Inside The Walking Dead's Universal Studios "No Safe Haven" Halloween Maze
Greg Nicotero | Photo Credits: David Sprague
Do you have what it takes to survive the zombie apocalypse? Beginning on Sept. 20, visitors to Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando can test their endurance in the terrifying new Walking Dead: No Safe Haven interactive maze as a part of the theme park's annual Halloween Horror Nights festivities.
"We're placing you, the guest, in the footsteps of the human survivors on the show," says Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy. "When you go through these mazes, you don't see the human characters, you are the human characters and you're living it for real."
Based on events from the AMC drama's third season, the sense of reality begins immediately as you walk past the guard tower of the West Georgia Correctional Facility and through the prison doors, where you're greeted by hoards of walkers around every turn. "In its conception for the show, the prison was designed to be like a house of horrors," says Walking Dead executive producer, director and special effects makeup supervisor Greg Nicotero, who partnered with Murdy for the concept of this year's maze. "The deeper you get in, you start finding more and more unsettling visual imagery. And then we find more and more character and personality of the prison."
Some of last year's most iconic moments are also explored throughout the terrifying labyrinth, including the prison's boiler room where Lori met her demise, The Governor's zombie head aquarium and the helicopter wreckage where Andrea and Michonne first encountered the Woodbury crew. "We aim for the über fan that will get totally geeked out by seeing a bloody clump of Lori's hair on the floor or Michonne's sign she leaves for Merle in the forest," Murdy says. "Those are the kind of details that we really like to put into our content."
The show's actors will even get a chance to try the maze for themselves when they visit the Hollywood park for the series' fourth season premiere party in October. "I don't want to ruin it for them," Nicotero says. "I tell them, 'you guys spend all this time scaring other people, and now it's your turn!'"