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With cities (and sometimes countries) within the amusement parks, and an entire metropolitan area of more than 2 million people, Orlando has a diverse smattering of restaurants. Here’s our top five food experiences in Orlando:
1. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Held each fall at Disney World, this culinary experience lets you eat your way around the world. Marketplaces throughout Epcot feature custom dishes from various countries, but the crème de la crème is the Party for the Senses - dozens of restaurants from around the U.S. feature the best of their menus, and all you have to do is walk around and sample, again and again and again. Come hungry - you won’t leave that way.
2. Taste of Downtown: For a local perspective of essentially the same concept, make your way to Taste of Downtown (Orlando) in the fall. Local restaurants converge on downtown Orlando to showcase their specialties, and again, all you need to do is walk around and sample - we highly suggest you repeat this process multiple times.
3. Farmers’ markets: To see where the freshest ingredients come from, visit the farmers’ market each Saturday in Winter Park and browse the freshest fruits, vegetables and flowers. There’s no need to buy, but the smells of kettle corn and crepes wafting through the area will certainly tempt you, as will the artisanal cheeses and decadent desserts.
4. Victoria & Albert’s: Have you ever had a dinner out at a refined restaurant that created the menu to please just your palate? That’s just what you’ll experience at Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World. Upon making your reservations, you’ll answer a questionnaire that reviews your likes and dislikes, as well as allergies. The chef then takes that information and prepares the perfect meal - just for you.
5. Mascot meals: If you’re traveling with your kids, they’ll certainly want to dine with the characters at the area theme parks. Join loads of other families at Chef Mickey’s breakfast or dinner and dine with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and other characters. For a quieter option, try Crystal Palace buffet with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too. If Spider Man, Captain America and the Cat in the Hat are more your cup of tea, make breakfast reservations at the Confisco Grill at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Or, make a splash at a buffet lunch with SeaWorld when you experience Dine with Shamu.