We’d like to start this review by saying that we’ve always enjoyed Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Being on a famously haunted ship just screams ‘Halloween fun,’ but 2018 is, in our opinion, their best year yet! If you stop reading here, and instead go buy your tickets to Dark Harbor for this weekend, we’ll feel we’ve done our duty.
Dark Harbor has something for everyone – thrilling mazes, themed bars & lounges, exciting stage shows, exuberant and interactive characters, fantastic photo opps, plenty of food options and an overall festive atmosphere that’s to die for.
We have so much to say about this year’s Dark Harbor, but we’ll start with a brand new element and highlight for this season — the FOUR themed, secret bars, located within the mazes! What’s the catch? In order to get in to each bar you’ll need to stop running from, and start chatting with the monsters. If you ask nicely, they may give you a wooden token that will be your ticket into one of these secret bars. Each of the four different coins has a clue as to which maze the bar is located in and where in the maze you can find the bar, but they don’t make them easy to spot! Once you make your way into one, be sure to grab yourself a specialty drink – they’re all themed for the location! If you don’t want to go bar-hunting, there are plenty of other places to stop for liquid courage, including The Carousel Bar, The Ice Cave, and more. There’s even a haunted hookah lounge!
One of the biggest improvements we saw this year was in the mazes as a whole. The storylines were clearer, some new sets were beautifully designed, and even the audio seems to have improved. We also felt that the mazes on the ship made better use of the space by not blocking so much off with black curtains, and allowing The Queen Mary to show off its inherent eeriness. We went through Intrepid twice and were in awe of the outdoor cemetery scene, and the overall length of the maze. Our other favorites would be B340 for its vastly improved storyline and set design, and Circus for keeping us on our toes.
While we were mostly on-the-go, we made sure to stop by some of the experience stages for a variety of stunts and spectacles. We sat down for a minute with the Ringmaster for a creepy marionette show at the SideShow stage and later in the evening we witnessed the Voodoo Priestess and her dancers take over The Pyre for a breathtaking fire performance. Regardless of what we were doing, we were impressed by Dark Harbor’s attention to spooky details!
Would we recommend this haunt? 100% yes. This year’s Dark Harbor is a must-see and with a number of upgrades and additions, 2018 is truly on another level. This event is great for groups as it offers a huge variety of ways to spend your evening. Parking there is a bit rough, so plan on arriving early or using a ride-share service. Also, make sure bring a jacket or sweater because this event is right on the water!
For tickets and more information, visit their WEBSITE.