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Orlando Family Magazine: 2018 Year in Review

As 2019 arrives and anticipation grows for another great year, we wanted to take a moment and revisit all the things that made 2018 so special. From the numerous stars like Kristen Chenoweth, Justin Timberlake, Kevin Hart, Pink, Elton John, Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey who graced our cover to the stories that tackled local issues and made a real impact, the past 12 months have been nothing short of exciting. In our annual journey back in time, we once again present all the top lists that filled our pages—from the best physicians to where to find Orlando’s finest fine dining, we covered a lot of ground in 2018.

Memorable quotes from our best interviews in 2018.

“Failure and success have altered meanings for me, it’s not about the sales of the box office or critical acclaim, it’s about knowing that I took a risk and gambled and got whatever I needed to get out of it. A lot of the time, it’s like, I didn’t know I could do that, I was pretty convinced I couldn’t but I did it.” —Justin Timberlake

“I’m a creature of the live audience. That’s my drug, if you will. Making music is the single happiest pleasure in my life. I am constantly changing my show and changing material. I consider that fun. I could never ‘phone it in’ as they say. I simply don’t know how to do that. The audience feeds me. Hopefully I feed them and it keeps going, full circle.” —Kristin Chenoweth

“With Oprah, Lady Gaga, and [other celebrities I cook for], I generally stick with what brought me to the dance. When Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello wanted fried chicken at their wedding, I wasn’t going to bring them prime rib. But occasionally I slip in a twist or two. Occasionally.” —Chef Art Smith

“When one can bring an amazing, loving environment simply by making people laugh, it’s a powerful thing. I live by the three Ls: Living, Loving and Laughing. Love is contagious. Laughter is contagious. My being able to deliver that … is amazing.” —Kevin Hart

“Shrunken heads is the single best example. [People] think they have a real shrunken head. They have read somewhere that a shrunken head is worth $10,000 to $20,000 or today even $100,000. So they got dollar signs in their eyes. They think it’s real and I’ve broken many a heart. I would say I’m one of the two or three world experts on shrunken heads. I can tell if it’s real of fake instantly. The average person can’t.” —Edward Meyer, vice president of exhibits and archives for Ripley’s Believe It or Not

“You’d think [my husband would] be the perfect sounding board but honestly, I think Carey has tuned me out, happened a long time ago. I think now when I talk, he just hears static, soothing white noise. I played him one of the songs from the album in the car and I remember being so excited because it was a love song and then I asked him what he thought, and he just goes, ‘Yeah, it’s nice.’” —Pink

“I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten starstruck or get starstruck because I tend to live like we are all the same, because we are. … But I also can’t get away from the fact that we have heroes and lights we look up to and for me, I had a few moments [that] come to mind. Nelson Mandela was a very defining moment for what he represents for freedom and equality. Sidney Poitier, because I had watched him my whole childhood and his winning the Oscar in 1964 was earth-shattering for me and little brown kids everywhere. And I always remember Diana Ross. That was an overwhelming moment, a lot of tears, a lot of hyperventilating, because I had dreamed of being a Supreme.” —Oprah Winfrey

“The documentary [The Queen of Versailles] was only 25 percent true, 75 percent false. … They did a pretty good job with my wife, but most of the stuff was not true. She does not wear fur coats on speed boats. She doesn’t go to McDonald’s in a limousine. If they would have called it a reality show, it would have been OK, but they called it a documentary, which you assume documentaries are going to be true. But it was not.” —David Siegel, Westgate Resorts CEO

“I had the best time of my life on [The Mickey Mouse Club]. It was the first time that I made friends and felt normal. I also got to work and hang out with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. All of them were incredibly talented and I was just glad to be there and be part of that world.” —Ryan Gosling

“I never thought we’d do more than five or six episodes [of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia] and get cancelled, because it’s a long shot to do a show, and even more of a long shot to do one that lasts. I couldn’t have imagined we’d have the opportunity to do it for as long as we have.” —Charlie Day

“I feel like I’m on a mission. It’s my main goal to create more female-driven projects and give more opportunities to women at every level. I started producing five years ago because I was so frustrated and infuriated by the lack of good roles for women and watching so many talented women playing wives or girlfriends or stupid women.” —Reese Witherspoon

“The No. 1 piece of advice I give to my children is to have confidence in yourself. You need to believe that you are good enough and that you can accomplish what you set your mind to do. You’ve also got to learn how to block out all the noise and all the things that distract you from your dreams and ambitions. You’ve got to listen to that little voice inside you that tells you that you’re good enough and that you can realize your dreams.” —Dwayne Johnson

“[Will Smith] was super influential with advice and just on that big brother status. He gave me my first deal and kind of opened the door for me and shed the light on me and allowed me to be the entertainer that I am. I remember buying Range Rovers and all this stuff at 18 and Will telling me, ‘Don’t do that.’ He told me a story about when he was 18 and it was good to have mentors [like him] to help me financially to do the right thing.” —Nick Cannon

“Now more than ever I think it’s important that [journalists] rise to this moment. While we’re under attack, it’s important that we cross our t’s and dot our i’s and make sure we are doing it right. The public needs us; there’s very little oversight of the executive branch being done by the legislative branch. We need to be doing that job. I know there have been issues and problems and some of the stories have been wrong, but for the most part I think the media is doing a vital job.” —CNN’s Jake Tapper

“In general, I’m not some- one who carries things around with me. But every time I talk about [This is Us], my eyes well up. I’m a super sensitive person, and I feel like the show has ratcheted that up. Every- one on the show is pretty emotional, but literally, I cry when I read the scripts. All of us are pretty drained at the end of the day.” —Mandy Moore

“[Retirement] couldn’t be further from my mind, I’ll never retire. It sounds so boring to me. I’m simply stopping all the travel. My boys are at an age now where it’s no longer practical with their schooling and schedules. If we didn’t have children, I would continue travelling. But I’m still going to record albums. I’m still going to write music. I’m still going to produce movies, I’m still going to write musicals. It’s going to free up time for me to focus on other projects.” —Elton John

“I try to be as comfortable as I am on stage as I am telling a story to my family. When you first start out in stand-up comedy, you don’t really get that comfortableness right away. You kind of have to peel back the onion and it just took a while to do that. So that happened organically over time. … Those actions and those movements aren’t premeditated. They’re very in-the-moment type things. It’s not like I’m sitting at home practicing in front of a mirror.” —Sebastian Maniscalco

Over the course of the past year, we have scoured Greater Orlando in search of the very finest things it has to offer.
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Do you remember reading about these 11 remarkable ladies who strive to make Central Florida a better place?
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There are a lot more ways to measure a man’s success than by his salary and the material items he possesses.
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251 of Greater Orlando’s leading medical minds.
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Meet the Orlando Top Dentists who will leave you smiling with confidence.
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The 20 best restaurants in our region.
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This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s January 2019 issue.

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