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FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: SURVIVAL

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425 Fremont Street #150

Las Vegas, NV 89101

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$30

Sun-Thu 1pm-1am

Fri-Sat 1pm-2am

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AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A mixture of a haunted house maze, escape room, and 3-D simulator ride all themed to AMC's TV show "Fear the Walking Dead."

Where is it?

On the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas.

Is it worth the cost?

It's a lot of fun and very well done so yes.

What else do I need to know?

The faint of heart - or stomach - should probably not apply.

What's the bottom line?

Zombies in Vegas aren't just the people sitting in front of slot machines anymore.

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REVIEW

Usually when you think zombies in Las Vegas you think of the dead-eyed people sitting at slot machines at 3am, mechanically hitting the little button to make the reels spin over and over and over.

But now, zombies of the undead variety have taken over Vegas in a big way with Fear the Walking Dead: Survival, an interactive attraction in Downtown Las Vegas themed to the hit AMC TV show "Fear the Walking Dead."

It is located right next to the launch platform of SlotZilla, just across from Neonopolis, and shares part of the room where you buy tickets for the zip lines.

The concept of the attraction goes like this: you and others in your group are walking into a school that has been taken over by the military, seeking shelter from the viral outbreak happening in the world that seems to making dead people come back to life with a penchant for chewing on human flesh. There are actors that guide you through the first part of the attraction, which sets up the story as they bark a lot of orders at you and run you through some "intake" procedures to determine how much of a risk you are. I don't want to ruin any surprises but there are some high-tech gizmos and some pretty realistic animatronics at work here that set the mood well.

The last step of the intake process is to put you into an "observation" room where they can make sure you aren't infected with the virus. This is when things go spectacularly wrong as they often do in "The Walking Dead" world. You are trapped and it is up to your team to figure out how to get out by solving a series of escape-room type puzzles. None of them are particularly hard but with all of the background atmosphere (think screaming and gunshots) it's easy to get flustered as some of the folks on my group were.

Once you get out of the room you are told that you need to get to the helicopter waiting on the roof to take you to safety so you have to navigate your way through a haunted-house style maze that involves lots of gory tableaus using animatronics, scary lights and sounds, and people jumping out and going "boo" (or the zombie version of "boo"). My reaction to this part was the same as I always have when I do haunted houses - a smile and a shrug. I don't know why but they don't really scare me other than a bit of a jump when something unexpected happens. But the other people in my group were completely freaked out - as in running, screaming, and on the verge of tears freaked out. There was one part - again I won't ruin the surprise - where all four of the people in my group refused to go any further. They stopped and there were lots of "huh-uh," "hell no," and "no f-ing way" type of comments until I said, "Okay, I'll go first and you guys follow."

The maze leads to an elevator that has some special effects tricks up its sleeve and then you are guided into a 3-D motion simulator type ride that takes you on a simulated ride via truck, helicopter, and other conveyances through a zombie infested hellscape as you try to make it to safety. It's interactive too, in that each seat in the ride has a gun that you can point at the screen and shoot zombies with. The graphics are typically cartoonish like most other 3-D rides but it is very well done and quite intense. I always get motion sick on these types of rides so I spent most of it with my head down not looking at the screen but when I did glance up I was impressed with what I saw. And again there was quite a bit of screaming from the other folks in my group.

Once that is done you are guided into the inevitable gift show where you can pick up FTWD and TWD merchandise, some of which is exclusive to this retail outlet.

The entire thing takes about twenty minutes, but seems a lot longer and is so well done that it makes the high cost seem worth it. If you're looking for a good scare over something other than the parking fees in Vegas, come battle some zombies in Downtown.

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