Inside the New Walking Dead Attraction at Universal Studios

Saturday, 26 March 2016 - 4:59PM
Zombies
The Walking Dead
Wonder Con
Saturday, 26 March 2016 - 4:59PM
Inside the New Walking Dead Attraction at Universal Studios
A permanent Walking Dead attraction is coming to the Universal Studios theme park, allowing Walking Dead fans to immerse themselves in a zombie-infested apocalypse all year round. At today's Wonder Con panel, the creative minds behind the attraction previewed exactly what we'll see at the haunted house-style attraction.

The attraction is essentially an expanded, more elaborate version of the Walking Dead fixture at Halloween Horror Nights. Each year, HHN has featured recreations of iconic scenes from the current season of the show, from the hospital in 2012, to the prison in 2013 and 2014, to Terminus in 2015 (and probably Alexandria in 2016). But the most horrifying scene was probably the recreation of the "God forgive us" scene from season one, which reportedly included chunks of hair on the wall and teeth lying on the floor.

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Opening quote
"We're trying to give you a feeling of walking right through the show," said art director Chris Williams. "We don't hold back on anything, even the gore."
Closing quote

While the panelists wouldn't directly confirm that all of these scenes would appear in the permanent attraction, it was heavily implied that most of them will, and we got a few previews into the beginning of the maze. The now-infamous "dead inside" doors will be visible from the queue line, and mechanical hands will be reaching out from in between the doors with zombie side effects, so you see this famous image before you even enter the attraction.
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Opening quote
"We want people the minute they walk in this building to feel like they walked into the world of The Walking Dead." said creative director John Murdy.
Closing quote

And for all of you Daryl (and/or Bethyl) fans out there, the attraction will also feature the burning cabin from the fourth season episode of "Still," which is, according to the panelists, more technically difficult than anything they could have accomplished for HHN. It will be a "full sensory experience," with smoke that actually smells like fire and emits heat that can be felt by the audience. The effect will be accomplished using faux fire, which looks exactly like fire but is safe to the touch. 

The attraction will open in summer 2016, and while the opening will probably be insane, it might be worth it to go, especially since there's a possibility that a few Walking Dead cast members might make an appearance.

Opening quote
"I can't speak to definitely who's going to show up," said Murdy, "but I know that from doing horror nights for a couple of years... we'll see them for sure."
Closing quote

And for those of you who have already been to HHN, the panelists assured fans that the attraction won't be a retread. There were "no limitations" on the content this time, and the haunted house will apparently be even more disturbing than fans are used to.

Opening quote
"[The attraction is] more intense than Halloween Horror Nights," said producer Don Burgess. "We're surprised we're allowed to do something this intense."
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Opening quote
"We cannot do Walking Dead-lite," said Murdy. "We can't."
Closing quote

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