When my mom and I were first planning her visit, and we were only going to go for one day to WDW, we planned on going to Epcot. So, there was one day where I made ADR’s several weeks in advance. That day, was today (well, not today…but the day I’m writing about). I carefully planned a breakfast, lunch, and dinner…I had reservations at prime times…I thought everything was perfect. Everything was scheduled to begin with an 8:05am Akershus Princess Breakfast. My mom and I, both being long-time princess fans, were super stoked about this breakfast! However, keep in mind, that at the time we originally decided to schedule breakfast for 8am…we didn’t know we were going to be doing a commando Magic Kingdom day the day before. Let’s go back for a moment, to the previous night.
We had spent a whirlwind day in the Magic Kingdom, we never stopped moving! We did all of the attractions we wanted to, plus some extras, and had a fantastic time. We ended the day with the Fireworks Dessert Party, and then some shopping on Main Street. By 10:30pm, we decided that we were super tired and wanted to leave, even though we knew we would have to deal with the post-fireworks mass exodus. I figured it wouldn’t be too big of a deal, and we could just take the resort monorail to the TTC and wouldn’t have to wait too terribly long. For those who don’t know…the resort monorail almost always has like, NO line at the end of the night, while the express line is INSANE! We often take the resort one instead and only wait a few minutes.
Remember in my last post, when I mentioned that Susan was stuck on the monorail? Yeah, apparently they had issues with it all day…and both monorails were currently not running. That meant that every single person trying to leave the park, right after the fireworks, and the end of a SUPER crowded July day, had to take the Ferry. The ferries each have a capacity of only 600 people, they are super slow to load, and they were only running two of them. Holy crap. The line for the ferry was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever seen. There were no cast members out to do crowd control, there were no switchbacks set up…it was chaos. It was just a giant mob of hot, tired, angry people…I seriously thought a riot was going to break out. There were all kinds of people line jumping and pushing through the crowd trying to get to the front. Normally, I would have had a few choice words for these people…but being 8 months pregnant and having a toddler meant that I couldn’t really get into a fist fight in the ferry line…and that was the mentality of this crowd…if I had said something, it would have turned into a fight. All around us were arguments and yelling…people were going crazy. Since we had the stroller it was very difficult for us to maneuver, and swarms of people pushed in front of us or wouldn’t let us through…it was awful. I think we would STILL be standing there, except for one VERY aggressive woman in a scooter.
There was a woman in a scooter near us who was having the same issue. People were cutting in front of her, and she was trying to be polite and not run into people, and therefore, tons of people just cut in front of her. Well, I could see that she was getting fed up and was going to make a break for it…I told my mom that when she did, we were going to get right behind her and pretend we were with her and not stop.
Okay, now before I tell you what happened next, I want to say something about stroller etiquette. I am usually very polite with my stroller. I try very hard not to run into people, and if I do I apologize profusely. In crowds I’m aware of other people and do my best to not get in the way with the stroller or use it as a battering ram. I know stroller use is a VERY heated topic and people get very fired up about “crazy mom’s running people over,” and yes, those people do exist, but I am not one of them. I remember how much strollers irritated me before I had one and I really try to be as courteous as possible. Usually.
However, this was a special situation. It seemed that everyone in the crowd was taking advantage of the fact that we couldn’t get around as easily, and was using it to line jump us (and several others)…so when scooter lady was ready to go on a rampage, I was right there with her. When the line started to move a bit, she saw the tiniest opening, and went for it..she hit the gas and took off at full speed towards the ferry. We followed…I pushed my stroller right up to the back of her scooter and refused to budge. As we moved towards the loading ferry, people tried to cut her off and jump in front of her, and she just kept going. I don’t even know how many people she ran over…and eventually people just started kind of jumping out of her way. I know that sounds awful, but she was my knight in shining armor. And we didn’t cut in front of anyone…she only took out people who were trying to get in front of her so they could cut the line themselves. Do I think what she did was right? Nope. Were we right for taking advantage of her knocking people out of the way? Nope. But, it was still over 95 degrees, we were trapped in a giant mass of rude people, and I was at the point that if I didn’t sit down and get some air soon, I was going to pass out (when you’re 8 months pregnant, your tolerance for standing in a large, hot crowd is greatly diminished). I don’t think we had any other option. If there had been CM’s there, I would have asked for help in getting out of the mob and finding someplace to wait til the crowd died down a bit…but that wasn’t an option either due to the lack of CM’s.
So, thanks to the crazy scooter lady, we made it on the ferry! It was now 12:30. By the time we crossed the lagoon and got to the car, it was 1:00am. By the time we got home, it was just after 2:00am. We had to be up in 4 hours to make our ADR. We thought about cancelling. However, at Akershus you have to give them a credit card when you reserve, and if you don’t cancel far enough in advance (24 or 48 hours…I don’t remember), they charge you anyway. So, we decided that despite the miniscule amount of sleep we would get, we were going to that princess breakfast!
