The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead is still many months away, but that doesn’t mean fans can’t get their fill of walkers. In fact, fans of The Walking Dead can now get in on the action themselves by visiting Universal Studios Hollywood’s new, permanent attraction based on The Walking Dead series. Fans aren’t the only ones heading to Universal Studios Hollywood to check out the attraction, either. Several actors from the AMC series recently stopped by to take part in the attraction, sharing their thoughts on the experience with fans eager to know what to expect.
The Walking Dead Attraction At Universal Studios Is The Real Deal
When Universal Studios Hollywood decided to give park guests a taste of the zombie apocalypse, they weren’t interested in throwing together something poorly done or anything quickly put together with the intention of tearing it down in a matter of months. Instead, Universal Studios Hollywood creative director John Murdy, who sets up the park’s yearly Halloween Horror Nights attraction, was brought in to work on The Walking Dead attraction and to devote his talents to creating a truly remarkable experience. Adding a taste of authenticity to the zombie laden attraction, Greg Nicotero, who serves as executive producer, director, and head of special effects and makeup for The Walking Dead, has collaborated with Murdy in designing the attraction.
The result of this unique collaboration is a unique experience which sends guests on a walking adventure similar to what they have seen on The Walking Dead series. Participants start out in a hospital setting in much the same was that Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, began the television series. As visitors move along throughout a mock city, stopping at different locations, they’re able to interact with actors playing both survivors and undead assailants.
Series Celebrities Share Their Thoughts On The Walking Dead Attraction
Universal Studios launched the attraction on Tuesday morning, giving present and former stars of The Walking Dead television series first crack at surviving the new attraction. Among the celebrities taking part in The Walking Dead experience was actor Ross Marquand, who joined the AMC series in Season 5, Episode 10 as Aaron.
“I did notice, a few times, my reflex was to kind of tense up and go for my knife, but there’s no knife,” said Ross Marquand, after his first walk through the attraction. “I loved it. It stayed true to what they actually have in the show, kind of going through season one all the way up to where we are now.”
The attraction, which will be open to the public beginning on July 4, sets out in Harrison Memorial Hospital, but participants are shortly given a call to action, via the hospital’s intercom system. In order to survive, visitors must get from the hospital to the prison. While that may seem like a pretty straightforward plan, navigating the attraction is easier said than done, as there are obstacles and diversions throughout the attraction. As another star of The Walking Dead points out, the fun is in getting to the destination.
“It’s so fun, scares at every turn,” says Michael Traynor, who played Nicholas on The Walking Dead. “Waiting in line was scary. We were going down the corridor and I was like ‘Oh, this is awesome!’ And they were like, ‘Michael, this is the line.’ I was like, ‘I’m already good, guys!’ It’s really fun and there’s so many elements that you see. They have a Dumpster, for you Nicholas fans, I’m not going to tell you where, but there is a Dumpster and Glenn maybe is under it, or maybe not depending on Steven Yeun’s availability.”
Kyla Kenedy, who played The Walking Dead‘s Mika Samuels and is now 13 years old, said that the Universal Studios attraction was realistic in every sense and, as such, gave her many scares and thrills.
Scott Wilson, who played Hershel Greene, says he’s stunned by the global adoration for The Walking Dead and adds that the addition of a permanent Walking Dead attraction at Universal Studios is a testament to the power the AMC series has for exciting the imagination. He says he feels lucky to have been a part of such a beloved show.
[Image by AMC]