2018 is the year of the walking dead at Thorpe Park Resort and X has been transformed into a safe zone for those who seek refuge from the zombies. Now called ‘The Walking Dead The Ride’ turned into more of an experience from the moment you enter the building from the second you leave the building to collect your bag the whole thing is none stop action.
The night started with celebrity’s and guests getting up close and personal to some roaming zombies in the dome along with dumping into UK Negan with Lucille. Some of the celebrity’s attending the event where Will Mellow (Two Pint of Lager and a packet of crisps) and Johnny Vegas to name a few. With food and drink laid on in fins bar and grill, the bar had a special drink on offer for the night called “The Apocalypse”
The new ride opened at around 8 pm to the press and we were one of the first few groups through the new attraction. As soon as you enter the queue line we noticed the words “TP Safe Zone” painted on the building along with the new watchtower theming where the old X pyramid used to stand. In and around the queue line signs saying “Welcome to the Thorpe Park safe zone” and “Keep going only thing here 4 you is trouble”. On the entrance of the watchtower are signs saying TP Safe Zone registration which sets the pre-show up nicely.
Once inside the pre-show, the building is completely unrecognizable! Briefed by someone on the TV screens above your head your time is cut short by a zombie herd approaching. Your colleague who found your group begs him to let you in even though “the questions” haven’t been answered. Running through the door ahead of your running for your life. Going through Areas in the queue line you see the lights slowly turn off behind you hearing that the zone you’ve just walked through has now been breached. The theming in the queue line and whole experience is completely different from anything we’ve seen around the park before. You would never have known X was in the building just a few months ago.
Boarding the Safe-Zone Transit system you board your train into the safe zone. Going up the lift hill you heard audio saying the power is cutting out and to hang on. We don’t want to spoil anything inside the ride but special effects such as sudden stops, smoke machines, and air cannons have been installed. The way in which the park has changed the ride cycle is genius!
As soon as the ride is finished you walk through the doors that say “Don’t Open Dead Inside” to find yourself face to face with zombies that chase you down the ram into a contaminated area where you can hear audio of people being taken down by the zombies along with red flashing lights and side rooms. The exit is seriously improved to how the exit of X and X No Way Out used to be, this new ride feels very refined and more of a complete experience.
Overall we think the retheme of X has gone down really well! The Walking Dead The Ride is a nice addition to the parks line up, the only thing we think could be improved is the pre-show and the audio levels inside the ride. At the time of writing this article, the lift hill audio is very hard to hear. (EDIT: The audio on the lift hill has now been made louder.) After speaking to management later on in the evening about the ride, they said it’s the first time that AMC has let anyone walk through the doors that say “Don’t Open Dead Inside” We’re excited to see how this ride progresses over the next few weeks and if the park adds anymore theming or changes to the ride.