Somehow we managed to get up the next morning and get to Epcot. I had never had an ADR before park opening, so I wasn’t too sure how things would work. Luckily, they made it really easy. There was a big sign directing us to the character dining entrance, and a security guard looked up our name on the reservation list and let us into the park. One of the coolest moments of my mom’s entire trip, was walking underneath Spaceship Earth and through FutureWorld when it was completely empty. It was so surreal to be there without all the crowds milling about. We walked back to World Showcase, and through Mexico, and I think the whole time we only saw 2 or 3 cast members walking around, and didn’t see any other guests until we got into Norway.
We checked in with the hostess and our name was called less than a minute later. When we first entered, we were led to a queue where we would meet, and get our picture taken with, a princess. The picture is included in the price of breakfast, but apparently, no matter what the size of your party, you only get one picture. The princess rotates, and today, it was Belle. We were third in line, so we had to wait a few minutes, but when it was our turn, she spent a good amount of time with us. She was very sweet to Malcolm, and let him play with the edge of her sparkly dress, and told him all about how handsome he was. Then, they took our picture and although Belle was really nice, the look on her face in our family picture is weird…like she just left the dentist and was still numb on half of her face or something. Then, they took us to our table, and our included picture was brought out to us during the meal.
The food at Akershus’s breakfast is half family style and half buffet. They bring hot foods to the table, and your cold foods are on the buffet. The hot foods include bacon, potato casserole, sausage, and scrambled eggs. The cold buffet is fruit, pastries, breads, cheeses, and some Norwegian options like herring. It wasn’t really anything spectacular, really just one step up from a continental breakfast, clearly we were paying for the princesses. There were a couple of standouts with the food. My mom was CRAZY about the potato casserole, and even had to ask the server to bring us more. I loved the dill cream cheese so much that I ate 4 bagels, each one heaped with it! Malcolm’s favorite was the scrambled eggs…although that’s always his favorite at breakfast. We also all agreed that the bacon was fantastic. I know, I know…how difficult is bacon? But who cares, it was, for whatever reason, particularly delicious.
When we were first seated, I was impressed at how spaced out the tables were. We had much more room than we’d had at Crystal Palace. I quickly learned why…the princess dresses are HUGE!! When the princesses began their rotations, the dining room became much more full, and I highly recommend getting all your food before they get to you, and don’t try to get up from your table while they are roaming in your area.
The first princess to visit was Aurora. She was very sweet, and VERY good with Malcolm. Malcolm had suddenly turned into a bit of a “Gaston” and why trying to grab Aurora in inappropriate places (not good behavior on his first castle visit!), and she was very nice about it. She deflected him well, and still hung out for a bit and talked to him and seemed generally interested in him.
Next was Cinderella. Okay, seriously…if Cindy wasn’t drunk, she had been the night before. She was a little, ummm…weird. She never made any eye contact, and that look she has on her face in the picture (the one where her hand isn’t in front of her face), yeah, that look was frozen on her face, just like that, the entire time. She didn’t even move for like an entire minute while I was taking pictures. She was frozen, just like that. Plus, she was slurring a lot, which was kind of weird. I was actually really glad when she left our table because she was really awkward. I was really sad about the whole thing because Cinderella is my favorite princess and this was the first time I’d ever met her…it was really disappointing.
After Cindy left our table, I spent a few minutes watching Jasmine at the table next to ours. She was talking to a young girl, who was probably about 10, and she sounded like she was interviewing her for a job. She was firing questions at her super fast, “Are you on vacation? Where are you staying? Do you like it? When do you leave? Where are you from?” It was a little intimidating and I was kind of apprehensive about her visit to our table. But then, she came over, and was WONDERFUL! She played with Malcolm, and talked to all of us, and didn’t use her brusque interviewer voice like she had at the other table. We had a great time with her…although, I kind of felt bad for the little girl at the other table.
At this point in the breakfast, Malcolm was beginning to get a bit antsy. He was finished eating and ready to get out of his high chair, but, we still had Ariel to see. She was at the table next to ours, with her back to us. Remember how I said the dresses were big and took up lots of space? Well, her dress was right next to Malcolm, and before I could stop him, he reached out and smeared scrambled eggs all over the back of it. Oops. She was very nice about it, and said it happens all the time. She was even really nice when Malcolm tried throwing the eggs at her. He wasn’t crying or throwing a fit or anything…he was just bored and thought throwing eggs was funny. We then took all the food out of his reach, and Ariel came to our table for our visit. Of all the princesses, she was by far the best with Malcolm. He adored her, and she talked right to him and played peek-a-boo and tickled him and was really fantastic. She totally made up for our sad experience with Cindy.
Once Ariel left we quickly paid and left before Malcolm could wreak any more havoc. Overall, it was an enjoyable enough experience, but honestly, I won’t do it again until I have to. And by “have to” I mean, when my kids are old enough to beg me to take them…and that may not happen with boys…so I may never do it again, and that’s okay with me. Basically, if you have daughters who really love the princesses, then do it…but if you don’t, there are better places to have breakfast and other places to meet the princesses.
We left Akershus to begin our day at Epcot. We had a 1:00 ADR at Les Chefs de France, and wanted to get in as much stuff as we could before then. I’ll talk about all that in my next post when I talk about our lunch. Until then, don’t forget you can follow me on twitter @scarlettashley1 or friend me on Facebook under the name Scarlett Ashley. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.