Shaqtoberfest brings a Halloween party and basketball legend to the Queen Mary in Long Beach – Orange County Register

Queen Mary’s Halloween event in Dark Harbor may have found eternal dormancy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the iconic Long Beach ship, hotel and museum is now home to a new cast of monsters, ghouls and all manner of others Creatures of the Night ready to celebrate the spooky season.

Shaqtoberfest, a new Halloween event created by basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal along with event companies Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group and ABG Entertainment, opened on October 2 in front of the Queen Mary, a world-famous ghost hunting hotspot .

While Dark Harbor was more about scaring the souls of the guests, Shaqtoberfest has a different Halloween vision.

“This is just one big Halloween party,” Thirteenth Floor CEO Christopher Stafford said over opening weekend, as fans navigated a handful of mazes, rode rides and partied in front of a DJ playing dance music on a stage at Shaqtoberfest. which runs on select evenings through October 31st.

“A lot of the events here in Southern California focus on scares and haunted houses,” Stafford continued. “But what we wanted to throw was a party that also gives people a chance to get scared.”

Of course, O’Neal attended the opening event himself, showing off his basketball skills and even walking the fans through some of the mazes.

Shaq dips heads

Dressed all in black and literally head and shoulders above a crowd that surrounded him, O’Neal entertained people with his skills at Saturday night’s Dead Head Hoop Games. As the name suggests, the game throws human heads – fake ones, of course – into plastic buckets.

O’Neal fired off hook shots and trick shots from behind his back, but since the Hall of Famer’s bane has always been his poor free-throw skills, real baskets were few and far between. So O’Neal dropped a $20 bill on the floor instead and invited kids to try and get a shot at the money.

But they also missed.

After playing hoops, the crowd followed the star as he headed to one of the meeting spots with his entourage. He then took a stroll through the VIP area before jumping on a golf cart, leaving his monsters behind to deal with the crowds of Shaqtoberfest.

Halloween party favors

For a decade, the Queen Mary hosted her widely popular Dark Harbor event, which attracted more than 140,000 people to the ship during its month-long run until its final year in 2019. Dark Harbor included several walk-through hangouts both on and off the ship inspired by real spirits thought to haunt the ship.

These stories, laced with elements of the real-life story behind each of the mazes, made the attractions that much scarier as guests navigated dark, metal hallways into the ship’s belly, chased by a group of terrifying figures.

But Shaqtoberfest has a unique feel and appeal. Shaqtoberfest brings a Halloween party and basketball legend to the Queen Mary in Long Beach – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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