Friday, 30 March 2018

The Walking Dead: The Ride - VIP Launch and Review *SPOILERS*

It’s Friday, the day after The Walking Dead: The Ride press launch, and I’m still feeling achey. I’m still in awe I got an invitation to go - little old enthusiast me! But I am so, so glad, and I’m my opinion, it was really worth the wait.

This IS going to contain spoilers for The Walking Dead: The Ride, so read with caution, cos if you read you’ll probably survive. There are no pictures or videos from inside the attraction though.

First of all - the Facade. Gone are the days are the booming house music (Sandstorm I’m looking at you) and here come the echoey, dark sounds of IMAScore. The watch tower is a really good touch, would love to climb up it one day and get some good shots of the park, like a coaster climb but... not on a track? The entrance is also beautiful too, yeah we can make comments about desolate theming being a ‘thing’ but when you do it that well I ain’t complaining! The bag hold is actually outside the attraction now, this way it keeps the inside a secret, which is another reason why I have no pics from inside because my pockets are small and my phone is big. The hosts are in costume, which is such a positive for me because as much as Thorpe blues are fine, doesn’t really work alongside a themed attraction.

You get batched in groups of 20 and ushered into a ‘Pre-show’ element. CCTV is shown on the screens alongside a Survivor who talks about getting you to safety - then all hell breaks loose. We’re shouted at to go through the doors quickly as Walkers have infiltrated the surrounding areas - panic arrises and I nearly slip over. Throughout the corridors that were once graced with fab neon lighting and the sound of bass, now comes blood staines walls and fake doors leading to ‘other’ places of the building, the lighting is red and my personal fav thing is the audio. Down each corridor it’s different, so when you go past it’s like the story is advancing which really gets you immersed like a proper zombie invasion. Just before you reach the boarding station, there are documents and X easter eggs EVERYWHERE. Make sure you have a good read of everything on the notice boards, and look out for funky car plates. 

Now, onto the ride. Let it be known that the track has NOT changed. I’m not too sure why people thought this initially, but no, it’s the same classic X layout, but the way they’ve used the track is so clever. As you embark up the lift hill there are warning lights everywhere and loud sirens, it’s completely chaotic and I  L O V E  it. The first section honestly wasn’t too eventful, I’m assuming some effects were turned off and tweaked during to get full ride capability on. As you zoom past corners ‘Walkers’ are lit up and sound effects play as you come across certain sections, there’s a screen which shows a survivor shooting at Walkers alongside some more mannequins clawing at the screen below you. Now comes my favourite part - the brake section. This. Bit. Shat. Me. Up. You’re halted, unlike before when you’d slowly come round the banked corner and fly off, and to your right there are screens of windows, slowly steaming up with Walker breath. A familiar voice is trying to restart the car, you jilt forwards but stall a few times whilst the ‘glass’ continues to crack, before you’re suddenly launched off into smoke and red light. Now I was screaming horrendously during this bit (check out my ride pic - lol) and just as you think it’s all over, you’re greeted by more bloody Walkers. Leave me alone!!! I hate you mannequins!!!! Satan!!! 

As you reach the exit station, the hosts tell you to leave quickly as there’s an exit to your left, as everyone fumbles out you exit into the old bag collection room. More dead walkers are lying around, the lights are flashing, I am crying 5ever, and actors bumble around scaring the living (nightmare) daylights out of everyone. I really hope they take on board the amazing feedback from the actors, I feel like without them it would’ve been very anti-climatic? It really was the cherry on top to such an amazingly themed ride, so plz, actors! There’s a section just before you leave too which resembles the 2017 Platform 15 tunnel. Rope in the eyes. Send help.

So - my thoughts. I really loved it. I never really rated X that much, and I love horror themed rides. Even if you don’t watch The Walking Dead you’d still understand what was going on, there’s enough leverage that if you’re a fan you’ll love it and if you’re not, you’d still love it. The theming is incredible - I’d love to see some more effects at the start of the ride, but overall, very scary, it made the scare actor cry. Top tip is to definitely sit on the right hand side when you first go on to get the real traumatising experience!

Speak soon,


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