Victoria & Albert’s Review
Victoria & Albert’s is a AAA 5-Diamond award winning restaurant in Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World that offers a unique fine-dining menu of contemporary American cuisine. It has won numerous awards over the years; in 2017, it was once again named the #2 restaurant in the United States by TripAdvisor.
Suffice to say, this is by far the best restaurant at Walt Disney World. It’s not even close. Victoria & Albert’s is also the most expensive. (Again, it’s not even close.) Additionally, it does not participate in the Disney Dining Plan, nor does it accept the Tables in Wonderland card.
Although we recommend reading the rest of this review if you’re considering dining at Victoria & Albert’s, no review really is necessary. Victoria & Albert’s is, hands down, the best dining experience at Walt Disney World. It’s well worth the expensive price, and actually is not overpriced when compared to comparable “real world” restaurants…
Sarah and I have had some nice meals at restaurants comparable to Victoria & Albert’s, and usually they aren’t my thing. Although I enjoy fine dining, I get impatient when eating several course marathon meals that take several hours, and I feel out of place at the lavish restaurants where everyone else is seemingly aged 60-80. We have received poor service at some such places, I feel, because the staff felt we “didn’t belong” due to our age. Consequently, on the rare occasions that we dine out, we skew towards more moderate-tier restaurants.
Moderation is not a word in Victoria’s (or Albert’s) vocabulary. As we ascended up the stairs and the polished mahogany of the grand doors came into view, my stomach became unsettled, as I wondered if we had just forked down a substantial amount of money for what might only amount to a few hours of discomfort. I curled my Mickey Mouse camera strap into my hand as we approached the check-in stand, not wanting to appear like an “outsider.”
My fears would quickly be allayed. We had two maids (waitresses and waiters go by maids and butlers at V&A) who were both incredibly friendly and personable. Immediately, they offered to bring a stool for our cameras. The rest of the experience was only uphill. Our meal and the options were explained to us, and we were given a wine list.
Initially, I presumed it was a catalog from which to purchase a new car. The names of the cars didn’t register (they were mostly French and older models), but the prices certainly suggested that it was a car catalog. Upon realizing it was a fine list, and all but the cheapest wines were out of the question, we were given the menu for the meal.
It should be noted that the menu for Victoria & Albert’s changes regularly, and we dined here several years ago for our honeymoon. Our “meal report” follows, but probably offers little value if you’re trying to decide what to order. It’s highly unlikely that any of these items will be on the menu for your meal.
After ordering, one of our maids brought out palette stimulators, compliments of the chef. Upon my first spoonful of the egg, I knew I was in for the most amazing meal of my life. Up until that moment in my life, this was the best thing I had ever tasted.
I don’t think my palette is refined enough to describe all of the tastes (even if it were, I couldn’t remember them so long afterward), but it was amazing. The other three portions were incredible, as well.
My first course was Minnesota Elk Carpaccio. After the first course, I was incredibly excited for this, as I love wild game.
The elk was delicious with excellent presentation, but it left me wishing for a little more. It was so thinly sliced that it was almost difficult to properly taste it (at least I thought). Still, wonderful.
For her first course, we can’t quite remember what Sarah had. She was equally impressed with her course.
After this, the maids served us bread. This was some of the best bread and butter I had ever had. The butter had garlic in it that, while probably not massaged daily, was rich and smooth beyond belief. The bread itself was delicious, too.
For the second course, we both got the Marinated King Salmon; it was sweet and tender. Probably the best salmon I’ve ever had. Very delicious.
Throughout the meal, the maids were incredibly attentive and personable. Truly the friendliest and most attentive service we’ve had at any restaurant.
Sarah had the Duck Breast, Duck Sausage and Confit, which I almost ordered as well. The sausage, especially, was delicious, and although I’m not sure what confit preparation entails, it sure made the plate delicious.
