A few weeks ago I had the chance to attend The Queen Mary’s holiday event titled CHILL in Long Beach, CA.  Though it was definitely a far departure from their Halloween event, Dark Harbor, it still boasted all the holiday cheer you could ask for.  Typically, here at Nightmarish Conjurings we focus on the scary, spooky, and creepy and less on the happy, cheerful, yuletide events that the holiday season brings.  Luckily, we can usually find something that is a bit on the creepy side in most things that we do.  With that said, The Queen Mary’s CHILL had one of the best themes for their holiday events, and one that I think is creepy when shown in the right light, the one and only Alice in Winterland.

Walking through the winter wonderland in Southern California is not something you would think about doing if you lived here, especially me since I’m from the East Coast.  However, The Queen Mary’s CHILL was able to put on a wonderful winter landscape for those wanting to experience what is considered to be the most magical time of the year.  They had everything from ice skating at “The Looking Glass Rink”, glacier glide tubing, a magic mushroom Martini Bar and more, and lets not forget the big man himself, Mr. Santa Claus.  But the main event of the evening was without a doubt, Alice in Winterland, which featured a 14,000-square foot walk-through adventure.

Alice in Winterland had all your favorite characters from the beloved story including Alice, The Red Queen (who definitely wanted my head gone), Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and larger than life representations of the White Rabbit and my personal favorite, the smoking and chilled out Caterpillar.  Along with these characters, there was a life sized chess set and lanterns of all shapes and sizes leading us along the winding path of Winterland.  One of my favorite parts of Alice in Winterland was the hats that we got.  The hats, based off of the Mat Hatter’s Hat, had a digital chip inside that once tripped, allowed certain items throughout the experience to go off. For example, our hats set off mirror that housed the infamous Cheshire Cat and countless other tricks and surprises.  Overall, Alice in Winterland was a huge success in my opinion and one of the highlights of the holiday season.  As much as I loved the ice sculptures from the previous year at CHILL, I felt like overall this year was a huge step above in overall design and aesthetics.

After we finished our adventure in Alice in Winterland, my boyfriend and I went and designed stockings at Santa’s Stocking Shop which was one of the more adorable things we’ve done. We then spent some time at the “Down the Rabbit Watering Hole”, and I have to say, it’s one of the best designed spaces I saw at the event.  I absolutely loved it and would have loved to have spent more time there so kudos to the design team on that.  Lastly, we took aim at some presents during Tinsel Toy & Paint: Paintball Shooting Gallery and then ended our evening with a 4D Polar Express Experience within The Queen Mary’s state of the art 4-D theater.  All in all, it was a very joyful evening and a nice departure from the last few months of non-stop horror (not that there is ever anything wrong with that).

The Queen Mary’s 5th Annual CHILL will be running until January 8, 2017 and adult general admission tickets start at $39.99 online and child general admission (ages 4-11) start at $29.99 online.  So bundle up your family and head over to CHILL and experience the wonderment that is Alice in Winterland.

For more information on THE QUEEN MARY’S CHILL visit http://www.queenmary.com/events/chill/

To hear more about Queen Mary’s CHILL Alice in Winterland, check out the Creepy Kingdom Podcast at http://bit.ly/aliceinwinterland


Shannon McGrew
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