Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, one of the year’s most anticipated culinary promotions, will go on as scheduled this year, beginning Aug. 28 and running through Oct. 3. This year, restaurants may offer a takeout option for people who don’t feel comfortable dining on site. Others will promote the availability of outdoor dining.
And the choice of this year’s charity to receive $1 from every meal sold is inspired: Feed the Need Florida, an initiative started by 4Roots in March to provide meals to people who are struggling financially due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Magical Dining – originally known as Magical Dining Month and limited to September – began 15 years ago by Visit Orlando as a way to help restaurants during the area’s off-season. Restaurants pay a fee to participate and promise to offer a three-course menu for a set price, this year $35. Often, the prix fixe menu represents a significant savings over the regular menu’s a la carte pricing. That’s one of the reasons that the annual promotion has become so popular with the dining public. And restaurants are eager to participate because it is a chance to attract new diners.
But notably, there are fewer restaurants participating this year. In 2019, more than 120 restaurants had signed up. This year fewer than half that – 53 as of Wednesday – were signed up and present on the Visit Orlando Magical Dining website.
Among the participants this year are such favorites as Tap Room at Dubsdread; Tapa Toro; Taverna Opa; Delaney’s Tavern; and Big Fin Seafood Kitchen (which is already offering its Magical Dining menu to guests).
More restaurants will likely be added before the launch date or even during the promotion, according to Visit Orlando. Reservations are encouraged, and it may be necessary to request the Magical Dining menu specifically – it’s not always offered when guests are seated.
To determine which restaurants are offering a takeout option, visit each business’s listing at Magical Dining. A note there will indicated what types of dining are available: in-house, takeout and outdoor seating.
Unfortunately, those are not a filter option on the restaurant search page.