Four Magical Dining restaurant participants recognized as top performers in 2023
ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2023) – Visit Orlando today announced the donation of $269,272 to Orange County charities that support survivors of abuse in Central Florida, including organizations that shine the light on the dark realities of human trafficking. The donation was raised through Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, which showcases some of Orlando’s best restaurants, including MICHELIN Guide honorees, through special prix-fixe menus, with $1 to $2 from each meal designated for charity.
Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining has raised over $2.5 million for local charities since 2009. The majority of this year’s donation will benefit The Lifeboat Project, a local organization that raises awareness of the issue of human trafficking and empowers the lives of survivors through short and long-term aftercare, residential programs and education.
To ensure the donation has a widespread impact throughout the community, Visit Orlando also awarded a $2,000 donation to one local nonprofit in each of Orange County’s six commission districts that provide services and resources to survivors of abuse in Central Florida:
Mustard Seed of Central Florida
One Heart for Women and Children
Salvation Army Orlando
Wake Up Mentoring
“Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining celebrates our destination’s vibrant culinary scene and makes an indelible impact on our local community,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “In the 18th year of this program, we are appreciative for the enthusiastic support of a record-breaking 132 restaurant participants and grateful to all diners who helped us raise funds to combat human trafficking and support survivors.”
“We are humbled and grateful to have been chosen to be this year’s Magical Dining recipient,” said Ed Gilbert, Board Chair of The Lifeboat Project. “The entire industry involved in helping survivors of human trafficking benefit from the awareness this promotional and generous campaign brings to our area and the challenges we face helping those affected by this hideous set of circumstances. Thank you, Visit Orlando for having the foresight to deal with this social injustice head on.”
“I am so proud of Visit Orlando’s 18-year commitment to growing Magical Dining for the benefit of our community,” said Terry Prather, Board Chair of Visit Orlando. “It is an essential program and one of my favorites for its perfect three-ingredient recipe: It makes a real impact in Orange County, supports local restaurants and offers great meals for our residents and visitors to enjoy when our restaurants need the business the most.”
With 132 Magical Dining restaurant participants, diners had plenty of options throughout the Central Florida region. Visit Orlando recognized four top-performing restaurants during the program based on money raised for charity:
Seasons 52-Orlando - Top performing restaurant
The Pinery - Top performing new restaurant: $40 menu
AVA MediterrAegean - Top performing new restaurant: $60 menu
The Nauti Lobstah - Largest increase from 2022 to 2023
Additional information about Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, including a full list of charities that have benefited over the years and restaurants that participated, is available at OrlandoMagicalDining.com. Download visual assets here.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States, Theme Park Capital of the World® and No. 1 meeting destination in the country. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, we represent more than 1,500 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community. Visit Orlando connects consumers and business groups with all facets of Orlando’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, activities to connect with nature, vibrant neighborhoods, a dynamic dining scene with Michelin recognized restaurants, and a robust calendar of entertainment and sports events — Orlando is a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community for all travelers. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com or OrlandoMeeting.com.
Editor’s Note: For additional press information or high-resolution downloadable images, please visit VisitOrlando.com/media.