Tag: Queen Mary (page 1 of 3)

Spirits are ready to CHILL at the Queen Mary

While we long for the breezy fall nights full of monsters and mazes, spirits and treats continue to materialize at the all-new Queen Mary CHILL

This year, the world-famous Queen Mary invites guests to embark on an international expedition this winter with the unveiling of the all-new CHILL, open December 13, 2017 through January 7, 2018. Featuring the first-ever Ice Adventure Park in the U.S., the newly-inspired CHILL will tempt your taste buds with international dining experiences and savory opportunities from six different regions around the globe. From German pretzels and Dutch pancakes, to Russian potato dumplings and Swiss Meatballs, CHILL offers a one-of-a-kind worldly experience for the whole family to enjoy this holiday season.

Experience the 38,000-square foot ice park honoring international holiday celebrations with authentic beverages and bites from Germany, Switzerland, China, Russia, Holland, and the fabled North Pole. Start your foodie expedition at Germany’s Twisted Pretzel Pub & Tasting Room featuring family owned 200-year-old German beer flights for adults and samplings of ginger beer, butter beer, and root beer for the wee ones. Delight in traditional German dishes at CHILL’s Brat Haus with cuisines provided by Long Beach’s own Rasselbock Kitchen and Beer Garden, offering Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Kraut, and more authentic fresh German fare.

Families can cozy up in Switzerland’s Alpine Patio by roasting marshmallows and building gooey s’mores at the toasty fire pit. Dine in the lower level of the two-story Alpine Lodge at Alpine Cafe, open nightly, serving traditional Swiss bites. Then splurge for festive cocktails in the exclusive Pinnacle Chalet Bar, on the second floor, overlooking Matterhorn Mountain’s two-story, six-lane, ice tubing slide. Delight in the Fondue Pot in Alpine Square for the holiday tradition of Swiss cheese and chocolate fondue, and enjoy mouthwatering sweets provided by Long Beach’s own Romeo Chocolates at the Swiss Chocolatier. The Village Coffee offers gourmet selections and Zurich Deli highlights including Swiss charcuterie and fresh baked specialty breads daily.

Stroll down Lantern Lane for an Eastern ice cream treat and visit Bamboo Forest for China’s Zen Teahouse where guests can meet the welcoming Tea Hostess for a traditional Chinese tea service. Excite your taste buds at Dim Sum Delight with China’s traditional winter feast of dumplings, provided by the LA-based Bling Bling Dumpling. Wander into the Northern Lights Experience for a festive martini or stargaze with a flute of champagne at Star Bar.

 

Warm up with traditional Russian fare including Stroganoff and a variety of Potato Dumplings at Pierogi Paradise. Make it a date night and chill in the 12 Degree Pinnacle Cathedral Ice Bar fashioned like Moscow’s Basil Cathedral and featuring vodka flights from a selection of over 20 different flavors and brands from around the globe.

For the child at heart, Holland offers guests the opportunity to indulge in breakfast for dinner with the gift bearers of each nation at Windmill Waffle House’s breakfast buffet. No time to stop and dine? Walk up to the Breakfast Bar window to sip on unique hand-made breakfast cocktails like the Mistletoe Fizz with gin (a product of Holland), champagne, cranberry, lime, and sugared rosemary, stirred, served over ice and garnished with beautiful rosemary. Or kick-back and relax with a bacon infused Siracha Bloody Mary.

CHILL invites the entire family to enjoy a cornucopia of dishes from around the world along with hand-crafted cocktails, authentic savory bites, and the sweetest of treats.

CHILL pricing starts at $29.00 for adults (ages 9+) and $19.00 for kids. VIP Ultimate Expedition tickets are also available starting at $79.00 for adults (ages 9+) and $69.00 for kids. CHILL will run Dec. 13, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018, excluding Dec. 31, 2017. For more information, including food and beverages offered, hours of operation and to purchase tickets online, visit http://queenmary.com/chill/

The Queen Mary Unveils the All-New Ghost and Legends Haunted Experience

The Queen Mary Unveils the All-New Ghost and Legends Haunted Experience. The largest Interactive and Immersive Haunted Attraction in the World

This past weekend the nice and long (but never long enough) haunt season of 2017 has sadly officially ended.  Some of the seasonal highlights included Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. As most of our readers know by now, many of the  Dark Harbor’s mazes settings aboard the ship are reported to actually be haunted.  In fact The Queen Mary is dubbed as one of the top 10 most haunted places on Earth by Time Magazine.

Now that the spirited facades of the Dark Harbor mazes have been put away it’s finally time for the real Ghosts and Legends to come out to play. This Friday, November 10th, The Queen Mary is pleased to unveil the newly-intensified and re-inspired Ghost and Legends!

