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In today’s edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Universal Studios Hollywood announces a new Walking Dead attraction coming this summer. See concept art and a teaser trailer.
  • Pixar’s Inside Out is coming to Walt Disney World resort’s EPCOT.
  • And see some new photos from inside Shanghai Disneyland, which opens in just a few months.

Grab your FastPass and enter this e-ticket ride.

 

inside out at epcot

Disney has announced that Joy and Sadness, two of the Emotions who help guide Riley through life in the Pixar film Inside Out will be added to EPCOT’s character meet-and-greet area which also includes Baymax from Big Hero 6,

On the way to Headquarters, you’ll journey through Riley’s long-term memory, catching a glimpse of her Islands of Personality before joining Joy and Sadness at the console.

The Epcot Character Spot is located in the heart of Future World at Epcot. There were rumors when Inside Out was released that Disney Imagineering had designed an Inside Out-based attraction which would have taken guests inside the mind of Riley. The speculation claimed that the new attraction would take residence in EPCOT’s Magic Eye Theatre replacing Captain EO Tribute. However, a Disney Pixar short film festival replaced the classic Michael Jackson George Lucas 3D experience shortly after. But who knows — maybe something could still be in the works?

Today Universal Studios surprised the theme park community by announcing that a new Walking Dead attraction would be permanently added to Universal Studios Hollywood this Summer. Universal has previously featured The Walking Dead for mazes and scare zones at their annual Halloween Horror Nights. But now they are adding a new Walking Dead walk-through attraction that will feature “landscapes, special effects, props, staging, costumes and makeup.” The attraction is being called, at least for now, The Walking Dead Attraction — we can all agree that’s a horrible name right? The new attraction will probably be placed in the back half of Universal’s latest expansion space, Universal Boulevard.

You can read the press release below, but there is no clear information on what kind of attraction this will be. The concept art and promotional teaser suggests it will be a year-round maze. Universal previously has a year-round maze based on the Universal monsters called Universal’s House of Horrors. That attraction recently closed to reopen as a gift shop, so it’s interesting that the theme park is adding another seemingly man-based attraction elsewhere in the park.

Universal City, California, March 14, 2016 – Universal Studios Hollywood brings the most popular show in cable television history to life in Summer 2016 when AMC’s Golden Globe award-nominated television series, “The Walking Dead,” sets up permanent residency at The Entertainment Capital of L.A. in an all-new immersive, cutting-edge attraction.

Universal Studios Hollywood has worked collaboratively with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” for years as a signature “Halloween Horror Nights” maze. This newly enhanced venture will take the highly sought-after experience from a seasonal, limited time offering to an authentic 365 day opportunity, raising the bar for themed walk-through attractions. For a look at what to expect when the attraction opens this summer, please click here.

To further elevate the authenticity of this new attraction, Universal Studios Hollywood is partnering with “The Walking Dead’s” creative team, including visionary executive producer and director, Greg Nicotero and his special effects company, KNB Efx. Greg’s team, responsible for masterfully creating the show’s realistic decaying walkers, will construct prosthetics, utilize original molds and painstakingly apply paint and detailing to the attraction walkers. The integral involvement of the creative team will not only inspire the emotional connection fans experience, it will be among the attraction’s key distinguishing characteristics that will define it as a living version of the show.

“The Walking Dead” attraction will create a no-holds-barred experience that significantly intensifies any other iteration previously developed within the theme park. Coupled with authentic walker make-up effects, sophisticated animatronic walkers, substantially more detailed set design and costuming, and highly recognizable props replicated from the series, the attraction will deliver an uncompromised realistic environment that brings guests even further into the most watched show in cable television history.

“’The Walking Dead’ is a phenomenon that has successfully and consistently affected the psyche of viewers on a global basis, since its debut,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “We’re taking its intensity to the next level by collaborating with the show’s award-winning production team to create an authentic living representation of the series that can only be experienced at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

“We’re so grateful for our longstanding partnership with the talented team at Universal Studios Hollywood. We’ve shared a successful three-year partnership at Halloween Horror Nights and now this permanent ‘The Walking Dead’ walk- through attraction takes the relationship and the fan experience to the next level,” said Charlie Collier, President of AMC and SundanceTV. “Along with our great partners at Universal, it means a great deal to us to continue entertaining — and frightening — passionate, loyal fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ for years to come.”

The “The Walking Dead” attraction will be located within an entirely new, custom built structure, situated within an expansive building complex just inside the theme park’s main entry.

The past five years have been a remarkable time for Universal Studios Hollywood as the destination embarked on an unprecedented revitalization that has substantially altered over 75 percent of its familiar footprint to effectively characterize it as an entirely new theme park experience. The introduction of the all-new “The Walking Dead” attraction continues the theme park’s unparalleled investment in an ambitious epic transformation.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” depicts the story of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by hordes of terrifying flesh-eating walkers. It is the #1 show on television among adults 18-49 for the last four years and in its sixth season, the most highly-rated show in cable television history.

shanghai_disney_inside10

To celebrate only 100 days until Shanghai Disneyland has its grand opening, Disney Parks released new photos from within the new Chinese theme park. The image of an animatronic Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure has me most excited.

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