My rationale for not ordering the duck was that our meals were already going to shape up very similarly, and the Poulet Rouge with Mushroom-Truffle Ragout intrigued me. Truth be told, I had no idea what this was when I ordered it, and the maid’s explanation didn’t really elucidate things for me, but I decided to go for it anyway.
I absolutely love mushrooms, and I figured it would be good. It was rich, flavorful, and incredibly excellent. Some of the best mushrooms I’ve ever had, and this is coming from an expert Northern Michigan Morel hunter.
Next was the main course. We both opted for the Niman Ranch Lamb. It was amazing. Out of this world delicious. At this point, though, it was a bit anti-climatic. Every course before it had been so amazing that we fully expected the perfect main course.
It definitely delivered; cooked perfectly, nice and tender. It’s right after lunch as I write this, but even thinking about it on a full stomach makes me crave it.
For dessert we were torn. It was really only a two horse race, but torn we were, nonetheless.
Eventually we decided that Sarah would get the Hawaiian Kona Chocolate Souffle and I would get the Grand Mariner Souffle.
Prior to this trip, I hadn’t been a big chocolate or desserts person (much to the disappointment of my waistline, I’ve become a convert).
Hallelujah, I saw the light on this trip! I don’t even know if I could put into words the deliciousness of that dessert. Rich. Decadent. Super-awesome-fantasmic!
Finally, we were treated to some wonderful candies. (V&A doesn’t even skimp on the candy!) Sarah was given a rose and we were given a dessert bread to take home.
As the experience drew to a close, the maids gave us one last “course” that would prove wonderful–access to a private room in which we could take as many pictures as we wanted! The room, the Queen Victoria’s room, was set up for overflow or perhaps parties, and the bookings were very light that evening, so it was not in use.
The thing I’m asked the most about Victoria & Albert’s is whether it was worth the money. Obviously if people are asking, they’re in a situation like us: value for money matters, and a meal at V&A’s there would be splurging to some degree. My advice, unequivocally, no matter what degree of splurging it may be, would be to find a special occasion to celebrate there, and go. I don’t say the ‘special occasion’ bit so you have a nice “in” to get a freebie, but rather because I think it provides a nice reason to be there, and something to “embrace” while you’re dining.
The meal is absolutely amazing, as was the service; really, I can’t say enough good things about the experience, except for the price (fixed-price cost for the regular dining room is $185 per person; wine pairings are $65 per person). That said, in terms of value, even at its high cost, I would rate Victoria & Albert’s very highly. In my mind, it’s one of the few restaurants that is not overpriced for the food and service it offers.
Simply put, this is the best restaurant at Walt Disney World by an incredibly wide margin. No matter what amount of saving it requires you to do, it’s definitely worth doing once. If it weren’t for our honeymoon, I’m not so sure I could have enjoyed it as much in our present financial circumstances; rather, I’m pretty sure I would’ve been thinking about how much it was costing and wondering why we’re doing it. In the context of a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, though, thoughts of price didn’t cross my mind once (well, besides when looking at the wine list). I cannot wait until we are financially stable enough to enjoy our next meal there.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? If you’re interested in learning more about hotels, our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page is a good place to start. For where to eat, try out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews page. If you want to save money on tickets or determine which type you should get, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. OurWhat to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at unconventional things you should take on your trip. Once you arrive at the parks, our Walt Disney World “Ride Guides” are great for determining what to do and when to do it. For overviews of all of these topics and so much more, the best place to start is our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!
If you’ve been to Victoria & Albert’s, did you like it? Do you think it’s the best Walt Disney World restaurant, or did it not live up to the hype for you? Planning on going? Share your thoughts in the comments!
I just noticed a job opening for a Guest Experience Manager at Victoria and Albert’s. Perhaps they are opening soon?
Any thoughts on when Victoria and Albert might re-open? We didn’t go back in 2019 when the price and gone up quite a bit from when we had 1st gone however we are hoping to make a trip just the 2 of us in early December and this was going to be our special treat.
