What began as a simple invasion in 2012, and turned into a five-year occupation, is finally over. “The Walking Dead” will not be returning to Halloween Horror Nights this year.
The announcement of “The Horrors of Blum House” (the final intellectual property-inspired haunt for this year) sealed their fate – Walkers will not be among them for Universal’s epic eight-week Halloween event.
Universal Orlando also revealed the remainder of their lineup today, which includes four original haunted houses – and nothing from “The Walking Dead.”
The popular AMC horror series first found foothold in the Horror Nights in 2012 as one of the events featured attractions. Walkers appeared at Halloween Horror Nights at both Universal Studios Hollywood and at Universal Studios Orlando.
2013 saw the fear franchise expand, in Orlando, as hordes of walkers roamed the entire park. AMC’s show dominated the scare zones, including a life size recreation of Hershel’s barn, though the repetitive eruption of the series theme music over and over during the night was probably much bigger fright. Along with the roaming undead walkers, a large recreation of the West Georgia Correctional Facility was constructed for Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights.
Walkers maintained their maze mania returning for three more years (2014, 2015, and 2016) as featured franchise for Halloween Horror nights.
For the final invasion of “the Walking Dead,” in 2016, Horror Nights featured a macabre mixture of several scenes from the series to offer a gruesome “best of” maze.
The five-year engagement of “The Walking Dead” as part of Horror Nights sets the record for a recurring haunt and as an intellectual property (IP) presence for the event.
We know now that “The Walking Dead” will not be returning to Halloween Horror Nights (in Orlando) as all of the IP inspired haunts have been announced.
Technically the franchise is not returning to Hollywood as a new maze as well, though the “Walking Dead” attraction is still featured as part of that park’s Horror Nights event…
Delighted the dead are done at HHN? Many felt the repeated return of the same IP over several years was a weak spot for the annual Halloween event. Reviews of the 2016 incarnation hinted that the franchise’s draw was tired and interest was evaporating.
One possible explanation for the IP’s exclusion from Horror Nights might have to do with the show’s permanent attraction in Hollywood. But it is also possible that Walkers are simply not as popular as they once were.
The show saw a ratings decline (20%) this year over past years.
The nearly 90-minute “The First Day Of The Rest of Your Life” episode of The Walking Dead on April 2 snagged 11.3 million total viewers and 7.1 million among adults 18-49 for a 5.9 rating. While up 7% in total audience over its March 26 show and rising 10% in the key demo, the finale directed by executive Greg Nicotero dropped 20% in viewers and 14% in 18-49s from the Season 6 finale of April 3, 2016 – which saw double-digit declines from TWD’s all-time final high of Season 5” – Dread Central
Will you miss having the walkers and scenes from AMC’s “the Walking Dead” as part of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights? What were your favorite featured scenes over the past five years? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
For those who WILL miss hearing the show’s familiar theme music at Universal Studios this Halloween, Inside the Magic has your back. We’ve managed to unearth a full 10+ hours to allow fans to relive a full night of the 2012 Horror Nights emergence of “The Walking Dead.”
Be sure to stay tuned to ITM for complete coverage of Halloween Horror Nights at both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Source: Dread Central (season 7 “Walking Dead” ratings)