Offered year-round, thrill seekers and scare enthusiasts are invited to board the haunted RMS Queen Mary to test their fears in the world’s largest interactive and fully immersive haunted attraction. Experience the spirit legends of the Queen Mary first-hand with all-new special effects, cutting-edge technology and, of course, the chance to encounter paranormal activity for a one-of-a-kind, spine-chilling, fun time.

“The new Ghosts and Legends offers guests an entirely different level of the traditional haunted experience. We crafted terrifying original stories and characters based the ship’s well-known paranormal tales and hot-spots onboard the Queen Mary to create a truly thrilling, immersive, and unique encounter,” said Brian Luallen, Director of Entertainment Events, The Queen Mary.

The reimagined Ghost and Legends elevates scares with innovative interactive technology and special effects including a tesla coil firing 3.4 million volt bolts of lightning at a frightfully intimate distance, massive water effects, fog projections with state of the art CGI specters, and a hand-held ghost tracking tablet given to select attendees for the tour. To further enhance the frights, tour groups will also be given a flashlight to guide their way through the dimly lit attraction. Thrill-seekers beware – the flashlights will be controlled by the twisted minds of the Ghost and Legends producers!

Ghost and Legends haunted experience aboard the Queen Mary will open on Friday, November 10th at 11 a.m. The year-round attraction will be open daily and runs every 30 minutes starting at 11 a.m., accommodating up to 30 guests per experience. Tickets are a great deal at just $15 for adults and $12 for children and are available at http://www.queenmary.com/tickets/. For more information, including hours or to purchase tickets online, please visit queenmary.com

 

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils the Spirit of CHEF

Are YOU Ready to be Served?

A new voracious resident spirit has risen from the depths of the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Southern California’s most authentically terrifying haunt, opening September 28Chef and his long-forgotten legend have resurfaced and will be brought to life through FEAST, the new horrific maze onboard the ship venturing into previously unrevealed areas of the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Chef and his carnivorous kitchen staff have resumed their deadly duties, collecting new victims for Chef’s latest recipes. All who dare will swelter with fear as they crawl their way out of Chef’s scorching oven to reach their final destination…Are YOU ready to be served?

For the first time in Dark Harbor history, FEAST will be the 4th maze onboard the legendary vessel. FEAST tells the tale of Chef, a legendary spirit of the historic R.M.S. Queen Mary. As the tale goes, During WWII when the Queen Mary was in service as a troop transport ship, an enlisted military man serving in the ship’s kitchen quickly moved up the ranks to become a highly-decorated Chef.

Unbeknownst to the soldiers traveling aboard, Chef had a dark side.  Quietly he would sedate soldiers in the middle of the night to prepare them as ingredients for his latest dishes. Eventually caught, the Chef was thrown into one of his own ovens and cooked alive.

Loyal to their leader Chef’s dutiful kitchen staff sacrificed their lives to become his evil henchmen, burning themselves in the same oven. The spirits of Chef and his evil crew went into hiding aboard the ship for many years. Now, these long-time stowaways have resurfaced to resume their deadly duties of collecting and preparing victims for Chef’s latest concoctions.

FEAST and Chef will make their horrific debut as Dark Harbor returns to the Queen Mary on September 28.  Southern California’s most haunted Halloween event will welcome MORE monsters, MORE nights, and MORE mazes than ever before. Offering the most authentically frightening experience available, Dark Harbor tells the truly haunted, historic tales of the Queen Mary. The infamous spirits of Chef, Iron Master, Captain, Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry, Scary Mary, Voodoo PriestessRingmaster, plus hundreds of their bloodcurdling henchmen await to tempt your fate.

Live your nightmares aboard the Queen Mary with returning mazes Soulmate and B340. Mazes Circus, Intrepid, Deadrise, and Lullaby also return newly intensified, darker than imaginable, and evermore twisted. With 7 mazes and 13 bars, fire shows, aerialists, sliders, Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch’s Sinister Swings, monster DJs, Voodoo House Bar & Tasting Room, R.I.P. Lounge, and much more, Dark Harbor is a freakishly fun time.

The annual haunt opens its gates on September 28 and continues to scare those who dare on select nights through November 1. General admission ticket prices start at just $20 online, with Fast Fright, VIP Passes, Creepy Cabanas and lodging packages available. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor.

There’s a CHILL in the air….

