[Event Recap] SHAQTOBERFEST (2022)

[Event Recap] SHAQTOBERFEST (2022)
A new Halloween event just opened here in Southern California. Amidst fierce, well-established competition, they’ve taken over the location of Long Beach’s much beloved Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Nightmarish Conjurings was invited to the inaugural Shaqtoberfest media night to see how this new event stands up to the competition.

Shaqtoberfest has two parts; arrive early to enjoy family-friendly fun, with several bounce houses, a carnival midway with games, rides, clowns, and trick-or-treating for your kids. Be forewarned, though, they have a no costume/no face paint policy according to their website.

After the Witching hour (8 pm), the chainsaws come out and the big kid fun begins! Shaqtoberfest has three bars. One is a secret,=. Do you have what it takes to find the secret bar? To accommodate hungry guests, there are several food stands. I tried Cruzer’s Cocina near the tiki bar, where I had the best, freshest eloté ever. There are also funnel cakes and Southern California’s world-famous Pink’s Hot Dogs. Sadly, you don’t get the full menu, so if you’re looking for a spicy Polish bacon burrito dog, you’re gonna have to make the trek to Hollywood.

When you first enter, you encounter a smaller-than-life statue of Shaqenstein. Seriously, have you ever seen Shaq in person? The statue is smaller than Shaq. Definitely snap a pic for the ‘Gram by it! The Shaqtastic offerings include Midway Madness, where you can get your fill of carnival games, clowns, and an inflatable dinosaur walk-through thing where you enter through the mouth, and get pooped out the exit. Make of that what you will.


The Pumpkin Patch offers several bounce houses/bounce slides that they let the adults enjoy as well, I repeat, THEY LET THE ADULTS IN THE BOUNCE HOUSES! Lost City takes you up close by the Queen Mary and has a 1920s feel. Shipwreck Graveyard offers sea serpents, sunken treasures, and a mermaid ready to show you what life really looks like under the sea. Deadman’s Wharf almost feels like an extension of Shipwreck Graveyard, with pirates and all things nautical.

We had a great time at Shaqtoberfest. The setup was well thought out, but there were some issues.

The mazes felt understaffed and, during our walkthroughs, felt as though the scare actors weren’t really sure what their job was. Admittedly, it was only the third night, and some of them may be new to scare acting and haven’t gotten their groove yet. One scarer was on their phone as we came around the corner. The scarers meandering the grounds were few but seemed more seasoned. Most likely they were hired back from past seasons of Dark Harbor.

The worst part though? The Mazes. Were. Short. As someone that has spent plenty of my own cash to attend haunts, these were some of the shortest mazes I’ve encountered. If Shaqtoberfest comes back next year, I hope they lengthen the mazes and add more scarers.

Unfortunately for Shaqtoberfest, their location kinda forces one to compare and contrast with Dark Harbor, and these were two major places where it lacked in comparison.

All things considered, Shaqtoberfest is a good time, and the vibe was family-friendly, even AFTER the Witching hour. For the prices listed on their website, it’s an excellent bargain for families. Shaqtoberfest has its flaws, but it also has Shaq, which makes this new event a must-do for fans of all ages.

You can purchase your tickets for Shaqtoberfest here.

Jezebel Little
Latest posts by Jezebel Little (see all)

3 thoughts on “[Event Recap] SHAQTOBERFEST (2022)

    1. According to the Shaqtoberfest website, it is run by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group in collaboration with ABG Entertainment and Shaquille O’Neal. That info is located at the bottom of the homepage. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *