PHOTOS: Restaurant Akershus Turned Into Florida Blue Corporate Lounge, Princess Dining Not Returning Soon

As we were making our way around World Showcase in EPCOT today, we noticed that the signs for the Florida Blue Lounge are up at Restaurant Akershus in the Norway Pavilion.


When we stopped to ask a Cast Member what was the plan for the restaurant, we were informed that the banquet hall is being turned into a company lounge. The Cast Member wasn’t hopeful about princess dining returning at any point, and another Cast Member agreed that the switch exclusively to a company lounge would mean the end of character dining.

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This comes less than a month after the sign for the establishment was changed from “Akershus Royal Banquet Hall” to “Restaurant Akershus,” though the flyer board which holds the Florida Blue sign still reads “Royal Banquet Hall.”

It is unclear when or if this change will be officially announced by Disney. Check back with WDWNT for more information as this story develops.

  1. What typically are company lounges for? Executives of Disney to use? Or for employees of Florida Blue (the sponsor))

    1. I would assume it’s similar to the Chase Lounge they have (or had?) in the American Pavilion. So that would make this a place where people with Florida Blue insurance can go for free soda, a bathroom, and 6 chairs for 50 people.

  2. Why pay people to provide entertainment for guests, when you can get people to pay you for exclusive access? It’s the Chapek business model at it’s finest!

  3. The management of Disney is destroying WDW every day. Sorry to hear this, oh well just another reason not to visit as Disney is turning to an ordinary theme park right before our eyes

  4. Restaurant Akershus is the original name of the restaurant. Its modeled after the great Akershus castle and fortress in Oslo. The main dining hall is a smaller replica of the great hall at the top.

    1. I also highly doubt a lounge makes Disney more money than the princess dining… so when the International Programs are fully back and restrictions done it will surely return.

  5. I am so sad. This was my favorite place to eat. I wanted the food, not the entertainment. I have Florida Blue health plan but so now what? A few snacks?

  6. Increase prices but offer less. Pressler 2.0 as I have said a million times before

  7. Are the people of Florida concerned about how their health insurance premium money is being spent on the take over of this theme park restaurant? I’d much rather see my insurance money going towards paying for health care.

  8. That’s symbolic of the current trends at Disney. Taking away a beloved and popular guest attraction for the sole benefit of shareholder interests.

  9. Covid and lack of workers is changing America. It was said when lockdowns happened we would come out in a whole new world. Dont forget the borders for tourists is closed so theme parks not getting the full business they once had. No matter what Disney does people will complain. Remember it is a business that reports to stockholders. A consumer can choose to go or not.

  10. Another bad decision by Disney. I feel like we all stepped in Twilight Zone Tower of Terror but did not escape. We loved that place!

  11. Very disappointing. One of our favorite spots in Epcot to eat with the kids. With frozen being one of the more popular properties in the park, I don’t quite understand why they would want to do away with the restaurant.

  12. So many people here are just complaining, but yet are probably the ones that live in a different state and only come to Disney every 5 years. For many locals specially with Florida Blue this is different. Hopefully this will be temporary and a new restaurant without princess will be in place. My opinion, like every company “innovation”..

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