Friday, September 30, 2016

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2016 Review

A wave of fright on the dark seas. Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor has opened for a new session of scares.

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
September 29 - October 31, select nights

1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802
Starting at $20 on certain nights, does not include parking 

The Halloween haunt that comes every October for the Queen Mary has the spectacle of having a cruise ship in its corner. You'll be getting to go on it as three mazes have you going through the ships innards. Yet, our favorite maze had to be one on land.

Going aboard the Queen Mary you have Lullaby, B340 and Soulmate. Lullaby might be our favorite, at least off land; a maze based on a little girl, Scary Mary, wanting friends to play with. And she wants you forever and ever. The cute and gross mix for a delightful look at teddy bear guts and stuffed animals replacing people or at least parts of people. Hearing a little girl say the age old song, of 'Ring around the Rosie' does get you freaked out walking down long corridors in the hsip and there's event two paths to take at a point.

B340 and Soulmate both have some delightful messed up ideas. It's still nice to travel through brain matter. The tight and dark corners in B340 make you feel uneasy. Blooded walls and you go higher up then you should be adds to the scares. This one lets you really move through the bowels of the ship, which can be spooky on there own. One part has you reeling from how far you could fall.

Soulmate on the other hand has some strange moments. We did almost fall in love with Graceful Gale who greeted us at the start, calmly with such a cute girl demeanor. Then it was straight into Hell on the high seas with an angry dead crew. You have to have a heart though, because the ship sure does. Lots of stairs, guts and people's skin.

Next door and not a maze was Panic 4D. We suggest you hop on board for a second to watch the short horror film that had to be written an animated by Koreans with little understanding of what they were suppose to be doing. Panic 4D won't be winning any awards, but as a 4D theater it holds up with scares you usually don't find in your seats, they even have some smell-o-vision I could have done with out. Rotting pizza is not the best use of the system.

In the geodesic dome or some call the giant half of a golf ball with the other half in Florida were the mazes Circus and Intrepid. Intrepid is bad new, oh I meant what I just wrote. The new maze just doesn't hold up. For new guy, the Iron Master, they could've made something a little bit more engaging. Our favorite parts were some big burly welders coming out to frighten. That's about it, the rest seemed like it was being torn down as we walked through it.

Circus needs to change up its act. Killer clowns usually win us over easy. Not this time and that's because the maze is getting kind of old. Nice whirly ending and silly start. In-between the circus has no steam.


While waiting in line inside the dome you'll get someone on stage to entertain, same for the outside of Soulmate. It's nice that Dark Harbor realizes while waiting they should be entertaining guests.

The ships going down, the ships going down! Deadrise remains the top maze to go through with the best jump-out scares, sudden turns and feel. Even the cast of undead characters seemed more into it than the other mazes. We suggest you get into it as soon as you can. It's the top maze to get scared at.

The special effects, the disorienting views and just overall spooky crew after you makes it our top choice of where to head when you get there, even as enticing as the ship maybe.We do wonder why so much of the undead crew wanted our eyes, though.

Another idea that we saw at ScareLA about a year ago was in the works, you're given a little badge with an LED and have to make it past bad guys wearing the same thing on a quest to pass your Voodoo training in ZTAG.. Sadly, it wasn't working when we attempted it this time around. Gantom Lighting, the designers of the device and game, might need to better explain to those working the Dark Harbor how it works and how to restore health. Because we were dead with the rest of the press that night just about as soon as we got in. We were suppose to try and make it to other areas and press a device and make it back to Voodoo house to collect a prize. We've seen the system work and can only surmise the staff at harbor may not be trained in how it operates although it should be as easy as a push of a button.

Plenty of scary named treats and the new Voodoo House has a nice assortment of drinks. Prices however are a bit of a rip, Knott's wasn't cheap either when it comes to drinks; a bottle of soda ran for $5.00 at Dark Harbor and most food goes for about $8 or $9. We do love the names for each little food outlet, like Ice Scream. Card and cash accepted.

The paintball shooting gallery wasn't what we thought it would be, well armored zombies to shoot at, if you just want to fire a paintball gun at some monster head targets go ahead for $5.

If you want a night at the sea Dark Harbor has a hand reaching out to you, it's just severed and there's more body parts aboard.