Tom – making tentative plans for a trip in August and this is something we really want to try so I went ahead and made a reservation. Do you know what the difference is for the Queen Victoria Room vs a regular reservation?
Tom- thanks so much for your candid review. We are headed to WDW on Jan 27 and have a reservation for Victoria and Albert’s on the 29th–can’t wait! It wasn’t in our budget last time we visited WDW (2012), but since then we have become restaurant owners and this place was the ONLY rez we wanted– no matter what– for this trip. We have been working our butts off and yeah, we deserve it. Feel like we will go for the whole she-bang, the wine paired menu. W00t. (Unless there are even more upgrades, in that case bring it on) Last time we visited it was my husband’s first trip to Disney, so we saw all the attractions we could. This time, it’s purely for relaxation.
…While I’m posting, let me say that we super appreciate this blog. It is by far the most helpful for us, as a young-at-heart couple without kids who just wants a magical escape from reality every once in a while. I appreciate that you keep it real and throw in some humor along the way. Keep up the great work!
Can I ask what the current price is? I’m dying to try it but don’t know if we can justify the price.
We got the tasting menu and I want to say that was $250-$275 per person. There are some upgrades you can choose such as adding another fish course and substituting Wagyu beef for the steak course, and we did both. We also got the wine pairing which it think was an extra $125 per person. After tip we spent about $1200, but I will tell you that it was absolutely the best meal I have had in my life thus far. I would go back and do it all again
My wife and I went here during our honeymoon on November 13 2018. We were able to get reservations for the Queen Victoria room, woke up early and it was the first reservation I made on the 180+ day. We splurged on everything except the caviar and we couldn’t be happier with spending the money for the experience. We knew this would be either the only time we would go or it’d be a long time before we went again. For us the food was amazing, and the A5 wagyu beef is a needed upgrade. The two servers were awesome and helped us feel comfortable since we rarely go to nice restaurants that require a dress code; they were down to earth, welcoming, funny, and fun. The rose they gave my wife even survived for over a week so she dried it once we got home, she’s going to put it in a shadow box with the menus and some pictures specifically from our dinner.
We have already started to recommend to our friends and family to try to do it at least once for a special occasion.
We have a reservation for Jan 20th 2019.
After trying so many times to get in we finally have a date. However the price is now $235 per person and wine pairings are now $150 per person.
I’m planning my trip for January 2020 & just read your comment. Tomorrow is the big day! Enjoy!
I was able to get reservations for the Queen Victoria Room for my honeymoon this coming November. Neither of I nor my future wife have ever dined at a 5 star restaurant so it’s a great time to cross that off our bucket list. We can’t wait for this experience. I made sure to be up before 6am on our 180 days prior to make sure I got this reservation and a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest. I’ll be submitting a reply after our visit.
This blog is great and definitely helped make our trip this past November go as smooth as possible. Reading your proposal story also helped me get the courage to propose to my future wife at WDW, though at the unconventional Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen.
What did you think about Be My Guest?
My first experience at V&A’s was on my honeymoon in 1994. The food was a little stodgier (fine dining wasn’t as adventurous back in the day), but still completely incredible. At the time, all the maids and butlers had to actually be named Victoria or Albert. Only at Disney, amirite?
Love this review and your site! I had a little trouble viewing the pictures here – all of the images say “please update your account to enable third party hosting.” Is there another place I can find your pictures? Thanks!
I’m a little late to this party we’re going to Disney in June would love to try V&A we have two small children however and they barely eat I can’t justify spending $135 per kid anyone know if they will allow parents to share or should we skip this one until kids get older.
Small Children are not allowed to dine at V&A’s 10 and up only.
The price is now $185 per person!
The beef is “Wagu” beef and is very, very special. I’ve never had this – it is very unusual in the UK but cannot wait to have this, hopefully at V&A’s when we go one day!
