Zombies, zombies everywhere, and not a place to be safe. That’s right, there are zombies in the theater, on our TV, in our books and comics, where then can we be safe? Well, if you want to hid from them, perhaps you should stay home, however, if like many of us, you want to not only see more zombies, but actually participate in an interactive experience right down in the muck of it all, then you’ll want to head up to the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, CT on Saturday June 28 where you will be able to participate in a live Zombie crawl. That’s right it is an official zombie obstacle course of The Walking Dead where you can climb, crawl, hide, and slide your way through the evac zone in order to reach the Green Zone and if you then are able to clear quarantine testing you will be safe or, if not, then you will join the shuffling undead. This then is The Walking Dead Escape Tour 2014.
On Saturday, June 28 from 6:00 P.M. ‘til the wee hours of the morning Zombiephiles are encouraged to head to the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, CT where they will get to participate (either as a walker — one infected with the virus — or a runner — someone attempting to survive and make it to safety) in a al live Walking Dead Escape event. According to the event’s website there are participation levels for all comers:
Survivors who can attempt to navigate the 35-50 minute course and avoid the undead.
Walkers that are part of the undead horde and can stalk the course for 1.5 hours as an official Escape Walker. Walkers will receive professional make-up as well as Walker training.
VIPs, yes there is of course a VIP package which includes the option to run course twice — once as a Survivor and then a second time as Walker.
Afraid that participating in the event will give you PTSD? Well, you can also show up and be a
Spectator. You’ll receive full access to all spectator areas throughout the course.
Finally, everyone (Survivors, Walkers, VIPs, and Spectators) will have the opportunity to relax afterwards in a special FanFest event where there will be food and drink (for purchase), as well as music, Walking Dead merchandise for purchase, and the opportunity to get yourself photographed with Walkers or other survivors. Anyone who purchases the VIP package will also receive a special edition Walking Dead comicbook and have access to a special VIP-only lounge plus have exclusive behind the scenes access to the event.
We are told that The Walking Dead Escape is not a race, and no one is actually timed while moving through the course (which should take 35–50 minutes for Survivors and an hour-and-a-half for Walkers). Participants are not required to run; however, they should be pre-warned that the slow-moving among the Survivors, usually don’t, well, survive. Participants should be prepared to climb, crawl, and slide. The Evacuation Route for the event will feature numerous obstacles to go over, under and around. Hence, depending on the Walkers encountered, Survivors may need to move briskly or lightly jog in an effort to avoid infection. Survivors are further advised if they cannot complete an obstacle, they can still complete the course, as it’s been specifically designed for participants with a wide range of abilities plus each obstacle includes an “easier route” for participants with limited physical abilities.
The General Rules for Participants are fairly simple in that everyone should bring photo ID to the event. Participants under age 16 need their parent or guardian’s expressed written permission. Participants must be at least 14 years of age on the date of the event. Absolutely no weapons (real or otherwise) are allowed. Costumes are not only allowed but encouraged. Participants are also encouraged to wear sensible footwear (closed-toed shoes/sneakers are strongly suggested), as well as sensible clothing (don’t wear anything that might be a problem to you if it gets dirty, bloody, etc.). No handheld devices (cameras, video cameras, water bottles, etc.) are allowed on the course with the exception of wearable cameras i.e.; Go-pros.
Survivors must make it to the Evacuation Zone without any contact with Walkers. If someone comes into contact with a Walker during the course, they will still be able to complete the course in its entirety. There will be “Government Scientists” at the end of the course who will be waiting to perform a confidential scan on everyone in order to determine whether or not they have been infected by the virus. Survivors are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to their start time, while Walkers need to arrive 2 hours prior to their registered start time. Everyone participating in the event is required to sign a waiver before participating in The Walking Dead Escape. You may print out a waiver and bring it with you to the event or they will be available on site during registration.
The Walking Dead Escape, event is a fully-immersive zombie run experience. It was initially launched in 2012 at San Diego Comic-Con by Skybound. The event is currently on a 2014 spring tour that will visit several cities across the U.S. For more information, visit either Skybound or The Walking Dead. The current event at the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, CT occurs on Saturday June 28 beginning at 6:00 p.m. and runs ‘til Midnight.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.