Celebrating the ship's 100th anniversary, Titanic The Experience's live actors, full-scale models, and 20,000-square-foot interactive museum faithfully recreate the poignant story of one of the world's most famous ships. One-hour guided tours of the museum led by trained performers immerse visitors in the mystery and lore of the ship's tragic tale. Actors donning garb from the early 1900’s portray such iconic characters as Molly Brown and the time-traveling Gilligan, amid full-scale recreations of the Titanic's grand staircase, promenade deck, and boiler room. History buffs can also feast their eyes on an 8-foot replica of the ship as it appears on the ocean floor today. More than 200 artifacts from the ship's history are on display as well, including memorabilia from the blockbuster film Titanic and an apology letter from the glacier.
Brooke Pottery features fine ceramic crafts and a host of handmade doodads from more than 400 American artists. A glazed, tri-colored McQueeny Belt Bowl ($48) offers a fetching soup-holding alternative to cupped palms, while the Heart Coaster Set ($40) lovingly shields countertops from clammy cocktails and over-fizzed sodas. Decorate feng shui–deficient gardens with ash-wood Chi Energy Amber wind chimes ($35), or embellish tree limbs with colorful Aloha Chimes ($42). For kids, the Blues Band Harmonica ($7) provides hours of fun in the key of harmonica.
During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades sends pedalers zipping down the 24 miles of paved pathway that comprise the tree-lined West Orange Trail. As the shop is located directly on the trail, bikers don't have far to lug their dual-wheeled chariots before pushing off toward such destinations as downtown Winter Garden and Lake Apopka. Cyclists can choose from a selection of bikes, consisting primarily of Raleighs, including customer favorite, the Raleigh Venture—a seven-speed bike with a suspension seat post and adjustable stem. Hop atop a Raleigh Revenio 3.0 road bike for a smooth jaunt down the pavement, or pick out a tandem bike to share a spin with a quadriplegic octopus, whose four good arms are enough for him to still do his part.
The fact that the owners of Numero Uno Cuban Restaurant chose a location with a dining room that seats up to 72 people is no coincidence. Embracing their Cuban heritage, they and their kitchen staff put an emphasis on family-style dining, showcasing a cuisine famous for tender, grilled meats, roast chicken, and stewed seafood. Each dish is an explosion of color and flavor, with shredded ropa vieja mingling with tomato and green peppers, and sides of earthy black beans or saffron-tinged yellow rice accenting entrees. Seafood staples such as whole fried snapper and lobster stew come in single or party-sized servings with the restaurant's catering services.
When Gerald Bennett began work as head chef at the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland, he was accustomed to whipping up dishes for celebrity clientele. But when the royal family of Dubai came to visit and he served them in their opulent suite, he never thought they'd ask him to leave with them as their personal chef. Since returning to the states and stepping into his role as the president of the Private Chef Association, Gerald has worked to bring his gastronomic prowess to the masses through Food Fun Adventure’s classes and tours. He passes along a visible passion for culinary fusion, which shines through in dishes blending French and Thai or American and German influences.
Culinary tours take participants to local sushi houses, steak houses, and bistros, each highlighting specialty dishes. When head chefs come out to greet their visitors, they often divulge culinary secrets and answer questions about curfew hours for free-range ingredients while doling out tapas and other small plates.
In a more hands-on culinary experience, customers gather in classes and learn to refine dishes based on a chosen theme. Using mostly local and organic ingredients in two kitchen classrooms, chefs show students how to craft delicacies such as scallion waffles with orange-zest chicken and tagine-roasted rack of lamb. In one kitchen, which doubles as an art gallery, knives flick through ingredients, and pots clatter at island stations and small burners. The company’s event center, Heaven, fills with chatter as up to 40 pairs of students filter in. Beneath projectors for screening chef demonstrations and documentaries about the life of a paring knife, separate kitchens equipped with ovens and burners fill with the bustle of creation, which gives way to reverent exhalations as patrons finally sample the fruits of their labor.