Sally Corporation shopping a Walking Dead dark ride

Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 8:44 AM | Contributed by Jeff

At the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention in Orlando, Sally Corporation revealed plans for "The Walking Dead: Battle for Survival" ride. As of now, there is no location set yet for the ride, but the company says they are in the midst of making a deal for it to find a home in a major theme park.

Read more and see video from Entertainment Tonight.

See also: IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 photos on the CoasterBuzz Facebook page.

Friday, November 20, 2015 9:04 AM

What's it gonna be, an hours long walk thru where Rick cries every little bit, you kill a few Zombies, Darryl doesn't come out of the closrt, and people complain when at the end you find out there's just more zombies and now cannibals?

Friday, November 20, 2015 10:15 AM

Marketing this attraction should be easier than shooting dead fish in a barrel...

Friday, November 20, 2015 10:36 AM

I like this idea. I'd like to see Cedar Fair snag this, but that's probably wishful thinking. I think it would be more likely to go to a movie studio park. Wherever it goes, it will be a big draw.

Friday, November 20, 2015 11:32 AM

I saw this display down at IAAPA the other day. It's an interesting concept (coming from a non Walking Dead fan) but I've never been in love with Sally's Audioanimatronics. The zombie they had there didn't have very fluid motion. It was almost like something you'd find in a wealthy person's front yard for Halloween rather than something in a dark ride. Am I alone in this?

Friday, November 20, 2015 12:04 PM

A part of me wants to just think that's part of Sally's "thing." Like they're not shooting for Johnny Deppbot in Pirates of The Carribean, they're going for the guys in the jail in the second to last scene on purpose. More than likely, it's just a matter of cost.

Friday, November 20, 2015 2:38 PM

Yes. They move, but you're never going to think they're anything but an animated statue, so to speak.

Friday, November 20, 2015 5:00 PM

To be fair, you're not pointing guns and shooting at targets in PotC. You're *only* looking at the they need to be more realistic. With the Sally rides, you're interacting with the scenery, not just watching...

Friday, November 20, 2015 6:00 PM

So, what do you do? Aim for their brains for maximum points?

As a fan of WD, I can imagine all kinds of possibilities for a ride. Hospital, prison, Terminus, even suburban Alexandria, Va. If Sally has the rights to the name, images, characters, etc., I hope they do it right.
I think the theme actually lends itself more to live scare-actors than animatronics.

Friday, November 20, 2015 6:20 PM

Interesting that a manufacturer has the rights to this rather than the parks. If SF and Cedar Fair both buy one does the IP license extend to both?

Walking Dead is hot for sure but if I'm the type of park that buys a Sally ride I would just make a generic zombie shooter thing. Clearly Sally thinks they need IP for a dark ride concept or is this just a stunt to remind people Sally exists? So many questions.

Friday, November 20, 2015 6:33 PM

I'm a bit inclined to say the latter: a bit of a stunt.

Thinking it over, it seems an odd notion to base a ride on. Rounding up turkeys or helping defeat Zurg are one thing. Taking aim at zombified humans (I'm assuming you aim at the zombies, correct me if I'm wrong) seems like it would be a "very dark ride", as the company puts it. Maybe too dark?

Friday, November 20, 2015 7:36 PM

That was the thing that struck me as well, that the manufacturer secured the IP rights and not the customer. Weird.

Friday, November 20, 2015 9:28 PM

Lots of companies will do this, actually. It's a bit complicated, but essentially comes down to the company can produce and market an attraction, but whichever venue installs it needs to pay an annual licensing fee to the intellectual property rights holder to operate it.

Basically you pay Sally for the actual ride, then pay Fox or Warner or whoever owns Walking Dead yearly until you remove the attraction.

Saturday, November 21, 2015 2:01 AM

That part I get. I get tripped up by what park(s) would add a zombie-killing attraction.

As part of a Halloween event? No brainer. As a May - September regular line-up attraction? Not so sure. It doesn't quite fit, I think, with Kennywood or Canobie Lake. Six Flags? Maybe, but they could just go with a DC Darkest Night attraction. Cedar Fair? It just seems like -- to me -- a rough fit at Kings Island or Worlds of Fun.

Saturday, November 21, 2015 1:22 PM

Dunno bout that. I'd say scary plays well all season. And WD is hot. I think they'd line up for it at any park.

There's a big screen AMC Walking Dead slot machine and I always laugh when I see some grandma sitting there hoping for the GUTS auto wild feature while the hoard comes across the screen.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 12:13 AM

If you are saying that shooting walkers (zombies) is a "dark" thing for a park to have their guests do, I disagree. The Walking Dead is very violent, but when they are killing walkers, I laugh at the awesome kills. I do not laugh when they kill actual living human characters.

Walkers are monsters, and they are already dead. It makes the violence against them much less disturbing. It wouldn't bother my sensibilities at all to be shooting at them, especially their heads. I would find great joy in that, actually.

But if we were trying to kill characters that were alive, no sir. I'd agree that that would be too "dark."

I need to add, it's a great show. I am a huge fan. I never miss an episode. It's so popular right now that any kind of attraction featuring the show would be an instant goldmine, at least until a few years after the show is canceled.

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, November 22, 2015 12:13 AM
Sunday, November 22, 2015 4:26 PM

It's so strange to me that the subversive, zombie gore flicks of my youth have crossed over into the mainstream. I'm a huge horror fan and Dawn of the Dead was the first gross out gore flick I've ever seen and loved the sequel Day of the Dead. Both unrated because they would have received an X rating for gore, yet both are not as violent as what's shown weekly on TWD, the highest rated cable show in history.

A ride seems like a natural progression and I'm sure it will be super successful for the park. It's just so weird that water cooler talk about who got ripped open and eaten on the last TWD is like how people talked about who got thrown in the swimming pool on Melrose Place 20 years ago.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 5:54 PM

And that touches on something I was going to say earlier, but didn't.

This isn't a 'dark' theme or subversive or questionable, I don't think. The Walking Dead is downright mainstream. (seriously, a Hallmark Christmas Ornament)

I think shooting at zombies is more in tune with pop culture and modern sensibilities than 'zapping' cartoon ghosts or 'calling' turkeys or whatever silliness other interactive dark rides have you doing.

At worst, you lose the youngest end of guests as riders with the tradeoff being that everyone above that cutoff isn't rollng their eyes and might actually want to ride.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 7:12 PM

A Hallmark ornament?!? Ye gods. Okay: Lord Gonchar wins me over. If Hallmark is hawking a Christmas tree ornament, yes, WD is decidedly mainstream and deserving of being licensed to amusement parks :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2015 10:22 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

seriously, a Hallmark Christmas Ornament

"Nothing celebrates the birth of Jesus more than hanging a walker killing redneck on your tree."

Love it.


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