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Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW


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  • [Review] Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

    This past Saturday night CaptPhoebus and I were invited to come by the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor Halloween attraction. Hearing about its track record, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, yes, this WAS the Queen Mary which is inherently creepy and truly haunted. So that alone was worth the trip down. But would the 5 mazes that were being offered really amount to much?

    Without expecting too much we pulled into the Queen Mary parking lot. After dropping $10.00 for parking we found a spot and headed to Will Call. We arrived about 6:45, just moments before opening. Although there was a sizable line to enter the actual event, the lines at the ticket office were non existent. So the first lesson is to get there prior to opening if you would like to purchase a ticket there.

    We picked up our tickets and headed to the entrance. Once inside the turnstiles visitors are greeted by a menacing phantom figure standing above a portal to doom. He invites all to come in.

    "Okay, an entrance", I thought. We entered the foggy shipping crate fashioned into a tunnel and soon realized that the night would be far more than either of us expected. The entrance to the Dark Harbor was, itself the first maze. Flickering lights lit the blinding fog just long enough to see the dangers mere feet in front of us. It was amazing.

    The path let out into an open grassy area with wooden structures offering a sort of free form maze. We were out in the open but not in the clear, and certainly not even to the main grounds.

    We finally made it to the main thoroughfare of Dark Harbor. The path was lined with food vendors and a few solicitors here and there.

    We were up against five separate mazes. Submerged, Hellfire, and Containment, which were all on the ship. Then The Cage, in the former Spruce Goose Dome and Village of the Damned in the old village shopping center.

    We decided to hit the ship and began our maze tour with Containment.

    A trail of torture.
Containment has quarantined sailors and passengers who are possessed after having been infected with every disease imaginable. You'll need a strong dose of antibiotics if you're fortunate enough to make it out alive.

    The maze began with a ship mate guiding us deeper into the maze and warning us of the dangers ahead. What followed was a very impressive medical themed nightmare full of ghosts, mutants and fiendish doctors.

    The music was ominous providing a nice audio backdrop without being obtrusive and the talent was good and creepy.

    A fun start to the evening.

    We then queued up for Hellfire. But just after entering the maze a technical problem halted our tour and we were escorted our. No matter. We made our way to The Village of the Damned and The Cage.

    Village of the Damned

    Village of the Damned is a very, very impressive maze. The use of the old village shopping center is a brilliant move here and again, the actors were perfect. Seriously.

    Village is also one of the longest mazes I have ever been in. from beginning to end the maze took us easily 11 minutes to walk through if not more. Creepy, moody and totally satisfying, VOTD is worth the wait time.

    We then went to the Dome to experience The Cage

    to be continued...
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
    Homer Jay Simpson

  • #2
    Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

    Wow, looks pretty good compared to most Halloween events.


    • #3
      Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

      Thanks so much for posting this! I was thinking about going to Dark Harbor this year, but I wasn't sure how scary it would actually be. I can't wait for the rest!


      • #4
        Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

        Wow! What a snazzy thing they've got going on...I had no idea. Thanks Fishy!

        ^clicky clicky^


        • #5
          Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

          Glad you had a good time!
          1st Place - MiceChat Gumball Rally 2012



          • #6
            Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

            Ugh, was thinking about going this year, but decided not to
            Went instead to Knott's and The Empty Grave..
            Those photos pretty much just talked me into going now
            I regret not going, and we'll be sure to be there next year


            • #7
              Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

              Is 11 minutes that long for a house? I wouldn't know. Though, my home park has a 25 minute long house, but, then again, that's all they offer for Halloween.
              -Hale (wumbology)

              a.k.a. h2mc, omnimover.mousetalgia, omnimover, wumbology, hogbackmtn, hhmcsharry, Hale M., h2m, h2mc

              (I've never visited Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, nor Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, so don't be fooled when I pretend to know what I'm talking about. [But I'm pretty good with the information, if I do say so myself. And you can hit me all you want with Walt Disney World.])


