The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor in Long Beach, California has got to be the best Haunt Event in Southern California. With extremely long mazes, outstanding shows and side shows and delicious food to fill your appetite. Dark Harbor surely beats out Knott’s Scary Farm and Halloween Horror Nights in almost all categories!
Not only that, but this event is extremely cheap with entrance fees (parking, food and side acts come with a fairly steep fee) compared to your other haunts. Two tickets for the event with endless Front of the Line at Costco is $80 dollars! Half of the price for one Horror Nights ticket with front of the line that you can only use once per maze. If you’re looking for a great scare and a fantastic night out this Halloween Season. Dark Harbor at The Queen Mary is easily the best place to go! With 3 mazes on the ship and 3 mazes off, you will be sure to get the scares that you deserve!
Voodoo Village: The Swamp of Death
Enter the bayou of brutality! Protected by the Voodoo Priestess, the Voodoo Village has been overrun by the traveling gypsies of the Ringmaster’s Circus and they don’t like visitors. A nightmare of necromancy for all those who enter, Voodoo Village takes you through a maze of sinister spells, macabre ceremonies and evil spirits. Of course, even if you’re lucky enough to survive the gypsy’s sanctuary and the southern crypt of death, you’ll still need to get through the deadly swamp where gators are the last thing you’ll have to worry about.
This is easily my favorite maze at Dark Harbor. From incredible detail with walking through the Bayou, crypts and voodoo rituals to extremely well done scares and make up. This maze should definitely be the first maze to visit. What I love most about this maze is how effortless the whole maze feels with its extremely dark corridors and well themed rooms, it’s hard to write a review about something where the whole maze is just perfectly executed. What’s also great about this maze is how little talent there was, but they were all spread out perfectly to keep you on your toes throughout the whole thing. Amazing job, Voodoo Village! You are a maze that I will be looking forward to for years to come!
Circus: Big Top of Terror
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and experience the world’s most horrifying circus! Face your greatest fears as you wander through a terrifying tent of terror inside the cavernous dome located next to the Queen Mary. Disorienting illusions, maniacal magic acts, and a cadre of sideshow freaks are certain to shock, stun, and startle even the bravest of souls.
What a complete difference a year makes! This maze feels more like an actual Circus than a fun house and we loved it!!! The actors were absolutely incredible and the scenes both old, updated and new kept it fresh and different! There were some sections which gave me difficulty, yeah, I’m looking at you ball pit! But it was so much fun and terrifying at the same time! The layout of the maze feels completely new with similar rooms which we really enjoyed. It really did feel like a whole new maze! Amazing job, Circus! We truly enjoyed what you had in store!
Deadrise: The Depths of Darkness
Deadrise is a WWII escort ship that helped guide The Grey Ghost through enemy-infested waters. After a fatal crash during one of their dangerous voyages, Deadrise sank to the bottom and has been resting in her watery grave in the depths of the sea ever since. The wreckage of Deadrise has once again been called into service by the star of Dark Harbor, The Captain, to escort him and his armada of ghosts and monsters into a battle against the living to reclaim Dark Harbor.
So last year this maze was probably my least favorite, but with its new layout and winding paths with incredible scenery, props and actors. This maze has grown into a much improved beast. I loved the opening scene where they hold you in a room with the radio broadcast, but with busy nights coming into affect. It’s going to cause huge lines and unhappy guests. This maze was a lot of fun with passing through scenes of the sunken ship and all of its undead crew. What looks to be a small maze, it is extremely long and packs a huge punch! I thoroughly enjoyed this maze and hope to see what new layout and tricks the designers will pull out from their sleeves.
Lullaby: Hush Hush Don’t Cry
Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of nightmares. The new Lullaby maze takes the visitor on a spine-tingling trip through the story of little Scary Mary. Gone, but certainly not forgotten, Mary is looking for playmates to join her on the other side of hell. Will you succumb to the youngster’s pranks and tricks, or will you escape with your soul intact?
What an amazing improvement to an already incredible maze aboard The Queen Mary! Visiting Scary Mary in the ship was absolutely terrifying and I am so glad that we got to experience her presence more than once! Her commentary was hilarious and horrifying as well as getting scared by other inhabitants on the ship. The scenes were great from walking through rooms of how she died to getting through stuff animal fluff was unnerving all the way through. The ship is what makes the mazes on it the scariest! Dark long hallways and the feel, smell and atmosphere of all of it makes these mazes incredible! I loved this revamped maze and I hope to see what’s going on with Scary Mary for years to come!!
B340: A Descent into Insanity
What would drive a man to madness and murder? That’s the answer B340 attempts to answer as we take a schizophrenic sojourn into the psychotic mind of Samuel the Savage. Tight spaces, darkness mixed with flashing lights, and pulse-pounding noises would drive anyone to the brink of insanity. Beware the wrath of violence of Samuel the Savage and be careful not to lose your head or your mind!
This is probably the most intense maze on the ship. B340 is an intense journey through the mind of Samuel the Savage and into some vicious scenes he has created. One of my favorite effects on the bridge through what I believe is the engine room wasn’t there or wasn’t working which was quite disappointing, but the maze still holds strong. What was wonderful to see was that in this maze and lullaby, the talent stayed in character the whole time even with the terrible heat inside of the ship. This was my favorite maze on The Queen Mary and I hope to experience it again next year!
Soulmate: Til Death Do Us Part
Gale has been haunting Dark Harbor looking for a soul mate since her mysterious disappearance. A meandering maze of mystery, Soulmate is where Graceful Gale lures potential suitors with her charm. Beware of her minions, whose job it is to chop up her suitors and reassemble them into the perfect man. Once you’ve been smitten by Graceful Gale, there is no escaping…even after death!
I want to like this maze. Great story line for those who follow it and actors were good for the most part when they were present, but this maze either needs a new theme with Graceful Gale or have a maze for the Captain or Queen Mary herself aboard the ship. The theming was great and the story was solid, but besides the first room and hallway, the only talent were only present in the second half of the maze which was incredibly missed. This was probably our least favorite of the night and hope that more talent is added in the future or the maze is replaced with a new theme all together.
Sideshow of Freaks and Oddities
Don’t be afraid to peek behind the curtain. Our all new Side Show of Freaks and Oddities gives you a glimpse into the secretive world of our side show circus performers. Enjoy a cocktail and take in a performance by one of our oddities as they put their highly unusual talents on display for your enjoyment.
This was the silliest and most fun I think we had all night. With two super mini mazes, a sideshow stage, a bar, a magician of sorts and much much more. You will be spending 5 dollars on not only some fun acts and things to see, but it’s also nice and quiet with very little people going in. If you have the extra 5 dollars to spend, take a breather inside of the Sideshow Freaks and Oddities, you will make bizarre new friends as well as have more fun than wandering the ship grounds.
Atmosphere and Conclusion
The talent that wanders around are great and get some solid scares, but besides that? It was a little ho-hum. There were plenty of bars for guests to drink at which is, once again, a huge disappointment for any Halloween event, numerous food stalls so guests can enjoy some delicious kabobs and pizza and enough entertainment to keep you distracted while you rest your feet. We didn’t see any icon story show this year like we saw last year. I think it would have been a great way again to help the guests understand what is going on around the ship. It was still a fantastic event and we loved everything that 2015 had to offer. This event still knocks the socks off of any SoCal Haunt in our opinion!