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October 14, 2018

REVIEW: UNDead in the Water - Tampa Bay


Thanks to the resurgence in mainstream popularity of zombie culture, the apocalypse is a topic we're able to ponder from a sort of "fantasy" slant. After all, the rise of the undead for a human harvest couldn't really become a realistic event... right?

But, what if...

Work with me here. Even if you haven't considered your survival plan in the case of a zombie apocalypse, haven't we all had a moment to wonder where we would go and what we would do if an apocalyptic event were to unfold? Let's face it - we Floridians have emergency plans embedded in our brains thanks to hurricanes anyway, so maybe it's not a huge leap to throw the potential for flesh-eating monsters into the mix - just in case. (Right about now, you are raising an eyebrow at me, but let me profess - I actually took a course through UC Irvine: 'Survival Lessons From The Walking Dead'... it's a thing, people! But I digress...)

It just so happens - in the case of a zombie apocalypse, those lucky folks near Tampa's Channelside District have a pretty nifty escape option... the American Victory Ship!

A zombie outbreak has swept across Tampa Bay. Legions of ravenous undead are infecting and contaminating the innocent. The only way out from this battle of humanity is to escape aboard the American Victory Ship. Will you survive? 
UNdead in the Water is an interactive, seasonal attraction aboard the S/S American Victory - one of only four fully-operational WWII ships in the country. In other words, the setting, by nightfall, has an innately eerie feel to it as-is. The mock scenario of escaping a zombie apocalypse begins to feel subtlely realistic as you make your approach to the still, quiet, hulking ship - then a clang and a scream pierce the air from somewhere within the bowels of the behemoth. You make your way into a musty, dimly-lit area of the ship to be greeted by an informative video and a host to wish you well with warnings and UV flashlights as small groups (4-7 ish) are ushered into the supposed safety of the ship. Of course, zombies have already infiltrated this safe haven, and you are challenged with determining who is friend and who is foe - dodging the undead while weaving through the decks, hallways, and quarters of the massive ship in a dramatic effort to escape.

UNDead in the Water is a worthy and impressive attraction for your Halloween haunt list! The quality of the presentation is notable. There are no animatronics or automated jump-scares. It is live, interactive, and very "real" in the feels! Due to the nature of the venue, and the fact that you are not literally guided step-by-step, you even have moments of that genuine confusion of 'what do I do, and where do I go', relying on someone else in your group to point the way and rally the troops - or cover your back! 

The experience takes approximately 30 minutes. We were very happy to be paired up with a great group of three others for our adventure, and if you're haunt-experienced, you know that the party you're with can make or break the experience. If you can gather a few friends, you're more likely to avoid the risk of going through with the nuisance guests we've all encountered at one time or another. Round 'em up... they'll thank you! It's an affordable outing as well - only $13 for general admission ($10 for active military, veterans, and first responders). This is the kind of attraction that is bound to be a little different each time so it may be worth a double-header... if you dare!

For more information on UNdead in the Water, please visit undeadinthewater.com. For dates/times, and to purchase tickets: undeadinthewater.com/calendar-and-buy-tickets To learn more about the 1945 WWII American Victory Ship (which I am now VERY anxious to go check out by daylight), visit americanvictory.org.