Queen Mary Dark Harbor Review / Photos / Pics 2011 (formerly known as Shipwreck)
One of Southern California’s largest Halloween haunts located inside a purportedly haunted location- the Queen Mary in Long Beach- is now open, if you dare to visit! This year’s event features five mazes, a fright inducing entry tunnel and plenty of entertainment, food and drink offerings!
On the night we went, there was a line way around the corner by 7:20 p.m., so show up early if you want to get in the lines early as they do build up. The entry tunnel sets Queen Mary apart, as it ensures you’re in the Halloween spirit before you’re in the main park. The tunnel consists of numerous cargo crates (how appropriate for the Port of Long Beach) with monsters lurking in the dark shadows. The tunnel also sets the standard for Halloween lighting, with the entire park with far lower lighting than other major Halloween attractions, a big plus if you’re hoping to be surprised by the monsters, as we were repeatedly.
The attraction features three mazes on the ship and two on land. On the ship, the mazes snake their way through the hallways and creepy abandoned entertainment areas. Imagine if they pulled the Titantic out of the water and let you walk around…in the dark…with only your best instincts on how to get out! One maze begins with a trip down the stairs into the lower levels of the ship, while another maze is at ground level, and yet another just one floor up.
The costumes and makeup are well done and fright-inducing! These are not your run of the mill cheesy monsters or effects. Without spoiling anything, this event features fright beyond the monsters themselves. The backdrop, which is already scary enough, is further intensified through the imagination of the creators. Even the Village of the Damned on land had more of an authentic haunted house feel than some of Southern California’s biggest theme park attractions. Our one complaint was that the maze inside the dome remained closed into the early evening on the night we visited, though they were trying quite hard to get it open.
Unlike a certain theme park in Southern California that remains dry for their Halloween event, Dark Harbor has a full selection of beer and mixed drinks (which were very well done), and live music all night long. The food offerings were diverse, affordable and tasty.
At only $20 (and up, if you buy online at www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor), we’re not sure how they pack all of this fun into such a low price, but we say check it out until before they figure out that they can probably charge a lot more for this! Upgrade to front of the line at the park for $20, which may be worth it if you’ve got the cash.
Dark Harbor is open October 7-9; 14-16; 20-23; and 27-31 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Find out more information online at www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor.
Oh, and guys. If you think you’re going to be the tough guy while the ladies scream, think again!
Queen Mary Dark Harbor Preview – Dated Aug. 29, 2011
Dark Harbor Halloween event returns to the Queen Mary starting Oct. 7, 2011 with fifteen nights of fiery frights including five mazes, a frightening tunnel entry and attractions with nonstop live entertainment on the haunted ship and on shore in Long Beach.
Now in its 17th year, the Queen Mary Halloween event was originally known as Shipwreck, but in 2010, the ship bravely steamed into Dark Harbor to shrieks of delight from haunt aficionados and chillseekers alike.
Unlike theme parks that simply pretend to be haunted, “The Queen Mary is often cited as one of the most haunted places in the world,” said paranormal expert and ship guide Erika Frost. “This gives the event an atmosphere unlike any theme-park haunt. For instance, one of the mazes crosses the first-class swimming pool where many visitors claim to have encountered a little girl wandering around searching for her doll or mommy. Or, if they haven’t seen her, they’ve reportedly heard her.”
Dark Harbor features seven bloodcurdling mazes and attractions on the ship and on the shore as well as an entertainment complex with live entertainment, cocktails and food. Yes, alcohol will be available, which is not always the case among Southern California’s largest halloween events.
To enter this port of purgatory, guests must maneuver through a fog-filled 220-foot tunnel of cargo containers concealing monsters. Guests emerge at the foot of ‘Hell’s Bells Tower,’ a 33-foot tall tower of 11 cargo containers shooting 20-foot flames into the night sky. This is the centerpiece of Dark Harbor and is assembled each year with the help of longshoremen from the Port of Long Beach.
Three panic-inducing shipboard mazes raise the fear factor with pyrotechnical, atmospheric and watery special effects. They include ‘Submerged’ where guests are sure to get a sinking feeling, ‘Containment’ where the ship’s original infirmary gets sick and twisted, and ‘Hellfire’ where the horrors get terribly hot. Two other hair-raising mazes are on shore: ‘The Village of the Damned’ where the monsters try to make you their permanent houseguests and ‘The Cage’ which simply defies description.
Performances by local bands, food and cocktails in the ‘Night Mariners’ Bar,’ and a demon-filled attraction known as ‘The Barricades’ will ensure leaving is…unthinkable, as will a trio of She-Demons who prey on all who cross their path after sunset. And beware of aforementioned ghosts walking the decks of the Queen Mary, for these travelers from the past may inhabit any ‘body’ left unattended.
The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor will be open October 7-9; 14-16; 20-23; and 27-31 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Given the location, make a night out of this event and head over to Pine Street for some of the coolest bars and restaurants in the South Bay.
Ticket discounts and promotions start as low as $20 online at www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor. ‘Fast Fright’ front-of-the-line passes are also available online and at the door, and well worth the additional $20 upgrade for busy nights.
The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach.
Still not sure which haunted houses you want to visit for Halloween 2011? Check out our full review of haunted houses in the Inland Empire and Southern California.