Theme Park Insider

'The Walking Dead: Battle for Survival' Coming to Some Theme Park, Sometime

November 9, 2015, 9:48 PM · The annual IAAPA Attractions Expo kicks off in Orlando next week, and vendors are gearing up to promote their new offerings to buyers from theme parks around the world, as well as to the press covering the event.

We will be at the Expo next week, and received something interesting today.

You will note that there's nothing in the flyer about what park or parks might be buying and installing this "Walking Dead"-themed interactive ride. Sally is one the industry's leading developers of interactive dark rides (i.e. shooters), having developed the Theme Park Insider Award-winning Justice League: Battle for Metropolis for the Six Flags amusement parks this year.


AMC's "Walking Dead" has had a presence in major theme parks before, being a prominent feature of the Halloween Horror Nights events at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood for the past several years.

Stay tuned to Theme Park Insider next week, here on the Web and via our Twitter feed (@ThemePark) for news from IAAPA, including whatever we can find out about Sally's new "Walking Dead" ride.

Replies (12)

November 10, 2015 at 8:30 AM · Sally Corp's worked with Universal on ET, but that's just about it. Universal Studios Hollywood is in desperate need of a shooter ride and adding a ride would make perfect business sense because this would give them the advantage of printing money year round as opposed to 1 month while bringing in a new house to HHN, thereby letting Universal have their cake and eat it too. However, I could also see this going to a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park. That way, they could add it to the various regional parks and tap into the local markets. We shall see what we see.
November 10, 2015 at 8:20 AM · A good development. A year round haunt ride is what's needed in many theme parks that hosted Halloween haunt events.
November 10, 2015 at 8:51 AM · I'll let you know when I attend next week.
November 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM · I don't understand why they just don't give it to Universal considering The Walking Dead has become a staple of HHN. The only other person who could probably do this ride justice is Disney, but there's no way they'd accept it. Alien Encounter was (supposedly) going to be based on the Alien movies with Sigourney Weaver but then Disney decided that they really shouldn't be making an attraction solely based on an R-rated horror film and removed all traces of the IP from the attraction and gave Alien a short scene in The Great Movie Ride. Plus, many Disney purists are mad that Star Wars and Avatar are getting such a huge presence in the parks, so imagine how they'd react to The Walking Dead.
November 10, 2015 at 9:49 AM · Zombies are timeless too. Even if TWD fizzles into obscurity, the ability to rebrand the ride would be extraordinarily easy to do if they play their cards right. Couldn't see why a theme park would not want to have this.
November 10, 2015 at 11:04 AM · This seems to really fit in well with Cedar Fair, especially if they could leverage the IP into their Haunts. However, CF seems very IP averse since they wiped all of the IPs from the old Paramount Parks, and are letting Intimidator expire.

Six Flags seems to be the obvious player, but the chain has already announced their 2016 additions, so it would be an odd move for them to announce something like this at IAAPA for next year or to announce 2017 additions 18 months in advance. Plus, SF seems to be really focussing on their DC and Looney Toons IPs.

Walking Dead doesn't really work as a year round attraction at any of the Sea World/Busch Gardens parks, so that's pretty unlikely.

Universal is a distinct possibility, but Orlando has already announced so much on the horizon that this would be almost overkill, especially with MIB at USF. However, USH does have space in their recently closed House of Horrors, and nothing on the horizon once WWoHP opens next year. Harry Potter will likely keep USH buzzing for 2+ years, would they really throw something of this quality so soon after a major addition to get drown by the HP wave? Of the major players, USH is the only logical option, particularly if Universal leveraged the IP for the ride with the rights for HHN attractions in the same deal (which were reportedly up this season).

Could an independent park (Herschend, Hersheypark, Kennywood, etc...) or perhaps Vegas casino be making a play here? That's where my money would be if I were a betting man.

November 10, 2015 at 11:33 AM · I would be shocked if a major park picked up this ride. I can't think of anytime in the past decade that Sally contributed to a Disney or Universal ride. I think you'll be seeing a regional chain pick this up. My money's on Six Flags. I think they understand the value of IPs more than Cedar Fair at this point.

A Vegas casino is a really interesting idea, but I also feel like they've abandoned the IP / theming industry lately. All of the casinos seem to be moving towards "generic luxury" with few (if any) family draws.

November 10, 2015 at 11:29 PM · I don't think Universal needs this, since they already do good WD mazes at Horror Nights. I already read the comic and watch the show; I don't need to experience a WD permanent attraction, too.
November 11, 2015 at 8:01 AM · " I don't think Universal needs this, since they already do good WD mazes at Horror Nights."

The HHN IP is a year over year purchase, so if they purchased the IP for a year-round attraction, it may include rights for HHN mazes that wouldn't require the annual negotiations. Universal reportedly had difficulty obtaining the rights this past year - so much so that Universal hinted that this would be Walking Dead's last appearance at HHN for a while. USH makes sense, but that's the only biggie that I think would take this.

November 11, 2015 at 10:47 AM · Hardcore HHN Orlando Universal enthusiasts were really complaining this year that they are tired of the Walking Dead. It's no longer popular among that crowd. So many yearly repeat performances may have created a situation where it outlived its effect. Lines for the WD house in Orlando were also significantly shorter than in previous years, so even the tourists may be tiring of it. I see no appetite for a Walking Dead attraction in Universal Orlando, quite the opposite in fact. Universal's expansion plate is full.Very very doubtful that a WD attraction would go in UO where expansion space is so limited and valuable.
November 11, 2015 at 8:23 PM · I doubt that six flags will bring this to their parks as they are already working with Sally to bring Justice League: Battle for Metropolis to the rest of the parks in their chain.

As for Cedar Fair, they are IP averse. Just Look at Voyage to the Iron Reef at knotts.

USH makes the most sense or Herschend.

November 14, 2015 at 12:10 PM · I am hoping Cedar Fair picks this up as I don't believe they have a shooter in any of their parks, and my home park (World's of Fun, Kansas City) is Cedar Fair owned.

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