At first glance, Battleground Orlando?s grassy Field F may look suspiciously unoccupied, dotted with only trees, a few wooden forts, and some stacks of tires. But the regulars know better. They sit still as statues, gripping their laser guns and surveying the landscape for peeking heads and dashing bodies. This mix of strategy and stealth resembles a video game, and that?s by design. The course, inspired by the video game Call of Duty, is one of six courses at Battleground Orlando Laser Tag, each with their own mental and physical challenges, ambiance, and 99-life-granting cheat codes.
Keeping with this realistic aesthetic, the laser-tag facility hands out advanced lasers designed for military use and outfitted with a red dot sights, sight rails, infrared beams, and RF signals with a 1,000-foot range. Players can partake in team battles as well as scenario games such as ?capture the flag,? ?last man standing,? and ?whiten my teeth before my big job interview.? The facility, which also houses Orlando Paintball, is the largest indoor and outdoor laser tag facility in Florida, and it's open daily from noon to midnight and until 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Ornate chandeliers cast their brilliance across a sprawling hardwood dance floor, but the crowd's eyes aren't directed toward the shimmering lights. They're focused instead on the intricate steps performed by a professional dance instructor, just one member in The Sovereign Dance Academy's talented team. With experience that spans from international competitions to television work, these professionals help others discover a passion for dance that extends beyond gracefully popping bubble wrap. Their mission is reflected in their curriculum, which offers a step-by-step approach that allows students to focus on American Smooth ballroom styles, such as the waltz and tango; International Ballroom styles, such as the foxtrot; or Latin and Rhythm styles, such as the rumba and hustle. Instructors work one-on-one with students—who can be adults or children—and let them know when they are ready to grapevine on to the next level.
Aside from the standard curriculum, The Sovereign Dance Academy leads specialized workshops and private sessions in which engaged couples can hone the dance they'll perform atop their wedding cake. On select nights, the space transforms into an area for social events such as girls' night out.
iFLY Orlando's state-of-the-art indoor wind tunnel lets acrophobic and aerophobic adrenaline junkies experience the sensations of skydiving under safe conditions. iFLY Orlando will suit you up with a helmet, goggles, flight suit, earplugs, and a can of gravity repellent, before an instructor teaches you the basic maneuvers and hand signals. Once you've learned a lesson, you'll be unleashed into the vertical tunnel’s artificial wind current for two one-minute rotations of air time at terminal velocity (real skydives usually allow for about 40 seconds of air time). The entire process lasts about an hour, including waiver signing (flyers under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign), a 15-minute class, and a flight slot during which your group takes turns flying. In addition to the flight experience, the multimedia package includes a DVD with a recording of your flight.
Indoor skydiving is accessible to a wide, family-friendly age range, meaning that Grandma and Grandpa can celebrate their 60th anniversary with more than the traditional cake shaped like Andy Griffith. iFLY Orlando's free observation deck allows for maximum show-offiness, so invite along an audience of hard-to-impress friends, lovers, and butlers to marvel at your simulated plummet through the heavens.
Scotty Bumbalough was first introduced to standup paddleboarding while living in Maui. Having mastered various other watersports, he sought a new way to navigate the shoreline—one that leant itself to leisurely exploration as well as a great workout. As soon as the island’s locals told him about paddleboarding, he was in the water learning from none other than the sport’s originators. An enthused Scotty decided to share his new discovery with fellow Floridians, and, upon returning home, he founded Maui B’s. With lessons available in locations such as Orlando, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and Cocoa Beach, Maui B's continues to spread Scotty’s appreciation for paddleboarding across the Sunshine State. The company’s experienced instructors are always seeking out new ways to utilize their paddleboards; along with lessons for beginners, the crew regularly leads eco tours, on which groups can take in the region’s natural splendor while spying on manatees or Dan Marinos snoozing in the sun. Fitness classes and paddleboard yoga get bodies in shape for solo adventures with rented boards and paddles.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.