Zombies have arrived in America, in the form of Universal Studio Hollywoods newest attraction based on AMCs post-apocalyptic series, The Walking Dead.
The attraction, which was was unveiled on Tuesday (28 June), is the brainchild of the parks creative director John Murdy and the shows executive producer, Greg Nicotero.
Starting in a hospital setting, the walk-through attraction is a series of partially-lit locations, where actors dressed both as survivors, and zombies interact with those brave enough to undertake the route.
Speaking on the red carpet before the unveiling event, Nicotero said Well I think the most important thing for me is the look of the (zombie) walkers, the authenticity that the show and this attraction demands is critical because the fans are very very dedicated so I think the look of the walkers has been the most important thing for me.
Murdy added Its a pretty intense experience. We want you to feel like Rick and his group of survivors feel because when they have to get from point A to point B on the show, most of the time they dont have vehicles and most of the time when youre walking in the world of the walking dead that means youre exposed and vulnerable so we want our guests to feel like that. At any moment, things could dramatically change.
Things took a turn during the opening presentation when a gang of bikers entered the conference, bringing with them walking dead in chains. Then, a herd of zombies hurtled towards the ride, held back by iron mesh gates, likening to many a scene from the series.
Several members of the cast, past and present attended the launch. Michael Traynor, who was in the show in 2015, admitted I know Im going to scream like a little girl because thats what I do when these things pop out of the woodwork. I did it on the show, Id ruin takes. Michael, youre too scared! But Im genuinely frightened by this thing, and its going to be the same here.
For those afraid of the zombie apocalypse, some of the cast of The Walking Dead had advice. Ross Marquand who plays Aaron in the series said Break into a Costco, fuse the door shut and youll be fine for the rest of your life. You really will be but if you cant find a Costco, I would say get a weapon that doesnt need ammo. Michonnes katana blade is a great idea. I have a giant crowbar in my car - thats probably what I would use. Baseball bats a good idea. Thats about it.
Whereas Traynor had other advice. Run, just run. Practice now, get in good condition and shape and also maybe get handy with an axe maybe. That would be it.
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who is a self-professed superfan of the show, thinks the survival technique is much simpler. I think the secret is canned goods. Anybody thats not stockpiling canned goods right now, I think youre missing it. Its canned goods, she said.
The Walking Dead attraction officially opens to the public on 4 July.