SDCC 2013: I Did (NOT) Survive The Walking Dead Escape!
After completing The Walking Dead Escape at San Diego Comic Con, let me tell you what’s going to be in my zombie survival kit: Gatorade and kneepads. None of you warned me about the kneepads, so I’m going to be the first to say it. Wear kneepads to the apocalypse!
I was originally going to run the course on my own, but while I was hanging out and trying to get a feel for the course while watching an intimidating looking section, a very nice woman came up to do the same and we started up a conversation. She was alone, I was alone, and in the apocalypse, you’ve got to stick together. That’s also the reason I didn’t stop to take any pictures on the course – she was adamant about surviving! We devised an immediate plan: stay together with a small group and stay to the middle of the pack.
I huffed along behind her for most of the course.
When we made it to the first obstacle, a crawling one, we bottlenecked and that’s how I learned I crawl pretty aggressively. Nothing reminds you of how much you use your knees like bruises and trying to kneel on the convention center floor the day after the apocalypse. I looked back and realized people were jumping on top of the caging that I had crawled under – exhibit A that I am prime zombie bait.
The first time I got touched by a zombie, I was trying to climb a tented chain link fence contraption that I probably wouldn’t ever encounter during the apocalypse, but that taught me if I need to climb anything, I should just sit down and die a martyr’s death. She grabbed my ankle and I am so glad I didn’t accidentally kick her in the face out of surprise. I do know I turned around to give the zombie who full-on grabbed the back of my shirt the middle finger – because that’s how you teach those mindless geeks that they missed out on a prime meal.
Four flights of stairs, crawling, climbing, jumping and out-maneuvering the walking dead did make me feel pretty badass. I did end up running myself into a corner, with the staff shouting, “No, no, no! You can’t go that way!” that I turned around and did a full on Dukes of Hazzard, sliding over the roof of a crashed vehicle and continuing on my way – so you know, I’ve got that going for me in the apocalypse.
However, I did get touched by multiple zombies on my way through the course and even though I made it through the quarantine with an all-clear, the second wave of defense must have spotted some of the blood in my hair (I really did get fake blood in my hair somewhere along the line!) and pulled me off to the side. One by one people disappeared before me and when it was finally my turn, I accepted my fate with glee. Have you been infected? Multiple times over. For the good of humanity, I’m going to have to put you down… or something like that. Long story short, I got shot in the head.
The biggest question I got after proudly walking away with my poster, book and shot to the head was is it worth the money? I paid just under $90 to tear my way through zombie infested areas and obstacles that easily kicked my ass and I would pay another $90 to do it all over again. I might even try to do it slower next time to take in some of the ambiance. I ran right past those guys re-enacting a scene right out of The Walking Dead, where the Governor has people fight in rings of zombies, and actually said out loud, “What the hell?” It didn’t click until I saw it again later in pictures.
I had a fantastic time and I can’t wait until they bring the course back to Philadelphia to run it again in the future. It’s one of the events that absolutely cannot be missed at San Diego Comic Con and you don’t even need a badge to do it! According to The Walking Dead Escape, over 50 celebrities ran the course during the two days it was set up, and I personally saw two actors from the show – Theodus Crane and Travis Love – while I was walking to line up with my wave. With a second successful year, I’m sure we’ll see The Walking Dead Escape at San Diego Comic Con as long as the show is still running!