Do you remember when you were a little kid and you would “play like”? Meaning, “play like you are a bad guy and you are chasing me…”, you would actually make yourself believe that your best friend was a”bad guy” and you were running for your life. Your heart would pound anxiously as you tried to escape the evil scenario that you and your buddy had cooked up. I am happy to report that you can relive some of that childhood drama for around 25 minutes of your adult life at The Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse. AZA as it is known is an immersive, interactive haunt experience. In its second year, AZA has grown not only in square footage ┬áto “100,000 square feet of terror” but it has increased its cast of trained actors and upped the story line that you become a part of. Thespians are one of the reasons that AZA is so much fun and enables you to feel like you are playing a fun but scary game.

You start the event out by being metal detected and questioned by very official looking law enforcers for the Center For Disease Development. You are warned to not touch a thing due to the recent outbreak of zombie that is highly contagious. Blood zombie and otherwise is EVERYWHERE so this becomes a challenging task and part of the fun. You quickly realize that the law enforcers who claim that they are trying to protect you are really trying to trap you into being used for their fiendish experiments. You spend the rest of your time there being led by an eclectic mix of leaders through the haunt, each time thinking you might be safe and quickly learning you are not.

When my tour started, I was a little worried that the teen age girls who were squealing at each hand that popped out and every creature that groaned would be a distraction to my enjoyment but on the contrary, they ended up being entertaining. I have never been to a haunt before where I actually had to run. On three occasions me and my posse escaped harm from running (not required but encouraged). At different times we were separately approached and personally spoken to by different leaders and zombies. This made each tour personal to each group that goes through. I was asked to lead my team down a very dark bloody hallway with zombies groping for our feet and brains. Fortunately, we made it to safety and out of the building with no visible zombie bites or contamination. WHEW!

Once we were safe, we had the option to shoot specially designated zombies with paint balls. You are instructed to aim for the head because as we all know that is the only way to kill a zombie.

You have two and a half more weeks to see how you would perform in the event of a zombie apocalypse. The tours are very well manged and run smoothly making your wait time minimal. While you are waiting, there are Palookaville treats available for purchase as well as some pretty cool t-shirts and other AZA memorabilia. AZA hours are Thurs-Sat 7:45-12:00 and Sun 7:45-11:00. AZA will run until Halloween night where it will close early.