Dark Harbor Descends On Queen Mary
The Fire Fiends Perform at Dark Harbor. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Although the Queen Mary cruise ship has remained stationary for some time, the ship's annual Halloween haunted attraction, Dark Harbor, has pulled into shore for another season of ghoulish delights! This year the Dark Harbor website promises to complement the event's usual accoutrements of sliding spooks, perennial mazes, and fairground entertainment, with more monsters, attractions, and a terrifying new maze. Guests of former years and newbies will be delighted to discover that Dark Harbor fulfills its promise to keep them on their toes.
Starting from the moment the willing tormentees enter the park, their senses are assailed with strategically placed, spookily laced, carnivalesque entertainment. If the guests will kindly look to the right, they'll see the Village Stage, where they might see the Singing Psycho belting out some powerful enchantments of welcome. Alternately, the stage might be occupied by the Bayou Belly Dancer, whose hypnotic undulations will surely mesmerize any passersby who chance a glance in her direction.
Moving forward through the fog, guests will find themselves gazing upon the grand vista of the fairgrounds. Immediately to their right is one of Dark Harbor's new additions: The Curse of Anubis: Paintball Adventure. Guests with itchy trigger fingers (who pay the additional fee for this attraction) will be admitted into this Egyptian-themed, automated, shooting range for the chance to shoot the colorful moving props. Moving on from there, guests who want entertainment served to them may take a seat in front of the Main Stage, where the lovely Corpse Contortionist will bend in any manner suggested, or, perhaps, the Fiendish Follies will be demonstrating humorous acts of magic at that time. Again, depending on the time of your passing [heh heh heh] the Fire Fiends may be lighting up the stage as they play with fire, literally.
The Singing Psycho Performs at Dark Harbor. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Then again, guests may opt to veer left at this time to experience their first haunted maze of the evening. If they hunger for a little haunted Cajun vacation, then the Voodoo Village will certainly cater to their taste. Otherwise, venturing forward, past the Main Stage, to the right, they will see the entrance to the Circus. Naturally, this circus isn't for children; that being said, Circus will allow visitors to recall the innocent fun of childhood staples and carnival standards like the ball pit and the mirror maze -- while being terrorized by twisted clowns, naturally. If guests survive the Circus, then they have the luxury to brave the fairgrounds, which are infested with roving zombie clowns and sliders [you know, those monsters who charge at folks and then slide up to them for that extra special shock].
A Couple of Guests Become Part of the Show at Dark Harbor. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The twisty paths of the fairgrounds lead to various colorfully veneered bars and food stands, ye olde Hookah Lounge, three additional returning repositories of horror [the B340, Soulmate, and Deadrise mazes], the new Lullaby maze, and, for additional charges, the RIP Lounge and Sideshow: Freaks & Oddities. Lullaby's backstory suggests that a little girl drowned in one of the ship's pool rooms in 1952, and, since then, the ghost of little Scary Mary has been haunting the ship looking for a playmate. As most people know, there are not many things scarier than a little girl in search of a playmate -- especially if she's dead!
The Ringmaster Greets Guests at Dark Harbor's Sideshow Stage. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The RIP Lounge resides upon the second level of the ship and provides a cozy place to have a drink, enjoy a snack, and look down upon the mere general admission ticket-holding mortals. Those who pony up for the Sideshow are granted access to an additional roomful of grotesquiries, three sideshows (mini-mazes), and the Sideshow Stage, which is conveniently located adjacent to the sideshow bar. Upon the Sideshow Stage, guests may witness Monster Magic, the Gypsy Sword Dance, or Ringmaster Rage.
In addition to the mazes, and various performances, which recur and rotate from stage to stage throughout the evening, visitors may also experience the Slider Olympics (slider ghouls demonstrating their sliding prowess), Aerial Antics (climbing and swinging ghouls who entertain the folks in the B340 line), and additional otherworldly entertainment, which may stalk them on the fairgrounds or await them upon any of the various stages. For guests who desire instant gratification, front-of-the-line Fast Fright Passes are available, but for those whose fate is to spend a bit more time per attraction, they will likely find amusement in the immersive environment of Dark Harbor.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.