Universal Studios Hollywood Takes ‘Walking Dead’ Efforts Up Many Notches

Universal Studios Hollywood opened a new attraction based on AMC’s The Walking Dead this week to the excitement of fans all over the country. The opening took place on Tuesday with cast and crew from the hit television show in attendance, in addition to a number of actors in full zombie (or “walker” if you prefer) costume.

According to Comic Book, those in attendance included Greg Nicotero, Kyla Kenedy, Ross Marquand, Brighton Sharbino, Michael Traynor, Scott Wilson, and Yvette Nicole Brown. The site reports that there were at least a hundred walkers in action.

The attraction will officially open to the public on Monday, July 4.

Universal Studios Hollywood has some red carpet coverage and a sneak preview of the attraction on its Facebook page.

Universal Studios Hollywood is no stranger to The Walking Dead, having hosted an attraction for its annual Halloween Horror Nights (as has Universal Studios Orlando). This new attraction, however, will be open to the public year round. This is great news for fans of the show, or of zombies in general, as they won’t have to rearrange their lives and plan to make it near Halloween to see a cool zombie attraction. Better yet, this experience will apparently be bigger and better. Theme Park Park Insider reveals more about the attraction.

“Universal’s also plussed up the experience for this attraction. With the bigger budgets that full-time attractions allow, Universal’s John Murdy and his team have taken advantage to create several visually stunning set pieces that far exceed anything fans have seen at Halloween Horror Nights.”

The publication actually went to Universal Studios Hollywood to provide this walkthrough.

The attraction lets you start by walking through the hallways of a hospital, just as lead character Rick Grimes did in the show’s pilot. Later, you encounter other locations from the show including a burning cabin and the famous prison that the show’s characters spent so much time in. There are plenty of fires, gunfire, and walkers along the way.

According to the publication, those who go to Halloween Horror Nights will get more than ever before as Universal Studios Hollywood will be doubling the amount of “scareactors” in the attraction for the event.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the attraction has plenty of Easter eggs as well. This includes the famous “Don’t open, dead inside” door from the show and what is possibly the series’ most iconic zombie, “Bicycle Girl.”

“Of the many recognizable walkers from the show’s run, the most memorable might be one from the very first episode,” EW reports. “After escaping the hospital, a disoriented Rick stumbles upon a girl walker who is missing half her legs and hips but continues to crawl her way around. He rides off with her bicycle before eventually returning to apologize for what happened to her and then shoot her. In the attraction, Bicycle Girl is still alive-ish as she protects her bike from future thieves.”

Beyond all of this fan service, Universal Studios Hollywood seems to know what fans really want as it features creature designs from none other than Greg Nicotero and KBN EFX, the force behind the show’s effects, as well as the director of numerous episodes. LA Weekly has a great slideshow of photos from the attraction available.

Though the date has not been officially announced yet, The Walking Dead is expected to return to AMC in October following a highly-controversial (among fans) cliffhanger season finale. Obviously Universal Studios Hollywood will also be hosting Halloween Horror Nights that same month, so The Walking Dead should be getting plenty of headlines here in a few months.

[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]