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Hard to believe that only 3 weeks ago we were going through haunts and trick o treating and now it’s time for the truly horrifying time of year… the holidays. Fortunately there are still a few haunted attractions open and many of the popular haunts have transformed into elaborate holiday playgrounds. We have to admit that with the almost never-ending warm weather here, it’s hard to get into the mood to listen to songs like “Let It Snow” or “White Christmas”. But Queen Mary is going to help us cool things down by adding a little ‘Chill’ to the air.

The terrifying spirits of Dark Harbor just sailed away and now the holiday spirit is taking over with the return of CHILL at the Queen Mary. CHILL offers seasonal fun with ice skating, ice tubing, sleigh rides, and visits with Santa. Southern California’s coolest holiday adventure will also unveil a new interactive and immersive experience, Alice in Winterland.

Light up the night and follow the Queen down the rabbit hole this holiday season with Alice in Winterland. The newest attraction at CHILL brings an inspired re-imagination of the classic Lewis Carroll story to life through the magic of an interactive and digitally immersive 14,000-square foot walk-through experience. Guests can unlock the hidden secrets of the adventure with RIFD technology to make each individual visit truly unforgettable. Alice in Winterland features stunning, larger than life lanterns as you follow Alice and her adventure into the Hall of Doors, the White Rabbit’s Kitchen, Mad Hatter’s Work Shop, the proverbial Tea Party, the Hedge Maze and visits from the Caterpillar and the new Queen of Diamonds.

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The fifth annual CHILL welcomes back Glacier Glide Ice Tubing with six lanes of glistening ice slides standing two stories tall and 100-feet long. Ice skate under the stars on the 6,000 square-foot ice skating rink with the backdrop of the picturesque Queen Mary ship.

Stroll through the North Pole Village and stop by the Queen Mary Village’s post office to send a letter to Santa. Take a spin on the Swinging Sleigh Ride, the Giant Rocking Horse or play Prancer’s Paintball for holiday thrills. A trip to CHILL is not complete without a stop by the Gingerbread House to make a festive edible creation, and a visit to Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Claus Cottage. The holiday fun is endless.

CHILL runs on select dates from November 23, 2016 through January 8, 2017. Pricing starts at $39.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids (ages 4-11), now available online. Tickets include entrance to Alice in Winterland, Ice Tubing, CHILL Village and access to the Queen Mary ship. Hotel and VIP packages are also available.

Haunt Review: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2016 Feels Lost at Sea

We recently re-posted our 2010 review of Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. That year, the event had turned itself around from being a complete “Shipwreck” (consisting of neon 3D-painted plywood walls, cheap masks, and mazes with barely any theme) to an impressive major player on the SoCal haunt scene that smartly put to use its location and history as leverage for a uniquely themed event. For the past 5 years, Queen Mary has been near the top of the haunt pack, serving as a legitimate challenger to Knott’s and Universal. However, we’re a bit sad to say that the 2016 version of Dark Harbor fails to live up to its previous standards and has slipped back into second-rate status.

So what’s changed? First of all, the event has undergone a bit of rearranging this year. Some of the attractions have been pushed out to the periphery (the main stage, the Hex Paintball attraction, Deadrise), and the footprint of the various lounges/bars has been extended. Overall, as we walked the Dark Harbor grounds, we got less of a feel of a coherent haunt event than a big carnival. The large Deadrise facade, which had been an impressive centerpiece in years past, now seems to be an afterthought. Instead, the focus seems to be more on the food and liquor stalls.

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Second, the more disturbing fact is that the new maze (Intrepid) was very weak. This is concerning to us because it’s never a good sign when the brand new maze is the worst of the event. This can be an indication of either decreased budget or change in talent/direction of the creative staff. Neither is good in the long-term, obviously.

So with those initial thoughts, let’s get to the review featuring videos from ThemePark HD.

Mazes

Intrepid (*New for 2016*)

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Sharing the dome space with “Circus” this year is the brand-new maze Intrepid, which features the new character of the “Iron Master.” The backstory involves a Scottish shipyard and a locomotive bound for hell. The steam train entrance to the maze looked promising, and upon entering, groups were immediately split into two paths: some people were directed upstairs while others went through a side passage and remained at ground level. We took the upstairs route. The opening scene was cool, but after exiting the train, there wasn’t a whole lot to look at. The entire maze has an industrial feel, with a lot of chain link fencing , dark passages with black or corrugated metal walls, characters in welding masks, simulated iron pouring into molds, and even metal tubes to crawl through. The maze lacked detail, and the story of the Iron Master didn’t really come through.  There was also a complete lack of scares.

Haunt Design: 2 Skulls
Theming: 2 Skulls
Scare Factor: 1 Skull
Overall Rating: 1.5 Skulls

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The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils the Spirit of IRON MASTER

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This past weekend at Midsummer Scream we attended the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor panel. It was a lively presentation from the haunt’s creative team with many of the characters such as the Captain and Dead Deckhands making appearances. The audience was very excited and from everything they shared we know that this will be another frightfully exciting year.

