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Queen Mary Dark Harbor 2014 Media Night!


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The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is an annual event in Long Beach, CA that has become a staple of the Southern California haunt scene. The real-life history and ghost stories of The Queen Mary have inspired a rich set of characters and mazes that set Dark Harbor apart from other haunted attractions. The ship provides a perfect eerie backdrop for the event, with several mazes actually located in its abandoned walkways and rooms. This year, all-new mazes, entertainment, and experiences keep the event fresh and exciting. Check out our full report from media night below to see what Dark Harbor 2014 has to offer!

 

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We’re at The Queen Mary to check out Dark Harbor!

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This event is TPR-approved because we all know that Coke is better than Pepsi!

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Spears is an evil ringmaster.

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Once inside, we got to meet a bunch of characters.

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We were clowning around, waiting for night to fall.

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The Captain says we should grab a drink while we wait for it to get dark.

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Aye aye Captain!

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We listened to some live music...

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And checked out the merchandise. Here’s this year’s shirt.

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Some more merchandise.

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The sun started to set, so we headed to “Encounters,” a new up-charge attraction being offered this year.

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Encounters is located on the ship.

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In this experience you get to explore some areas of the ship that have previously been off-limits. You take a guided tour and, if you’re lucky, you may encounter some restless spirits.

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We encountered a dark hallway, but no restless spirits.

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Nevermind, restless spirits encountered.

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To appease the restless spirits you must crawl through this hole.

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The hole gets uncomfortably small in total darkness. There’s barely enough room to make it through. (Larger guests or people who get claustrophobic may want to take the detour around this!)

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We summoned some spirits.

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Mysterious messages appeared on the walls.

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Watch out for a ghost lurking on the walkway!

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Overall, (And it pains me to say this, because I went in with high hopes) Encounters wasn’t really a must-see. It’s neat getting to see some new parts of the ship, but we felt that the standard mazes at Dark Harbor were more fun. And when it comes to up-charge attractions, the Freak Show is a much better value than Encounters for . (More on the Freak Show later in the report - it’s awesome and totally worth the up-charge!) Anyhow, moving along, Spears pushes the throttle and kicks the event into high gear.

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The spooky atmosphere started to come to life as night fell. This new ride is a great centerpiece that anchors the event.

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If you’re lucky, you may even get to ride it with a monster!

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“Soulmate” is a new maze this year. Lets check it out!

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Right off the bat, Spears got scared down a hallway.

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I don’t think this guy will be playing much piano.

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Aren’t these carts supposed to be for luggage, not bodies?

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Nope, he says the cart is for bodies. And since he’s creepy, I’m not going to argue with him.

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Can anybody think of a good caption for this photo? (Get it? Any Body? Because there are a bunch of bodies!? It’s a hilarious joke!) *crickets*

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This guy is going to cut me for making the any body joke.

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This is what happened to the last person who made the any body joke.

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But at least they have maids to help get that mess cleaned up!

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Dark Harbor is really ahead of the competition when it comes to scares! (Get it? A head!? SO FUNNY!)

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She isn’t laughing.

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But he’s laughing! At least somebody thought the jokes were funny.

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Graceful Gale is here because it’s time for the ball!

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My photo doesn’t do the ballroom scene justice. It’s a great finale to the maze.

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Be careful, some of Gale’s suitors may be alive!

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It turns out Graceful Gale may not be so graceful after all.

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Watch your back, she may follow you out!

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At this point I’d say she’s really past her prime.

 

Soulmate was our favorite of the new mazes. Check out our walkthrough video of it below:

 

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After Soulmate we headed to the VIP lounge.

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Here’s Spears relaxing in the VIP lounge like the VIP she is.

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From the VIP lounge you get a great view of the event.

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And a great view of all the fire effects.

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Spears says, “Hello Mr. Prop.” Mr. Prop says, “Hello Spears.”

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Voodoo Village is another new maze this year.

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It’s very voodoo-y.

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In fact, it’s voodoo-tastic.

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It’s borderline voodoo-tacular.

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But I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s voodoo-normous.

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It’s no secret that Knott’s also made a Voodoo maze this year. The Knott’s Voodoo maze has an extremely immersive environment, but not as many scares. The Dark Harbor Voodoo Village maze has lots of scares, but not quite the level of immersion that the Knott’s maze has. I feel like if you combined the two you’d end up with the perfect maze. That said, both of the mazes are still great as they are.

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Voodoo Val would like to offer you some souvenirs.

