Victoria and Albert’s First Night Review
It’s been more than two years since Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort closed, but they reopened their doors for dinner July 28. TouringPlans was there for it (and the second night, just for good measure) and we are here to give you the scoop.
For those not familiar with Victoria & Albert’s (V&A), it is the nicest (and fanciest) restaurant at Walt Disney World and one of the best in Central Florida. Unfortunately V&A was not open in time to be evaluated for this year’s Michelin Guide, but many expect it to join Capa at The Four Seasons Walt Disney World and other Orlando restaurants with at least one star next year.
What hasn’t changed at V&A?
- The dress code: Dress is semi-formal or formal. In fact, a tuxedo would not be inappropriate.
- The age restriction: Diners must be age 10 or older.
- The need for reservations: V&A is always in demand.
- The structure of the menu: V&A serves prix fixe tasting menus available with or without wine pairings. Non-alcoholic pairings and wine by the glass are also available.
- The dining room experiences: There are the Dining Room, Queen Victoria’s Room, and the Chef’s Table.
- The high level of service and most of the staff.
What has changed at V&A?
- The price: Our tasting menu for opening night was $375.
- The decor: During the closure, V&A was able to refresh its dining rooms to a more modern but still traditional look.
- The cuisine to a point – Repeat guests will remember seeing several dishes in the style of molecular gastronomy. The menu we were served had fewer dishes with fussy presentation and more of a focus on the story of the course.
How much is a meal at V&A?
The Chef’s tasting menu at Victoria & Albert’s is $375 per person with an optional wine-pairing for $200 per person (not everyone at the table needs to choose it). The Dining Room menu is $295 per person ($150 wine-pairing). A non-alcoholic beverage pairing of specially chosen beverages $110. There is even a water sommelier who can recommend pairings for your dishes in the $16 – 20 up to $126 per bottle range! There is an automatic 20% gratuity for parties of 6 or more and $100 per person charge if you cancel or remove people from your reservation fewer than 5 days in advance.
Is V&A worth the price?
We paid for our meal just like any other guest and believe Victoria & Albert’s is absolutely worth the price. The price and quality is in line with similar restaurants in major cities. Unlike other table service restaurants at Walt Disney World, V&A is not charging you the “Disney price” for your meal; they are charging the going rate for a very upscale dining experience. Does that mean that we can eat there as often as we would like? Of course not. A Porsche 911 is worth the price, but you’re not going to see us driving one any time soon either. To put it in perspective, a meal at Victoria & Albert’s is less than the cost of a VIP tour and at least as memorable.
Our V&A first night review
We dined in the regular dining room and had the Chef’s Tasting Menu and the Chef’s Vegan Tasting Menu:
Chef’s Tasting Menu courses:
- Pink Pineapple, Thai Basil, Spiced Mango, Langoustine Tartlette, Watermelon, Finger Limes, Cinco Jotas Iberico, “Eclair”
- Royal Belgian Caviar, Cauliflower Panna Cotta
- Danish Hiramasa, Carrot Okinawan Potatoes
- Wild Turbot, Fennel, Baby Leeks*
- Glacier 51 Toothfish, Charred Mushrooms, Sambal
- Green Circle Chicken, Australian Black Truffle, Corn
- Lamb, Pickled Blueberries, Violet Mustard
- Miyazaki A-5, Potato Rosti, Romesco*
- Cheese course
- Desserts: Honey Elderflower Ice Cream, Warm Chocolate Cookie, Spectrum of Chocolate, Pistachio Petit Four, Praline Truffle, Pavlova Tropical Caramel
*Chef’s menu only, not on $295 Dining Room menu)
Vegan Chef’s Tasting Menu courses:
- Pink Pineapple, Thai Basil, Spiced Mango Panisse, Shiso, Tempura Potato Glass, Radish, Celery
- Beets, Plum Wine, Yuzu Meringue
- Heirloom Tomatoes, Gazpacho, 100 Year Balsamico
- Arrowhead Cabbage, “Pastrami,” Rye Gnocchi
- Charred Mushroom, Bamboo Rice, Sambal
- Huitlacoche, Corn, Australian Black Truffle
- Heirloom Beans, Potato, Turnips
- Carrot Tikka Masala, Cilantro, Puri
- Cheese Course (plant-based)
- Desserts: Acai, Granita, Warm Peach Raspberry Cookie, Praline Temple, Rhubarb Pie, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Banana Gateau, Tahini Mousse
Disney is definitely going through more changes these days than a pubescent boy, and we were not sure how these would affect the best restaurant at Walt Disney World. Victoria & Albert’s is same exquisite event we have always loved. Every item was chosen with intent, prepared perfectly, and presented with care. It may seem pretentious to serve dishes like “Spectrum of Chocolate” or ingredients you need a dictionary for, but the amazing cast members at V&A are as convivial, accommodating, friendly, and reassuring as any we’ve ever experienced. Our servers guided us through each course, explaining the elements, how the dish came together, and how to enjoy each bite. The food is top notch (as one would expect for the price), but the staff make the night unforgettable. This is a meal for anyone who enjoys food.
