Welcome to Part two of our review of Queen Mary's Dark Harbor. If you missed Part 1 of our coverage, click here.
In part one of our update we walked you through the opening of the event, media night coverage, the all-new Encounters and the Freak Show. Today we are going to go through the mazes, which absolutely did not disappoint.
We'll start off with the mazes on the ship. We are going to give two ratings for both, one for Thursday which was media night (and thus we were taking pictures) and one for Saturday when we were just there to enjoy the event as a member of the General Public.
Submerged is one of the original mazes from Dark Harbor, and as far as I'm concerned, if it's not broke, don't fix it.
The maze starts off in the "pool" which is apparently Haunted. A couple of pictures from our September Queen Harbor update to show you what we are talking about.
And a second later, the same picture. Two people in our group have the same exact picture.
So with that in our minds as we entered Submerged it just took it to an entirely different level.
The first part of the maze doesn't really even need any props, it's spooky enough already. The pool room, creepy music and ghosts.
Creepy dark hallways and monsters with the freedom to follow you through the entire maze.
Submerged was quite simply the first maze this season to honestly "scare" me. While some other mazes have better effects, more talent or are equally creepy (Tooth Fairy at Haunt), this one really got to me. In a REALLY good way.
B340 is one of the new mazes for 2014 and is based on one of the haunted rooms on the ship that something VERY bad apparently happened in. Again, the creepiness factor is here because you are on the ship. The maze has some very tight spots, some great talent and scenery, but probably needs some adjusting before next year.
This is the room that made absolutely no sense to us. It was a bunch of foam that kind of looked like a brain, but it was never made clear what it was. It was cool to look at, just not sure how it fits into the maze.
The rest of the maze had some great set pieces that really complemented the story well.
Soulmate is the 3rd and final maze on the ship and is also new for 2014. I really enjoyed this maze during our trips through, but for some reason I think it was better on Saturday. Maybe the talent was just finding their way. This has the potential to be as good as Submerged.
The talent in the maze was really strong and exceptionally creepy.
The maze ends at the most awesome Masquerade ball you'll ever see.
This was the one maze that people had told me was the weak link of Dark Harbor, and I have to respectfully disagree. I thought it was pretty amazing. The talent in this maze was probably the best of the entire event, and you could tell they simply loved doing it.
The haunted shipwreck theme is very well done and the nearby fire bombs add another cool element to the maze.
Lots of fog and even some sliders in this maze
Shipping containers create some great tunnels and enclosed spaces
The ONLY reason there is a lower rating on Saturday vs Thursday was due to the lack of fog in the tunnel below. It really creates an amazing finish to the maze.
The end of the maze has the best tag-team scares we've seen at any haunt this year.
These two guys are amazing, have a great time scaring people and we spent a good 20-30 minutes each night just watching them in action.
Kudos to these two amazing scare-actors for their pre-planning and love for scaring people. We love that they get so much freedom at Dark Harbor.
It seems that every haunt has clowns these days. So many people are afraid of them that I guess it makes sense. Just like zombies and vampires, I think it's time to move onto something else.
However, Circus at Dark Harbor is just different enough to make it unique. First, it's not ALL Clowns and second, parts of it are an actual "maze" that the talent inside can move around to really confuse you. Overall it makes it very effective.
Which way should we go? Hint, don't listen to the talent. Or do if you want to have fun.
Beware the Ring Master
I thought this was pretty cool looking.
Voodoo Village is the third new maze this year and our final maze at Dark Harbor.
I feel that I need to explain the difference in ratings between Thursday and Saturday. When we walked through the maze on Thursday, there was a LOT of talent, they were on point and just really amazing. I was SO excited to go back through this maze on Saturday.
Unfortunately when we went through on Saturday we only saw 2 or 3 people in the maze, and even worse we were just behind a group of EXTREMELY drunk and idiotic people. I know a lot of events like this don't sell alcohol (Universal as an example) and this was a prime example of why. It really took away from our enjoyment of the maze.
All that said, the talent that is in the maze is great, and the setting is very cool.
Lots of voodoo candles and a cool swamp scene
That's going to wrap it up for our Dark Harbor coverage.
Overall, the event is phenomenal. Lots of great scares, different bands and talent that really is allowed to let loose make this a very unique event. It's definitely a must-see this year. We thought the mazes were very solid, maybe the best line-up of individual mazes we've seen this year. I got more scares at Queen Mary than at HHN, Knott's Scary Farm and Fright Fest combined. That's not to say those events aren't great (they are) but I just got more here.
The way they regulate how few people go through the mazes is also great. Being pretty much alone through the mazes really insures a great walk-through. You won't find any haunted lines here.
Be on the lookout for Living Social deals for the event. Our tickets for Saturday were only $12 and it is so worth it. Just be aware if you are going to go on a Friday or Saturday night you may want to upgrade to the Front of the Line pass for the mazes. Be sure to upgrade before going in as it also includes a shorter line for entry into the event.