Walt Disney World’s Top Restaurant Receives a Michelin Star

Disney is perhaps the only company in the world that can boast of receiving both an Academy Award and a Michelin Star. It was recently announced that Victoria & Albert’s, the main restaurant at the Grand Floridian Hotel, was recognized by the famed tire company. This makes the restaurant the only dining option within a theme park resort to receive the distinction.

How hard is it to receive a Michelin Star, and did Disney’s prominence as a company have any weight in the decision? The tire company Michelin has been producing its guide to fine dining for over 100 years. This guide was originally thought up as an idea to get more people to travel on the roads of France, where the company was originally based. What the company would do, and essentially still does, is to send out undercover agents to different places to try the food. These “agents” are the ones who decide what restaurants belong in the guide.

Earning a Michelin Star in the United States is perhaps even harder than in Europe because the company doesn’t provide guides for the entire country. Until recently, it only graded restaurants in NYC, Las Vegas, Chicago, and San Francisco. Florida was added to this list in 2022, with Atlanta and Colorado following the next year. In Florida and Colorado, only select cities have been deemed worthy of a guide. Orlando was, of course, one of the cities on that list.

It took Victoria and Albert’s until this year to earn a Michelin star, partly because the restaurant remained closed for an extended period throughout 2022. According to the company, a one Michelin star restaurant, which is what the Disney property is being labeled, is a place that provides high-quality cooking that’s “worth a stop.” These labels go back to the roots of the guide as a tool to build a travel itinerary. The best facilities that earn a 3-star rating are places that are worth a full trip within themselves.

Many people may think that the Disney brand contributed to the designation. While the truth behind the matter may never be disclosed, there tends to be some bias in this grading system. This bias, however, may not have much to do with the brand associated with a place but with the chefs who command it. Chefs who’ve had mentors earn Michelin stars are more likely to be included in the guide themselves at some point. This is exactly what happened at Victoria and Albert’s.

Victoria & Albert’s Chef de Cuisine, Matthew Sowers, previously worked with three Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement. Chef Arnaud and Chef Sowers have collaborated to create menus for multiple Disney Cruise Line restaurants. It’s not that working alongside a Michelin-starred chef gives you an automatic win with the anonymous judges that grant the stars. However, it could be said that some of these chefs can provide others with access to Jack Sparrow’s compass, which doesn’t point north—making the way to the award clearer for their understudies.

Getting a reservation at Victoria & Albert’s can be quite a challenge. It’s a place that requires you to wear formal attire, and no kids ten and under can sit at the table. The prix-fixe menu, which essentially allows you to enjoy the best the place has to offer, starts at $295.00 per guest. There are other menu options for guests to explore as well. Simply put, it’s the most luxurious spot at the Walt Disney World Resort. Don’t be surprised if prices are on the rise in the coming months after this announcement.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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