Halloween might be over, but the festivities are still going on through the end of this weekend! The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor goes until Friday November 2nd, and Halloween Horror Nights continues its scares until November 4th.
Now, many who know me know that I am the Queen of Halloween. I love getting into the Halloween spirit and trying all possible Halloween festivities at least once. My favorite thing I’ve done for Halloween in the Los Angeles area was attend the “Happy Haunts” tour at Disneyland Park, which took us trick-or-treating and cutting the lines for some of the best rides at Disneyland. But, securing that tour at Disneyland can be complicated, as it takes calling and setting it up months in advance. And, let’s face it, I work so much and find myself so busy that I don’t really have the time to think about it that much currently.
But, there are plenty of other great Halloween events every year in Los Angeles that are easy to set up. Most people opt to go Halloween Horror Nights, as it’s easy to get to and, let’s face it, pretty darn scary. They definitely have their pop frights down, as they time their actors jumping out on cue with loud noises and flashing lights. But once you’ve done Universal once, in my opinion, it’s pretty much all the same. Their effects can be great, but they mostly rely on their pop frights, which I’m over at this point.
I recommend that you check out the Queen Mary above all else! Why? The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor focuses on ambiance and effects more than it does on pop frights. Let’s face it, wandering through creepy passageways on an old, haunted ship in the dark sets the mood pretty well right there. There are 6 mazes at the Queen Mary, which is a great deal for their very affordable prices. A regular ticket at the Queen Mary is roughly only 1/3 the cost of a ticket at Halloween Horror Nights.
There was a maze about a sunken ship where they had different passages to go through. We wound up crawling up a rope ladder and sliding down polls in this adventure-filled maze.
The clown maze had two ways out this year. One sent you out dry. The other sent you out in a sea of foam… we got lucky there and avoided that foam party.
Knott’s Scary Farm used to be not scary at all, but you got a lot of mazes for your money. I would go for the fun of it, but the mazes were all pretty bright, and you could see everyone before they jumped out at you. In 2017, I gave Knott’s a chance for the first time in a few years, and I was blown away. They really upped their game. There were three mazes that really stuck out to me, and they were so good that I was drawn to come back this year in 2018; however, this year they cut back and the things I loved about last year were gone.
Then, there was a trick-or-treat maze where we entered a house that was completely dark, but we were given a flashlight. So, our only light source throughout the maze was a real flashlight- so we thought. As we went through the maze, we began to realize that our flashlights were synced up to a system that allowed them to change per room. In some rooms they became black lights. In some rooms they would flicker and go out for a second-all planned and in time with the other flashlights in that room. It was pretty phenomenal. This year, while that maze was still there, they gave up on the cool changing flashlights and just gave us regular flashlights. Perhaps I would have thought that one was better, too had I not done I last year.
Finally, there was one good maze that stayed the same. There was a paranormal maze about a goofy team of ghost hunters. That one was cool because they bring you into a room in the beginning to show you a “demonstration” where they accidentally materialize this ghost, and it shoots out of the wall and begins flying all over the room. Then, certain items around the room move and scoot around, bumping into you lightly. That stayed the same this year, and that was pretty cool.