              • #8
                Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

                Originally posted by wumbology View Post
                Is 11 minutes that long for a house? I wouldn't know. Though, my home park has a 25 minute long house, but, then again, that's all they offer for Halloween.
                Yeah, 11 minutes is a pretty long maze..
                Just as an example, the mazes at knott's I would guess (haven't timed them) would be around 5-7 minutes.

                Also, anyone that has been to the Dark Harbor.. what were the waits like for the mazes?


                • #9
                  Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

                  I'm sort of glad this is popular, it does bring money in, but I would much rather see the queen mary be treated as a historic ocean liner with a rich history and not a theme park. On the other hand, they did gut the ship so I guess it's an ok use of empty space.

                  I also wish the mazes were not left up year round and they cleaned up better when they were finished. I saw props in the engine room in july...not good.

                  Yes, I'm a queen mary purist.


                  • #10
                    Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW
                    Originally posted by wumbology View Post
                    Is 11 minutes that long for a house? I wouldn't know. Though, my home park has a 25 minute long house, but, then again, that's all they offer for Halloween.
                    It's all relative really. The VOTD maze could take as little as five minutes if you were hustling through but that would be a crime.

                    Anyway, back to the report.
                    We then went to the Dome to experience The Cage

                    The Cage
                    Escape . . . if you can.
The Cage, is located in the DOME, and is filled with monsters and other gruesome creatures locked in cages. As you walk around YOU WILL GET LOST in the endless corridors of chain link and mirrors, so choose your path wisely. Finding your way out is like winning the lottery, enter the wrong path and you'll scream your lungs out.
                    So a few people texted me telling me to let them know what I thought of The Cage after going through it for the first time. Oh goodness. Was this some big joke? Was it really that bad?

                    The Dome

                    We entered the dome and realized the scope of this maze was something we were not prepared for. The entrance into the maze is like stepping into your worst nightmare. The path leads to the base of a large screen on which nightmarish images spin and twirl.

                    The entrance screen

                    Once inside black curtains hang in misleading arrangements. There is no single way to go through this maze as there is no real path.

                    Lost in a maze of black curtains and lasers.

                    Where the heck do we go?!?!?!?

                    The maze evolves into a path through chain link and monsters that is exposed to the expanse of the dome. Loud distorted music blares from every angle as we navigated through the inventive maze. This was the first maze I have been through in ages that felt unhinged. It seemed that some serious #@!* was going to go down and it was amazing.

                    The Cage was a full on assault on the senses that I couldn't get enough of.
                    So much so that upon exiting I made a U-Turn and got right back in line. This may be my favorite maze of the year.

                    We then took a brief look at the night mariner's bar and lounge.


                    A full bar is available

                    and the prices are reasonable

                    A nice lounge too.

                    Okay, onto the two other mazes on the ship, Submerged and Hellfire.

                    Feel your spirit sink.
Submerged is the maze that will have you drowning in fear. Water pours in around you as you try to escape a sinking ship and an angry crew. If you have a fear of drowning this is one of the scariest mazes. If you make it you will reach the ship's swimming pool, which is truly haunted by spirits, and normally closed to the public!

                    Submerged is a water themed maze on the ship that again features beautiful set pieces and a great soundtrack by MiceChatter Jon Autopsy.

                    a ghostly tricycle enters the light

                    The maze features set pieces with fountains of water

                    One of the highlights of the maze leads visitors through one of the most haunted areas of the ship, The Pool.

                    A ghostly animatronic hovers above the misty pool.

                    Submerged was really a very inventive maze with the right mix of mood and scares. The walk through was just long enough and the talent was exceptional.

                    Now onto Hellfire

                    Your fears ablaze. 
Hellfire is a maze on the ship that's so hot, the steel melts. Be sure to wear sun screen because you'll head into the Queen Mary's boiler room as it explodes in a ball of fire. Descend deeper into the ship and you'll approach the Gates of Hell in areas of the ship normally off limits!

                    This fire themed maze plumbs the depths of the Queen Mary's corridors and leads to a stunning Boiler Room finale.