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After Voodoo Village, we checked out the character introduction show. One area that Dark Harbor really excels over any haunt I’ve ever been to is their characters. They’ve created a cast of striking, interesting, and memorable characters that you encounter repeatedly throughout the night. This show introduces you to the stories behind each of the main characters at the event.

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Here’s Graceful Gale.

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Scary Mary.

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Scary Mary with the Voodoo Priestess.

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If you want to learn about the characters, don’t miss this show!

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The Captain approves!

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There are lots of decorations around Dark Harbor to set the mood of the event.

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This is just a small sampling of what you’ll see.

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This guy’s favorite song is “Spiderwebs” by No Doubt.

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There’s also lots of entertainment at Dark Harbor. Here’s a guy hammering a nail into his nose.

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That looks uncomfortable!

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And if a nail in the nose isn’t painful enough, this lady sticks her hands in bear traps...

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And then walks on glass.

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After the show we ran into Lela Brown who appeared on America’s Got Talent as part of the rap duo 2Unique!

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Back to the mazes, here’s Circus, a returning maze from last year.

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You enter through an air vagina.

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After being birthed from the vagina, you find yourself in a mirror maze with a clown who mocks you for not being able to find your way out.

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I’ll throw knives at her any day!

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This guy will cut you.

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If you’re scared of clowns you may want to skip this maze.

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The whole maze is under a large circus tent.

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I don’t want to get hung up on this photo. (Okay, I’ll stop with the puns!)

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Well that looks creepy.

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Watch your step on the way out! The floor isn’t as sturdy as you’d imagine.

 

Check out our walk-through video of Circus:

 

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Next up is Deadrise. This maze takes place in a sunken WWII escort ship.

 

Watch our walk-through video of Deadrise below:

 

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B340 is another new maze this year. Samuel the Savage was a schizophrenic third-class passenger who was locked in room B340 after a violent outburst. This maze traces his descent into insanity.

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To get to B340 we head back onto the ship. I love that Dark Harbor has several mazes on the ship. The small ship walkways make the perfect setting for haunt mazes!

 

Here’s our B340 walk-through:

 

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Next we checked out the up-charge Freak Show maze. This has been expanded and changed a bit since last year, but it’s still totally worth every penny! Last year there were 5 individual mini-mazes with a freak in each, and you paid 80 to see each freak. This year they’ve combined the mini-mazes together, and added some extra freaks, for one long experience.

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This lady with tentacle fingers greets you at the entrance.

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Some of the freaks returned from last year, and some are new.

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Here are some lovely ladies.

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Stay and see!

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Stop for the show!

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The White Ghost and Shadow Spirit are my two favorite freaks, and encountering them is just about the most fun you can have in a maze.

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The White Ghost lives in thick, endless fog.

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The fog is so thick you can’t see a thing. So you end up wandering around with your hands in front of you while the white ghost runs through the fog laughing at you. It’s disorienting, scary, and hilarious all at once.

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As the fog slowly fades to black you encounter the Shadow Spirit who lives in total darkness. You can't see it, but it can see you!

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Don’t do Dark Harbor without doing the Freak Show! In our opinion it’s the best part of the entire event.

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Hey look, it’s another monster on the swing!

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Or maybe it’s just the ghost of Michael Jackson.

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As the night came to a close we took some last pictures with the characters.

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Several characters were having a dance-off on stage.

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It’s dancey-dance time!

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Graceful Gale was wandering around looking for a lover.

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It looks like she has her eye on Spears! That could be hot! I totally approve!

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We had a blast at Dark Harbor! Thanks to the team at Dark Harbor for hosting us, and thanks to you for checking out our report!

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Dark Harbor runs select dates through November 2, don’t miss it!

Edited by ILoveRides
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Dark Harbor is my favorite of the major events this year. The sets aren't amazing, but they aren't anywhere close to bad either...and the talent is top notch. Love that it's mostly makeup and they really let the monsters have fun with their characters.

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^What's funny about soulmate is that it begins in what is the ships warehouse by day! On the other side of the tarps are boxes of supplies. They really got creative finding space in the ship. They also really expanded the space of the maze from it's time as Containment by using a whole new level of the ship that wasn't used when it was Containment.

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^ I would argue that Scary Farm is a great value too. But especially if you've done Scary Farm or HHN before, Dark Harbor is a nice change of scenery. Spears and I enjoyed it both this year as media and last year as paying guests. It's one of the top events in So Cal for sure.

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