It’s official: Walkers are set to invade Orlando and Hollywood. Today Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood jointly announced this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event on both coasts will feature zombies and familiar scenes from AMC’s hugely popular TV show, “The Walking Dead.” The confirmation of the long-standing rumor comes just days after both parks revealed “Silent Hill” will inspire haunted houses at both coasts’ events.
“The Walking Dead” follows a tight-knit group of families and friends helping each other to survive a zombie apocalypse wreaking havoc across the United States. For Universal’s version, it will be theme park guests encountering zombies, or “walkers” as they’re called in the show, which is based on a successful comic book series that recently released its 100th issue.
Video: “The Walking Dead” announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2012
Universal Studios Hollywood creative director John Murdy explained, “For fans of the series, we’re going to put you in the footsteps of the characters on the show. You’re going to have to try to survive the zombie apocalypse. Only now, you’re not in your living room watching it, you’re living it.”
Universail is promising “eerily authentic, elaborately designed, movie-quality sets” along with “mobs of undead walkers.”
Some artwork was also revealed showing scenes that will be featured in “The Walking Dead” haunted house, straight from the TV show, including the famous “DON’T OPEN DEAD INSIDE” doorway:
“We want people to experience the same terror of the walker-filled reality our characters faced in seasons one and two - and will continue to face in our third season,” said Greg Nicotero, Co-Executive Producer and Special Effects Make-up Artist for the series. “Our collaboration with Universal Studios’ creative teams is exciting as we work to truly capture the essence of the show.”
“The collaboration with Universal Studios’ creative teams is a fantastic cross-promotional opportunity and a great way to capture the spirit of the series, which makes its season three debut on AMC this October,” said Linda Schupack, AMC’s Executive Vice President of Marketing.
In Orlando, alert fans have already spotted a few familiar elements from “The Walking Dead” set up in the queue for Disaster!, one of the park’s annual locations for a haunted maze. A barn and RV are among the iconic items that will be replicated in Universal’s experience.
UPDATE (8/8/12): In addition, “The Walking Dead” will take over the Terror Tram at Universal Studios Hollywood:
But it’s not the first haunted attraction to feature “The Walking Dead,” though a first for Universal. Just last weekend, during the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, an experience called The Walking Dead Escape invited guests into a chaotic evacuation of nearby Petco Park, avoiding zombie infection along a grueling obstacle course:
Video: The Walking Dead Escape at San Diego Comic-Con 2012
That unique 3-day experience was the polar opposite of what Universal has in store for Halloween Horror Nights guests. Rather than this intense, physically-demanding course, Universal is planning a more traditional Halloween experience as part of its annual lineup of haunted houses and scare zones. The haunted house based on “The Walking Dead” will take guests through scenes from the TV show, filled with walkers around every corner.
“The Walking Dead” and “Silent Hill” are just two of the many components that will make up Halloween Horror Nights 2012, with more details to be unveiled in the coming weeks leading up to the events officially beginning on September 21, 2012 at both parks.