Our family went to Disney World a few weeks ago, and while we were in Epcot, we saw that there was a character meet & greet with Elsa and Anna from “Frozen” at various times in the Norway Pavilion.
|Norway Pavilion in Epcot
Our 9-year-old flipped. And then I flipped when we got there and found out there was a 3-HOUR WAIT. Since we were at Epcot during one of the slowest times of the year, we figured there wouldn’t be a huge line. I was so very wrong.
I asked the attendant if there was a better time to come, and she said if you come back around 6:30 or so, there might only be a 1.5 hour wait or so. While that was better, I still wasn’t willing to sacrifice that much of our day standing in line. Our daughter was bummed, but once the tears dried, we made a plan. We were going to come to Epcot for a second day later in the week, so we agreed we’d go straight to Norway right at opening.
Fast forward to the night before our second Epcot day. My husband had been looking at restaurants to have a special sit-down meal splurge. There was a reservation time at Akershus, the restaurant in Norway, for 9:15 in the morning, but we had our sights set on another restaurant in Magic Kingdom that had rave reviews. So we went to bed, thinking we’d do the Magic Kingdom restaurant instead.
Then, just as I was drifting off to sleep, it dawned on me that this might be our chance. The World Showcase in Epcot (where all the different country pavilions are) doesn’t open until 11:00—but you can go in before 11:00 if you have breakfast reservations. That means that we could have breakfast at 9:15, and then we’d already BE IN Norway well before the 11:00 opening (which was also the first listed meet & greet time with Elsa and Anna), so we’d have a good chance of being right near the front of the line.
I nudged Havarti and told him to make the reservation. Technology is so cool. Two minutes later he’d made the reservation online through his smartphone.
So we got to Epcot the next day at 8:45, and told the people at the entrance gate we had a reservation for 9:15 at Akershus. Because we’d made the reservation so late the night before, it wasn’t on their printed list, but they took our name and let us through anyway.
Epcot (other than the World Showcase) opens at 9:00, so we got to walk through Epcot almost completely by ourselves. The only other people were those who also had breakfast reservations around 9:00. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED experience. It’s really cool to see a Disney Park practically empty.
We got over to Norway at just before 9:00 and checked in. And then the heavens parted, and the Norwegian angel checking people in told us that Elsa and Anna were going to start meeting guests in a few minutes—if we wanted to get in line, we could be a few minutes late for our seating.
What!? Are you kidding me??
Apparently, Elsa and Anna get started well before 11:00, but it’s only for the folks who are there for breakfast. So we were the third family in line. The THIRD FAMILY! We waited all of ten minutes total to meet Elsa and Anna. Sweet!!!
|Third in line. Norway’s empty!
|The line behind us ten minutes later. All breakfast reservation folks. We still can’t believe our luck!
As an unexpected bonus, we also got to meet Belle, Ariel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty (excuse me, “Aurora”) and Cinderella during our very, very, very expensive breakfast. For the five of us, including tip, the total was (deep breath) $217. It was delicious and plentiful, they had gluten-free offerings, and we did get two nicely framed photos of our family with Belle. But still. Ouch.
However, we figured since we were planning one splurge meal anyway, and it saved us hours of waiting in line to meet Elsa and Anna, it was worth it. Time is money, right? And if we’d had little kids who were really into meeting other princesses, it would have been more than worth it. Princesses everywhere!
So my suggestion, if you’re heading to Disney World anytime soon and want to meet Elsa and Anna, is to make a reservation at Akershus for a little after 9:00. No guarantee, of course, but as good a chance as any—plus great food, an awesome princess experience, and the opportunity to have Epcot to yourself for a while.
“Where Dreams Come True” indeed. 🙂