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Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Norway Epcot
When visiting Epcot we always plan to eat at Norway at the Akershus Restaurant whenever possible. We have always found the food excellent and the service very good. We couldn’t get a reservation in 2011 but we could get a lunchtime spot last summer so we accepted without further ado. We were a little surprised that they were now operating a two sitting system and that we had to queue for entry. We were informed the queue was to have our pictures taken with a Disney Princess – not sure why we thought – as a party of five adults and as the ‘children’ were now between fifteen and twenty five years old this did not seem necessary. Slowly it dawned on us that we had actually booked into the character lunch! !
The staff were a little concerned that we were not availing ourselves of the photo shoot but we were too keen to get stuck into the excellent buffet for our first course. As ever the smoked salmon, lox, seafood, cheeses, bread and salads were delicious and it would be easy not to leave any room for anything else! There was then a choice of about three or four main courses, fish, beef, chicken or a vegetarian pasta dish. We had each of them between us and everybody was very pleased with their choice.
Just as we were beginning to feel pleasantly full, the music started and to our amusement a selection of Disney Princesses came to introduce themselves to each table. They all looked rather bemused that we had no small children with us but we rose to the occasion and found questions to ask them and were a bit naughty trying to get them to come out of character – it was impossible! No matter what we said they responded as the relevant princess. We took some of our own photos of ‘the kids’ with them much to their amusement and there was a very funny moment when my fifteen year old niece decided she wasn’t too old to join in the procession with all the other children! !
We had a desert but were a little disappointed that they no longer serve the same selection as before, particularly the plate that tradition demanded was licked clean. Still we did wash it all down with the customary Aquavit.
When the bill came we realised why the staff were so concerned that we had not availed ourselves of the photo opportunity – the price includes a 5 x 7” and 4 wallet sized photo for everybody with the ‘Princess’ on duty and along with the ‘entertainment’ that accounted for the price tag of around £40 per person. Of course we should have thoroughly researched before just presuming that the restaurant would be the same as before so we had no-one to blame but ourselves.
It gave us a hysterical hour or so and we did enjoy the food but we probably wouldn' t have booked in had we realised it was a character dinner. However were I going with small children I would definitely consider it as a treat - my youngest niece could not believe that I had actually met Belle and made me promise to take her on our next visit ! !
Classic tale of the need to research before booking - I just hope Belle is there when I take my niece next time ! !
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