Dreaded Dominions

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What’s better than escaping the rusted metal room they keep me in? Why visiting a haunted attraction of course!

20160416_154252Dell’s Zombie Outbreak is I Drive’s newest haunt. At first, when Susan told me I would be visiting a zombie attraction on I-Drive I thought it was the NYZ Apocalypse Zombie experience in the Artegon. Who knew there would be TWO Zombie shooter style attractions going up on I-Drive at roughly the same time?

Anyway, Dell’s Zombie Outbreak is a franchise originating in Wisconsin and is now a 9,400-square-foot live-action attraction on I-Drive. Their site boasts a wide assortment of weapon options at the Wisconsin facility but only a single option in Orlando. This I am chocking up to opening last week. The price in Florida is 24.99 + tax per person.

The outside facade is not as extravagant as it’s Wisconsin sibling but it suits it just fine. Inside, was a chaotic confusion of people. I was a little unclear which line I was to stand in but one of the staff members helpfully pointed out that, inadvertently, skipped about 50 people in line and graciously explained where to go. I won’t bore you with the minutia but you wait in one line to pay, sign the wavier, and then you move to the line for the actual attraction. I would highly recommend reservations if you plan to go as the reservation get precedent over those who just walk in. Overall I would say between both lines, the holding room, suiting up, and the test fire it took roughly 45 min.

Before I get into the actual experience, let me talk about the impressive weapons. The weapon I was handed was a very convincing SIG short Rifle. It had an accurate weight and feel. The gun is actual metal and and uses a CO2 canister for recoil however, it’s only “projectile” is an infrared laser. The kick is not really comparable to a real SIG but honestly I wouldn’t expect that for safety reasons. The stock adjusts to your liking and the firing options are safety, single shot, and spray (3 shots). You get 150 rounds with no reload.

20160416_152707Along with the gun, I was handed a sensor sash, a name for my gun, and a run down of the basic safety instructions. Once all 7 of my group were locked and loaded we headed into a simple test chamber to test the guns and it was off to the zombie maze. I was immediately impressed by the level of detail used in the experience. It seemed we were inside some sort of lab where things must have gone wrong. I took point and cautiously wound the hallways, shooting zombies (and props as I went). Before I knew it, I had traversed the course and was heading back to hand my gun in.

Once I handed in my gun I checked out the scoreboard. To my dismay I had killed 3 zombies but, alas, I had been bitten. Thankfully the eldritch toxins coursing through my veins make me neigh zombie proof but it kind of sucks for my fellow comrades as all but one was bit.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I can see, with a few tweaks, how it could easily be improved dramatically. The sets were pretty impressive but the halls felt a bit empty of zombies. I rationed my bullets on single shot but I probably could have wildly sprayed around the room and still not run out. The gags were on par with what I’ve seen in other commercial haunts but I expected them to be used more as a diversion for a live scare actor and it really didn’t happen. The makeup on the zombies was pretty standard quick makeup and it didn’t really need more than that. I would have love to have seen the scare actors have more energy and maybe work off each other. Really, I’m sure all these things are minor and the experience will be ironed out fairly quickly.

To be completely honest, I have no idea when I was “bit”. The way the system works is that if your proximity sensor gets too close to a zombie’s sensor it is counted as a bite. There are some areas that are very narrow and a bite is nearly inescapable. So the it is definitely a challenge to remain bite free.

But the real question everyone, I’m sure, wants to know: Is the price justifiable?

I don’t want to sound wishy washy but I think that highly depends on you. At $24.99 the price seems fairly high but if you take into account the other I-Drive attractions it is fairly comparable. For the hardcore local haunt junkie, I doubt you will find it scary but it was definitely enjoyable. I think knowing your group and really getting into the experience will up the overall enjoyment factor. Of course the icing on the cake would be to bring a haunt newbie who is petrified of zombies.

I’m glad to have had the experience and would probably do it again at some point after it has been up and running for some time. If you are into zombies, shooters, and haunts I recommend you give it a go.

Alright, play time over. Back to my prison to sit and wait. 197 days till Halloween!

As always,

Be creative and stay spooky!

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