When Amy, a little girl with leukemia, was unable to fulfill her wish to visit Orlando’s theme parks before she passed away, hotelier Henri Landwirth vowed that he’d never let a child in need’s wish go unfilled again. So he enlisted his colleagues in the hospitality and theme-park industries to help him make his vow a reality. His idea, Give Kids The World, expanded to a 70-acre resort village with more than 140 villa accommodations for wish children and their families, plus entertainment attractions and fun activities specially designed for children with special needs. The organization works with wish-granting organizations, such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, to fulfill any wishes to visit Orlando-area theme parks. In 2011, more than 7,000 wish children and their families from all 50 states and 25 countries visited the resort for a cost-free vacation.
Despite their determinedly of-the-moment sound, Redfoo and Sky Blu are carrying on a long pop lineage: the former is Motown founder Berry Gordy's son, the latter his grandson. As red-hot electropop duo LMFAO, the uncle-nephew pairing electrifies dance floors with manic odes to party life. The 2012 Sorry for Party Rocking tour explodes with fan favorites such as "Party Rock Anthem" and newer hits such as "Sexy and I Know It," which has a bouncy swagger that dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 28 weeks. Meanwhile, the band parades in neon animal prints amid backup dancers, bobbing beneath giant robot heads, tossing inflatables into the crowd, and creating a spectacle Metro Weekly calls "enormously entertaining."
As one out of six children from a family of modest income, a 13-year-old Alfred Mann entered the cooking and hospitality industry out of necessity. Luck finally struck him when, throughout the 1990s, he met face-to-face with John Smoltz, Tyra Banks, and the Orlando Magic basketball team, all in his capacity as a chef. Since then, he's continued to hone his art while cooking for a range of celebrity actors, athletes, and visiting dignitaries as the head of Elite Catering & Events. Chef Mann and his team draw on experience working with culinarians including Emeril Lagasse to perform catering and personal-chef services, letting customers revel in at-home feasts or flaunt the strength of papier-mâché banquet tables. In addition to crafting gourmet fare for large and small events, staff members pass on their culinary legacy through cooking classes and assuage clients' tension with home spa services such as chef nights, massages, and aromatherapy.
Dedicated to healthcare since 1995, Christine has filled her knowledge coffers with two degrees in the healing arts and extensive experience in acute critical cardiac care. Today, she spreads her skills through CPR, AED, and first-aid classes. For healthcare professionals, bankers, cooks, coaches, and pragmatic superheroes, she supplements her certification courses with on-site sessions specifically designed for the workplace. Other, more specialized classes, include a first-aid course for new parents and a babysitter boot camp designed to help children 11 years or older prevent and react to emergencies with their wards.
Orlando, located in the center of Florida, is known for its near-perfect sunny weather and reputation as the center of all things Disney. Theme parks, rides, and restaurants sit a short shuttle ride away from the hotel, and just steps from its door, Downtown Disney's pedestrian-only streets proffer themed eateries, live performers, unique souvenir stores, and a space for mermaids to learn to walk on human legs. Outside of the park, there's plenty of outdoor activities to satisfy adventurers: kayaking day trips on Lake Buena Vista and Lake Bryan, golfing at any of the courses in the area, or discovering South Florida's exotic flora and fauna at nearby sanctuaries and alligator parks.