WINTER PARK, Fla. – The pandemic canceled many events in 2020, but one popular Central Florida tradition is back.
Friday marks the beginning of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, a program that offers $35 three-course dinners from now through Oct. 4.
Tim Noelke runs three Winter Park restaurants, including Luke’s Kitchen and Bar as well as Luma on Park, which are participating in the program.
“It’s a 10 tp 15% bump with guests coming out to enjoy the magical menu,” he said. “We need the guests to come and dine with us, whether in-person or carry out.”
This year, participating businesses can opt in to offer new takeout and delivery options.
“Part of the Magical Dining experience was going out and experiencing the restaurant,” Noelke said. “This year during COVID, people are doing more carrying out and eating at home. For those who want to go out, we have that and for those who want to do curbside, we’re ready to pick that up.”
People can review menu options of participating restaurants, make reservations and see options for outdoor seating, takeout and delivery at OrlandoMagicalDining.com.
Magical dining begins just as the city of Winter Park revamped its setup for curbside pickup.
“Magical Dining couldn’t come at a better time,” said Winter Park Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert.
The Chamber of Commerce recently unveiled designated curbside parking zones across the city as part of an initiative designed to make pickup zones easier to find through a system of kiosks.
Here’s how the chamber said it will work:
The signs will be numbered so businesses can ask customers to pick up food or merchandise at a specific zone. Customers can text when they arrive, and delivery can be made as seamlessly as possible.
Pickup zones will be in targeted locations throughout the city, featuring a white-peacock sign and teal-colored curb. Areas in the program include:
Winter Park Village
The Shoppes of Aloma
“Making adjustments like this may help contribute 10% or 20% of the revenue that might not otherwise be there,” Gardner Eckbert said. “Every little bit helps right now.”
Those who choose to participate in Magical Dining will contribute to program’s philanthropy for 2020: Feed the Need Florida.
Organizers said the charity was selected as it is working to help feed families struggling to access food during the COVID-19 crisis. Feed the Need Florida has served more than one million meals since the virus was first detected in the state in March.
Magical Dining will run for 38 days, offering six weekends for diners to experience some of Orlando’s best restaurants. One dollar from each meal will be donated to Feed the Need to support hunger relief in the community.