The Walking Dead has arrived at Thorpe Park Resort for the beginning of the 2018 season! Throughout the year the park will be holding exclusive Walking Dead events, after all this is the year of The Walking Dead. They kicked off the 2018 season by inviting us, other theme park pages and celebrities to the park on the 29th of March to try out the re-themed X, now called The Walking Dead: The Ride.
What follows is our honest review of the updated attraction, it does contain spoilers so stop reading now if you do not want to ruin the experience.
Over the past couple of years Thorpe Park Resort has been playing around with X:/ No Way Out trying to re-innovate it for the 21st century, trying to make it something more than an indoor coaster with loud music playing. They have finally settled on re-theming the coaster around the hit TV series The Walking Dead. Over the closed season of 2017-2018 they have added incredible amounts of theming outside and inside and even constructed a watch tower from the TV series. All of these added extra’s have combined to create a much more immersive experience for theme park guests who want more than just a coaster.
As soon as you enter the queue-line you don’t feel like you’re really at the park anymore, you are surrounded by high metal mesh fences with barb wire around the top. The whole queue-line makes you feel like you are actually waiting to enter the Thorpe Park Resort Safe Zone. Once you have reached the front of the queue you are taken into a room and given a pre-show, this is new for 2018 as X never used to have one. This really gets your heart racing as a video informs you that there is a power failure and the walkers have got into the building. As you walk through the indoor queue-line an overhead tannoy announcement announces of where the walkers have got to, usually just behind where you’ve been. You race through the building trying to get to the transport system that is running and ready to take you to the safe zone. All of this theming and live action gets your heart racing before you’ve even got to the coaster.
You can watch an outside overview of the attraction and the pre-show below:
The resort evidently have not changed the actual coaster inside but they have re-programmed the brake runs throughout to fit with the theming. A key part of the ride is when you’ve stopped on one of the final break runs; there are screens next to you that act like windows and all you can see is walkers trying to smash the glass and get to you. As this is going on the train keeps on jolting forwards and then back a little simulating a malfunction that can’t be fixed, an overhead announcement states that they are trying to fix the transport system to get you to safety. Just as the glass breaks and the walkers break through the train flies forward and off around the track, which is now closely surrounded by flashing lights illuminating walkers reaching for you.
After you reach the end station the experience is not over, you are urged to rush out of the building as it is filled with walkers. You burst through the exit doors and there you are met by live actors who try to intimidate you and make you run. As you run out of the building there is a pitch black part of the walk that has rope running down from the ceiling, this simulates walkers grabbing you and if you don’t know where they are it really can make you jump.
Overall this is probably the most effective use of the original X:/ No Way Out building and coaster. If it wasn’t for the unbelievable amount of theming and creative planning that has gone into the attraction then this would still be the same old, now boring, coaster.
If you want to truly experience being in The Walking Dead then The Walking Dead: The Ride at Thorpe Park Resort is for you!
We’d like to congratulate everyone who was involved with the creation of The Walking Dead: The Ride and thank the PR & Social Media Team at Thorpe Park Resort for inviting us to the Press Event! We thoroughly enjoyed the night!