First look at ‘The Walking Dead’ theme park ride
A planned shoot-em-up theme park ride promises to let fans of “The Walking Dead” travel through scenes from the AMC television show and take aim at hordes of zombies with an arsenal of weapons.
The Walking Dead: Battle for Survival interactive shooter 3-D dark ride would feature animatronic figures, physical sets, digital projections and special effects.
The black-and-white sketches below offer an exclusive first look at what select scenes could look like inside the proposed dark ride. The final ride might look slightly different depending on which theme park purchases the attraction.
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The attraction’s back story turns riders into survivors of a zombie apocalypse where the mission is to collect supplies and fend off walkers. Fail and a walker zombie eats you. Succeed and you live to fight another day.
The ride will be less extreme than the television show but still filled with plenty of scares, gore and violence.
Sally Corp. unveiled an animatronic walker figure planned for the dark ride at the International Assn. of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show in Orlando, Fla. The IAAPA exhibit included a prison lookout tower surrounded by barbed wire-topped chain-link fencing and military supply containers. A sheriff’s hat sat atop a 55-gallon barrel.
Sally has yet to find a buyer for the ride but has attracted attention from a number of theme park operators.
The exterior of the ride building would depict the Terminus rail yard building seen in the television show.
Concept art shows shipping containers, flaming 55-gallon drums and spiked logs forming the queue leading to the entrance of the building.
Terminus was used as the entrance to this season’s Walking Dead haunted maze during Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Riders will load into the attraction inside the warehouse-like Terminus building surrounded by heavy-duty winches, high-powered weapons and more flaming 55-gallon drums.
The six-passenger, motion-based ride vehicles appear to have a bulldozer-like plow on the front.
Concept art shows riders blasting a walker emerging from behind a sales counter in Steve’s Pharmacy, another scene from the television show also depicted in Universal’s Walking Dead haunted maze.
Shelves inside the pharmacy are filled with supplies and medicine that riders must collect to score points in the shoot-em-up dark ride.
In the Georgia town of Woodbury riders encounter a burning field and caged walkers. An attacking zombie appears undaunted by the arrow piercing his skull.
The concept art clearly shows riders using a variety of weapons, including a machine gun, handgun and crossbow. Riders will be able to choose from a variety of weapons including a shotgun, a kata and even a water hose.
At the end of the attraction, riders are ranked based on the supplies collected and their final tally is displayed on a scoreboard.
The station unloading area appears to be filled with animatronic figures armed with knives and sledgehammers.
So what theme park chain will be the first to purchase a Walking Dead dark ride?
Obviously Disney would never go near the franchise. Universal already has a connection to the AMC show and would seem the most logical choice. Six Flags has worked with Sally on the Justice League dark rides, but has shown a reluctance to license intellectual properties outside of the Warner Bros. superhero and cartoon characters. Cedar Fair has made a recent push into dark rides and digitally-based attractions, but has generally shied away from branded content.
And there’s always a chance the first Walking Dead ride could end up at a park in Asia or Europe where horror-related properties have become increasingly popular.
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