The duck confit means the meat has been deep fried – it’s a funny name and this is why the duck is always moist. I love eating duck this way and it’s quite a popular dish on menu’s in the UK.
I would go for the wine pairing as they compliment the food you are eating. My taste buds have changed in the last year – obviously old age is having an effect on me and I now like red wine and slightly drier wines than I used to, so I’d definitely do a wine pairing now as I think I’d really enjoy it.
Confit does not in any way mean its been deep fried! nor is it a “funny name” Confit comes from the French word confire, which means literally “to preserve,” A confit being any type of food that is cooked slowly over a long period of time as a method of preservation. Confit as a cooking term describes when food is cooked in grease, oil or sugar water (syrup), at a lower temperature, as opposed to deep frying. While deep frying typically takes place at temperatures of 325—450 Â°F (163—232 Â°C), confit preparations are done at a much lower temperature, such as an oil temperature of around 200 Â°F (93 Â°C), sometimes even cooler. The term is usually used in modern cuisine to mean long slow cooking in oil or fat at low temperatures, many having no element of preservation such as dishes like confit potatoes.
In meat cooking, this requires the meat to be salted as part of the preservation process. After salting and cooking in the fat, sealed and stored in a cool, dark place, confit can last for several months or years. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food.
I’m glad most people enjoy the experience of eating at V&A, it’s great place for most who enjoy that kind of dining.
For me I ended up being less than happy because as we discovered I’m just not a multi-course kind of guy…
I also had the Minnesota Elk and wanted more! I asked if I could get more and skip the next two courses but they wouldn’t let me. It was like that at the end of each course, as soon as I found it was interesting I discovered I was finished with that bit of the meal.
This isn’t a knock on V&A or the people that enjoy eating there, I just wish they would let me order ‘normal’ portions of a few things and call it a meal. I guess I’m not much of a food browser…
“The room, the Queen Victoria’s room, was set up for overflow or perhaps parties, and the bookings were very light that evening, so it was not in use.”
Like to offer my 2 cents on the Queen Victoria room as I dined in there with my now wife on the night I proposed to her. ( goes back to Spring 2011, but the details are still roughly the same.
The Queen Victoria Room (I’ll call QVR) is a special , special reservation , like the Chef’s table. You will have a dedicated butler for 2 of the 4 tables at most, plus another 2 for people for clearing and setting courses and some staff bringing in some of the simpler courses items like bread.
The QVR offers 10 courses vs the regular 6 you you have in the main room. Some items are the same some are different than the main room menu as well as additions. You are separated from the ‘riff raff’ of the ‘normal’ people in the main room, your butler is right there nearly the entire time, you are seriously pampered. Like Tom said the food is fantastic! Every bit the 5 star triple A, blessed by an angel ratings they have earned. Your butler will give you and in-depth explanation of your The head chef, and the pastry chef will come out and visit you at some point towards the end of the meal. Over All the dining is similar to the chefs table, but a butler explains things to you and you don’t see the kitchen, but you do get a separate seating and extra attention.
Down side – costs double normal room seating. 🙁 Add in a matched wine pairing flight for 2 at 1/2 the meal price and your are nearly 3 meals in price by the end. Then Add tip. Yes imagine a 20% tip here. I’ve had some fine dining meals that cost as much as the tip did.
WORTH EVERY STINKING PENNY!
A side note, I arranged a special bouquet with a tiara delivered directly to the restaurant, and as everyone in WDW is connected to the same computer system for reservations etc, the staff already knew about the delivery and had plans ready to go as I directed Disney Floral. The delivery had to hop fro Floral , to Grand Floridian main desk to V&A to my butler and he was on top of it long before I got to the restaurant.
Extra expensive, great for Extra, Extra Special event, like proposing 😉 later at fireworks. (or the 50th wedding anniversary couple in the room with us.)
I’m curious, how long does it take to sit through a dinner service here? 2 hours?