In addition to announcing that there’ll be libations available for sale in every line and the return of the swings from Neverland Ranch (Shamone!), they also revealed their wicked plans for 2016’s new maze. The Queen Mary’s cruise into the Dark Harbor will now include a train ride to hell with the New Maze INTREPID. This maze will feature the disturbing journey of the ship’s builder Ivan aka Iron Master.

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LONG BEACH, Calif., (August 1, 2016) – The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor has a new cantankerous resident spirit, Iron Master. His torrid legend is brought to life through Intrepid. The new maze transports guests aboard a steamin’ locomotive, back to the birthplace of the Golden Era of Travel –Scotland’s storied shipyard of Clydebank. Blazing down the Iron Master’s death-defying tracks, guests will bear witness on his cursed journey to save The R.M.S. Queen Mary from her predecessor’s Titanic peril. All who dare will swelter and drip with fear as they traverse and crawl to their final destination: Iron Hell. The Iron Master has crossed oceans of time to reclaim his beloved Queen Mary. How far will you go?

As the tale is told, Ivan was the ship builder and original iron forger of the majestic R.M.S. Queen Mary. In the early 1930s, Ivan’s shipyard was commissioned by Cunard to build the storied Scottish vessel. Eager to rise to the challenge, he scoured the world in search of a flawless crew and devoted his life to what would be come the most famous shipyard in history. The R.M.S. Queen Mary set sail in 1936 with Captain at the helm and unknowingly, Ivan in the hull.

One fateful night, a mysterious steam engine rolled into his shipyard rail station and beckoned Ivan. Before he realized it, he had boarded the deadly train and was barreling toward darkness. By the end of the dark journey, he realized he had been transformed into a terrifying creature – part metal, part monster. Over the century, his corpse decaying, Ivan was forced to replace pieces of his rotted flesh with cast iron – the same from which he forged his beloved ship. A slave to his craft in life, so too, would he become in death. Cursed for eternity as protector of the Queen Mary, Ivan is now…Iron Master.

Through the best of storms and worst of wars, the R.M.S. Queen Mary remained the fastest ship on the seas until she was laid in her eternal resting place here in Long Beach. Befittingly dubbed “The Grey Ghost”, she eerily hovers in the harbor, marking her 80th year afloat.

It is said that the spirit of Ivan – the Iron Master has grown restless and the Ringmaster’s circus freaks have overstayed their welcome. Now more than ever, he is heard banging his iron clad limbs as he trudges the ship’s hull. Called upon by the Captain, Iron Master has disembarked to restore order to the steely shipyard in the dark harbor.

Twenty-two terrifying nights of Dark Harbor tell the truly haunting tales of Queen Mary, offering the most authentically frightening experience around. The evil eight spirits: Iron Master, Captain, Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry, Scary Mary, Voodoo Priestess, Ringmaster, plus hundreds of their horrific henchmen; await to tempt your fate.

darkharbor2015-41Signature mazes Circus, Lullaby, Deadrise, Soulmate, B340 return to offer glimpses into the ship’s sordid past. Other spirited attractions Hex Paintball Gallery, Panic 4-D, Sideshow, Neverland Ranch’s Sinister Swings, Voodoo House Bar & Tasting Room, R.I.P. Lounge, Big Top Bar, demonic DJ’s and other main stage mayhem make for a freakishly good time.

The annual haunt opens its gates on September 29 and continues to scare those who dare through October 31. General admission ticket prices start at just $20 online, with Fast Fright upgrades, VIP R.I.P. Lounge access, Creepy Cabanarentals, and historic hotel packages available. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor.

Haunt Review: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2015

 

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Standing near the private cabanas, listening to the live show taking place on the main stage and enjoying the eerie red lights glowing from the swings above us and the sudden, atmospheric pulses of fire shooting out from the impressive Deadrise attraction behind us, it struck us how downright enjoyable Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor has become over the years. Each year, we write about the impressive mazes and the well-themed and immersive nature of the entire haunt. But one thing we noticed this year is the fact that Dark Harbor is one of the easiest and most relaxed haunt experiences in the area. The small footprint of the event means there’s not a ton of walking or riding escalators up and down all night. Food, drinks, and cocktails are all within easy reach. There are entertainment and food areas that promote an overall atmosphere of fun, but not in the frenetic, overwhelming way it can sometimes be at say, Halloween Horror Nights. And for this voodoo vals-4-2reason, Queen Mary is always one of our favorite events to kick off the season.