Thanks for reading our first look at Victoria & Albert’s. We will publish a full review in the coming days. Are you dreaming of a meal here? Talk about it in the comments.
16 thoughts on “Victoria and Albert’s First Night Review”
What is the typical amount of time spent at V&A?
That is a great question and something we planned to hit in our full review. Our party was there for 6 hours. That’s not a typo. The reservation was for 6:30PM and they left at 12:30AM (and were not the only parties to do that).
Were you being particularly leisurely, or is that just how long it takes for most parties?
It really did take that long. According to the staff, they are trying to tighten things up for closer to 4-5 than 5-6 hours. We did see a couple who took far less time, but that was almost like they (the couple, nut the staff) were rushing things. Having a bigger party, doing wine pairings, and having multiple menus at your table (we have both omnivores and vegans) will necessarily increase the time it takes to finish the meal. Also, though it is small courses, the total amount of food is quite large. You wouldn’t want to take it much faster.
We have-had dinner there many times and now days with a single staggered seating it takes about 5 hours. They used to have an early seating at about 5:30and a second seating at 9:15 pm the menus were shorter back then. By a few courses. Go and enjoy.
Thanks for the review. Looking forward to trying it one of these upcoming trips!
My husband snd I dined in Queen Victoria’s Room – where there were only 4 tables – back in October 2019. We got an email before we went asking if we had any food allergies or requirements – I told them I didn’t like spicy foods. We were there about 4 hours and had 11 courses – one of the courses they had changed for me because it was spicy. It wasn’t just a meal, it was an experience. We had all the extras – I always think to myself, before whatever experience, am I going to say – I wish I hadn’t spent all that money – or – I wish I’d paid for that extra experience – and I knew I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t gone for everything. The waiters were excellent – really informative but not “stuffy” (eg they didn’t look down their noses because we weren’t sure how to eat caviar and asked them). It was extremely expensive but worth it in my opinion even though I daren’t tell my husband how much it cost for about 2 weeks. Our bill was far far far in excess of the amounts quoted in this blog but we did go for the 2 optional courses including the caviar course and also the wine paring. Probably won’t do it again as we could go on a nice holiday for less instead (just booked 10 days in Greece all inclusive for less than we paid for the meal). Having said that I don’t regret the experience one bit!
Thank for you for your updates, planning to visit V&A Chefs Table in September and hope you have an opportunity to visit and review prior to my visit.
Are they still doing the bread and butter pairings between courses?
Do they still offer the chocolates at the end of the meal like before?
We were not offered those at the end of the meal, though I do remember them and know what you’re talking about.
There was a time you could make reservations six months in advance. Does it follow the new Disney policy of 60-days in advance or is it longer?
60 days. Unlike other Disney restaurants, you can also call directly to make a reservation – (407) WDW-DVNA or (407) 939-3862. And there is a direct email to V&A, WDW.Victoria.and.Alberts@disney.com..
Waiting for the 6o day window to open for our January trip. We ate there in feb. 2020. Just about 3 weeks before the world was shutdown. We have been going a couple times a year since 2002, started back when all the servers were victoria and albert, it made for a fun evening, remember the queen anne room was $125,its fun to look back on the menus from over the years. Well looking forward to January
My daughter is a rising college sophomore. I told her when she graduated high school that I’ll take her to V&A to celebrate when she graduates law school (her intended career path). She’s determined to hold me to it, so we should be there sometime around 2028 – looking forward to it! 🙂
I was unable to get a reservation when the sixty day window opened. I have tried calling but I keep getting a voicemail indicating V&A reservation office is closed. Did the hours change for the reservation office? The voicemail indicates T-F 10-4 p.m. I know it is a long shot but would really like to see if there is an opening. Been wanting to try this for a long time.