Some fans of “The Most Magical Place on Earth” apparently aren’t feeling the magic about one thing.
Disney World fans are criticizing the powers that be at the theme park for significantly raising the prices at its most expensive food establishment, Victoria and Albert's restaurant.
The restaurant is located in Disney’s grand Floridian resort and spa, a part of Disney where "Victorian elegance meets modern sophistication," according to the theme park.
While options at the resort are plentiful, with 10 restaurants to choose from based on movies such as “Mary Poppins Returns” and “Beauty and the Beast,” Victoria and Albert’s is the belle of the ball, so to speak.
Victoria and Albert’s closed for a time due to COVID-19 and underwent a renovation which changed the décor from wood tones to a much brighter environment and new murals and fixtures.
The restaurant officially reopened on July 28 with the updated look, a new and ever-changing menu and, with that, a higher price point.
At the restaurant, which boasts a house harpist, a nonalcoholic cocktail to imbibe as soon as you’re seated and luxurious interior design, the restaurant offers three distinct prix-fixe menu options.
The standard menu begins at $295 per person with optional wine pairings starting at $150 or nonalcoholic pairings which start at $110. This is up from $185 per person at the time of closure and $250 with wine pairings, a difference of $195 for the cheapest option, according to the Disney Food blog.
The point of contention for some seems to be the more luxe options. These include first: the Queen Victoria Room dinner, which now costs $375, with $200 and $110 dollar drink pairings depending on alcohol content.
The Chef’s Table tasting menu, which used to cost $350 per person before the COVID-19 closure. This is now the most expensive option, now costing $425 per person with wine costing $200 for a highest cost total of $625.
Disney declined to comment on the online discussion and reason for the price increase.
“Crazy over priced…” wrote one user on Reddit. “Michelin star restaurants in NYC don’t even cost that much (except the very best, like Eleven Madison Park, which is 'only' $335.)”
“I’m sure it’s a great experience and super fancy, but no thanks. I’m out. No chance I’m spending $300 a person to eat some food,” commented another Redditor, to which another replied, “Let’s be honest, you weren’t in at $185 either.”
“This is more expensive than a 4 course meal at Disneyland club 33 which is pretty crazy,” added another person on Reddit, speaking of the most exclusive Disney experience that has a 10-year waiting list according to reports. It also boasts an alleged $25,000 to $50,000 initiation and yearly membership fee, so while the actual food at Club 33 is less money, it’s also not in the long run.
On the other hand, some users chimed in on the discussion to defend Disney's price point.
“Completely worth it,” one Redditor asserted.
“If you really value an exclusive experience with elevated service and elevated food, $300 bucks is probably not unheard of,” wrote another. “When did people start thinking that every experience at Disney had to be affordable and open to everyone? I say that as someone who has never been to V&A and don’t know that I even want to, but I don’t think that the price point should change to make it more appealing to me...”
“I agree with this 100%. Not everything Disney has to be attractive or affordable for every person,” responded someone else.
“We did this for our honeymoon in 1997. It was quite amazing,” one person added. “Luckily we didn’t pay for it but a family member did. I would still have paid myself though. It is definitely a once in a lifetime thing for us.”
CORRECTION (Sept. 23, 2022 at 9:30 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted Disney World's motto as "The Happiest Place on Earth." That is actually the motto for California's Disneyland. This story has been updated to reflect Disney World's self-proclaimed title: "The Most Magical Place on Earth."