 

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Dark Harbor has a few new offerings this year, as well as several changes to existing attractions. There’s a new maze based on the legend of the little girl who drowned on the ship (“Scary Mary”), the addition of a paintball attraction, and a revamping of the sideshow area. Overall, we felt that the flow of the event was improved this year by the addition of the sideshow area with its own bar, which was the perfect space for lounging and discussing the mazes we had just been through.

Also of note was the addition of some “preshow” elements to the mazes. In Lullaby, the maze begins with a funeral for poor Scary Mary. In Soulmate, a video provides the backstory of Graceful Gale. The queue lines are also peppered with posters that tell the story behind the maze. We definitely love it when haunts really get into storytelling, because it improves the detail and immersive feeling of the mazes. However, the preshow scenes added a lot of wait time to the lines but also helped to give space between groups once inside the maze. Time will tell whether the preshow elements are good or bad for the event.

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Here are our review of the mazes and attractions for this year.

Lullaby (New for 2015)

Scary Mary heads up her own maze in the space formerly occupied by “Submerged.” The water theme returns, however; after all, she did drown in the ship’s pool. The maze begins with a freaky funeral for Mary given by a scary looking preacher;. Various versions of Mary run around this maze, popping up creepily behind walls of water and around corners. In the pool room, Mary called out to us from across the room, her creepy baby voice echoing off the walls. This is a natural progression from the previous theme of Submerged, but overall, we didn’t find Mary to be too scary.

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 3 skulls
  • Theming: 3.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 2.5 skulls

Overall Rating: 3 skulls

Soul Mate

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Graceful Gale is the main character of “Soul Mate,” which tells the story of Gale’s gruesome search for the perfect dance partner, which seems to involve severing the various body parts of different men to create one perfect mate. The maze begins with a video that tells the story of Gale in a cartoonish sort of way. Although it was a cool idea to provide the backstory, the audio of the video was very bad and we could barely hear that narration. The narrow corridors of the maze were covered with fabrics in an attempt to make them feel more lush and also to cover up all the metal siding that runs throughout this area of the ship, but many of the scenes feel too sparse and lacking in detail. One exception is Gale’s dressing room, which reveals a creepy Gale gazing at herself in the mirror. There’s also a very impressive ballroom scene, where Gale’s men surround the entire perimeter of room…but which man will step forward for the dance? We got a few good scares in this maze this year, and Gale was looking more creepy (and sometimes more manly) than ever.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4 skulls
  • Theming: 4.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 2.5 skulls

Overall Rating: 3.5 skulls

B340

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This maze features the story of Samuel the Savage, who was “locked away in room B340 after a violent outburst,” where he was later found torn apart. The maze takes you into the mind of Samuel, where we visit scenes from his past, involving nuns, and also scenes from his insanity, featuring a lot of clocks set to 3:40. They’ve thought a lot about creating a back story here, and it’s interesting and relatively easy to follow. We found this maze to be lacking in monsters this year. Perhaps they didn’t have a full staff on opening night, so we hope more monsters show up for work as the month goes on.


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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 3 skulls
  • Theming: 3 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 2.5 skulls

Overall Rating: 2.5 skulls

Voodoo Village

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“Voodoo Village” is located on the grounds near the midway. Gypsies and Voodoo practitioners come out from the shadows to assault guests as they wind through this very long maze. The Voodoo theme is a smart use of already existing sets here–interior scenes are easily transformed into voodoo sacrifice altars, and outdoor areas that were already swamp/forest-like settings in previous years now fit the story better. As always, the actors in this maze are some of the strongest and most scary. This continues to be one of our favorites.

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4 skulls
  • Theming: 4 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4 skulls

Overall Rating: 4 skulls

Circus

This maze is located inside the dome and has been our favorite in past years. Small changes keep this maze fresh. “Circus” is Dark Harbor’s take on an old-fashioned, early 20th century circus, which makes it feel right at home in the overall theme of the event. There’s an aged feel to the sets, and the lighting casts an eerie, dirty glow over everything. The entrance is through a clown’s mouth, and from there you encounter typical but twisted circus scenes, such as an actual mirror maze you can get lost in and a spinning wheel of daggers. A new scene entailing a “ball pit” seemed very problematic to us. When we went through at the beginning of the night, the plastic balls were up to our knees, and it’s easy to lose a flip flop in here. We heard that by the end of the night, the ball pit was reduced to nothing more than a few balls scattered on the floor, so at some point they must have realized the potential for actual danger in here. It was a cool idea, but hard to execute with the level of crowds that come through every night. The scares were good, and they got us good as we were distracted by the awesome sets and detailed props.

