When someone talks about zombies in Florida, it’s usually in a news story that involves someone ingesting a questionable substance and then trying to eat a stranger’s face.
There was also a Zombie Alert during a power outage in the town of Lake Worth. “Power outage and zombie alert for residents of Lake Worth and Terminus. There are now well under seven thousand three hundred and eighty customers involved due to extreme zombie activity. Restoration time is uncertain,” a reported the Palm Beach Post on a page that is no longer active.
Terminus is, of course, the town from which The Walking Dead and city officials moved quickly to reassure residents that there were no real zombies.
“I want to reiterate that Lake Worth currently has no zombie activity and I apologize for the system message,” the statement read.
Now Walt Disney (SAY) – Get The Walt Disney Company Report plans to bring real (TV-like) zombies to both its Disney World resort in Florida and Disneyland in California.
Wait, Disney has zombies?
Parents of teenagers are likely familiar with Disney Channel’s “Zombies” franchise. It’s kind of supernatural “High School Musical”, with few real scares (since it’s for kids). If you’re unfamiliar, here’s how Disney describes the latest installment.
“It’s Zed and Addison’s last year at Seabrook and things are better than ever. The town has finally accepted the monsters as part of Seabrook and has become a safe haven for monsters and humans alike….. However, the city is shocked by the arrival of a new group of intergalactic outsiders – the aliens, who show up to participate in the cheering.”
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Yes, that sounds ridiculous, if you’re an adult, but it’s a pretty typical Disney franchise built around handsome football players and cheerleaders with all the zombies and aliens stuff, which makes it a new twist on this tired genre.
Zombies make way for Disney theme parks
With the imminent release of “Zombies 3,” Disney plans to bring the series’ music to its theme parks. Dubbed “Zom-Beats Bash,” the show will be coming to Disney World’s Disney Springs while the Disneyland version will be at Downtown Disney.
“Zom-Beatz Bash is a 20-minute stage show for guests of all ages. Try zombie dance moves, sing along to your favorite songs, or take a photo with a “Zombies 3″-inspired photo wall while the DJ – organized event. Come dressed up and BAMM to the sound of music!” the company said in a press release.
And while Zombies isn’t a top Disney property, this show demonstrates the company’s ability to play to every advantage.
Adults without tweens at home probably don’t know about this franchise, but the target audience who watched these films has a connection to the series. That should make them want to see the show live, giving Disney more foot traffic to its two shopping areas adjacent to the theme park.
Disney knows how to squeeze every ounce of revenue out of every character it owns. This seemingly minor move makes it clear that the company knows how to extract value not just from Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars, but also from its lesser (and far more ridiculous) properties.
“Zombies 3” premieres July 15 on Disney+ and August 12 on Disney Channel.