Location: The Queen Mary - 1126 Queens Hwy. Long Beach, Ca. 90802
Dates: Oct 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 25-28 and 31, 2012
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.
Parking: $12 (to be confirmed)
Info and Tickets: http://queenmary.com/events/dark-harbor.php, (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 2012 Queen Mary Dark Harbor update
Bottom LineThe 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.
The FrightEveryone 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, I found Submerged the least well-defined. Containment is the traditional mental ward zone, and Hellfire is populated primarily by dead sailors burning in hell. We thought the mazes on the ship were somewhat underpopulated compared to previous years and other haunted attractions, so there are fewer startling moments. The up side 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.
The Cage, inside the Dome, was one of our favorite mazes, with monsters roaming in and out of dark curtains, fun house mirrors with dead-end detours and creatures banging on noisy cages, but this year’s updates made to the maze less scary and lacked a bit of the unpredictability of last year’s design. I enjoyed this maze, but it paled in comparison to Deadrise.
Deadrise is the Queen Mary’s newest maze for 2012 and was 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 immense continuity to the attraction—you’re never safe from daunting noises or your blood suddenly running cold.
The PartyThe party is outdoors with live bands on stage and a dance area that borders on the scare zones. There are plenty of spaces to party or relax when not pursuing the mazes. Typical fair food like kettle corn, funnel cakes, ice cream and burgers is abundant, and some of the food booths could benefit from an investment in dark Halloween décor and less bright light. On the other hand, the spooky bars offer excellent access to beer and cocktails in a spooky atmosphere.
LogisticsFrom 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 mazes on the ship or head to the back of the parking lot to the Village or the Dome and work your way forward.
Two of the on ship mazes are side by side mid-ship. The third is at the far end of the ship.
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