New Walking Dead: Battle for Survival Dark Ride Announced at IAAPA

Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Monday, November 23rd, 2015

The Walking Dead dark ride

Few shows have captured the American public’s imagination as thoroughly as the comic book spin-off The Walking Dead. The show is currently #1 on television and has been renewed for a seventh season. In many ways, the show has been responsible for a full-scale zombie apocalypse mania that has spawned books, movies, countless haunt attractions and even zombie-themed road races. At the recent IAAPA show, the Sally Corporation announced a shoot ‘em up dark ride based on the franchise. Sources have reported that the company is currently in negotiations with a major theme park to purchase the rights but no formal announcement has been made. For fans, work of The Walking Dead dark ride was met with a great deal of excitement.

The Jacksonville-based Sally Corp. is calling the ride The Walking Dead: Battle for Survival. According to media interviews with the creative director, the ride will be a bit scarier than a standard dark ride, but the blood and guts will be toned down from the show. Battle for Survival is a 4D dark ride, with a decidedly mature spin. It’s expected to have interactive elements and extensive theming. The preliminary description provides a hint of what’s to come:

“Sally’s thrilling new dark ride concept features a unique combination of technology and artistry that takes riders deep into the world of ‘The Walking Dead’. They will battle “Walkers” in a post-apocalyptic landscape where the living dead are a reality and extinction of the human race is just around the next corner. Photo-realistic 3D media on massive projection screens is blended seamlessly with fully realized practical sets, scenery and animatronics in this unique attraction. Story and game play are balanced perfectly to create a scary, fun and exciting adventure for all theme park visitors.”

Walking Dead: Battle for Survival

The six-person ride reportedly features dozens of animatronic “walkers” or zombies to help bring the setting to life. In the storyline, guests are survivors of the apocalypse trying to gain entrance to a camp. They try to collect supplies, while fending off the zombies. Success means you live to fight on; those that fail to collect enough supplies are consumed by walkers.

Concept art revealed in an exclusive preview on the LA Times website highlights familiar locations from the show, including a prison and rail yard. Guests pass through a staging area that’s themed as Terminus. Once aboard, guests fight their way into Steve’s Pharmacy and collect supplies. A scoreboard keeps track of players’ performance, as they fight their way through the scenes with weapons such as a crossbow, guns and a water hose. They’ll also pass through familiar territory in Woodbury, GA.

The announcement of a major Walking Dead-themed ride is interesting for several reasons. One is the speculation of where it will end up. At first glance, the idea seems like it could be a massive moneymaker for a park like Universal Studios. It’s the right fit for the park’s older target demographic and is another way to build off the wild success of Harry Potter with timely branded attractions. There’s also a chance that an overseas buyer with deep pockets might want the ride to debut in Europe or Asia. Time will tell if it becomes the exclusive property of one brand or becomes a multiple-location attraction. While the future home of the ride is yet to be determined, we’re confident that it will be a success wherever it lands!

Images sourced courtesy of Sally Corp., YouTube

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