Queen Mary CHILL
1126 Queen's Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
By C. MacDonald
LONG BEACH--There's a Chill in the air even on a warm day at the much-anticipated, fourth annual international spectacle known as Queen Mary CHILL. But this Chill may be the best one ever with a whole new story told in the 13,000-square-foot Ice Kingdom, where a unique version of "A Christmas Carol" is displayed through the genius of Chinese ice carvers, who turn 340-pound blocks of ice into memorable ice characters and scenes from Charles Dickens' priceless novel. Many of these artistic stars are fifth generation carvers, who use their own handmade tools to create one of the most unbelievable experiences you will ever encounter.
Also new this year is a Chill Engagement Package, where you bring your future spouse to see the Ice Kingdom and he or she will see a very special, customized ice sculpture that says, "Will you marry me?" If she turns cold on you and answers, "No," don't fret, go outside and see the sensational Satin Dollz sing and dance and they'll definitely take your mind off the Chill or you can release your stress at the new Polar Paintball Gallery. If your date says, "Yes," why not boogie over to the new Illumination Candle Shop and celebrate your bliss together by making your own candle under the watchful eyes of candle-maker master Victoria Hall and her pals. After your creation is put in the fridge to Chill, you'll have a candle you'll always remember in just one hour or you might decide to try the 9-degree Ice Bar for a one-of-a-kind Vodka tasting experience. You also could cozy up in your own private, heated rink-side cabana or go for a spin together on the 6,000-square-foot ice skating rink.
If you have kids with you, head over to the Gingerbread House, purchase one of four kits and decorate your own house with Ginny and the Singing Baker. You'll hear some of the finest singing ever—it's so good it will almost give you a Chill! You also can board Michael Jackson's favorite ride from his Neverland Ranch—Santa's Swingin Sleigh Ride, which takes you high into the air for a spectacular view of my favorite ship—The Queen Mary, that has all three giant smokestacks ringed with festive lights.
Just for visiting Chill, you also get a complimentary screening of The Polar Express 4-D Experience onboard the Queen. My family and I recommend going aboard the Queen to get a breath-taking view of the whole Chill layout—particularly incredible at night, with a sea of lights, shouts of glee and happiness all around.
Your Chill ticket includes complimentary, same-day access to the Queen, where you can take your own self-guided tour, visit the Promenade of Trees and play like you're Commodore Everette Hoard, the very popular officer and historian, who has loved the Queen Mary for over half a century. "This is a ship with a soul that has outlasted Depressions, German U-Boats and the wrecker's ball," said the 55-year-old with a passion. "John Treasure Jones, the last Captain of Queen Mary, told me this is the closest ship to a living being." On Dec. 9, 1967, Jones brought it to Long Beach on its final trip.
Between 1936-1967, the grand vessel built in Scotland and mainly sailed on the North Atlantic Ocean, was known for carrying thousands of people, including celebrities like Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Elisabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo and such leaders as Winston Churchill, General Dwight Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth. During World War II, it became known as "The Grey Ghost," carrying thousands of U.S. troops, including my friend, the late Army soldier Art Leavitt. On one trip, more than 16,000 troops sailed aboard the Queen!
I highly recommend you visit the Queen Mary and Chill. More than 206,000 people are expected to visit it from Nov. 20-Jan. 10, according to officials. It's an experience unlike any other. You can find out more by calling 877-342-0752 or visit QueenMary.com. It's at 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach
Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.