Walt Disney World Makes History with Victoria & Albert’s MICHELIN Star

Nestled inside the stately Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort is a gem that’s not hidden to Disney fans, but is now getting wider recognition due to a new MICHELIN Star: Victoria & Albert’s.

Propelled by the highest quality ingredients from around the globe and sommeliers who can expertly pair the chef’s menu with a wine list over 500 labels deep, Victoria & Albert’s became the first restaurant owned and operated by a U.S. theme park to be awarded the prestigious award that’s greatly sought after by many in the hospitality industry.

The honor is “a dream come true and a culmination of what we’ve been building toward since Chef Scott Hunnel took the helm at Victoria & Albert’s over 25 years ago,” Matthew Sowers, Chef de Cuisine, said.

While Hunnel still provides mentorship across the Disney Resort Hotels at Walt Disney World Resort, Sowers now leads the culinary team and has spent nearly 20 years at the restaurant.

“At Disney, we are breaking barriers and the world’s perception that fine cuisine belongs to only major metropolitan cities,” Sowers said. “Our intention is to forge unforgettable memories for all.”

Israel Pérez, Maître d’Hôtel, added, “Disney is synonymous with excellent guest service.” And Pérez should know, having also been awarded the 2024 MICHELIN Guide Florida Service Award.

Matthew Sowers, Chef de Cuisine, and Israel Pérez, Maître d’Hôtel

Victoria & Albert’s has a long history of delighting guests at Walt Disney World Resort, having opened alongside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in the summer of 1988.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa introduced one of the most elegant hostelries in Florida upon opening. The lobby is beautifully accented with stained-glass domes and shimmering chandeliers. A musician can often be heard playing the grand piano in the lobby.

And what was true over 35 years ago is still true today, as Pérez explains that “our belief is that good food and good service will always be fashionable.”

Whether it’s a MICHELIN Star restaurant, an entertainment segment that regularly garners dozens of the industry’s top nominations and awards, or Hall of Fame Imagineers, this is the sort of quality that one comes to expect from Disney.

While the new recognition may drive even more interest in dining at the already bustling restaurant, “it has never been about how many guests we serve but about our intentional focus on each detail of the dining experience,” Pérez noted.

“The goal to be creative and hospitable does not end with this prestigious recognition,” Pérez said.

While the team is now working towards being awarded a second MICHELIN Star, Sowers noted that the goal is always “to transport you to a place away from your daily life.”