Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2012 Review

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Queen Mary is back with its Halloween annual, Dark Harbor, for 2012.  For those of you that’s not familiar with Queen Mary, it’s the historic haunted ship docked in Long Beach.  Dark Harbor features 6 maritime mazes complete with ghosts, dead pirates and sexy ghouls asking you to stay for a dance.  Outside the mazes are fright zones where more monsters will scare the crap out of you.  Dark Harbor isn’t as big as Knott’s or Universal but plenty of people come to this event so plan accordingly.  On opening night alone, maze lines were running at 60-90 minutes.  Lines will only get longer as we get closer to Halloween.  I’d suggest upgrading to a $25 fast fright pass so you can check out all the mazes without getting exhausted waiting to get in.  Below are the review of the mazes in order from best to worst.

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1) Village Of The Damned – Full of inbred serial killers, live victims, moss dudes and dudettes (Think Swamp Thing) this was the best maze.  It was probably the longest too clocking it at around 11 minutes.  The maze flows thematically and the transitions are well done.

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2)  Submerged -This one works well because of the dark narrow corridors.  The theme is a sinking ship so there’s plenty of water production value with little girls running around thrown in and a dead pianist that likes to frighten people.  The last part of the maze was pretty brilliant.

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3)  Containment -This is an asylum inside Queen Mary.  The maze has crazy patients as well as tortured victims.  Very scary.

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4)  Hellfire – This one was okay.  It has burn victims all over the place.  Didn’t really scare me because the monsters were more sympathetic than frightening.

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5) Deadrise – I wasn’t really sure of this outdoor maze.  There was a sailors’ quarter but it kind of defeats the purpose of seeing the real ones inside the ship.  The maze is too spread out and the monsters are too predictable.  I already saw them hiding a couple of feet before the scare.  Best part was security getting involved and making zombie noises.  Cracked me up.

6)  The Cage– What used to be a fan favorite is now a mess.  The previous version of this maze was good because it was dark and I felt really lost.  But for this year, they added more lights which in turn lost its thrilling appeal.  I didn’t feel the danger anymore and I was disappointed.

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Overall, Dark Harbor is a fun experience.  The cast of monsters are enthusiastic and friendly enough to tell you where to go if you’re in a dark corridor.  Make sure to bring a jacket because the event is by a dock and it’s really cold.  They also serve beer for you party animals out there.  Get fast pass for this event and you’re set.  Enjoy screaming your lungs out.

Grade: B+

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