The Queen Mary Dark Harbor Halloween
Location: The Queen Mary - 1126 Queens Hwy. Long Beach, Ca. 90802
Dates: Oct 3-Nov 2, 2013
Hours: 7 pm - midnight, later some nights
Cost: from $20 - $39 online general admission depending on date (save $3.50 and avoid ticket line), Group rate, Fast Fright, VIP and multi-day tickets are available. (to be confirmed)
Parking: $15 (to be confirmed)
Info and Tickets: http://www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor/, (562)-435-3511, check Goldstar.com for discounted tickets.
View Pictures of Queen Mary's Dark Harbor 2011
View Queen Mary Shipwreck Photos
Michelle Lecours contributed to the 2013 Queen Mary Dark Harbor update.
The venerable ocean liner is transformed with spooky mazes, some on the ship, and some on land, outdoor scare zones and an all-age outdoor dance party with live band performances. Lines can be long both for parking and to get in to mazes. Go early if you don't want a long wait to park and to get into the mazes. Consider taking the free Passport Bus from downtown Long Beach to avoid the line for parking, or arrive early and dine on the ship.
Everyone knows the Queen Mary is haunted, so where better to throw a Halloween scare fest? A disorienting dense fog sets the tone at the entrance to the Dark Harbor Halloween attraction. The indoor mazes through the bowels of the creaky ship make this venue unique, even if the costumed characters that stalk you may look familiar. Using the shops of the English village for another maze is another advantage to the location.
The mazes are great entertainment, although not super scary, they provide a lot of enjoyable screams. We had the advantage of having Fast Fright Passes, so we didn't have to wait long for each maze. On Friday and Saturday nights, there is a VIP Ticket available that includes the Fast Fright Pass, access to the private RIP Lounge balcony overlooking the attraction, as well as unlimited made-to-order tacos and four drink tickets. The lines can be long and if you don't have the patience, go for an upgrade!
The three mazes on the ship each have a different theme. Of the three, Submerged gives the effect of a sinking ship with a strong moldy, sinking experience. Containment is the traditional mental ward zone, and Hellfire is populated primarily by dead sailors burning in hell. Some of the mazes on the ship were somewhat under-populated compared to previous years and other haunted attractions, so there are fewer startling moments. The upside of that is that there is more time to appreciate the environment of being in the creaking walkways of the ship and having the ship's portholes open to the water and city lights is a treat is an authentic blueprint you just can't build.
Brand new to Dark Harbor, and replacing last year’s the Cage, the Circus is a startling red and white big top maze inside the dome. Utilizing smoke and mirrors as well as moving floors and walls, the Circus is a disorienting freak show that chills your bones as you turn each corner in anticipation of your own scream. The Ringmaster herself is a spectacular new character to this attraction. She commands all the freakish entertainers and steals the deadly show with her incredibly captivating performances at Circle Stage. If you see her amongst the guests, be sure to get a picture with her (you'll need a good flash).
Deadrise returns for its second year and is terrifically startling and suspenseful. Ghostly sailors and monsters from the wreckage of Deadrise are lurking and ready to pounce on unsuspecting souls from a whole host of corners and slopes. One of the undead took special interest in me and I all but crawled out of the smoky tunnel hopped up on my own adrenaline.
Inside and outside of the mazes, the talent is extraordinary and passionate. There is a plethora of zombie sailors and monsters creeping around making visitors’ hair stand up which brings great continuity to the attraction—you’re never safe from daunting noises or your blood suddenly running cold.
New to this year’s experience are three rides worth taking for a creepy spin. The Zipline ($15) flies you right over the entire property. It is not a long distance, but quite thrilling as hundreds of guests look up as you go screaming by. You can get locked in a cage and spun around on the Rock O’ Plane ($5), a fast-moving ferris wheel, or buck around on a bull dressed up as the Mechanical Monster ($5).
Five Freak Shows
Shipping containers house these five sinister characters: Sparky, Headless Hannah, Human Crab, the White Spirit and the Shadow Spirit. Some are better than others, but worth the $5 bucks if you’ve run through all the mazes and want to make a longer night out of it.
The party is outdoors with live bands or DJs on the Circle Stage and a dance area around it and the scare zones. There are plenty of spaces to party or relax when not pursuing the mazes. Spooky décor is improved in 2013, darkening the atmosphere around carnival eats and cocktails.
From the parking lot, head towards the ship to get your tickets. There's a separate line if you already have pre-sale tickets, but everyone has to go through security and get a wristband. Once you have a wristband, you can either start with the Village or the Circus and work your way back to the Ship’s three mazes. There are food vendors scattered around the outdoor area. The restaurants on the ship are also open, but if you leave the Dark Harbor area, you can't get back in.
If you're planning on arriving late, get the Fast Fright Pass to avoid the long lines.
Poll:Have you been to Shipwreck? What did you think?
- Best fright in town! Don't miss it!
- Scary Fun. I recommend it.
- Better than staying home.
- Not scary. I wouldn't pay full price.
- It's lame. Skip it.
View Queen Mary Shipwreck Photos