It's the most expensive meal at Walt Disney World (WDW) and a dining experience not every Disney-goer chooses to partake in, but is Victoria and Albert's worth the hefty price tag?
As a journalist who covers theme parks and a person who happens to be a WDW annual pass holder, I visit Walt Disney World Resort several times a month. While I can happily chow down on inexpensive Disney festival food just as enthusiastically as I reserve the chance to experience a pricey pre-fixe menu, if there's one thing my years of eating my way around Disney parks has taught me, it's that there's truly an experience for everyone at the House of the Mouse.
But who is dinner at Victoria and Albert's for? And is the marathon meal worth the cost? To answer that question, it's important to share what happens inside the walls of the AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant.
What is Victoria and Albert's?
Disney World's culinary crown jewel, Victoria and Albert's, is a sit-down restaurant located inside Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. While it opened in the ’80s, its been winning the AAA Five Diamond Award since 2000, and closed briefly during the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening in July 2022.
During its closure, the restaurant got a bit of an upgrade with Victorian theming, an updated domed main dining room and tasteful touches of classic Disney film Cinderella throughout. But this is no character dining experience: Victoria and Albert's offers world-class dining and features a decadent multi-course meal along with both wine and zero-proof cocktail (mocktail) pairings.
Guests who want to further elevate their experience can pay extra to dine inside the ultra-intimate Queen Victoria's Room, which seats only eight people in total, or dine facing the opulent kitchen in a guided chef's table experience.
How much does Victoria and Albert's cost?
At each of the three menu tiers at Victoria and Albert's, an additional wine pairing can be added starting at $150 per person. The restaurant's zero-proof cocktail pairings start at $110 per person.
To dine in the main dining room, where seven courses are served, guests will pay $295 each. Dining in Queen Victoria's Room, where the menu has three additional courses, ups the price to $375 per person. For $425 each, guests can book exclusive in-kitchen dining at Victoria and Albert's chef's table.
What is the food at Victoria and Albert's like?
On my recent visit to Victoria and Albert's, we were served the 10-course menu, which featured dishes like royal Belgian caviar over cauliflower panna cotta, wild turbot with fennel and baby leeks, A-5 wagyu with romesco sauce and honey elderflower ice cream. I'm allergic to many types of fish, and the restaurant was happy to accommodate, serving things like a decadent heirloom tomato gazpacho and roasted quail in place of seafood.
Everything we ate was delicious — each dish a perfectly-sized portion that gave diners enough time to enjoy its flavors paired with each wine selection (or zero-proof cocktail). Forever a steak girl, the wagyu was melt-in-your-mouth and well worth adding, as it does not come with the seven-course dining room version of the menu.
Among the real stars of the meal was the bread and butter service, which was truly mind-blowing. The first bread course was a classic French baguette served with Maldon sea salt-topped French Echire butter. Next, came a flaky croissant with a rich Vermont butter, followed by multi-grain bread served with French butter and smoked sea salt.
How do you make a reservation at Victoria and Albert's?
On a given night, less than 50 total guests dine at Victoria and Albert's. The dinner service takes more than four hours, so there's only one seating each evening, making the dining experience harder to get into than Cinderella's Royal Table.
Reservations can be made online, in Disney's My Disney Experience app or by calling the Walt Disney World dining reservations line. But how far out can this opulent experience can be booked? A full 60 days in advance, so plan accordingly. (Note: Guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel can make their reservations 60 days, plus the length of their stay in advance. So, if you arrive at WDW on a specific date, reservations may open up a bit closer to your check-out date.)
Is Victoria and Albert's worth the price?
From time we entered Victoria and Albert's, we were treated like royalty. From the jasmine apéritif we were handed when we walked through the door to the warm moist towels provided for cleansing our hands before we dove into our amuse-bouche of pink pineapples, a langoustine tartelette and flavorful ham atop a miso caramel-filled eclair, we knew we were in for something special.
The servers who attended to us throughout the four-hour dining experience served course-upon-course of decadent dishes, perfectly paired with wines from Lebanon's Beqaa Valley, Oregon's Dundee Hills region, France's Burgundy region and beyond. Weeks later, I'm still daydreaming about the wagyu and each salty buttery bread course.
This adults-only experience is far from the noisy counter-service restaurants found inside Disney resorts, nor is it like any character dining you've experienced. Instead of snuggling up to Winnie the Pooh and friends for a photo, diners spend hours getting to know their servers and learning about how each course was prepared, each wine pairing was selected.
The kid-free element alone may alienate some Disney-goers, but for Disney adults or those who can have other members of their travel party (or a third-party childcare service) keep an eye on their little ones, Victoria and Albert's is a unique experience worth working into your WDW vacation ... at least once.
After all, where else can you eat wagyu and rich French bread while gazing at a portrait of Queen Victoria and enjoying live harp music?
Wellness, parenting, body image and more: Get to know the who behind the hoo with Yahoo Life's newsletter. Sign up here.