AMC's The Walking Dead is arguably the most popular series on television. With record-breaking ratings, all six seasons have been well received amongst critics. Based on Robert Kirkman’s series of comic books, the show captures the ongoing human drama following a zombie apocalypse and has developed a dedicated fan base by establishing a medium between character development and flesh-eating action, while presenting viewers with thought-provoking moral dilemmas.
The resulting zombie fever has spawned successful TV spin-offs (Talking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead) and a mass of merchandise including best-selling books and well-liked video games. Now it appears that The Walking Dead is about to take a bite out of tourists at a brand new attraction based at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Arriving in Summer 2016, the year-round attraction will invite theme park guests to enter the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead. As Universal Studios reports, visitors should be prepared to fight for their survival as they navigate through a world overrun by hungry walkers in this fully immersive experience. Bringing the TV show to life, participants will be following in the footsteps of human survivors, while battling through nightmarish iconic landscapes throughout their journey.
Chris Hardwick announced the new installment during the most recent episode of The Talking Dead, explaining that the attraction will be located within a custom built structure and will feature a mixture of special effects, animatronics and live performers, resulting in the “most intense, realistic The Walking Dead experience ever.” The promo video for the new scream-fest section shares clips from the series alongside pieces of concept art, which appear to feature a walk-through maze set within a dark space whereby zombies can attack daring attendees.
The concept might sound familiar, since The Walking Dead has been a staple at Universal Studios annual Halloween Horror Nights - an event which typically showcases a haunting slate of nightmares from some of the biggest horror properties in TV and film. For the past four years, the zombie maze experience has been credited as one of the busiest attractions at the theme park, so it makes sense for Universal to capitalize on its popularity by installing a full-time attraction.
However, the new development appears to offer a very similar experience, as far as being a walk-through maze, rather than a ride. While this formula has proven to be a success so far, it remains to be seen whether it will be able to survive long-term or whether the novelty of the 'limited-time' attraction has been one of the reasons behind the theme park’s increased attendance during this period. At the same time, it seems like a no-brainer for Universal to replace the House of Horrors maze, which closed its doors in 2014, with an all-new, deadly popular franchise by-product.
The Walking Dead attraction will invade Universal Studios Hollywood in Summer 2016.
Source: Universal Studios