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 5 skulls
  • Theming: 5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4 skulls

Overall Rating: 4.5 skulls

Deadrise

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Located in the middle of the Dark Harbor grounds, “Deadrise” is a maze that takes you through an old, rotting ship that appears to be sinking right into the ground. The maze winds through the barracks and bowels of the ship, encountering half-dead sailors who loudly bang on metal barrels with pipes. This maze presented a few new twists and turns (including a choice of path at one point), and the monster are extremely enthusiastic. We actually found this maze to be the scariest this year, as a few tweaks to the lighting and fog effects had monsters startling us from left and right (and over our heads). This is a simple but excellent maze and one of our favorites this year.

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4.5 skulls
  • Theming: 4 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4.5 skulls

Overall Rating: 4.5 skulls 

The Curse of Anubis: Paintball Adventure (New for 2015)

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This upcharge attraction features a single room decorated in neon Egyptian style, with a few moving props and—hilariously—some live mummies running around the room. You get only 30 paintballs to shoot, so be careful not to spill your load too quickly. Honestly, we found this attraction to be cheesy and not worth paying extra for. The line also moves very slowly since you have to wait for each group to finish their round.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 1 skulls
  • Theming: 1 skulls
  • Scare Factor: Buried skull

Overall Rating: 1 skull

Side Show: Freaks and Oddities

This is another attraction that’s an extra charge. Once again, the layout has been revamped. Once admitted, you find your way into a sort of courtyard that houses a bar area and small show stage, which is very nice and a great place to relax and have a drink in between mazes. The freaks reside in shipping containers that ring the bar area, and each one has its own entrance and exit. The Shadow Spirit was by far our favorite, as he taunted us from the exit and then scared the shadow out of us once we got inside. 5 skulls to that guy!

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4 skulls
  • Theming: 4.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4 skulls

Overall Rating: 4 skulls

SUMMARY

“Deadrise” rose to the top as our favorite Dark Harbor maze this year, winning almost entirely because of the great talent that scared the pants off of us. The new maze, Lullaby, fell a little flat, and the paintball experience is a throwaway in our opinion. The returning mazes remain solid, although we felt there weren’t a lot of monsters this year (which is concerning, since they are advertising “more monsters” in 2015). We definitely recommend checking out the side show area as well.

We found the lines to be very long on opening night, and the addition of the preshows is probably a contributing factor to this. You can always purchase a front of the line pass to help bypass the lines, but we suggest arriving early to beat some of the crowds.

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Overall Fright Value: 4 Skulls

Overall Rating of Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2015: 4 Skulls

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils the New Anubis Paintball Adventure

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Fear lives here at The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor as the torrid history of the haunted ship rises from the deep October 1 – November 1, 2015. In addition to Dark Harbor’s horrific new maze, Lullaby, that tells the tale of the ship’s youngest soul, Scary Mary, the annual fright festival is thrilled to unveil the all-new Anubis Paintball Adventure.

Those who dare will venture into the tombs of Anubis, the Greek Egyptian jackal-headed god of mummification and the afterlife. In Anubis’ underworld, guests will test their skills in an LED 3D paintball battle against the most terrifying gaggle of mummies, monsters and myths.

unnamed-7The brand new Lullaby maze will take guests on a frightening voyage with Dark Harbor’s youngest soul, Scary Mary, who has haunted the Queen Mary ever since her horrific drowning in the poolroom in 1952. Dark Harbor will also welcome the new Side Show of Freaks and Oddities and the Side Show Bar that will bring guests up close into the grotesque world of freaks.

The Ringmaster, The Captain and their band of spirits including Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry and Scary Mary will be joined by over 200 grizzly monsters and ghouls that will be plotting terrifying tricks and treats throughout the season of fear. Dark Harbor’s signature haunts Deadrise, Soulmate, B340, Circus and the Voodoo Village will be wrought with more horrific monsters than ever before.

Dark Harbor brings the true torrid tales of The Queen Mary to life, offering one of the most authentically terrifying experiences available. The annual event begins October 1 and continues to inflict fear on select dates through November 1. Ticket prices start at just $20 online, with Fast Fright, VIP Passes, and lodging packages available. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor.

Dark Harbor Will Scare You to Sleep With a New ‘Lullaby’

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A full month of terror awaits us this fall as the fearsome crew of Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor reveals new terrors for 2015.

Further exploring the deepest fears and horrific stories of the ship’s restless souls, this year the tale of the ship’s youngest soul, Scary Mary, will be unveiled in a new maze. There’ll also be a new Side Show of Freaks and Oddities, attractions, monsters and more orchestrated by The Ringmaster and all of the ghoulish spirits of the Queen for its most frightful season of thrills yet. 

