If youâ€™re looking for a winter oasis in Southern California then you absolutely have to visit The Queen Mary during its CHILL event. Hands down it is an event unlike any other that you will experience this holiday season. There you will be able to experience what nine degrees Fahrenheit weather is like while you admire life-size ice-sculptures. This yearsâ€™ theme for The Ice Kingdom is A Christmas Carol. Be advised, you will be very cold, so do yourself a favor and bring some comfortable and more importantly, warm clothing.
Walking into the event itâ€™s hard to pick off the bat what you want to do first, honestly there is a lot to do and it is great.
Two of the first interactive activities you can pick from as you walk in are the Polar Paintball Shooting Gallery and the Enchanted Garden (a new addition to the event).
If you choose to go into the Polar Paintball Shooting Gallery you will be able to shoot at a Yedi that lurks among the forest. Your goal is to shoot the Yedi in hopes that he returns all the candy he has stolen form the people. While it is fun to shoot at moving target, you cannot help but feel a bit bad for shooting at the poor soul beneath the Yedi custom (although we were told by the Yedi himself, that the shots did not hurt him).
The Polar Paintball Shooting Gallery is one among several activities that you need to pay separately from your admission ticket. In order to save the day and shoot paintballs at the Yedi, you will have to buy tickets at the kiosk for $10 and a 36â€ height requirement.
On the hand, the Enchanted Garden is free. Be careful though, you might get a little lost within its beauty, but do not fret some of the harmless creatures living within it will help you find your way out. Make sure to snap a cool picture within it, you will want to show your friends.
Over at North Pole Village, you will find the North Pole Post Office where littles ones can write Santa a letter and drop it in the mail. You might see the a couple of children dragging their parents to this, so be sure get out of their way, there is nothing like a child with a mission.
After dropping off your own letter, make sure to walk over to Claus Cottage and personally say â€œhiâ€ to the big guy. This is also a photo opportunity. Santa will be there until December 24 and the big guy needs a break during a dayâ€™s work of greeting, so make sure to visit him on the half hour every hour from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
After visiting Santa get a view of the event that only he could on his sleigh by riding Santaâ€™s Swinging Sleigh Ride. The ride is loan from Michael Jacksonâ€™s Neverland Ranch. Tickets for this ride are not included with general admission, but can be bought at kiosk in from of the ride for $5.
You might be a bit tired after riding Santaâ€™s Swinging Sleigh, so take a break from the activities by sitting in front of Holly Grove Stage where you can enjoy live performances. If you are not into live music (who isnâ€™t) and are over 21 and want to warm up a bit visit Scrooge & Marley Pub.
From Scrooge & Marleyâ€™s Pub you can watch people as the skate on The Ice Pond. The Ice Pond is a 6.00 square feet outdoor ice skating rink. Tickets are $15 and include the skate rental. Do not fret if you do not know how to skate, skate aids are provided. Buy your tickets at the kiosk by the rink and do not miss the opportunity to skate besides the ship. The Queen Mary lighted by Christmas lights makes for the most beautiful backdrop. I grantee that you will be mesmerized by the view.
After you have explored the outer part of The Igloo and gather your courage to brave the cold make your way inside. There, you will find the Glacier Glide Ice Tubing, which is two stories high. Inside the igloo there is no reception to post on your favorite social media platform, so make sure to record yourself as you slide down.
Trust me, the video will make you laugh as you replay it. Not only that, but you will find yourselfÂ playing it long after you have left CHILL making you want to plan another visit before January 10 when it all comes to an end.
Do not commit my mistake, remember to button up your parka before you enter The Ice Kingdom. Once inside, the cold is almost unbearable, but as you walk through admiring the sculptures that tower over you, you forget about it.
The size and detail that was paid to everything within will leave you in awe. While this is one-of-a-kind experience, you will exit asking yourself â€œHow do people living in Alaska do it?â€ You will be extremely thankful for the simple fact that you live in Southern California.
Before returning you parka, do not forget to visit the 9 degree Ice Bar where you will have a birdâ€™s view of The Ice Kingdom. Even if you are not a drinker make sure make a stop. And if you are a bit of cheeseball like myself, you can recreate The Titanic scene (you know which one) at the edge of the ice made ship.
Beside some of the activities that I have mentioned, you can also build your own candle where you can choose the design and smell. Pricing for Illumination Candle Shoppe is not listed online, but the people at the shoppe are extremely friendly, so walk in and ask.
Another keep sake that you can make at CHILL is a gingerbread house at Gingerbread House Located at Candy Lane. There you can purchase one of four Gingerbread Kits (ranging from $14 to $45) to decorate with Ginny and The Singing Baker. Sessions start at 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and start at the hour.
CHILL at The Queen Mary will easily become a must attend event of the season. The Queen Mary has been able to capture the magic of the Christmas in one event. Anyone in the family can easily enjoy, even your grumpy grandpa.
General admission tickets can be found online or on-site. They range from $24.99 to $29.99 for children and $34.99 to $39.99 for adults. Pricing depends on the day you decide to go. CHILL is open from daily from November 20 to December 31 and some days in January. The last day to visit CHILL is January 20, so you still have plenty of time to go.
The E.L.F.(Express Lane Fast) Pass Upgrade is $20 and includes priority access to The Ice Kingdom and Glacier Glide Ice Tubing. The pass also includes all-day access to Santaâ€™s Swinging Sleigh Ride. A limited amount of these passes are given daily, so make sure to grab your soon.
Another fun event that is hosted for a limited time is Breakfast With Santa, which takes place every Saturday until December 26 aboard The Queen Mary from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tickets are $19 for children under 12 and $39 for adults.
Oh, I almost forgot, every admission ticket to CHILL also includes same-day access to The Queen Mary during event hours. With so much to do, how can you not go to CHILL at The Queen Mary.