The story of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by hordes of terrifying flesh-eating walkers is coming back to life at Universal Studios Hollywood this summer in a brand new year-round haunted attraction. After being part of the Horror Nights lineup for many years The Walking Dead will now walk on and on as part of the park’s permanent attraction list. The new attraction is located right near the park’s entrance in a brand new facility built specifically for it. This is a smart move for the park as this kind of attraction should have a high capacity intake that can help alleviate some of the herds of walkers… err tourists that will be attacking the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which entrance is also nearly adjacent to this new attraction.
From what we’ve heard so far, this new attraction is bigger, more elaborate, and scarier than any Walking Dead Maze they’ve made as now they have the advantage of utilizing a dedicated space for the attraction. On the downside for us haunt stalkers and HHN fans, we know that this attraction will now be lazily counted as part of the HHN maze lineup every year as well. What we do hope is that they now move on and use other themes for the Terror Tram and Scare Zones which have been dominated by The Walking Dead in recent years.
This isn’t first year-round haunt at Universal Hollywood. In previous years, in nearly the same location, there has been The Mummy, Van Helsing, and Universal’s House of Horrors attractions. As with these attractions, the challenge Universal will have is keeping it fresh. While the former attractions were anchored in singular story lines the potential benefit of using The Walking Dead is they can modify the scenes and maze as the show continues on; which executive producer Greg Nicotero says is part of the plan for the attraction.
We plan to check out this new haunt this weekend and of course will report back with one of our popular reviews. Good or bad it should provide some great commentary. Stay tuned…
Here’s more info from Universal Studios:
Universal Studios Hollywood has worked collaboratively with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” for years as a signature “Halloween Horror Nights” maze. This newly enhanced venture will take the highly sought-after experience from a seasonal, limited time offering to an authentic 365 day opportunity, raising the bar for themed walk-through attractions. For a look at what to expect when the attraction opens this summer, please click here.
To further elevate the authenticity of this new attraction, Universal Studios Hollywood is partnering with “The Walking Dead’s” creative team, including visionary executive producer and director, Greg Nicotero and his special effects company, KNB Efx. Greg’s team, responsible for masterfully creating the show’s realistic decaying walkers, will construct prosthetics, utilize original molds and painstakingly apply paint and detailing to the attraction walkers. The integral involvement of the creative team will not only inspire the emotional connection fans experience, it will be among the attraction’s key distinguishing characteristics that will define it as a living version of the show.
“The Walking Dead” attraction will create a no-holds-barred experience that significantly intensifies any other iteration previously developed within the theme park. Coupled with authentic walker make-up effects, sophisticated animatronic walkers, substantially more detailed set design and costuming, and highly recognizable props replicated from the series, the attraction will deliver an uncompromised realistic environment that brings guests even further into the most watched show in cable television history. “The Walking Dead’ is a phenomenon that has successfully and consistently affected the psyche of viewers on a global basis, since its debut,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “We’re taking its intensity to the next level by collaborating with the show’s award-winning production team to create an authentic living representation of the series that can only be experienced at Universal Studios Hollywood.”
“We’re so grateful for our longstanding partnership with the talented team at Universal Studios Hollywood. We’ve shared a successful three-year partnership at Halloween Horror Nights and now this permanent ‘The Walking Dead’ walk- through attraction takes the relationship and the fan experience to the next level,” said Charlie Collier, President of AMC and SundanceTV. “Along with our great partners at Universal, it means a great deal to us to continue entertaining — and frightening — passionate, loyal fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ for years to come.”
The “The Walking Dead” attraction will be located within an entirely new, custom built structure, situated within an expansive building complex just inside the theme park’s main entry.
The past five years have been a remarkable time for Universal Studios Hollywood as the destination embarked on an unprecedented revitalization that has substantially altered over 75 percent of its familiar footprint to effectively characterize it as an entirely new theme park experience. The introduction of the all-new “The Walking Dead” attraction continues the theme park’s unparalleled investment in an ambitious epic transformation.
Spoiler Alert! Full Attraction video courtesy of our friends at SoCal Attractions 360.