the walking dead roller coaster
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Credit: Thorpe Park

The Walking Dead roller coaster promises multi-sensory scares

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Aug 21, 2020, 3:13 PM EDT (Updated)

No, it’s not a Left 4 Dead level—the U.K.’s Thorpe Park announced that its new zombie-themed roller coaster would be the world’s first ride based on AMC’s The Walking Dead. You’ll pass the Alexandria Safe zone and the prison watchtower as you zoom past zombies on a quest for survival, but you won’t just see them.

Speaking with The Independent, the ride’s creative director, John Burton, said, “We have incorporated the latest in special effects, lighting, smells, and even touch elements to create a terrifyingly unique atmosphere.” Yes, this zombie coaster will feature zombie smells and undead tactility on its way to the safety of an indoor bunker. Yikes.

In fact, much of the mid-ride pausing, darkness, and the live actors trying to eat your brains isn’t even specific to this ride (well, okay, maybe that last one), but were reconfigured from the park’s previous “X:\ No Way Out” rollercoaster that opened in 1996. But fans of the show and comic have no reason to doubt its fidelity -- Burton certainly put the work in. He said he watched the entire series twice through in order to recreate the show’s setting properly.

It’ll be so intense that those under 13 won’t be allowed on. “It’s 15 out of 10 on the scare scale,” Burton said, “We are combining physical and digital effects because it is going to be dark, so we are going to make the most of that. The darkness acted as a canvas for us.”

The coaster isn’t the only walker-themed ride during the park’s “Year of The Walking Dead” campaign, as zombie hunts and an outdoor escape environment (like a haunted house but with a park full of zombies) will sate any fan’s bloodlust.

The ride opens this Easter.

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