Haunted House Review: Dark Harbor (Queen Mary)

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The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA is supposed to be haunted already, so it sounded like it would be fun to go to the yearly haunted mazes that are hosted there. This year, the name of the event was Dark Harbor. We thought we were getting a jump on the crowd by going on October 3rd, but we were wrong. A parking attendant told us that 7,000 people were anticipated, but over 12,000 showed up.

Arrival and Parking

It had potential, with six mazes, a paintball arena, a freak show, and side shows going on outside.  We arrived at the Queen Mary parking lot around 8:30pm, and were promptly directed back across the bridge to a 24 Hour Fitness parking lot 1.3 miles away. We paid $20 to park there, and waited in line for about 45 minutes for a bus to take us back to the Queen Mary. We ended up just walking the 1.3 miles rather than waiting any longer in the bus line. Our first mistake was arriving that late. If I ever came back to this attraction, I would arrive around 6pm. Our second mistake was not scoping out the parking situation. We could have parked about the same distance away, for free, and walked. There was onsite parking, but it had already filled up by the time we had arrived.

Mazes

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 1.21.27 AMIt was about 9:15pm by the time we got to the Queen Mary, and most of the maze lines had an hour and a half wait. We had general admission ($24+), rather than the VIP pass ($99+), which would allow you to go into shorter lines. We were fortunate to pick “Deadrise” as our first maze. It had only a 30 minute line and was full of good scares, from start to finish. There was enough space between guests so that we could be properly scared at many of the turns.

We went immediately onto our next maze, “Lullaby,” which made me laugh more than scream in terror. It was rarely frightening, and the way that people were shuffled through in a line made it hard to be surprised. The only cool part was that it was actually aboard the ship. Even worse, the line took an hour and a half.

It was kind of annoying that people were jumping spots in line, with no line control. On both mazes, we had people literally step right in front of us from the back of the line, as well as others who excused their way past us.

That’s all that we actually had time for, because it was already midnight. We could have gone through one more maze, but it would have put us past closing time at 1am.

Do it Better

Learn from our mistakes. If you decide to go to this attraction, I suggest the following:

  • Buy a VIP pass to take advantage of shorter lines
  • Show up early, before it even gets dark; Make a day in Long Beach beforehand
  • Expect to be at the Queen Mary for five hours, and to spend a lot of time in lines if you don’t have a VIP pass
  • Avoid weekends if possible

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