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The Walking Dead will return to Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando for an unprecedented third consecutive year for Halloween Horror Nights 24. This year’s mazes will be based on the fourth season of AMC’s hit drama, based on the bestselling comics series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.
While attractions at both theme parks will send visitors fleeing from the Prison overrun by walkers into unknown territory as they seek sanctuary at Terminus, Universal Orlando will feature what’s being billed as the largest made ever created at Halloween Horror Nights. Guests there will escape to the Big Spot store, complete with crashed helicopter, the burned-down moonshine shack and the dilapidated country club before finally making their way to the End of the Line.
Responding to accusations of homophobia, and increasing media attention, Universal Studios Hollywood has canceled its Bill and Ted Halloween Horror Nights show, which featured a Man of Steel transformed into a mincing gay stereotype.
Part of the theme park’s annual Halloween event, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure was a play in which the title characters are transported to the Land of Oz filled with references to sex and popular culture. According to Vice.com, Bill and Ted are joined in their quest to kill four evil witches by Superman, who’s turned gay after being accidentally sprinkled with fairy dust.
“After becoming gay, Superman’s voice and posture changes,” writes Vice’s Jamie Lee Curtis Taete. “His lips purse, his toes point inward, and his wrists become limp. His new voice sounds like a homophobic uncle doing a drunken impression of Richard Simmons, complete with lisps and frequent use of the word ‘faaaaaaabulous!’”
The Walking Dead will return to Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” in September with new mazes inspired by the third season of the hit AMC drama.
The mazes at Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando will place visitors in the Prison — aka the West Georgia Correctional Facility — and then send them fleeing through the wilderness to the walled town of Woodbury, where even worse terrors reside.
And for the first time in the event’s 23-year history, all of the scare zones at Universal Orlando will feature a common theme, as visitors walking the streets of the park will come face to face with scenes from the television series’ first three seasons, including an overrun Atlanta and Hershel’s barn. Oh, and walkers — lots and lots of walkers.
“What’s great about working with a property like The Walking Dead is that each season presents new environments and characters for us to draw inspiration,” John Murdy, creative director for Universal Studios Hollywood, said in a statement. “With the prison as the main setting of Season 3, we seized this opportunity to recreate that very environment, down to the last detail, to be as genuine and authentic to the show as possible. Using movie-quality production value, our goal is to make guests feel as if they are mired in the world of blood-thirsty zombies, which is something you can only do at ‘Halloween Horror Nights.’”
“Halloween Horror Nights” begins Sept. 20.
Retailing | Publishers Weekly’s annual comics retailer survey yields some interesting commentary, although the sample size is small (just 10 stores): Sales are up, retailers are optimistic, and Saga is the hot book right now. Also, booksellers who underestimated the demand for Chris Ware’s Building Stories lost out to direct-market retailers who didn’t, making for some nice extra sales during the holiday season. And while readers seem to be getting tired of the Big Two and their event comics, they are more enthusiastic than ever before about creator-owned comics, and Image is doing quite well. [Publishers Weekly]
Awards | Ladies Making Comics presents the complete list of women Eisner nominees for this year, noting that women have been nominated in almost every category. [Ladies Making Comics]
Who needs the Kwik-e Mart? Universal Studios Orlando, which has announced plans for an expanded Simpsons-themed area at the park that’ll open this summer.
The World of Springfield will be anchored by the existing The Simpsons Ride, as well as new spinning ride called Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl. The area will also feature Krusty Burger, the Frying Dutchman, Lard Lad donuts, Moe’s Tavern and of course the Kwik-e Mart. They also plan to sell Duff Beer, brewed exclusively for the park. Although it isn’t mentioned in the release, the image also shows The Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop, home of Jeff Albertson, a.k.a. Comic Book Guy.
I’m usually not a big fan of simulator rides (or at least my head isn’t), but The Simpsons Ride is very well done, mostly because the ride’s story is so much fun. So this should be a welcome addition to the park.
Fans who have been hoping to see Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk in a Disney theme park ever since the entertainment giant purchased Marvel in 2009 will finally get their wish — in Hong Kong.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang announced the seven-year-old Hong Kong Disneyland will add a Marvel superheroes area as part of its expansion program. Jointly owned by the government and Disney, the resort now has six themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land.