Walt Disney World has announced the reopening of Victoria & Albert’s at Grand Floridian in July 2022, plus a look at the reimagined restaurant. This post covers opening date & details, Advance Dining Reservation info, and commentary about the value proposition of V&A’s in light of the astronomical price increase. (Updated June 11, 2022.)
This is the first major restaurant reopening news since Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, and one of only a handful of dining options to return in 2022. The biggest recent development was the return of normal character dining, which allowed some fur character food spots to return to normal. The good news is that the vast majority of noteworthy restaurants already reopened last year, with that happening on a near-weekly basis over the summer.
The bad news is that no additional character dining experiences have returned since the aforementioned interaction changes, likely due to a face character shortage. Additionally, a handful of Walt Disney World’s best Signature Restaurants still have not yet returned, likely due to the lack of international programs. At least Victoria & Albert’s is now leaving that ‘closed’ list and reopening next month! Here are the details from Walt Disney World…
Victoria & Albert’s fine dining restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is preparing for its momentous return on July 28, 2022. Advance Dining Reservations will open for V&A’s beginning bright and early on June 20, 2022.
Several readers have asked what “early” means, and we don’t have a good answer. The timing for new ADRs to be released by Walt Disney World is inconsistent. Sometimes it’s right at 6 am, sometimes it’s an hour earlier, other times it’s later. On some occasions, it seems to be gradual, with times slowly loaded into the ADR system over the course of hours. (Advance Dining Reservations are never released at midnight, so at least you can get some sleep.)
Victoria & Albert’s, a recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award since 2000 and Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award since 2018, is known for its unmatched dining experience with exquisite dishes made with ingredients from across the globe.
The flagship Walt Disney World restaurant is the only one in Florida to hold the honor of having both the AAA Five Diamond and the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star awards. Only 26 other restaurants in the United States have this same unique distinction.
Not only will the flavors at Victoria & Albert’s be enhanced, but the interior has been overhauled in preparation for its triumphant return. The newly reimagined Victoria & Albert’s dining room brings guests into a Victorian-styled setting with murals and wall coverings that showcase a timeless elegance and subtle inspirations of a whimsical garden.
For a more intimate evening, the private Queen Victoria’s Room or the coveted Chef’s Table with a front-row seat to the culinary masterminds at work may be the option for you. The world-class wine collection found within its wine cellar, with over 500 selections, perfectly pairs with your dishes by the sommeliers on staff. If you’re interested in zero-proof cocktails, there are delicious beverage pairing options for you as well.
Upon reopening, guests will savor their way through the Chef’s Tasting Menu at Victoria & Albert’s. Each dish balances elegant ingredients with unique flavors. With the ever-evolving menu at Victoria & Albert’s, guests will be able to indulge in dishes such as Colorado Lamb with pickled blueberry and violet mustard and line-caught turbot with fennel fondue, and Pernod beurre blanc.
Those who enjoy the finest of beef can upgrade to the Wagyu A-5 Miyazaki with sauce romesco and potato rösti. Chocolate lovers will revel in the Spectrum of Chocolate, an ombré featuring specialty sourced chocolates with accents of buttermilk, Grand Marnier, and vanilla.
These dishes are masterfully created by the talented culinary team led by Victoria & Albert’s Chef de Cuisine Matthew Sowers. He has been working at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts since 2006, with over 15 years of culinary experience at Victoria & Albert’s, in addition to curating menus for Remy on the Disney Dream and Fantasy.
With more than 30 years of experience, Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer was part of the opening team at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and currently leads the pastry team of the resort, including its three signature restaurants, Disney’s Fairytale Weddings, and even the production of the gingerbread house.
Then there’s the storied Culinary Director, Chef Scott Hunnel, who has his own long legacy at the Grand Floridian and Victoria and Albert’s. The James Beard award nominee now provides direction and mentorship to chefs across multiple resorts, including the team at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Sommelier Israel Perez serves as the maître d’hotel where he and his award-winning team pay special attention to every detail of the dining experience. For over 20 years, he has created memorable experiences for guests at various signature restaurants across the Walt Disney World Resort.
Leading the talented chefs is Executive Chef Kevin Chong, who oversees all culinary operations at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. It is no small feat, but this chef and his team uphold the reputation that has long been established for these delicious eateries.
