While we love a signature dining experience like Victoria & Albert’s, there certainly comes a time where we have to wonder if it’s still worth the price. If you’ve been considering booking the Chef’s Table, you now have an additional $100 per person to consider. Let’s break the entire experience down to determine if a $350 dinner at Disney World is really worth it.
What is Victoria & Albert’s?
The Chef’s Table is quite literally the crème de la crème when it comes to Disney World dining. But to fully wrap our heads around WHY it’s so elegant, let’s first chat about the restaurant that the Chef’s Table calls home. Victoria & Albert’s is a AAA Five Diamond restaurant located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Victoria & Albert’s is the most critically acclaimed restaurant in Disney World, and possibly even in the entire state of Florida. If you haven’t caught on by now, it’s an extremely high-end, luxury experience. It’s also a highly sought-after experience. Advance Dining Reservations go FAST at Victoria & Albert’s so be ready to book it at 7:00AM EST SHARP when that booking window opens up.
Needless to say, dining at Victoria & Albert’s is the ultimate “Signature” endeavor. On top of the extremely high price, there is also a strict dress code guests must adhere to, children under ten years of age are not permitted, and the Disney Dining Plan is not accepted.
But folks who have been lucky enough to grab a reservation and get to eat at Victoria & Albert’s say that it is a one-of-a-kind dining experience that is NOT to be missed. Our experiences here have been stellar. In our opinion, any restaurant that comes with a HUGE menu of JUST Still Water options is at least worth checking out. 😉
Victoria & Albert’s is broken up into three separate dining rooms, each with their own unique experience. First is the Main Dining Room, where most guests are seated. The room itself is very elegant and features a live harpist most nights! In the past, guests in the Main Dining Room would choose between a seven or ten-course menu, but they’ve recently switched to the Chef’s Degustation Menu.
The Chef’s Degustation Menu allows guests to choose anywhere between eight and twelve courses. Guests receive personalized menus that Victoria & Albert’s begins to construct about a week prior to your reservation. You are contacted to go through any allergies, likes, and dislikes, at which point a menu is created especially for you.
For a more intimate dining experience, guests can dine in the Queen Victoria Room. Currently, this room only accommodates up to eight guests at a time spread out over four tables of two, and you are also served a version of the Chef’s Degustation Menu.
As for the food itself, Victoria & Albert’s prides itself on having a superb menu filled with rare ingredients from around the state, country, and world. According to Disney’s website, their menu features “truffles from Italy, Russian Osetra caviar, beef from Japan, poulet rouge from North Carolina and local Florida shrimp.”
Guests can also choose to add an optional wine pairing to their meal, which includes, according to Disney, “Over 700 selections of wine” with 4,200 bottles in their cellar, including such “rare and valuable vintages as 1961 Château Margaux and 1982 Château Mouton-Rothschild, plus a world-class collection of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.” The wine pairing is an additional $150 per guest, regardless of which room you are dining in.
No matter where you dine at Victoria & Albert’s, we think you’re in for a real treat. But the reason we’re all gathered today is to talk about The Chef’s Table.
What is the Chef’s Table and why is it so expensive?
As we hinted at earlier, if you want to experience the absolute height of fine dining, the Chef’s Table is the place to be. This single table is located in the heart of the Victoria & Albert’s kitchen, and it only seats one party per evening. You may be surprised to find despite its higher price, the Chef’s Table feels a lot less “formal” than the Main Dining Room and Queen Victoria Room, as the setting is much more homey and you are literally right next to a brightly lit, bustling kitchen.
The service at the Chef’s Table takes approximately three hours and takes guests through a highly personalized menu where you get to sample the absolute best offerings coming out of the kitchen. The dining can only be matched by the entertaining service, as you get to interact with the chefs and learn anything and everything they’d like to share with you.
Those who have dined at the Chef’s Table often say that the best part is you get a front-row seat to all the action happening in the kitchen! So, ask as many questions as you want: you essentially have FULL ACCESS to the chefs! It’s a fascinating experience to get to see these talented chefs working and to get to hear their personal stories!
