Growing up in Southern California I have hit all of the October Halloween festivities at some point. The one that is my hands-down favorite when I’m in the mood to get scared is Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary. There is just something to be said for being in an boat that is rich in history, along with it’s fair share of ghost stories. The Queen Mary turns several portions of the ship into haunted mazes, full of zombies, skeletons and a decent number of amputated limbs. But the scariest parts for me are simply going down the low-lit, narrow halls of the old ship, not know what will come up next.
I attended the Media Preview night in Long Beach on opening night and had a great time! Dark Harbor features several new mazes and has an improved layout as compared to last year. They even have this swing ride, formerly at the Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, pictured above.
My favorite walk-through was “Soulmate”, which is one of the new attractions. This took place inside the ship and featured Graceful Gale, searching for her eternal love.
Actual sighting or actor? You be the judge…
The new “Voodoo Village” was a close second as it reminded me of some time I’ve spent in New Orleans (minus the rabid gypsies, of course). And Submerged, a return from last year, still ranks quite highly. It’s star, Scary Mary, as even seen wandering the grounds of Dark Harbor and available for photo ops.
The Queen Mary also has a few add-ons. For $15 you can go on “The Encounter”, a small group guided tour that takes you through a portion the ship, ending in the propeller room. Only problem is…something goes horribly wrong. The experience is well worth it.
One thing to skip—the gelato milkshakes. At $8 each, I was expecting something delicious, rich and creamy. What I got was a watered down cup of disappointment.
Various upgrades are available, such as the Fast Fright Pass for (skip to the front of the line, limited passes available) or the VIP ticket (includes RIP Lounge admission, fast fright pass, 4 drink tickets, unlimited made to order sliders, exclusive ghostly encounters and private restrooms). VIP pricing is $99.
Dark Harbor runs NOW through 11/02/14. General admission ticket price starts as low as $20 (arrive before 8 PM). You can find more info here.
Read below for some ghostly back-stories to the haunting characters at Dark Harbor featured in two of the new mazes:
Graceful Gale was the belle of The Queen Mary in the 1930s. As a beautiful first class passenger Gale charmed her way across the ship’s dance floor regularly until mysteriously disappearing on her final passage in 1939. The new Soulmate maze will take over the former location of the Containment maze and bring to life the haunted spirit of the frightful Graceful Gale. The story of Gale will unravel as her true spirit is revealed and those who dare will realize that Gale may not be as graceful as she appeared, but in fact is more monstrous than ever imagined. Gale will haunt The Queen Mary in order to lure suitors into her possession. Once she captures their hearts she will have her adoring minions cut them up and reassemble them to create her “perfect mate.” But Gale isn’t so easy to please and only a few creatures are suitable enough to be her dance partner. The rest of the rejects are doomed and outcast to haunt the Queen at night.
On a 1948 Atlantic voyage, third class Queen Mary passenger, Samuel, was locked away in room B340 after a violent outburst. After hours of isolation, crew found Samuel in his room, violently ripped apart. Murdered or self-induced suicide, no one knows. B340 is a new maze through Samuel the Savage’s schizophrenic journey of isolated decent into insanity. Travel through his warped mind literally and figuratively, ultimately reaching the final resting place, but only after visitors navigate a mirage of virtual B340s. Samuel is on the loose, he’s dangerous and completely out of his mind. Through his maze you may lose your own mind and find it impossible to escape.
* Heather attended media night and received complimentary passes to the event.