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Visit Orlando's Magical Dining raises $269,272 for Orange County Charities

For the past 17 years, locals and visitors alike have enjoyed Visit Orlando's multi-month Magical Dining, a popular event that celebrates Orlando eateries, and each year, Visit Orlando selects nonprofit organizations making an impact on the Orlando community to serve as a charity beneficiary.


Visit Orlando's Magical Dining raises $269,272 for Orange County Charities

Visit Orlando has announced a 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   

  • Nuevo Sendero   

  • One Heart for Women and Children   

  • Salvation Army Orlando   

  • Samaritan Village    

  • 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


Visit Orlando's Magical Dining raises $269,272 for Orange County Charities

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