The Walking Dead has been a staple at Halloween Horror Nights on both coasts for multiple seasons at this point, but yesterday, Universal Studios Hollywood got to unveil its new, year round Walking Dead haunted “walk through experience.” Let’s take a look inside and see what it’s all about….
The attraction, which was set to open July 4th, had its grand opening ceremony to media and press yesterday morning, June 28th.
Although not as scary as any HHN house, this attraction boasts the same details and production levels one would see in a haunted house, though not nearly as closed in and claustrophobic. The walking paths are wider than those of a haunted house and there are animatronics thrown in amongst the scareactors. The effects are great, but there is a certain lack of sensory overload that one gets while walking through a Universal haunted house, especially in terms of volume. This attraction is not nearly as loud as an HHN house. The entire walk from entrance to exit, not including queue, is about 4-6 minutes.
The guest begins their journey by walking the alley between two buildings. A helicopter has crashed into the alley above, and there are dead bodies at the far end.
You turn left and into the Harrison Memorial Hospital. Many ceiling tiles are missing and there’s blood all over the walls.
Walking further we find the iconic “DONT OPEN DEAD INSIDE” doors.
The way the queue is decorated is very similar to Walkind Dead houses we have seen in previous HHN years, with basically garbage everywhere to imply choas and armageddon.
The actual “walk” begins in the neurology wing of the hospital.
The first scare is right ahead, behind a closed door of what looks like some kind of office with dead bodies in body bags blocking the door from opening.
You then exit the hospital to an outdoor area and see the infamous torso zombie from the show’s first season in animatronic form.
This zombie character is actually a distraction for the scareactor on the opposite end of the scene.
You then turn left and see a burning building. It’s hard to tell what purpose the building serves as it is engulfed in flames, but it looks like a house of sorts.
Walking further still, we are greeted by a stone building facade.
A scareactor is hiding in the facade to deliver an additional scare
He’s wearing a prison guard/riot outfit.
We then enter the next scene, which takes place in the West Georgia Correctional Facility.
This scene utilitizes silhouette effects.
A prison guard is perched atop the second floor and shooting an automatic weapon at the zombies below.
Additional silhouette effects show what is happening in the jail cells above.
Meanwhile, the zombie below tries to grab your delicious flesh.
You than exit the prison into what seems like an alleyway.
Next is the truck trailer scene from the show. There is a man with an automatic weapon standing atop one of the trailers shooting at the zombie on the other side of the scene.
The trucks do have zombies in them, but they are animatronic.
The most noteworthy animatronics of the attraction are those seen below. Zombie torsos suspended by ropes that chattered and bit their jaws and swing violently as they attempted to eat us. Silly zombies, you can’t move from your restraints!
Onward was the last scene of the attraction, which was very similar to the end of the HHN 24 house which featured zombies behind chain link fences and relentless strobe lights.
The above effect is also similar to the effects most recently used in HHN 25’s Jason vs. Freddy house which utilized screens to display what couldn’t be portrayed by actors. In this case, a large quantity or zombies. Much more cost effective than stuffing a bunch of actors in a small room.
The exit of the attraction is rather anti climatic as you simply exit into the sun and back into Universal Studio’s Hollywood.
Overall, the attraction bears some resemblance to the haunted houses we are familiar with, while also standing alone as its own new style of attraction. Although not as scary as a HHN house, there is definitely potential for fright. The walkways are much wider, to give the guest less of a sense of being closed in and everything happening right in their face. There are definitely things in there that will not be seen in houses (at least not this season) such as animatronics and elaborate lighting effects (the burning house really looks like it’s on fire!)
What do you think about the new attraction? Are you excited to check it out? Let us know!