The girls and I were invited to one of Southern California’s biggest holiday event – the new “Alice in Winterland” experience at The Queen Mary’s CHILL. This event is held every year at the Queen Mary, but it was my first time there and I was very impressed with what we encountered. From the moment you walk in, you’re delved into North Pole village filled with Christmas back drops and cozy little workshops that make you feel as though you walked into “A Christmas Carol” story. It brings life to the holiday season.
There is so much to do and see that I felt there wasn’t enough time to cover everything. Our first stop of the evening was “Alice In Winterland.” I’m a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland so I wanted to explore the 14,000 sq. ft. dome that housed “Alice in Winterland” filled with entertainment zones that you can spend all night in.
“Alice in Winterland” is an interactive experience that takes you on an adventure with beloved Alice, in which you will encounter whimsical characters from the book.
TIP: Grab your Mad Hatter hat or White Rabbit ears. They’ll allow you to interact at certain points of your adventure and uncover hidden objects throughout your adventure.
The coolest room in the dome is when you come to the hall surrounded by doors. Get your cameras ready because you will definitely want to take pictures.
At the end of your adventure you end up at The Magic Mushroom: Martini Bar and the Glacier Glide. They’re conveniently next to each other so you can enjoy a one-of-a kind martini while your children enjoy the glacier glides next door.
“Alice in Winterland” had amazing Christmas decorations and colors that light up the experience. The set up was nicely done adding to the interactive experience and creating a great picturesque moment with the themed backdrops, decorations, and vibrant colors.
Other fun zones for the children and adults both to enjoy include the Curiouser carousel, caricatures, face painting, and live entertainment at Winterland Court.
Next stop… Holly Grove clearing. It’s here that we saw the Queen Mary’s 26-foot tall Christmas tree lighting. There is something to be said about a Christmas tree that is lit. It is the excitement of the night where you get giddy, like a child to watch it light up.
At Holly Grove you also have entertainment zones such as a gingerbread house: decorating with Ginny; a snow zone (snowfall at 10:30am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, and 7:00pm daily); Claus Cottage (visit Santa and Mrs. Claus for photos starting at $15.) and Tinsel Toy & Paint: paintball experience ($5 for 50 rounds). In addition to this, don’t miss the Snow Flurries – daily near the North Pole Village and Claus Cottage at 11:45am, 2:15pm, and 5:45pm; or Bubble Blizzards floating down Candy Lane daily at 10:30am; 1:00pm, 3:30pm, and 7:00pm.
At the North Pole Village you will find the post office, where your child can write a letter to Santa; a Stocking Craft Shoppe where children can create their own Christmas stocking for an additional fee of $9; Mrs. C’s Sips & Stories. It’s here that Mrs. Claus reads while you can enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa and cookies for an additional fee of $8. Finally, there’s Candy Lane Bounce House, a free bouncy house for the kids.
The best area to enjoy the Queen Mary is at the Looking Glass Rink. Here not only can you enjoy the festive surroundings of the event, but admire the Queen Mary at night. For a $15.00 upgrade you can ice skate for 45 minutes on Chill’s 6,000 sq. foot ice rink. My favorite part was that for children that are beginners, you can rent a $7 penguin buddy to aid them ice skating. My 6 year old loved iced skating with her little penguin buddy. Rental lockers are located outside of the ice rink to store your personal belongings.
After ice skating, you can enjoy some delicious meals from several eateries. The pizza slice at the Pizza Shack is a big slice, or you can choose some BBQ from Holly Grove Garland Grill. Prices are comparable to theme parks in Southern California. You can also find other eateries, such as: Kringle Café, Tin Tim’s Tacos, Igloo Café, Village Café, and Old Tyme Ice Cream. Not a huge selection, but decent food.
If you are on a date then I would suggest you visit the Down the Rabbit Watering Hole: Lounge & Bar to enjoy a drink. There is also the Swingin’ Sleigh Ride which swings high above next to the ice skating rink for an additional cost of $5 per ticket. There is also the World’s Largest Rocking Horse which is pretty cool. It stands over 15 feet tall, 24 feet long, and 8 feet wide, and it can seat four riders at a time. It is included with general admission.
With your CHILL ticket, you also have access to the Queen Mary ship. You can visit the 4D Theater on the ship to visit The Polar Express 4D Experience, which is also included in your general admission.
TIP: Breakfast with Santa. This festive holiday breakfast takes place every Saturday from 9AM – 12PM in a Historic Salon aboard the Queen Mary. Cost is $19 for kids under 12 and $39 for adults and anyone over 12 years of age.
We had a fun experience at CHILL. Just a few tips for your next CHILL visit:
- Porter potties are available at CHILL. Keep this in mind and bring along baby wipes and hand sanitizer.
- Pack extra winter clothing items if you attend in evening because it does get chilly. They’ll also come in handy if the kids go ice skating and the slip.
- This event is a family-friendly event, but it also makes for a great date night!
- Young kids (I’m thinking under five) will probably enjoy CHILL more during the day than at night because it does get cold.
- Bring cash and avoid having to hunt down an ATM. Most activities are cash-only.
- “Parents’ Patios” are available for breastfeeding moms who want a little more privacy, but they’re also great for taking a quick break from the event.
- The Queen Mary is our own southern California historic gem. If you haven’t visited the Queen Mary it is a historical landmark that your family should visit. Don’t miss this event running through January 8.
CHILL at The Queen Mary
SAVE 25% OFF GENERAL ADMISSION with code LIVINGCHILL when you purchase your tickets online.
General Admission: $34.99
(General Admission Includes: Alice in Winterland, Glacier Glide Ice Tubing, Curiouser Carousel, CHILL village and access to the Queen Mary ship.)
Child Admission: $24.99
Holiday Date Night: $59.99
Includes: Alice in Winterland, Glacier Glide Ice Tubing, CHILL village and access to the Queen Mary
Family 5 Pack: Grants access for up (5) guests, entire party must be present together at time of entry. Includes: Alice in Winterland, Glacier Glide Ice Tubing, CHILL village and access to the Queen Mary.
E.L.F. “Express Lane Fast” Pass for priority access to Alice in Winterland and Glacier Ice Tubing: $15.00
Advance purchase discount already reflected in current pricing (same-day and on-site prices are +$5 or more).
Ship access restricted to the operating hours of the event. Event hours vary by date.
For more information, visit http://www.queenmary.com/events/chill/alice/.