Citing a “notable positive impact benefitting local restaurants,” Visit Orlando announced Wednesday that it is extending its Magical Dining promotion through the end of October.
The program had been scheduled to end on Oct. 4. With the extension, Magical Dining will have the longest run of its 15 year history. When it began, the promotion ran only during September, and in fact was originally called Magical Dining Month. The event was devised by Visit Orlando as a way to boost restaurant business during a traditional lull.
But restaurants have been experiencing an extended lull because of the pandemic. Many customers are still anxious about going out to eat, and restaurants are restricted to allowing only 50 percent of inside dining capacity.
In a statement announcing the extension, Visit Orlando provided quotes from participating restaurateurs who said this year’s Magical Dining has been a boost to business.
"Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining has been nothing short of magical for our business this fall,” said the manager of Jaleo. Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen’s owner said, “The program is not only enabling us to provide a great value to our guests, but it also is generating additional jobs and wages for our employees and much needed financial relief for our business.”
Restaurants participating in Magical Dining offer a three-course menu for $35. One dollar from each sale goes to a charity; this year it’s Feed the Need Florida, which is helping to feed people struggling due to Covid-19.
There are 78 participating restaurants this year, a significant decrease from recent years. (There is a fee to participate, which may have been an unacceptable cost for some.) In a first, many restaurants are offering the prix fixe menu for takeout.
You can see the list of participants at Visit Orlando Magical Dining.