Universal Studios Hollywood announced a brand new attraction that's also somewhat musty. It's a permanent "The Walking Dead" attraction, following three years of seasonal "Walking Dead" mazes as part of the park's annual Halloween Horror Nights.
The attraction is set to open in a few months after being in the works for two years, according to Universal Studios Hollywood Creative Director John Murdy. Get ready to be scared by both the living and the dead, as it will be using both live performers and animatronics.
"What we want to do with this experience is put our guests in the footsteps of the human survivors of the show to make them feel like they're reliving that experience by focusing on some of the most iconic scenes and environments, characters from 'The Walking Dead,'" Murdy told KPCC.
You can expect what's being described as a "walk-through attraction" that provides "a living version of the show," according to a Universal Studios Hollywood press release. It's a return to having a year-round horror attraction at the park, following the demise of the park's Universal's House of Horrors, which featured classic Universal movie monsters and ran from 2007 through 2014 before being demolished.
Watch a preview video here:
Murdy says that this will be a step up from the previous Universal Studios "Walking Dead" attractions.
"I think there's a big difference between creating a permanent attraction, like the Walking Dead experience we're working on right now, versus something we would have created in the past for Halloween Horror Nights. No matter how elaborate those experiences are, they're temporary in nature," Murdy said.
Examples of the differences, according to Murdy: animatronic characters, far more detailed sets and significantly better special effects.
The new attraction is just inside of the park's main entrance, according to Murdy. That's not far from where the House of Horrors attraction was — so this may be the theme park version of building on an ancient burial ground.
This is the latest in a string of new attractions.
"Our park in recent years has undergone epic transformation. Literally 75 percent of Universal Studios Hollywood has been changed or altered and enhanced in the last few years, so this is part of a larger redevelopment for the park that's been going on for the last few years," Murdy said.
The announcement comes just ahead the opening of the Hollywood version of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" on April 7, which opened at the Orlando location previously. However, California is getting something ahead of the Florida theme park scene for once with the "Walking Dead" attraction.
Murdy noted that the attraction isn't recommended for visitors under 13 due to what the park's press release calls its "intense nature." With its location near the park's entrance, that means you may want to cover any younger parkgoers' eyes from the scary stuff on the way in — Murdy says that this will be one of the first attractions visitors see when they enter the park.
Auditions are coming up for the attraction, with more than 70 actors set to be hired to be part of it, according to Murdy — it's time to get your shambling, brain-hungry audition reel ready. There's also going to be a film element, with Murdy saying that he has a "Walking Dead" film shoot he's doing Monday night.
Murdy touted the involvement of "The Walking Dead" executive producer and director Greg Nicotero in the creation of the theme park attraction, along with his special effects company, noting that he was excited to work with Nicotero more after already Nicotero already consulted with the park in the past.
"He's actively involved in producing all of these characters, so we're able to utilize the actual molds for some of the most iconic Walkers that were featured on the show," Murdy said.
You can see what Murdy and Nicotero have come up with when the new "Walking Dead" experience opens this summer.
This story has been updated.