Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Out of This World Gifts Ideas for 2011, Futuristic and Sci-Fi Gifts, Photos

Eight Out of this World Gifts for 2011

The gift of something shiny and electronic hidden in a cool box is what most geeks dream of during the holidays, but some of us also realize that the best gift anyone can give us is a cool experience. If you think the target of your holiday cheer fits that bill, then you might want to pause before stepping into that electronics store and consider one of the following gift trips to the future instead. Almost all of these futuristic locations are ready to visit today. Some you'll have to wait a little bit, but we've included them just in case you want to start saving now (they can get pretty expensive). 

1. Virgin Galactic Space Flight
Of all the futuristic vacations you could possible take, Richard Branson's new Virgin Galactic flights into space are the closest you'll come to truly living out some of those sci-fi movie scenarios. The first test flights designed to gain official certification will begin in just a few months. Other than presenting someone with the gift of mutant superpowers, this is probably as good as it gets in terms of pleasing your geek gift recipient. Price: $200,000

2. Star Trek Resort
If the person you're gifting has the dream of flying out into space, but not the stomach, you can present them with the next best thing, a trip to the Star Trek resort. Developed by Paramount Recreation and Rubicon Holding Group with a price tag of roughly $1.5 billion in building costs and overseen by King Abdullah II of Jordan (a self-admitted hardcore trekkie), the 184-acre resort will be located in the Middle Eastern beach community of Aqaba. Although the resort will be officially named The Red Sea Astrarium (TRSA), its main attraction will be its ability to offer a real world Star Trek living experience. Set to launch in 2014, you can stay up to date on when tickets go on sale herePrice: TBD

3. Poseidon Undersea Resort
Many will tell you that, contrary to popular perception, our own deep sea regions are just as alien to us as the black void of outer space. Now you can take your turn playing Jules Verne's Captain Nemo by plunging into the depths of Earth's inner space at the Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji. And, just like a Bond super villain softening up a spy before the real action begins, the experience starts with a trip to the Poseidon Mystery Island. This is followed by a stay in the island's underwater hotel and access to trips in their Triton 1000 submarinePrice: $15,000

4. Zero G Null-Gravity Flights
Yet another way to test the limits of your ability to experience what it might be like to travel out of this world without leaving our atmosphere would be to take a trip with the Zero G Corporation. You know those astronaut videos you see with guys eating potato chips floating in zero gravity? Now that could be you. For just $4,950 you can experience up to 7-minutes of real world reduced gravity or weightlessness as a specially equipped airplane takes you in dive after dive towards the Earth. There are no upper age restrictions, so this gift even works for a healthy older relative looking to experience the wonders of floating in space. Price: $4,950

5. Star Wars Weekends
Obviously, not everyone is a Trekkie, so for those who favor the George Lucas brand of space fantasy, Disney is offering a package called Star Wars Weekends. Located at Disney Studios, the experience includes exclusive Star Wars memorabilia, celebrity autographs, character encounters, and an interactive simulated flight within the Star Wars universe. There are a number of packages available with Star Wars Weekends scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays every week. Price: Approx. $90/day

6. Warcraft and Starcraft Theme Park
Not every trip into the world of the fantastic is necessarily sci-fi-focused, and some prefer a more fantasy-oriented approach. For them we suggest a trip to World Joyland, the Warcraft and Starcraft-themed amusement park. Located in Changzhou, China, the theme park is really the closest you'll ever get to getting up from behind your PC and actually walking, with your own body, through the virtual environments you've become so accustomed to online. Price:$28/day

7. Resorts World Miami
Even the most imaginative of us can sometimes reveal more conservative tastes when it comes to our toe-dipping into the future. So for those looking to ease into the turbulent waters of the future with a little less shock and awe, the new $3 billion casino and resort targeted for 13.9 acres on Biscayne Bay, Florida might be the perfect locale. Designed by Genting Malaysia Berhad, the facility is called Resorts World Miami and if all the clearances and approvals go through, the epic totem to futurist architechture will be ready in the next 3-5 years. Price: TBD

8. Undersea Banquet Room
If your dream vacation leans more toward culinary adventure, then you'd do well to book a trip to the Hilton Maldives Resort on Rangali Island. There you can enjoy fine dining in the hotel's transparent undersea restaurant called Ithaa, an experience that allows you to imagine that you're sitting within the aquarium of the very fish that you're eating. And we aren't just talking guppies, you can actually see stingrays (you know, those alien-looking stealth fighters of the ocean) dive-bombing toward your head. You can check out the menu and reservation information herePrice: $1,190/room

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