One of the things we considered a must-do during our family vacation to Walt Disney World was, of course, seeing Disney princesses!!!
Even at 30 years old I have no trouble admitting that I get giddy thinking about those gorgeous ball gowns and romantic storylines. Plus, I can’t help but break into song any time I hear a Disney movie’s anthem.
Enter: Disney World Princess Breakfast at Akershus Banquet Hall EPCOT!
Akershus Restaurant is one of the only opportunities to see the classic Disney princesses all in one place. It’s a medium-sized restaurant that is kept small so the princesses can circulate the patrons fairly. Since it only seats a certain amount of people reservations are firmly required for entrance. Not only that, but it’s such a popular experience that reservations fill up months in advance!
As guests staying on-site at a Walt Disney World resort we were give early access to make dining reservations. And that’s how I found myself on the Disney World’s reservation website at 6:00 a.m. EST 6 months before our vacation. Yes, it was that serious.
Reservations times start at 8:00 a.m. and are granted in 10 minute intervals. Each reservation can be for up to 10 people (no need to specify the 10 people when making the reservation). Since we were part of a 20-person family group, I made one reservation for 10 people and my brother (who’d woken up at 3:00 a.m. MST) made a second reservation for another 10 people. Even though I was poised on the website to sign up at the very minute the reservations for the day we wanted opened up, I was still too late to get the first slot- 8:00 a.m.- as we’d planned. My brother was successful in getting the 8:00 am reservation, but mine had to wait until the next interval at 8:10 a.m.
At first this concerned us, since our group wanted to eat together, but the Akershus cast members were really understanding and let us all in at the same time when we showed up on the day of our reservation!
Akershus Restaurant is in the Norway section of Epcot. Thus, the food had an ever-so-slight Norwegian feel to it.
Once shown to our tables (3 tables in the same area to accommodate our large group) we were welcome to help ourselves to a buffet of breakfast foods while our server brought family-style platters of breakfast foods to each table.
The buffet included croissants, jam, butter, fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, deli meats, salmon, and our favorite brown Norwegian cheese. That’s not a joke- this cheese is really amazing! The breakfast platters set to each table were of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, and cheesy hash browns. We were also brought refillable glasses of the beverage of our choice.
The food is all-you-care-to-eat (which is “All-you-can-eat in Disney, I guess), but the platters were delivered piled high with food so we never required a refill. How much bacon does one person really need? I mean, at some point it’s just too much!
Honestly, the food was only so-so. I really hated the cheesy hash browns and the scrambled eggs (but, in their defense, cooking large batches of eggs is pretty tricky), but there was still plenty of food to fill up on! Which was good since, at $50/ person, this meal needed to last us about 3 days.
But you don’t go to a place like that for the food, you go for…. drum roll… the princesses! Eek!
As we entered the restaurant we were first asked if we wanted to see Belle. Um, duh! Unlike the other princesses, Belle is kept to her own alcove with a permanent Disney World photographer. We formed a line at her station and she graciously took pictures with, talked to, and signed mementos from anyone interested. Belle’s photographer tried to keep the line moving, but we still had enough time to really enjoy seeing her! And, best part, she wears the classic yellow ball gown!
Once we sat down the other classic princesses started to circulate the room. Cinderella, Snow White, Arial, and Aurora all made stops at each of our 3 tables for as long as we wanted them to. Yes, some princesses (cough cough, Cinderella) were more pleasant and took more time than others (cough cough, Arial), but I’m sure that’s constantly changing as the Disney princess cast members do. Each princess waited at our table to take pictures or talk to anyone interested, which was so nice! It was a full restaurant but they truly made us feel like we were the most important people in the room. Plus they really do all have unique personalities and signatures (maybe Arial was a little short with us because she’s only 16…?) !
Since the restaurant is in Norway Land (or maybe because it was a cold day?) their signature dresses had warm accessories attached, which took away a bit of the magic for me. I’m sorry, but I’m a ball gown purist. Cinderella in long sleeves? That’s just weird. Also, some of the princesses were absolutely caked in make up. This made a few look more authentic than others, but luckily the kids didn’t seem to mind.
The Princess Parade
Oh, yes. There’s a Princess Parade.
Not only did we get to talk to each princess, but every 15 minutes or so an announcement is made that all mini princesses are invited to join a parade with the classic princesses! Beautiful music plays as a line of princesses and adoring little girls snake around the room.
Unfortunately, the mini princesses from our group overheard another mini princess start to cry/ whine and Arial tell her to calm down. This event really bothered my nieces, but we hope it was an isolated incident! Other than that they had a great time regally walking and waving through the restaurant next to their idols!
We were assigned one server for all 3 of our tables, and she was wonderful! She was definitely kept busy hopping around to bring food platters and refill drinks, but she also took the time to answer any questions from us.
For instance, she’s actually Norwegian and had a great conversation with us about the cheese we love and how to find it in the States! Too funny!
She also overheard my nieces tell us about the Arial incident during the Princess Parade. She immediately apologized to them on the princess’s behalf, then asked for more details to approach the princess. We really appreciated that she made it her job to make sure our experience was great!
Disney Princess Breakfast Cost
As the mother to a son who doesn’t care about any of this stuff my #1 question was: “How much is this Disney World Princess Breakfast going to cost me?”
Answer: Park admission + $50/ adult and $35/ child.
For us that was $135! Wowzers! And my siblings who had more than one kid? Way, way, way more money.
Yes, we all know to expect to pay for the magic of Disney World. This isn’t a shock. But you do have to question how worth it these additional experiences are after you’ve already shelled out $100+ /person just to enter the park.
At least tip was included.
So is the Disney World Princess Breakfast worth it?
Honestly, I don’t know. (Insert shrugging woman emoji here.)
I don’t think it was worth it for our little family. I feel nostalgic about the Disney princesses I grew up with, but Ben and Whit sure don’t! Whit enjoyed the experience because his cousins’ excitement wore off on him, but, on our own, he wouldn’t have cared or even been able to name any of the characters we met.
If you have a mini princess who truly loves these characters than yes, it probably is worth it for you. They really do look beautiful and try to act authentic, which I can see really making a child’s day, week, year.
But if your mini isn’t all that into princesses, then I’d probably skip the $100+ bill and mediocre food and just opt to stand in line for someone they really care about.