Nothing says patriotism like saving your country from the undead. Just ask all the survivors of the new Walking Dead year-long attraction, which thrust open its gates on July 4, 2016. This walk-through exhibit is based on the popular AMC show and is reborn from the highly popular Horror Nights maze. It is not for the light-hearted or young, so here is what uninfected citizens need to know to survive the Walking Dead attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood.
How to Survive The Walking Dead Attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood
First of all, you’ll need a plan of attack. The lines for this new attraction can vary throughout the day. They tend to spike in the morning as people race to check it out but drop significantly in the afternoon and then really die off in the evening. If you are visiting with summer crowds, you might bypass this Upper Lot attraction in the morning and hit it later in the day. The wait can drop to 5 minutes in the evening. Another way to avoid the wait is to get a discount Front of Line Pass, which is one of the best ways to maximize your time and experience all the new attractions this summer such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and now the Walking Dead.
Second of all, you’ll need to decide if you can handle the gore and live action, with bloody dead people jumping out at you. More importantly, make a good decision about whether your tadpoles can handle it. There is a strong recommendation that guests be 13 and up. Did we see younger kids going through? Yes. But we also saw parents rushing crying children to the exits after their first scary surprise encounter. We also saw fully grown frogs jump almost out of their skin and try to escape. If blood and guts make you greener than usual, you might want to pass.
If you are a fan of the television show and your froglets are old enough to enjoy the show, then you all can probably handle it. If you wouldn’t let your froglets watch the show or they are easily frightened, then you need to have one parent watch them play in the nearby fountains while the rest of the family dares to enter the apocalyptic hospital at their own risk.
The mostly indoor line is immersive, and has great props and photo ops (although no photography or flashes are allowed in the actual maze). Our ‘tween, Tad, was able to shoot some video for the YouTube channel. Some curious older kids could probably get a taste of the attraction by waiting in line and then exiting out the side exit before the really scary stuff begins. That seemed to be a popular choice for many families (among the few fleeing for their lives back out of the maze).
How Does The Walking Dead Attraction Compare with Horror Nights?
The Walking Dead attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is definitely less gory and intense than a Horror Night maze, but it is also more immersive. The props and details in the line make you feel like you really have entered a destroyed hospital filled with the dead. Patient charts and paperwork are scattered everywhere, bloody handprints and blood splatters appear throughout the halls, and hospital supplies are strewn about. Even the ceiling tiles and floor are part of the scene. The makeup and costumes are movie quality as always expected with Horror Nights mazes, but the sets are a little more detailed and permanent.
The Walking Dead Attraction is way less scary for experienced Horror Nights-goers. There are scare actors, but not as many as you would find at the Halloween event, and they are less in your face. If Horror Nights is a bit too scary for you, then this might be the perfect amount of thrill. It is not as dark inside, fewer dead jump out at you, and there are fewer startling sounds. The maze seems to be a little shorter than a Horror Nights maze, and exiting the maze into broad daylight rather than a dark scare zone can return your heartbeat back to normal more quickly than at Horror Nights. It is fun to watch people exit, laughing or sighing with relief, nonetheless.
If you have been unsure whether you are your family members are ready to experience Horror Nights, The Walking Dead attraction is a good way to gauge your readiness. If it leaves you wanting more, you are ready for Horror Nights. If it is a bit too much for you, then you will really struggle at the much more intense Horror Nights. If you decide to return for Horror Nights, you’ll need our Horror Nights Survival Guide. Once they release the dates and mazes for 2016 (around the end of summer), we will update the guide so you know what to expect. We can’t wait!
One of the best differences between the Walking Dead permanent attraction and the Horror Nights version is the shorter line. You do not need a Front of Line pass for the permanent attraction, although it does accept them. Front of Line users get to pass through the same interior line areas, but without the wait. The Front of Line pass is recommended for Horror Nights, however, where The Walking Dead wait can range from 100 to 200 minutes! Luckily you should be able to experience the new Walking Dead attraction in under 30 minutes, leaving you to ask the question, “Dare we do it again?”
Will you visit the Walking Dead Attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood? You can ask us any questions about the new walk-through or any other park attraction in comments below!