IMG_0210Lullaby will take fear-seekers on a terrifying voyage with Dark Harbor’s youngest soul, Scary Mary, who has haunted the Queen Mary ever since her horrific drowning in the poolroom in 1952. Mary was a bad seed from birth. Before her death, mysterious tragedies and unexplained occurrences seemed to follow in Mary’s wake. She isn’t looking for just one playmate; she wants a whole playground of souls to play with in the afterlife. She can be spotted through out Dark Harbor, but the poolroom of the ship is her playroom. One must proceed through Lullaby with caution, as it may be the last journey through Dark Harbor as a mortal soul.

Dark Harbor will introduce the new Side Show of Freaks and Oddities that will take guests through an immersive experience into the grotesque world of freaks like never before imagined. Enjoy a specialty cocktail at the Side Show Bar for an up-close and personal look behind the Side Show curtain and catch an exclusively freaky live Side Show performance.

Dark Harbor guests will get lost in the depths of the Queen Mary’s haunted history through the Deadrise, Soulmate and B340 mazes as well as visit the feared Voodoo Priestess in her Voodoo Village with dark magic gypsies in a setting wrought with shrunken heads and voodoo dolls.

The Ringmaster will orchestrate the freaks and monsters of the Circus maze and its terrifying mad house that will disorient illusions through horrific magic, paranormal wonders and spirited thrills. The Ringmaster, The Captain and their band of spirits including Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry and of course Scary Mary will haunt the grounds of Dark Harbor nightly.

Dark Harbor brings the true haunted tales of The Queen Mary to life, offering the most authentically frightening experience available. The annual event begins October 1 and continues to scare those who dare through November 1. Ticket prices start at just $20 online, with Fast Fright, VIP Passes, and lodging packages available. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor.

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Haunt Review: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2014

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Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor returns for another Halloween season, featuring three all-new mazes, plus the new “Encounters” experience that claims to be a more intense, hands-on experience than your typical maze. The monster midway is back with rides, food, and a hookah lounge. This year, you can also rent a private cabana to have your own little Halloween party among the craziness.

But we know our haunt stalkers care mostly about the mazes, so let’s get to our reviews!

We do our best not to spoil the mazes for those who’ve yet to experience them, so we won’t provide scare-by-scare reviews, but we will share highlights and our overall opinions from our own experiences in the mazes. Haunts are rated on a 1-5 “skull” system.

MAZES

Soul Mate (New for 2014)

Graceful Gale gets her own maze this year in “Soul Mate,” which replaces “Containment,” located on the rear of the ship. The maze tells the story of Gale’s gruesome search for the perfect dance partner, which seems to involve severing the various body parts of different men to create one perfect mate. The narrow corridors of the maze have been covered with fabrics in an attempt to make them feel more lush and also to cover up all the metal siding that runs throughout this area of the ship, but many of the scenes feel too sparse and lacking in detail. One exception is Gale’s dressing room, which reveals a creepy Gale gazing at herself in the mirror. There’s also a very impressive ballroom scene, where Gale’s men surround the entire perimeter of room…but which man will step forward for the dance?

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4 skulls
  • Theming: 4.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 2.5 skulls

Overall Rating: 3.5 skulls

B340 (New for 2014)

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This maze replaces “Hellfire” at the front of the ship, and features the story of Samuel the Savage, who was “locked away in room B340 after a violent outburst,” where he was later found torn apart. The maze takes you into the mind of Samuel, where we visit scenes from his past, involving nuns, and also scenes from his insanity, featuring a lot of clocks set to 3:40. They’ve thought a lot about creating a back story here, and it’s interesting and relatively easy to follow. However, we didn’t get a lot of scares in here.


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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 3 skulls
  • Theming: 3 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 2 skulls

Overall Rating: 2.5 skulls

Voodoo Village (New for 2014)

“Voodoo Village” takes over a previous favorite, Village of the Damned, on the grounds near the midway. Gypsies and Voodoo practitioners come out from the shadows to assault guests as they wind through this very long maze. There’s even a Mardi Gras scene with a gross-out actor who almost vomited on us. The Voodoo theme is a smart use of already existing sets here–interior scenes are easily transformed into voodoo sacrifice altars, and outdoor areas that were already swamp/forest-like settings in previous years now fit the story better. But because this is a long maze and probably hard to decorate, some scenes and corridors lacked scenic detail, but this is something Queen Mary could easily improve on in the following years. The actors here had great timing and got us a good a few times, and many inhibited their roles completely.

