Good Morning Park Journey!!! Before you continue with this article I want you to stop what you're doing, go to the Queen Mary Dark Harbor website, buy tickets for one of the upcoming nights and then you may continue. Because you are not going to want to miss this event!!!
Pictures by Matthew Nelson and Scott Linder
Written by Gregg Condon
Before we get started, a bit of an apology to you the readers and to the Queen Mary. See, we had a plethora of amazing video that we shot at the event. Because how could we not? Due to my haste in getting the "Scaryoke" video up before our event last Friday I didn't re-name the videos, and in clearing HD space for even more videos, everything else got deleted.
But the pictures from Matt and Scott will more than make up for. (click on any of the pictures below for a larger version ... we are aware that there is an issue clicking on some of the pictures below, we are working on it)
Our event started off in the late daylight hours last Thursday, the event was easily 20 degrees cooler than it was for last years event which was nice. Upon arrival we all made our way to the RIP Lounge. And if you know theme park bloggers, you know this wasn't a huge surprise. =)
After a few minutes relaxing, having a snack and a drink and getting caught up on all of our Halloween adventures, it was time to head out into the event. But not before stalking Rick from TPA while he was doing his live Periscope. =)
The RIP Lounge is a great place to get a bird's-eye view of the event
Our first stop was the all new Lullaby, which is in the previous location of Submerged.
Being on the ship these mazes don't really need a whole lot of props and sets because, let's face it, the ship is scary enough as it is. And this one is really great and really creepy.
Maze Rating: 10/10
Next up was the returning maze B340.
The cool thing about Queen Mary is that even though most of the mazes were returning they made small changes to each to make them even better. The theme of this one is still kind of weird, and some of the scenes don't make a whole lot of sense to me, but again, at the end of the day, it's a fun, scary, creepy maze with great sets and amazing actors.
Maze Rating: 7.5/10
Our last maze on the ship was another returning maze, Soulmate.
And once again, the improvements to this maze from last year to this year were amazing. This year it features a bit of a pre-show to further explain the story and Graceful Gail and her, well, puppets for lack of a better word are more than eager to terrify you on the rear ... of the ship. =)
Maze rating: 9/10
Ok, before we move on to the off-ship mazes I want to take a moment to talk about the one thing that really sets Dark Harbor apart. And that's their talented actors. I hate to use the word "monsters" here because, sure, while they are there to scare you, these are actors that immerse you in the overall theme of Dark Harbor.
Over the years these actors have been given the blessing and have the ability to create their own characters, their own personality and they do it ever so well. From the Captain, to the Ringmaster to Scary Mary, Graceful Gail and all of the, yes, Monsters in the mazes, they've really done an amazing job setting this event up and giving everybody a good scare and a good laugh.
And of course, the amazing Ringmaster doing her "Scaryoke".
So let's move on to the off ship mazes, we'll start with another returning maze, Deadrise.
Many people ignore this maze because I think it's been here the longest. Our advice, don't. Again they've made some changes to the maze this year, mixed it up a bit and the talent in this maze, probably the most cohesive group of any maze at any event we've been to so far.
You can really tell the crew of the Deadrise have been working together for years, they know what they are doing and they know how to get a fright even from the most expert of guests. It takes a lot to give me a startle scare, these guys did it more than once.
Maze Rating: 9/10
Next up is Voodoo Village.
The first time we went through this maze at last years event it was amazing, I enjoyed it so much and gave it a pretty high rating. Two nights later we went through again with a group of rowdy intoxicated people and I didn't care for it, but I decided to give it a pass due to the jerks ahead of us.
This time I really did enjoy the maze, but overall I do think it's the weakest of the mazes at the event. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, but when you compare it to the other mazes here, it just doesn't hold up.
That said, this is still a rather new maze, the sets are beautiful and I'm thinking by this weekend they will be hitting their stride in this maze and kicking it up a few notches.
Maze Rating: 7/10
Last and most definitely not least is Circus.
What can we say about Circus that won't give too much away? It was, quite simply, the most fun I've had in a maze in a long time, maybe ever.
Just like the scare zones and the characters, the actors in here are amazing and they actually have the ability to get you lost in the maze.
This maze features one of the most amazing elements in a maze ever, a freaking ball pit. Obviously something like this wouldn't work in just any maze, but in Circus, it absolutely works and it's amazing and funny and fun and awesome. Did we say awesome?
This maze is seriously worth the admission to Dark Harbor by itself. It's fun, freaky, scary and HIGHLY repeatable.
Maze Rating: 11/10 (it's that good)
Dark Harbor also features the amazing Slider Alley, Voodoo Village Scare Zone and a really fun and awesome Sideshow. It's a $5 upcharge but it's well worth it if only to get away from the crowds, enjoy some time at the bar and watch the shows they put on at the stage.
We simply can't recommend Dark Harbor enough. Whether you like to get scared, like to laugh, have a great drink, ride Michael Jackson's Neverland Swings or just watch amazing actors do their thing, Dark Harbor has it all.
Also, be sure to check out the Anubis Paintball Adventure, it's unique, fun and you get to shoot people with paintballs without getting shot back. What's better than that? =)
Go, have fun, tell us what you thought. =)