In the years following the pandemic, the community speculated whether the city’s largest Halloween spectacle, Dark Harbor, would return to the Queen Mary. It didn’t, much to the dismay of its fans.
But last year, an unlikely and very tall figure emerged to bring the Halloween spirit back to the historic ocean liner: Shaquille O’Neal. And his event, dubbed Shaqtoberfest, seems to have been a slam dunk because it returns this month.
Beginning Sept. 28, guests will once again step through a giant Shaq inflatable and be transported to a haunt that’s designed to be both family-friendly and a fright-inducing adult experience, depending on what hour you arrive.
Early evening hours are specially reserved for families with children, with opportunities for costumed kiddos to trick-or-treat, play on carnival rides or see pumpkin-made sculptures at Diesel’s Pumpkin Patch.
But once the sun goes down, O’Neal’s “ghoulish minions” will descend into the crowds, bars will open and the haunted mazes will be ready to scare.
The festival will take place on the entertainment grounds outside of the Queen Mary and will feature a clown-themed carnival space with rides, games and food. There will also be live entertainment, a dance party area, three haunted mazes and a walkthrough light show sequenced to a mix of electronic dance music curated by DJ Diesel, O’Neal’s DJ name.
The three walk-through mazes this year have a nautical theme—Pirates Cove, a Shipwreck Grave Yard and the Deadman’s Wharf. And for those who need a bit of liquid courage, Shaqtoberfest’s bars will serve beer and cocktails throughout the night.
Photo opportunities—including some life-size cutouts of the NBA star—will also be available around the park.
Shaqtoberfest begins Sept. 28 and runs on select days through Halloween. Discount pre-sale tickets are currently available for purchase. Click here for more information.
The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Hwy.