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4 skulls
  • Theming: 4.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4 skulls

Overall Rating: 4 skulls

Encounters (New for 2014)

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Encounters is Queen Mary’s first up-charge “experience,” following in the footsteps of Trapped at Knott’s Scary
Farm, which requires a separate entry fee and timed ticket. Small groups are led through this maze, where  the story is that you’re on a regular old ghost hunt in the depths of the Queen Mary ship…until something goes horribly wrong. Guests are put through a few sticky situations outside the normal maze experience. We don’t want to spoil the surprises in here, but the waiver you’re forced to sign beforehand will give you a hint that you’ll be put into claustrophobic conditions, you will have to crawl, and a bag may or may not be put over your head. Unfortunately, “Encounters” fell completely flat to us. We didn’t find it scary at all, and the setup was hokey and predictable. And it’s certainly not worth the extra $15 it costs to experience this. Although it’s a good idea in theory, the execution just wasn’t there. Perhaps it’s because we attended on opening night–but based on our experience, we’d suggest skipping this.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 2 skulls
  • Theming: 1.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 1 skull

Overall Rating: 1.5 skulls

Circus

This maze is located inside the dome and was Scare Zone’s favorite at Queen Mary last year. We’re happy to say this maze remains on top as our favorite. Small improvements this year have made the maze even more interesting and scary. There are no clowns with chainsaws in here or 3D glasses to wear. “Circus” is Dark Harbor’s take on an old-fashioned, early 20th century circus, which makes it feel right at home in the overall theme of the event. There’s an aged feel to the sets, and the lighting casts an eerie, dirty glow over everything. The entrance is through a clown’s mouth, and from there you encounter typical but twisted circus scenes, such as an actual mirror maze you can get lost in, a spinning wheel of daggers, and a creepy marionette show. The scares were pretty good in here, and they got us good as we were distracted by the awesome sets and detailed props.

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 5 skulls
  • Theming: 5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4 skulls

Overall Rating: 4.5 skulls

Deadrise

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Located in the middle of the Dark Harbor grounds, “Deadrise” is a maze that takes you through an old, rotting ship that appears to be sinking right into the ground. The maze winds through the barracks and bowels of the ship, encountering half-dead sailors who loudly bang on metal barrels with pipes. This maze hasn’t changed much since last year, but the actors are enthusiastic and the loud noises of the pipes and barrels is pretty startling. It’s still an excellent maze, with many dark corners for the actors to hide in. It remains a solid maze and fits the Dark Harbor theme perfectly.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4 skulls
  • Theming: 4 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 3.5 skulls

Overall Rating: 4 skulls 

Submerged

This maze returns for another year, but a slight twist: it’s backwards! The maze path has been switched around, so the pool room with Scary Mary is now near the beginning rather than serving as the finale. We’re not sure if this was done for logistical or novel reasons, but overall, it doesn’t serve to change the maze much. Scareactors were a bit sparse in this maze overall, and so the scares weren’t abundant. We also prefer the pool room ending, since it’s such an impressive scene to serve as a finale. Submerged is one maze we expect to sink into the sea next year.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 2.5 skulls
  • Theming: 2.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 1.5 skulls

Overall Rating: 2 skulls

Freak Show

This is another attraction that’s an extra charge ($5). This made sense last year (it’s debut year), as each “freak” was located in their own shipping container (some freaks have a maze of containers), and each experience was different. That setup required small groups and didn’t work with the typical line of a regular maze. However,  for 2014, “Freak Show” has been converted into a more traditional maze format, and all freaks are contained in one continuous experience. Line control is still important, though, because the freaks require you to get a close-up and personal view of their individual shows. We found it to be a bit better last year, with some actual scares. It’s still an interesting concept, and we do recommend checking it out.

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Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 3 skulls
  • Theming: 4.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 3 skulls

Overall Rating: 3.5 skulls

SUMMARY

“Circus” remained as our favorite maze this year, with small improvements that kept it fresh and scary. The addition of three new mazes is also impressive, and each was a solid experience. We hope Dark Harbor can flesh out a few of the empty corridors and scenes next year, as these new mazes mature. “Encounters” was a big disappointment, although we appreciate the concept and effort made to create something new and different. We will definitely try it again next year, if it returns. Overall, the scares weren’t as plentiful as 2013, but Dark Harbor is still a solid choice if you’re looking for a haunt.

Lines get long as the night goes on, so we suggest going on an off-peak night or arriving early. There is also the option of a “Fast Fright” pass that will get you to the front of the line. With general admission tickets starting at just $20, it’s a good overall value, and you can count on seeing some great mazes and getting scared.

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Overall Fright Value: 4.5 Skulls

Overall Rating of Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2013: 4 Skulls

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