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Welcome aboard the 10th season of Queen Mary Dark Harbor in Long Beach port! Navigate your way past the county fair food, performers, lounges, swing ride, 4D movie, and endless bars. That’s right, Queen Mary expanded its bar locations from last year with both public and secret bars inside the mazes. So be sure to interact with as many creepy characters to earn a coin to grant you admission. Best to leave the guide maps behind as they are frustratingly unhelpful. Keep to your gut and follow your instincts to the three mazes aboard the Queen Mary herself and three mazes onshore.
You are amongst a troop of soldiers aboard the Queen Mary during its years as a wartime vessel. A rogue wave crashes into the ship causing confusion and fear. This “brand new” maze is essentially a reworking of the Deadrise maze design. The main difference is an added dome structure and added storyline of the Captain steering to safety, or perhaps a watery grave. The “capsizing” effect is achieved with projections, running water, and slanted walkways. There was an upside-down room that was not very clear upon walking through. The secret bar is inside the dome and can be clearly seen from an overhanging lifeboat. Thankfully intoxicated bar patrons do not get the option to blast bursts of water into innocent bystanders’ faces like last year. That was a huge safety concern from last year.
The finale seems to have guests “swimming” through a bubble filled exit. Fun, but can be slippery on the concrete floor. If that is the case, the actors need to communicate guests are swimming for our lives.
Walk past the enduring circus campsite and directly into the funhouse. Memorable elements of the circus remain but rearranged in different sequences with a deceptive mirror maze, rotating tunnel, moving floorboards, shuffling in a colorful ball pit, unravel a twisted spider lair, revealing dressing rooms, and a brightly lit infirmary for the finale. Be forewarned with the ball pit for anyone with mobility issues.
The carnival barker and his spinning wheel of misfortune appear to be sadly omitted. When you come to a choice between the left and right doorway, one side includes an animal cage scene while the other side leads to an empty hallway with uneventful framed holes on the side. But it does lead you to the same secret bar like last year. Oddly enough towards the end of the night, guests were being directly guided to the secret bar for unknown reasons.
Guests board the Intrepid Express with non-stop service to Hell! Appears to be unchanged from last year. But still provides some of the best scenes as spirits follow you down train interiors, lively graveyard, outdoor church, green laser bog, and candle-lit corridors.
You can’t go wrong with the Iron Master bellowing out his hateful monologue in the finale.
Sneak by Scary Mary’s nursery, dressing room, and childish games before she taunts you with her teddy bear for extended playtime. This season reversed the directional flow of the footpath and promised a new scene that invoked the feeling of being underwater of the ship’s pool.
The final disappointing result looked more like a spiritual blue laser light that just hovers above your head in a shower-like space. Upon a second try, we did notice a “floating” body in the ceiling with the blue laser touching the edges. The scene may be more effective if the laser moved like a wave or ripple, the “floating” body closer to guests eyesight, smoky bubbles, and possibly a life ring with “Scary” painted in blood-red between the name “Queen Mary” painted on its side. The talent here was top-notch and on their game throughout the evening with their blood-curdling screams and maniacal giggles.
Essentially the same format as last year. A detective has been murdered and we are on the search for the killer. Samuel the Savage may not be too far away.
The most notable change is the exclusion of the show stop at the beginning of the experience with an audio recording explaining the story. Guests still crawl under the bed and turn around in the laundry room. Thankfully an area by the exit is clearly blocked by oil drums so we were not misdirected into the wrong part of the ship like last year.
The majority is about the same as in past years. You arrive late to your shift aboard the Queen Mary and so must face the wrath of the chef. Escape in meat lockers, ovens, and meat grinders before being served up as the next entree.
The actors attempt to convey that immersive experience, but may indirectly confuse guests on the actual storyline. The best part of this maze is ending in the engine room! Which happens to include a bar and lounge.
The secret bars must have really worked their magic for Queen Mary last year given the expansion of bar locations this season. If drinking is what you need to get your scare on, then, by all means, go at it. The atmospheric music is absolutely perfect, bringing up the sense of scary danger from around dark corners.
Be sure to find out the times for the stage and Slider show so you don’t miss out. The stages are designed with enough ample viewing that can be appreciated by casual bystanders. The Sinister Swing ride from Neverland Ranch and the 4D movie, Panic, return and remain to be up-charge attractions.
If you’ve been to Queen Mary Dark Harbor before, you have a basic idea of what to expect. But the highlight goes to access in the ocean liner’s engine room in all its glory. It’ll be amongst one of the more memorable experiences from a maze inside the ship alongside being able to view the underwater propeller. So weigh anchor and set a course to Dark Harbor on select nights from now until November 2, 2019!
General admission tickets start at $20 online
General Admission + Fast Fright starts at $74
General Admission + Evil Express starts at $94
General Admission + Evil Express + Ultimate Scream starts at $209
RIP Lounge Passports start at $39 (Admission not Included)
Email [email protected] for details on Creepy Cabana & Private Patios
To purchase tickets, visit queenmary.com
Disclosure: We were provided VIP tickets to Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor for Free. The opinions in this post are my own.