JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a zombie takeover!
There’s something new for the haunted house enthusiasts in Jacksonville this year.
The Battalion AirSoft Arena turned their 40,000 square foot indoor field into the city’s only interactive haunted house. The expansive facility on Dennis Street, near downtown, has a pro-shop and lounge equipped with air hockey, ping pong, video gaming stations and a café.
Haunted Jax Port is a zombie apocalypse survival scenario where zombies have taken over JAXPORT, and they need your help fighting them off.
Small groups of 4 to 6 people, armed with AirSoft rifles, are led into the indoor field with two guides. Once inside, groups make their way through the course while zombies, played by real actors, try to attack.
Tickets are $10 per person and the experience is family friendly. The course is incredibly detailed and the actors are all in.
From the moment you walk through the door into the playing field, there are surprises around almost every corner.
Around midway through, the group is led into a U.S.S. New York replica, where zombies try to ambush from below. With zombies rattling the railing and trying to climb on board, you get a real sense of panic.
Near the end, the group is pinned in tight quarters as zombies attack from all sides. The leader of the group, played by Drew Tingle, does a fantastic job keeping the intensity high and making the experience feel as real as possible.
“We’ve got a business to run, and we can’t run it with zombies, obviously,” Tingle said.
Battalion AirSoft Arena owner Christopher Webster said he created the theme in the arena to pay tribute to our port city.
"Having grown up here, I wanted a theme that would reflect our community and be a cool place for players," Webster said.
I was given a tour of the course prior to opening with the lights still on, and was told where to expect every actor, but even still, I found myself ducking for cover at times, or wildly shooting from the hip as zombie hoards attacked.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to live a real-life zombie movie, this is your spot.
Just remember zombie hunters, keep your head up and eyes open.
Click here to learn more about Battalion AirSoft Arena, as well as Haunted Jax Port hours.