                    The actors in this maze are all up to par and the set pieces are adequate. The shortest of the maze offerings, Hellfire more than makes up for its length with it's ending.

                    What was so brilliant about the mazes on the ship was their use of the passageways on the ship. Winding in a seemingly endless labyrinth of riveted corridors a real sense of reality is established.

                    Dark Harbor is a must do for Haunt fans. This years incarnation of the Queen Mary Haunt is a jaw dropping spectacle of top notch design and presentation. Not a single maze is bad, not one. Even the maze like entrance was impressive.

                    The food offerings are fine, but I'm no fan of festival food. I will say that the bar and lounge were great and the prices were not overly pricey.

                    Wait times for the mazes grow as the night goes on. If you get to the event at opening you will have minimal wait times for the mazes on the ship and roughly 10-15 minute waits for Village of the Damned and The Cage. The box office is empty at this time as well. Wait to show up any later and the the lines grow. As we left at about 9pm there was a large line of people simply waiting to buy tickets to get in.

                    The Box Office at 9:15pm

                    Tickets are $35, but if you want the front of the line access you will have to fork out $55. Still for the money even the most expensive option is TOTALLY worth it. That would break down to about $10.20 per maze with unlimited access. Damn good deal.

                    Go HERE to get tickets.

                    GO TO DARK HARBOR NOW!!!!!! I cannot urge fellow Haunt fans enough to go experience this amazing, revived haunt venue.
                    Last edited by Fishbulb; 10-19-2010, 06:58 PM.
                    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
                    Homer Jay Simpson


                    • #11
                      Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

                      Very cool! Thanks for sharing your experience Fishy, it looks like a ton of fun.


                      • #12
                        Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

                        Nice review! I went last year and was very disappointed. But it sounds like it was better done this year.
                        Check out my page at

                        Check out my pin collection at User name is WheresMickey


                        • #13
                          Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

                          Originally posted by Fishbulb View Post
                          Submerged is a water themed maze on the ship that again features beautiful set pieces and a great soundtrack by MiceChatter Jon Autopsy.
                          Thanks, buddy
                          "NATURAL BORN KILLERS"
                          1st Place - MiceChat Gumball Rally 2012

                          JON AUTOPSY - FACEBOOK


                          • #14
                            Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

                            Dark Harbor is definitely a strong contender for best haunted attraction in SoCal this year.

                            We'll be going again this Saturday.
                            See more of my horrible photos (and a few good ones) at my Flickr photostream


                            • #15
                              Re: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor - WOW

                              The pool is not closed to the public because it's haunted. It's not open to unlimited access, because it's falling apart and other areas of the ship can be reached from there like catwalks over empty boiler rooms which can be dangerous. It is shown on tours. It is falling apart though. Cracking bad, tiles falling off and I've heard one side of the balcony is unstable. I have seen the damage to tiles and cracking first hand and it's getting worse.

                              The dressing room boxes by the pool are suppose to be the portal for the ghosts. I've been in them alone and they were just dressing room boxes.

                              Pictures of the pool and cracking tiles can be seen at the link below.

                              The "theme park act" they refer to is the ghost and legends tour, not the Halloween mazes.

                              I love seeing all the Halloween mazes. They look pretty cool. I love that a lot of people go to the ship this time of year. I hope some will want to learn more about the rich history of the ship and get to know the historical side as well.

                              from this website, lots of great info on the queen mary, A major concern is that the pool�s deterioration is being exploiting for this theme park act. Anyone who has ever been to the Hotel Queen Mary knows that the pool is behind those locked doors on R Deck and always questions why it has never been available to hotel guests. The answer is that settling is occurring due to a structural flange being removed during the conversion. Rather than restoring the pool to working order for hotel guests use, its deterioration has been exploited for �Ghosts & Legends�. Tiles are cracking off around the edge of the pool tank where it feels like the tank is starting to slope downward. The C Deck level has large areas where floor tiles have popped loose. These are then simply removed leaving an ugly exposed area. The tank itself has been littered with fog making equipment and other areas are stuffed with strobe lighting.


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