Believe me when I say – I have heard some terrifying stories about the famously haunted ship, The Queen Mary of Long Beach. While there are many theme park haunts and mazes around Southern California – not many have an actual haunting reputation. All aboard this cruise ship experience, because we went to the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor! Let’s hope you don’t get more of a scare than you bargained.
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Make sure you get there early and go with your punctual friends – because the parking at the Queen Mary fills up faster than you think. Entering the experience felt like the beginning of a scary movie as the Queen Mary ship eerily floats in the distance like it’s watching you. A list of celebrities and influencers walked through the red carpet, most noticeably, Bridget Marquardt – most famous as a Playboy model and Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend in the show The Girls Next Door.
As the crowd waits for the event to start, monsters are walking around, some scary and some funny. One monster carried a charming rat who was my favorite part of the experience. The gates of hell opened to reveal the Dark Harbor experience in all of its haunted glory. Monsters poured out, and the crowd entered ready to be scared for the rest of the night.
My group walked in suspicious of any nearby lurking monsters. I thought we looked like the Ghostbusters but after watching videos the next day, we looked more like the Scooby Doo gang. We were just in the beginning but a couple in my group was already screaming at the monsters sliding on the gorund and hiding behind signs. Thankfully the first thing in the park is a whiskey bar which is a strategy I appreciate.
We went into the first maze, and I wasn’t disappointed. There’s always one person in the crew who is the most scared. Thankfully this time it wasn’t me. The maze itself looked impressive with sets of churches, the inside of a ship, and haunted homes. One room stood out more than the rest, a room full of lasers. The placing of the lasers hid the monsters below, and they popped up like sharks in the ocean. All of the maze’s sets and monsters made for a great time. I would suggest purchasing the maze fast-passes for the full experience.
The food options were great for the experience because they were quick to eat. The possibilities aren’t as expensive as you would think, which was a pleasant surprise. The food reminded me of things you find at the County Fairs with everything from tacos to cheeseburgers, and chicken tenders to all the desserts that would make your diet sad but you happy!
Besides that charming rat I mentioned early, my favorite part of the entire experience was the entertainment. The acrobats and the fire performers were terrific. I loved the music pairing they had for each performance. The also had performers walking around with hula-hoops and shows in the walkways with clowns doing their acrobatics. We also met a magician who was a talented card performer who also held the invitations to the Los Angeles Magic Castle!
Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor succeeds in the setup, and the execution of fun scares for everyone. I was entertained the entire night, especially with the beautiful view of the ship in the background. Unfortunately, we did not run into any real ghosts that we know. But with plans to return to the haunted attraction, there’s always hope for next time!
So if you haven’t already, get your tickets and experience the fright night!