Picture this… you enter the front door of the Biltmore Hotel and discover you have been transported to a realm full of magical beings and creatures. As you walk down the hallway, you are surrounded by royalty, elves, goblins, faeries, monsters, creatures, animals, knights and lots of other interesting faces. They are all together enjoying each others company for a night of merriment and mayhem. You hear the melodic sounds of a flutist playing an upbeat song. You enter the ballroom to find couples of every shape and size twirling around the dance floor. You see people enjoying their tea and desserts as they visit with their table mates. You run into some goblins who are trying to convince you to come in their cabaret and watch their show. A nearby Knight pleads that you help him complete a mission before midnight. You see the creator of this realm walk past with his guards as he welcomes all his guests to the court. Does this sound magical to you?
A lot of you know that I have been attending the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball for many years. In this post I want to explain the event more and hopefully entice you to check it out yourself. It really is an experience. If you haven’t seen my pictures, I will post some on the photos page of my blog. I also plan on posting about the progress I make on our costumes this year. We are going as an Ice King and Queen. I have also posted the link to the events website down at the bottom so you can buy tickets and book a hotel.
The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Information:
506 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Friday August 24th and Saturday August 25th
Preshow: 7:00 pm
Main Event: 8:00 pm-1:00 am
All ages event. (Just know that some costumes are scary, very scantily clad/body paint and there is drinking going on. You have to decide if that is appropriate for your child. I have seen quite a few children at the event.)
You can dress up as anything you like costume wise or formal wear with a mask. When it comes to costumes, the bigger and crazier the better. Most costumes are very over the top. A lot of makeup artists, costume designers and very crafty people attend. If you can’t make your own, you can rent costumes as well as buy some awesome things online.
Friday the 24th: $59.00
Saturday the 25th: $70.00
Weekend Passport : $113.00
Pre Show: $35.00 (You are the first into the event, there is a champagne toast, guided tour by the creator himself, and extra performances.)
Tea: $40.00 per Person
There are also bigger package options with lots of cool stuff. I just posted the base prices.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel Room Price:
You can stay right in the Biltmore. It is very convenient to stay right where the event is held. If you have to go to the bathroom, grab a snack or a drink ,freshen up, or just be done for the evening you can go right upstairs to your room. The cheapest rooms are about $250.00 a night when you book with the Masquerade’s Rate. You can get a bigger, fancier room, but it costs a lot more. Parking at the hotel is $40.00 a day and is valet style.
More Detailed Info and Tips:
The event has grown into a crazy awesome experience. This year will be their 21st year. Now that it’s in the Biltmore, there are 5 areas to explore throughout the evening. There is the main ballroom, underwater themed mermaid ballroom, a goblin cabaret, the tearoom/classic music ballroom, the vendor hall, and an area where the royal post will hand out missions to you. Every ballroom has performances throughout the evening, as well as music. There used to be a professional photographer you could pay to take photos. I know this has changed since I went last. I will try to find out more about it and post it on here.
-The main ballroom is where all of the event’s story/lore takes place throughout the evening through dance and acting performances. There is also a live band and DJ’s who play music throughout the night. There might also be a dragon….
-In the tea room, you can pay extra to have tea which includes scones, desserts, teas and sandwiches. It is $40.00 a person and must be booked ahead of time. Also in this ballroom they play traditional dance music for waltzes, group dances, etc. They teach some of the group dances so you can join in.
-The goblin cabaret is where all the goblins perform. They are pretty funny. Our favorite juggler, Adam the Bawdy Juggler, has been known to perform in this room.
-The vendor hall has a bunch of fun costumey stuff as well as art that you can purchase.
-The mermaid ballroom usually just has a DJ playing as well as live performers throughout the night.
-The Royal Post has missions you can ask for. You have to perform all the tasks on the mission list and you get something in the end I believe. We have never finished one.
-Both nights of the event they play “As The World Falls Down,” from the masquerade ball scene in the movie Labyrinth, in all the ballrooms at the same time. I want to say its normally at 11:00 pm. They have schedules of the evening posted on all the walls so you can confirm that.
-Throughout the event you will run into characters that are part of the event. They will interact with you. Feel free to talk to them. Some of them are part of the missions/tasks you must perform.
-Feel free to also mingle with other guests. They are all very friendly and love taking pictures.
-Friday nights are not as crowded as Saturdays. If you like to be able to move freely and not feel claustrophobic, Friday is the night for you.
-Smoking is only allowed in the garden area, this includes vapes.
-Be sure to stop and watch the performances. Lots of talented dancers, acrobats, actors, musicians and singers.
-You may run into some famous people throughout the evening.
-There is a coat check for items you don’t want to carry around all evening but it does have a cost.
