Every year, Long Beach, Ca. Explodes with the eeriness of Halloween as the Queen Mary morphes into a haunted attraction unlike any other. A carnival from hell mixed with a seaside port lost in time and traditional haunt mazes make this THE stop for atmosphere and frights. If you’ve been to Dark Harbor before, never fear, it’s never the same as nearly every maze is redesigned every year, keeping things fresh and scary. In addition, there is a new spirit and maze haunting the ship this year…The chef.
Before I get to that, let me tell you about the Queen Mary overall. If you are looking for that Halloween spirit that is both scary and fun, this is for you. The Queen Mary is a 1000 plus foot ocean liner that rests in Long Beach, Ca. Surrounding it is Dark Harbor, a seaside port that houses a Halloween carnival like no other. There are classic swing rides, two stages for live acts that go all night long as well as themed bars and a fantastic selection of food. This is the center with mazes that encase the perimeter.
Circus – This maze filled with twisted carnies never disappoints. Be careful of the mirror maze that lies within but more importantly, be sure to ask to speak to Zoltar as you enter for a special surprise. This is an all new space for Circus as it is a stand alone structure this time rather than being housed in another structure. The new layout is welcome and the end contains a nod to past attractions that is most effective.
Intrepid – Is a step back into time that reminds me of the film Horror Express from 1972. This is a complete redesign which brings in a snow element that works well at creating its own separate atmosphere. Enjoyed it!
Deadrise – Has always been interesting as it is a sinking ship. There is always a slight sense of urgency about it because of that. Lots of fun but be warned, this is a water maze, you WILL get wet!
Feast – As the new maze on the block, Feast was definitely under a microscope and it delivers the goods. With a food centric theme, I highly recommend not doing this one right after you’ve eaten. Disturbing in a primal way, this latest addition kicks some tail and will leave you both wanting out and wanting more!
On the ship are the final three mazes, each with there own awesomeness.
Lullaby – This concerns the little girl who haunts the pool area. Filled with creepy and upsetting imagery, Scary Mary will haunt you. Good scares and a new and improved presentation made this a stand out this year.
B340 – Has never been my favorite narratively but has one of the best scares EVER in ANY park! I won’t spoil it, just go! This year’s addition has a stark white room that really mixes it up and for me, it is a huge improvement.
Finally we have SOULMATE – Graceful Gale is looking for love. Will it be you or just part of you? An elegant maze with elegant scares, Soulmate keeps it creepy. Though I miss the original finally to this one, it always delivers and was an unsettling end to the night.
This was another big win for the Queen Mary team. Non stop goodness and a layout that not only blows away previous years, but other parks as well. This is where the Halloween party is at this year. DON”T MISS IT!