In order to pursue his passion for flying, Anaheim Helicopters founder Mark Skinner left his home in England and began the journey to his current West Coast home. Now, in stable, modern, and air-conditioned helicopters, Mark stirs the air above Los Angeles and Orange County to provide passengers with views of rugged mountains and iconic buildings. During tours, Mark points out landmarks such as the Sunset Strip, the Capitol Records Building, and Dodger Stadium before soaring between skyscrapers, over famous homes, and in V-formation with migrating geese. In addition to piloting helicopters, Mark joins with a team of FAA–certified flight instructors to lead aviation lessons for aspiring pilots.
Lux Travel Group's early-morning ground service chariots riders to Las Vegas in style, boasting luxurious service and perks similar to a first-class flight. Commence road trips with a champagne toast before sipping on two additional complimentary cocktails from the extensive drink menu. A continental breakfast or a lunch package consisting of a half sandwich, fresh fruit or salad, and a freshly baked cookie fuels passengers up for Olympic-level Internet surfing on the free WiFi (available on most routes, but subject to location and satellite interference from clouds and bandwidth-stealing UFOs). After reveling in the bus-centric festivities, wind down during a movie screening with a chocolate-mint-drizzled cake pop. Finally, a warm scented towel allows guests to freshen up for their triumphant arrival in Vegas.
Once an actual storage facility, Packing House Wine Merchants converted the novel space into a comfortable wine bar, shop, and lounge stocked with high-quality vintages from around the world. Silky libations like the Godspeed cabernet from Napa Valley ($11 per glass) seduce the senses with a complex balance of black cherry infusions, mineral hints, and spices. Opt for the chilled sweetness of Germany's Armand Kabinett riesling ($7.50 per glass) and be rewarded with the mingled pleasures of apricot, musk, melon, mango, and brown-spiced persimmon. The adventurous and mathematically inclined can pair a thematic tasting, each with two to six samples ($5–$17), with one of four specialty cheese plates ($15 each) for an endless permutation of tasty tippling. Packing House also offers live music entertainment on Saturdays to entertain the wine while it awaits its inevitable fate.
When Rob Zombie set out to create the Great American Nightmare, he knew exactly where to go for ideas: his own movies. He and his spooky-smart team of technical wizards created three haunted houses, each inspired by one of the director's terrifying cinematic works. Haunt of 1,000 Corpses brings to life the horrors of exploitation film House of 1,000 Corpses, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Thrill-seekers wander through a recreation of the movie's "Museum of Monsters & Madmen" before hopping on the Murder Ride, which puts them nose to nose with notorious serial killers. Inspired by Zombie's 2012 indie film Lords of Salem, Lords of Salem In Total Blackout toys with claustrophobia, fear of the dark, and the heightening of one's senses while wandering a maze. Lastly, guests don Chromadepth glasses to explore the world of animated horror-comedy romp El Superbeasto, immersing themselves in a world of vivid images, bawdy humor, and surprises that lurk around every technicolor corner.
Between attractions, or while waiting for nerves to settle, guests can wander up and down the Bloody Boulevard and take in other spooky sights or catch a horror movie screening (featured films include The Last Man on Earth and Carnival of Souls, among others). Each evening, the Great American Nightmare hosts an adrenaline-boosting musical act, ranging from Andrew W.K. to Mr. Zombie himself, and celebrity guests swing by from time to time to sign posters, arms, or the handkerchief you used to muffle your terrified screams.
Exhilarating music pulses amid the remains of a downed cargo airliner, its wreckage scattered across 4,000 square feet of fog-filled tropical beach. Two teams navigate through these surroundings—dodging strewn pieces of cargo, abandoned huts, and a miniature volcano. Black lights cause Laser Island's neon hues to burst to life. The red-orange glow of the volcano's lava, the vibrant green of the painted palm fronds, and the cerulean blue of the walls' ocean horizon all shine alongside the green flashes of streaking lasers. After roughly 20 minutes, the guests emerge and discover which team scored the most points.
Beyond laser tag, the family-friendly entertainment center features a number of activities for virtually all ages. A nine-hole tiki-themed miniature-golf course challenges hand-eye coordination, and the CoCo Climb station allows adventurers to scale a 20-foot coconut tree while safely supported by a weight-bearing harness and an invisible force field. The arcade section tempts passersby to spend a few tokens on games such as Ms. Pac-Man or Time Crisis 3, and certain games reward players with tickets that they can redeem for prizes at the Ticket Hut. In between games or laser-tag matches, Laser Island refuels visitors with a snack-bar menu that includes everything from pizzas and toasted sandwiches to salads and buffalo wings.
In 2010, brothers Mike and Tommy Ponce were disappointed with the lack of resources for anglers in their area. They wanted to make fishing more accessible to people of all ages. So, they founded Fish Village. The company connects people with fishing adventures, which range from ocean day trips to long excursions across Alaska. The brothers not only connect people with other fishing-trip companies, they also lead outings themselves. For example, their kayak fishing outings search out halibut, bass, and even sharks in the waters off Dana Point. These trips come with all necessary equipment, including rod holders, gaffs, and incredibly realistic fish stories.