Magical Dining month started two days early this year on August 29th and runs through Sunday October 2 but I almost missed it again!
Click the link at the end for a review of STK at Disney Springs
I always forget about this incredible, monthlong, citywide event! Last year I remembered too late, the year before I learned about it when it was over. Fortunately this time I remembered it at the start. Unfortunately we didn’t prioritize ‘testing the system’ until it was almost too late. The only magical dining example I have is from STK. More unfortunately, this article I wrote on Sept 1 was posted to my old WordPress site so apparently it hasn’t been ‘up’ all month. Not much warning but FFFans, you’ve got until Sunday and definitely put it on your calendar for next year!
What is Magical Dining?
A few years ago my wife and I were talking with another couple about a fantastic meal we had our first time dining at a new restaurant (Roy’s).
<see Review: Roy’s – Sand Lake Rd. >
Roy’s used to be part of the Darden chain but broke off solo a few years back. A very rare thing these days, but it really is a full ‘class’ or two of restaurant above most Darden offerings. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice filling Olive Garden meal and pasta fagioli has to be one of my all-time favorite soups anywhere. But let’s face it, it’s not a place you want to order a fine cut of steak or something. Red lobster too, is a perfectly fine enjoyable decent restaurant. But again, red lobster is no ‘Gordon Ramsay’ restaurant.
The couple we were talking to was familiar with Roy’s and agreed wholeheartedly with our assessment. They told us that they had also been there last month and added, “we always make sure we make it to Roy’s during magical dining month. At $33 you can’t pass it up. Is that why you guys went?”
‘Magical Dining’ sounded like a Disney thing but I knew Roy’s was not.
In my mind I heard that noise a dog makes when it tilts it’s head at an angle upon hearing a new sound.
“What is this magical dining month you speak of?” At first I assumed they were referring to something to do with the Epcot international food and wine festival which starts in September. At about $30/pp they were definitely not talking about EPCOT.
What they were talking about was something promoted by VisitOrlando.com called magical dining month. This year magical dining month runs from August 29 through October 2.
During magical dining month participating restaurants offer a special menu that is three courses for $33 (in addition to their normal menu.) The list includes some nice but more common chain restaurants like Roy’s or Benihana’s but it also includes some surprising unique dining experiences. Included in this year’s list are restaurants like Shark’s Underwater Grill, a fine dining experience inside the shark exhibit at SeaWorld. Also on the 3/$33 list this year are are high-end newcomers from the re-imagined “Disney Springs”. This month only $33 will get you 3 courses at places like STK or Morimoto’s. These would typically run $50-75/pp not including drinks.
You don’t need to ‘sign up’ for magical dining or show a coupon or anything, you need only to request the “Magical Dining Menu” at participating restaurants (link below). Don’t be surprised if early in the month 1 out of 3 servers doesn’t know what you’re talking about, trust me it’s a real thing. Orlando has a lot of restaurants, high turnover, lots of various promotions and short training. By mid September most worthwhile places are keenly aware of the promotion and happy to oblige.
Check out the list of participating restaurants at VisitOrlando.com