A reminder about Victoria & Albert’s dress code – be sure to dress to impress, as this is an exquisite and intimate dining experience and the culinary crown jewel of the Walt Disney World Resort. Guests are expected to dress accordingly for this upscale location with semi-formal to formal attire that respects the restaurant’s elegant and opulent aesthetic.
Unlike other Signature Restaurants, the dress code at Victoria & Albert’s is actually enforced.
The reopening of Victoria & Albert’s comes as part of the multi-year transformation of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, honoring its rich history at Walt Disney World Resort while enhancing its iconic Victorian charm and elegance. This grand transformation began with the addition of Enchanted Rose lounge and the reimagining of Cítricos and continued with the reopening of The Grand Floridian Spa. Victoria & Albert’s and the newly enhanced and expanded accommodations at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will open this summer.
According to Walt Disney World, the “transformation will continue with updated offerings across the resort over the coming years.” This is great to hear and, to our knowledge, the first time the company has acknowledged that there’s more on the horizon for the Grand Floridian. Here’s hoping the guest rooms receive a redesign very soon.
In terms of commentary, Victoria & Albert’s is one of our favorite restaurants anywhere in the world, not just Walt Disney World. While there are other great Signature Restaurants, this is the unequivocal crown jewel of the Disney culinary landscape, and it’s treated as such.
You might’ve gathered as much from the focus on the awards V&A’s has received and its culinary credentials, but Walt Disney World is quite proud of Victoria & Albert’s and its accolades. From what I’ve heard, Disney is laser-focused on V&A’s receiving Michelin recognition in the new Florida guide (another topic that’ll be covered shortly) and most of its changes have been made to that end.
July 11, 2022 UPDATE: Following the announcement, Walt Disney World has released pricing for Victoria & Albert’s, and the prix-fixe menu now starts at $295.00 per per person. Optional wine pairings start at $150.00 per person, with zero-proof pairings available at $110.00 per guest. This is up from $185 per person at the time of closure for the prix fixe menu, and $250 with wine pairings (as opposed to $445 now).
Victoria & Albert’s was arguably slightly underpriced for what it was prior to the closure. It was always difficult to book, and just about everyone we knew who dined there (us included) left satisfied with the experience and feeling good about what they paid versus what they experienced. No one (us included) left saying “it would’ve been worth it at nearly double the cost!” Accordingly, we’ve removed some commentary about Victoria & Albert’s being a “good value” for what it is.
Victoria & Albert’s has long been “competing” with Michelin-starred restaurants for recognition and critical acclaim, similar to how Disney Springs restaurants compete with other Orlando establishments. This means that the ingredients, preparation, service, and totality of the experience are all second-to-none at V&A’s. Whether it’s worth $295 per person (and up) is in the eye of the beholder–we won’t be dining there at that cost.
When we last dined at Victoria & Albert’s, it cost half that amount, and it was well worth the money. No corners were cut, no details ignored–nothing short of spectacular and far superior to all other restaurants at Walt Disney World. However, it was not so far above and beyond everything else that it justifies a $295 price point. There are plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants in the real world that offer something comparable for far less money.
Without question, Victoria & Albert’s is an expensive experience that is not for everyone–and not just by virtue of its price points. This is haute cuisine, and even after countless courses, you’re not going to leave stuffed. If you’d prefer something simple, straightforward, and laid back, V&A’s is not a good fit.
At Victoria & Albert’s, the service is superlative, attentive and welcoming. Unlike other Michelin-caliber meals, V&A’s is approachable, and not stuffy or smug. As someone who feels unreasonably uncomfortable at many high-end restaurants, V&A’s is a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, the price increases make it a non-starter for us. I guess we’ll continue patiently awaiting reopening dates for Takumi Tei and Monsieur Paul–the other two best restaurants at Walt Disney World–and enjoy excellent meals at those at significantly lower prices.
Excited for the reopening of Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa? Is V&A’s on your Walt Disney World bucket list, or is this type of fine dining not your cup of tea? Excited to see the reimagined restaurant? What do you think of this news? Any restaurant reopening announcements that you’re still anxiously awaiting? Hoping for more ‘restored normalcy’ announcements in the near future? Does this have you optimistic or pessimistic for more dining to reopen at Walt Disney World? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!