google ad

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dark Harbor Frights Fufilled, Captain

Last Friday night a band of monstrous ghouls swept past me. The shrieked and hollered, hissed and growled and entered Queen Mary's Dark Harbor. Come aboard for a night of sheer fun and screams!

The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor

October 12-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31

7pm to Midnight

The RIP Lounge was where the night really began for me. A new feature of the Dark Harbor let's you overlook  the screams of others while enjoying and unlimited taco bar. No, I'm not kidding about the unlimited taco bar. It has a scary mystique and is a nice place to chill after a few maze runs throughout the night. You might want to consider getting the VIP Ticket for it. You can also sit down with friends and chat or meet some new ones.

You will meet some new ones as this year's Dark Harbor's themes has switched from Demon to ghosts. You'll meet The Captain, Graceful Gale, Scary Mary, Samuel the Savage and Half Hatch Henry. These new ghost invoke The Queen Mary's ghostly past and will be delivering some great scares around the event, but also in the Submerged maze. It nice to see the theme change yearly, so new scares can arise.

What changed this year, other than the Deadrise maze, which I'll get into shortly in the maze section, what changed were improvements in design of the event for you the humble guest. I noticed many more places to sit down to either catch your breath or to nosh down some of the many different foods their offering. You also have more maps up showing where to go so you don't get lost and cover every maze. Free musical acts inside with plenty of bars named something funny for Halloween will just brighten any-ones attitude when they get horrifically scared by undead ship crew wandering through the place.

So let's go through the mazes! Remember, there's only one new maze this year, but they did change up a lot of them to stay a bit fresh. All take great use of their location, but the ones being on The Queen Mary herself just do more as you're really going through the inner working of a cruise ship.

Deadrise- You enter through the wreckage of a ship to be bombarded by angry sailors of all types, all types being killed in different fashions. What this maze dominated is my ears with many of the undead crew pounding at metal or dropping something metal near me. It leaves you unhinged looking for where the sound came from. Too bad, an undead crew member will use this chance to scare you. You'll be walking in and out of metal corridors and being yelled at by sailors.

Submerged- The ship is sinking and your in the ship, not the best situation. This year the cast of ghosts I mentioned have some cameos along your maze route. Scary Mary wants you be her friend, will you take the plunge? Some of the maze has you walking through the hotel area of the ship and reminded me a bit of The Shining.

Hellfire- Damned ghosts have you in a hot spot. There's a detail of lighting having it seems like there's a fire burning through the maze. This one has one of my favorite scares, enjoy the view and you'll know what I mean.

Containment- You might title it "Lost" instead, because that's the feeling many get while entering. The first part has you losing your foot work and being covered by veils, but then you enter a grungy angry cage world. Each section another body party ripped off and placed on a wall. Get a head or hand or entire body on your trek. This one still holds up with it's scarers finding just the right place to pop out of.

Containment- Infected by some unknown contagion you head down a ship infirmary seeing sites you'll want to unsee. A clean cloth entree changes to a bloody round of terrors. Though it did it's job, I think this one is getting dated. If any maze needs to go overboard it would need to be Containment for me, that are some massive updates and new ideas.

Village of Damned- Now this one takes place in a house structure not too far from the ship. I thought of it as the longest and might have changed scenarios the most. This one might get in the most scares as the camouflaging of the scarers is the best and at some points it is way too dark to see. I can't remember if the white rooms were new, but I think they should be replaced in the maze. These white rooms take you out of the dark and don't fit in with the rest of the maze, there kind of random and if was an update I understand trying. However, they still have to go, because they just kill the mood.

Dark Harbor once again proves itself to be a veteran of the Hollywood haunt scream scene. It's well worth the entry fee with its improvements and its ability to update itself.  I only wish it could expand so I could have more thrills and more mazes to explore. Is the top of the ship out of the question?

 more pics