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Magical Dining kicks off in Orlando this month with overnight ‘staycation’ packages

Orlando Sentinel logoOrlando Sentinel 8/10/2022 Patrick Connolly, Orlando Sentinel
The Caribe Royale is one of the many hotels participating in Visit Orlando's Magical Nights program. © Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS The Caribe Royale is one of the many hotels participating in Visit Orlando's Magical Nights program.

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining returns later this month with a wide swath of Central Florida restaurants offering top-tier meals at a discount.

Diners can browse a selection of more than 100 restaurants ranging from seafood to steakhouses and everything between when the event returns Aug. 26. Each eatery offers a $40 (per person) prix fixe menu with three courses included.

While many Floridians may opt to eat out and head home, the event has expanded opportunities for a full-on staycation with “Magical Nights” dining and lodging packages.

“We now have around 20 hotel offers to make it easy to extend your night out. Go have a wonderful dining experience, then extend it with one of our hotel stays,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando.

Some deals bundle dining, lodging, parking and other perks. For example, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts allow guests to receive up to 30 percent discounted rates, while Caribe Royale Orlando offers a one-bedroom suite, dinner for two at the Venetian Chop House and complimentary parking.

Some packages appeal directly to couples with offers meant for two; others remove minimum night requirements and offer exclusive rates.

Magical Nights may appeal to some Orlandoans, but what might be of more interest to passionate foodies is the availability of Michelin Guide restaurants in 2022 — Four Flamingos, Kabooki Sushi, Maxine’s on Shine, The Ravenous Pig, The Strand and Z Asian Vietnamese.

“This year, we’re adding six restaurants that were recognized by the Michelin Guide. It’s a great opportunity to experience a whole new area,” Matej said. “People really look forward to this time frame.”

The Magical Dining program started in 2005 as a means of supporting local businesses in the fall.

“We wanted to find a way to support our local industry in August and September, which tends to be a shoulder season, a slower period of time,” said Matej. “It helps charities, businesses and we can all try wonderful restaurants at a pretty affordable price.”

The Able Trust, which helps find employment for people with disabilities, is the recipient of proceeds from this year’s event, with $1 per meal going to the nonprofit.

If you go

Orlando’s Magical Dining starts Aug. 26 and runs through Oct. 2 with around 20 hotels and 106 restaurants participating, 22 of which are new to the program. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available. Book ahead and make reservations beginning this month. For more information and menus, which will be added soon, visit magicaldining.com.

Find me @PConnPie on Twitter and Instagram or send me an email: pconnolly@orlandosentinel.com. For more fun things, follow @fun.things.orlando on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

©2022 Orlando Sentinel. Visit orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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