Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World’s most luxurious restaurant, has reopened after two pandemic years. But they took that time to not only remodel the restaurant, but also refresh the menu. Disney recently invited my wife Jackie and I out to experience it.
Victoria & Albert’s is not just a restaurant. You don’t just pop-in for dinner. Reservations are required, and they will connect with you before your arrival to make sure they meet everyone’s dietary needs and preferences. Once you arrive, expect to be there for about three to four hours. For that reason, kids under 10 aren’t allowed. You also can’t just show up directly from the theme parks. Semi-formal or formal attire is required. This isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an elegant experience.
As we were waiting for our table in the nearby Enchanted Rose lounge, someone from the restaurant came by and escorted us to Victoria & Albert’s. Upon entering, they handed us a zero proof cocktail, which was delicious. We were seated in The Dining Room, which features about 15 tables, keeping the experience pretty intimate. But if that’s not intimate enough for you, there’s also Queen Victoria’s Room, which is limited to four tables with only two at each table. Then there’s also the Chef’s Table, which is literally in the kitchen. It’s limited to six guests. Both Queen Victoria’s Room and the Chef’s Table feature more courses than in The Dining Room.
We dined at Victoria & Albert’s once before, in 2019. The first difference we noticed were the remodeled dining rooms. They’re much brighter now, painted white instead of brown, with lots of floral flourishes, almost like wedding décor. We loved it. (Look for the butterflies and dragonflies on the tops of the columns.) Disney describes it as “crystal chandeliers, fanciful murals, and delicate scroll work amid a palette of ivory, taupe, and light blue, accented by silver, gold, and pewter and inspired by the theme of an English garden.” The Queen Victoria room features a fireplace, embroidery and lace details, and artwork featuring the royal couple. Don’t miss the mural in the hallway featuring Cinderella.
Victoria and Albert’s menu varies from season to season and there are different experiences to choose from. They all consist of a pre fixe tasting menu consisting of many courses. You can also add a wine pairing, or the new zero-proof pairing for an additional cost. Jackie got the wine pairing and I tried the zero-proof one. You can also order wine by the glass for larger pours.
Once seated, we were given menus that detailed each course we were getting, including the drink pairings. Although there’s no ordering from this menu because you’ll get it all, it does allow you to make any last minute changes if you see something you know you don’t want. They’ll substitute it. They also offer a full plant-based menu.
Each course was then brought to our table, along with our drink pairing, one at a time. But they didn’t just bring our food, with each dish, they fully described all of the main ingredients and told us why they go together. And with the wine and zero-proof drinks, they also fully explained why these were chosen to go with the food, ether to enhance one of the flavors, or to be the opposite. Listening to how they came up with menu and the pairings was just as enjoyable as the meal itself. It was as if each course had its own story. The pacing for each course was perfect for us, as well. We never had to wait long for the next dish.
In describing the ingredients, a lot of them went over my head. I was interested to hear what was in each dish I was enjoying, but beyond the main ingredients such as beef, fish, etc. I didn’t know what I was eating. For example, here’s one of the courses, “Glacier 51 Toothfish with charred mushroom and sambal, and Danish Hiramasa with carrot and Okinawan potatoes.” Yes, I know what fish is, but I’ve never heard of a Glacier 51 Toothfish, and I know what a charred mushroom is, but what’s sambal? All I know is that almost every course was delicious.
Each course was small, a few bites, but don’t worry about going hungry, you’ll likely be full by the time the last dessert course is served. They’ve also added some different kinds of breads and butters with some of the courses. They were all great as well. But this isn’t like on a cruise ship where you can get as much as you’d like. Any extras will cost you more.
My favorite part of the night was the new Zero-Proof pairing. Other than one that just tasted like a berry juice, each had a unique, wonderful flavor. Each also paired very well with the food. As someone who doesn’t enjoy much alcohol, I loved the zero-proof pairing. Most of them also had the look and consistency of an alcoholic drink. I hope all restaurants start adding more zero-proof drinks. They were all plant-based as well.
After it was all over, we had enjoyed 12 different courses, including four dessert courses, over four hours. Each course except the desserts included a pairing. But we enjoyed included coffee and tea brewed right at our table in a unique carafe with dessert.
Besides two different waiters serving us through the night, the maître d’, chef, and pastry chef stopped by to chat and make sure we were happy. Chef de Cuisine Matthew Sowers has led Victoria & Albert’s culinary team since 2006. In fact, most of the staff has been with the restaurant for many years. It’s the sort of place you don’t leave once you’re working there. The chef told us all of the staff are like family. They love creating a memorable dining experience for those who choose to splurge, with many celebrating special occasions.
We must also mention the harp player in the main dining room. She was fantastic. We liked that she didn’t only play Disney songs. (In fact, I didn’t notice her playing any.) We heard her play a wide range of genres, which all sounded elegant, coming from a harp.
Now for the bad part: the price. As I said, it’s not a restaurant you just pop into after visiting the Disney parks, and the prices reflect that.
- In the main dining room, prices start at $295 per person. Optional wine pairings start at $150 per person. Zero-proof pairings start at $110 per person.
- In Queen Victoria’s Room, the price is $375 per person and the optional wine pairings start at $200 per person with the zero-proof pairings starting at $110 per person.
- Finally, the Chef’s Table is $425 per person, with the optional pairings the same as in Queen Victoria’s Room.
You’ll also want to know that a $100 per person cancellation fee will apply within five days of your reservation. The full price will be charged if you cancel within 24 hours or don’t show up for your reservation.
So, is it worth it for a couple to spend hundreds of dollars, possibly more than $1,000 for dinner? Remember, this is more than just supper. This is a three to four hour experience at Walt Disney World’s most luxurious restaurant, where you’ll feel like royalty.
Head to DisneyWorld.com to make reservations and get more information.