The Chef’s Table is a truly customized experience. Every guest’s preference is taken into account at Victoria & Albert’s, but those dining at the Chef’s Table are in for a real treat. The chefs that the guest’s interact with at the Chef’s Table craft their very own degustation menu that features all of their fresh and rare ingredients, depending on the party’s tastes. Don’t like chocolate? No problem. Allergic to shellfish? No worries! The chefs will work with you to get you a meal they know you’ll love!
But is it WORTH that pricetag?
A highly customized dinner sure sounds like the ultimate Disney World experience, but is it worth $250, soon to be $350? Since the wine pairing is considered an add-on in each of the three dining rooms, we won’t consider that as a factor (but if you can spring it, you totally should cause it’s pretty fantastic to go with this meal!).
All three rooms (Main Dining Room, Queen Victoria Room, and the Chef’s Table) are served some version of a personalized menu. While the Main Dining Room and Queen Victoria Room are served versions of the Chef’s Degustation Menu, those seated at the Chef’s Table receive an even MORE personalized experience and personalized selection of food.
The fact that Victoria & Albert’s pays super close attention to EACH individual diner’s preferences is a big plus and something you don’t find at every fine dining restaurant. At the Chef’s Table in particular, you’re dining there for not only amazing food, but a top-notch EXPERIENCE. If you’re going in thinking you’re just dropping a lot of money for just any old meal, you’re going in with the wrong mindset!
Even in Victoria & Albert’s, you can arguably get away with a “cheaper” dinner by choosing to dine in the Main Dining Room. If your goal is to say you ate at Victoria & Albert’s, you can do so without spending extra to dine at the Chef’s Table, and you will STILL have a spectacular evening; BUT you will still be shelling out a good chunk of change.
If you appreciate fine dining, the price may be justifiable to you. Really it comes down to your personal tastes and if this is an experience that you will truly appreciate and enjoy. There are other Signature Restaurants at Disney World that deliver high-quality food and service for a fraction of the cost. Keep in mind, however, that you will be losing out on that extremely personalized touch.
If you know you want to dine at Victoria & Albert’s but are unsure of which room is right for you, remember that the Chef’s Table will be a little louder and more laid back since you are literally in the middle of the restaurant’s kitchen. If you want a more romantic and quiet vibe, you may be better off in the Main Dining Room or — even more private — the Queen Victoria Room.
There’s no way around it — an evening at Victoria & Albert’s can add up quickly. For just a party of two to dine at the Chef’s Table you could also afford another night or two (or more!) at your resort, more days on your park tickets, being able to add a park hopper, adding the Disney Dining Plan, and much more!
Paying hundreds of dollars, even upwards of a thousand dollars, for a SINGLE meal is, frankly, excessive, even if you are used to Signature Dining experiences. Also remember that the Chef’s Table is roughly a three-hour experience, which is a hefty amount of time if you’re trying to maximize your time in Disney World!
BUT, it does have that “once in a lifetime” meal feeling to it. In the end, like all components of a Disney World vacation, it is truly up to YOU to determine if a $350 dinner at Disney World is worth the cost. But if you need some final persuading in either direction, we may be able to help!
The Chef’s Table may be worth it to you if:
- You want to try what is possibly the most personalized experience Disney World has to offer.
- You truly appreciate fine dining and all that it entails, so much so that a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen makes your heart sing.
- You’re celebrating a very special occasion on your Disney World vacation.
The Chef’s Table may NOT be worth it to you if:
- You want to stretch your vacation dollars (and time) as much as possible.
- You aren’t the type of person that can easily justify spending hundreds on a single meal.
- You want to dine at Victoria & Albert’s but you’re seeking a more quiet, romantic environment.
Nope, it’s not an easy choice. But we will say this: we haven’t heard from many who have experienced the Chef’s Table and didn’t enjoy themselves!
Have you dined at the Chef’s Table before? Share your experience in the comments!