This is late compared to your request but to answer roughly 2 1/2 -3 hours, in the main room. Closer to 3 1/2 hours for Queen Victoria Room and Chef’s Table, but your paying 2x the amount and getting more food in the process.
Main Dining Room seating from 5pm – 6:05pm and 8:30pm – 9:20pm. In the Queen Victoria Room seating from 5pm – 6:35pm. Chef’s Table seating only for 5pm.
Just wondering Tom if you had any ideas on where else to go….unable to secure reservations for Victoria & Albert. Our trip is in Jan/Feb 2016 and was hoping for my son and daughter in law to go there but no luck. This is my dream holiday that my family are taking me on and would like to do something special for them. We are from Australia and have found your blog extremely informative and have used it to plan all aspects of our trip. Any ideas you have would be most appreciated.
From what I have heard, Flying Fish Cafe is outstanding, but is not the grand dining experience that VA’s is. And I have never heard anything but raves about Yachtsman’s steakhouse, if beef is your thing.
I should also mention the California Grill, on the top floor of the Contemporary Hotel for its rather dramatic ambiance. It’s location affords it incredible views of the Magic Kingdom and ihas two open air terraces that guests may use to view the fireworks in the evening. ( if you eat early you only need bring your receipt to the reception desk just before the fireworks, and you will be permitted to return to the California Grill for fireworks viewing. You usually can get a seat in the lounge area and be served desserts and or drinks (without a table reservation) near the fireworks time, (or of course you could reserve a table ( ask for one near the windows) just for dessert.) i’ve always found the service very attentive here and the food is good enough quality to justify the higher prices. ( they also are reputed to have a very good wine list )
Call V & A directly! We are honeymooning in February and they had several open reservations! Talk to Tammy.
I just booked our first Visit to V&A’s for this June! We will be celebrating our Wedding Anniversary so I am VERY excited for this!!! We’ve talked about it for years and decided to just do it. I can’t wait to report back- I’m looking forward to the Wine Paring. The wine list is a little intimidating but I trust that they won’t judge me for my $15 and under normal wine policy. 🙂
Many (many) years ago Victoria and Alberts was a one TS option on the disney dining plan. I went there for the first and only time when I was about 9 years old. My dad didn’t have a jacket with him because we didn’t plan on such a fancy meal, so they provided him with one. The humor in that is my dad is 5’4 on a good day and the jacket was meant for a far taller gentleman but it didn’t impact the experience at all! Somewhere in our old slides (yes it was THAT long ago) I have a few pictures of our dinner there. Even at the ripe old age of 9 in the mid 80s I was a fan of food porn. We left with a hand written copy of our personal menu and memories to last a lifetime. Thanks for providing me with a new glimpse into an old favorite. Heading to disney this summer for my 40th birthday, but with a 2 year old so this won’t be a stop for us this year. I’m hoping by my 50th she’ll be ready to join me at the Chef’s table. Happy New Year! (another long time fan)
Just got back from our honeymoon where we ate at Victoria & Alberts. Best food of the entire trip (although best dining experience was won by the chef’s wine tasting dinner at Flying Fish).
A note about splitting wine pairings: when we inquired about it they said it’s split so you get 3 pairings each instead of 6 as each pour is 2.5-3 ounces (reading other people talking about splitting I assumed the pairing was a full glass and that’s why you would want to split it). As people who enjoy wine we opted to pay extra to each get a pairing instead so we got to try a different wine with each course. While I’m a wine lover I am a lightweight but this was not too much wine for me (we did get a full pour of champagne to start dinner) especially with how long dinner takes to eat each course. Comparatively I did not finish all of my wine at Flying Fish because it was 5 full pours and after three I knew I needed to sip the last two (which were luckily a red and a port which I like less than the whites I got earlier in the evening).
And a final note: I believe wine pairings are now $65 a person from what I remember. You list it as $60.