A little backstory about how I got into this event as well as a bit of it’s history:
I think it was about 10 years ago that I happened to be looking up costume events and happened to stumble upon the Labyrinth Of Jareth. I really wanted to attend a costume ball ever since I saw pictures of a Venetian masquerade. I started researching LOJ a bit more and decided I wanted to go check it out. At the time, I didn’t have any friends that were into that sort of thing, so I had to find someone nice enough to take me to the event. I noticed that it was going to be happening around the time I would be visiting my grandma in San Diego. The event is held in L.A. which is about a 2.5 hour drive from my grandmas house. A have friend named Spencer that I was was talking to at the time who lived close to the area and worked at Disneyland.
I told Spencer how I was going to be down there for a week visiting my grandma in San Diego and how I wanted to check out this event in L.A. He offered to go with me. Unfortunately I still had no ride. Spencer’s friend and his friends girlfriend were going to drive to Disney to meet him and hang out for the day, so he had me catch a ride with them up to Disney. It was very nice of them to drive me up there. We spent the day at California Adventure. When we were done there, I rode home with Spencer to get ready for the costume ball. I had a vampire costume my mom had made for me the previous Halloween that I thought I would wear. Spencer was not into costumes so he wore formal wear with a mask. We got ready to go and headed for the ball.
Back in that day, it was held at a small theater in downtown L.A. at the Music Box Theater, now named The Fonda. http://www.fondatheatre.com/about-the-fonda
It was two stories and had a courtyard. When we arrived, I quickly realized we were under dressed. The people at this event go all out on costumes. I had fun taking in all the craziness of the costume ball as well as watching all the interesting performances that occurred throughout the night. I could tell this was not really Spencer’s thing, but I appreciate him being awesome and taking me. He drove me all the way back to San Diego that night and stayed at my grandmas in her guest room. Looking back, he really did a lot for me that day and I super appreciate that. If you are reading this Spencer, you are awesome.
I decided I really wanted to go the next year but this time I was going to be prepared. I needed a really beautiful over the top costume. Not just a Halloween costume. That’s where my passion for costuming all started. I wanted to learn to sew, but had no idea where to start. Thankfully a friend of ours was willing to help me out and go along with my craziness. I am super thankful for Stacy Eubank and the beautiful costumes she has made me. I had wanted to wear a Victorian dress much like the one that Rachael McAdams wore as Irene Adler in the new Sherlock Holmes movie. It was beautiful. As soon as I saw it in the movie I knew I wanted it. Stacy found actual Victorian patterns, we picked out the fabric and the rest was history. We modified it a bit to make it more my own. I wish I had taken some better pictures back then, but my camera wasn’t that great.
The second year I attended LOJ, it moved to a bigger and more historic location. The Park Plaza hotel. This place is in a lot of TV and movies. My boyfriend at the time Ben and I attended the event. The costume ball had doubled in size people wise as well as space wise. The Park Plaza has 3 major ballrooms, a huge courtyard, and a back lot. It was amazing to see how much the event had grown. Here is a link to the Park Plaza Hotel’s Wikipedia page if you would like to read about it more:
Of course there were still beautiful performances going on and the ball began to have a backstory all of its own. There were goblins, Knights, faeries, and elves who now all had a part in the story. The costumes were even bigger and more over the top. It was a fantastical experience. I think I attended the ball at the Park Plaza three more times before it was finally moved to an even bigger location and its home now. A location just as beautiful and steeped in history. The Millenium Biltmore Hotel.
The Millenium Biltmore hotel opened in 1923. Eight Oscar ceremonies were held in the Biltmore during the Academy’s early years of 1931, 1935–39, and 1941-42. It’s said to be on of the last places that the Black Dahlia was seen before she was killed. It was used as a military rest and relaxation facility during World War 2. Many movies and TV were filmed in the Biltmore. Here’s a link to its Wikipedia page if you would like to learn more about its history:
It is a beautiful building. It also has restaurants, bars, a spa and salon, a gym and an awesome vintage pool. They also host afternoon tea here. I am not sure of the pricing since I have never tried it. The restaurants are a bit pricey, so we usually walk out of the building and into the city to look for food. There is a Domino’s pizza that will deliver there and a Subway and a Starbucks right down the street. If you walk out of the building there are a lot of cool things you can see while in the downtown area. We love the little vintage book shop right next door. It is full or beautiful old books. If you don’t want to pay for the parking at the Biltmore, there is public parking all around downtown. I have never used this public parking for overnight parking but I have heard it’s a lot cheaper. Not sure about security there though.
All in all it is a magical experience. I am super excited that we get to attend this year. Let me know if you have any questions!
Here is a link to the events website so you can buy tickets or reserve a hotel room: