If you are new to Comic-Con, over the years, the outside events have escalated faster than a virus outbreak. The zombie apocalypse returns to Petco Park for the 2nd Annual The Walking Dead Escape at Comic-Con on July 19 & 20. Whether you experienced it or not last year, you probably heard a fair amount of buzz about it during or after the show. Being the ground zero of the infection, many other zombie outbreaks have spread all over the nation this past year making the zombie themed events a legitimate form of entertainment. However, at $75-80 a pop, the big question you are probably asking- is this worth it with so many other options at Comic-Con? Before I answer that, let me share a little more about what you get.
The Walking Dead Escape, the officially sponsored by it’s namesake AMC show, made it’s inaugural debut last year. Overall, the post-publicity was positive and it obviously warranted a sequel for this year. unlike the two evenings of this year, last year ran Thurs-Sat all day and into the night. My guess is that they condensed it to make it a little more dense with both runners and zombies. The evening experience is a lot better anyways giving it more of a haunted house vibe. The best part will be that you won’t have to miss the main parts of Comic-Con to participate. I’ll resist sharing too many details so not to spoil it for potential victims- uh, I mean survivors. I’m sure it will be different from last year, but the original route had you fighting through 3 stories of zombie filled madness. You also had to navigate a bunch of obstacles and make it through some pretty tight spots. It is MUCH MORE exhausting than it looks. Unless you play capture the flag for a living, the constant dashing and weaving will wear you out fast! The environment, zombies, and sound effects were all well done and really made for a realistic experience. At the end, survivors and victims were all rewarded with the exclusively released #100 issue of The Walking Dead comic book. A vender was buying it on the street corner for $30-40 cash. By that night, it was on eBay for $75-100! Mine got accidentally thrown away by my brother- which I won’t digress into that story :( Overall, I would say The Walking Dead Escape IS worth it, for the following reasons:
- The scope and scale of this event is epic. It by far dwarfs anything else by comparison. If you were to do one extracurricular Comic-Con activity, this would be the one to do. It’s memorable, exhilarating, and the most different from the other events.
- This is an activity that is GREAT to do with a group of friends. You will be grinning ear-to-ear as your dodging zombies together and trying to figure out who will be the sacrificial lamb. Great bonding experience.
- Comic-Con is all about doing things outside the norm and this is definitely that. You won’t regret doing this at least once. You won’t know if you will ever be back at Comic-Con and there are no guarantees that this will either, so make the most of it.
- It last just long enough for you to get your money’s worth but not too long to demolish you for the next day. I ran a Zombie 5K Run last year that was $75 and about 30-40 mins, so about the same price.
- This has huge nerd bragging rights around the water cooler. Every person I have ever told listened with envy as I recounted my experience.
- Finally, if you have a fear of zombies- this will cure it.
I would encourage you to be generous on yourself. You’ve worked hard, endured a lot of stress, and waited patiently all year long to be here. Now is not the time to be stingy with your time and money. The only reason you would not want to do it (besides financial) is if you don’t have the stamina. Comic-Con is already a very long day so running through three flights of stairs probably won’t be your thing. If you are interested, I would encourage you to sign up soon. Once the final SDCC schedule is released, everyone will rush to solidify plans. It costs $75 to be a survivor, $80 to be a zombie, and $20 to be a spectator. I personally don’t think spectating was very interesting but for you voyeurs out there, more power to ya. If you want to see what your getting and don’t mind being a little spoiled, then check out the video below from Hyundai Undead, the official car of the zombie apocalypse. The link to register is at the bottom:
To learn more about The Walking Dead Escape or to buy a ticket, click here and follow @TWDEscape for news and updates.
Survivors, if you ran it last year and want to share your experience, leave a comment below.
Check out my past Tip of the Day posts.