait a few minutes before meeting a princess (ours was Belle, I’m not sure if she’s always “the one” or not).
While we waited in line I pulled out a super mega special surprise for the girls.
Growing up I wore rings all the time. I still have my little girl rings in my jewelry box and I love seeing them whenever I go to pick out my rings for the day now.
I have been on the HUNT for over a YEAR for rings small enough for my girls to wear. It’s tricky to find!
Anytime I see a ring display at Disney I check for the little sizes. And every time I come up empty handed.
The rings at Disney are exclusively sold at those specific locations in the park and an outside vender brings in stock so Cast Members can’t help, there aren’t any stored “in the back” and they aren’t available online (told y’all – I’ve been pretty hardcore about this).
FINALLY while Spear and I were waiting at the gift shop at the exit of Space Mountain for our brick to be finished I FOUND THEM.
They had two
While in line I told the girls about how much I loved my rings growing up and presented them with theirs.
Tess was so-so about it. I actually ended up not letting her keep hers. Reason one is because she said she didn’t want it. Y’all know from Christmas that I
Reason two was that it was pretty big on her still and I didn’t want to risk her losing it. So I’m going to wait a year or so and try again for her.
But Britt? Oh my word this child was OVER THE MOON excited about it. Which made my heart SO HAPPY.
We were ushered in and went to meet Belle!
She is Tess’s FAVORITE and both girls wanted their hair like Belle’s for the breakfast that morning 🙂
(Hence my sad attempt at a half-up top bun situation)
My first impression was underwhelmed.
I felt the area that Belle was located in just didn’t seem REGAL enough.
The pictures, to me, seem like they could have been at a random hotel lobby or something and don’t seem like DISNEY.
The decor was okay. Also just nothing with a “WOW” factor the way Cinderella’s Castle does.
I know Zach will LOVE this meal. It’s a great combo of food. Both a buffet AND all-you-care-to-enjoy.
Meaning we picked several things from the buffet line and our Cast Member brought over a food platter too which we could refill as many times as we wanted.
The hash brown casserole was AMAZING. SO GOOD.
We all treated ourselves and got chocolate milk and did a princess toast!
A cute difference between Akershus and Cinderella’s Royal Table is that at Akershus they have a super fun princess parade!
They did it twice while we were there and the girls LOVED it!
The video should auto play in this post but if not, here’s a link to it 🙂
I’m not sure if it’s always the same princesses but we met: Belle, Aurora, Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel.
We were seated near the door where the princesses took their breaks and I do think it impacted our experience as they were probably ready for that break when they got to us.
The lighting was also tough where we were seated and I struggled to get really good pics of the girls with the princesses!
So much of that is up to chance though and none of it took away from our enjoyment of the experience. But I do personally feel like we’ve had better engagement at CRT (the girls didn’t notice anything and thought it was all awesome!)
Britt brought a few of her letters from her room as she didn’t have a couple of the princesses we met that morning!
Snow White – the OG Princess
Cinderella was the most engaging and chatty with us…I think Tess’s dress helped (and Tess also brought along her Cinderella doll too!)
And last, but not least, my girl Ariel!
The girls LOVED being able to go back and forth to get more food and we were seated right by the buffet so I let them go together like big girls 😉
Overall we really enjoyed Akershus but if you only had an opportunity to do ONE princess meal I’d aim for the castle – hands down.
I’m not sure on the prices of each because I use Tables in Wonderland (a discount card) and I use Disney Gift Cards (you get 5% off when buying Disney Gift Cards with your Redcard at Target) but I did have a friend tell me that Akershus is cheaper / less dining credits if on the dining plan!
We finished up and I checked wait times and saw that Frozen was only a 20 minute wait. And it was right at 9:30ish.
I guess maybe it was just a super low crowd day? I was SHOCKED I got the reservation and then even MORE shocked that Frozen was so low on wait time!
We headed there and ended up waiting less than 10!
Fun Fact: Frozen is my absolute favorite ride at any park 🙂
We had some time to check out more of the park before we had to head out and I let the girls lead the way!
We stopped a bit at Mexico to see what they had for sale. Britt and I are going to Epcot for her solo birthday Disney day with me and I’m considering giving her a Disney gift card as her birthday gift and letting her shop. She’d LOVE it.
As a gift for Mommy we got our typical Epcot pics 🙂
Figment we love you!
We walked right onto the Figment ride and the girls played a bit in the play area outside of it.
They’ve also moved the Wreck-It-Ralph meet and greet to this area which I think fits nicely and is a good use of the space.
I know a TON of changes are coming to Epcot and I’m a bit sad because we LOVE Epcot and how CHILL it always is.
But I also agree changes need to happen so I’m excited to see where Epcot will go from here!
We also hit up the fun photo booth in the Figment area – it’s FREE with memory maker!
After Figment the girls said “Let’s SHOP” and I said “YESSSSS”
So we headed to Mouse Gears and just literally walked every inch of the store.
It was SO FUN.
They pointed out things they liked and wanted to add to their wishlists and I did a little sneaky shopping with the help of a sweet cast member 😉
I. Love. Having. Daughters.
It was such a taste of what’s to come as they get older! Daddy better get READY 😉
It was also really cool leaving the park and being parked SO CLOSE to the exit. It was super awesome and such a perfect morning!
Can you spot my van? Best parking spot ever!
We had to stop by the clubhouse at our Disney House neighborhood and the girls played a bit before we headed back to the house so the boys could head out to putt-putt.
Britt and I opened her ring and it fits SO WELL on her middle finger which is great because that means it’ll eventually fit her ring finger and she should get a good few years out of it.
She’s done SO WELL with wearing it and being mindful of taking care of it. It’s not lost yet!
She also just LOVES it. And I love seeing it on her finger. It’s literally my favorite thing I’ve ever bought for her.
The putt-putt course that Zach and
It’s their FAV and Zach truly loves it too and is always telling people that they need to go there to check it out.
Once they got back they picked up the girls and headed to Dave and Busters.
We decided Zach would take them to Dave and Busters and I’d stay with Spear because it’s a good 30 min or so from our house and it was silly to make Spear ride all that way to then be so limited on what he’d actually be able to do and enjoy.
I’m the more YOLO Disney parent but Zach is the more fun parent when it comes to video games. I hardcore limit screen time and if I’m not home, Zach is more likely to allow extra time than I’d be.
And he truly enjoys playing video games WITH the kids so it’s a fun together activity for them.
I love that Zach got to experience the big three kids in a fun environment and they had a BLAST!
They played games at Dave and Busters and then hit up McDonald’s for dinner to save money #duh.