Carowinds (both North and South Carolina, U.S.A.) has closed their interactive theatre Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena. The park announced the closure in a ‘last call’-video on social media, posted on 30 July. The ride operated for the remainder of the weekend, before getting closed for good.
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena was an interactive theatre, built by Alterface with multimedia by Pure Imagination. It was based on the Plants vs. Zombies series of games that got its start in 2009, developed by PopCap Games (starting from 2011 a subsidiary of Electronic Arts). In the games, the player needs to defend his home from a horde of zombies by the use of special plants that fight of the zombies.
The attraction was a special version of Alterface’s interactive theatre: it consisted of two side by side theatres. Riders were to be divided in two teams, each on its own side. The scores of each team were displayed on screen, creating a rivalry between the two teams. But this wasn’t all: riders could also use traps on the other team: “We realized that there was not a lot of interaction between the two teams, despite the score bar being in favor of one of the teams. We want to remind people that the other team still exists and to do so, we added some trap elements. It’s just some stuff so you can annoy the players of the other team for a while,” said Benjamin Walraven of Alterface in our interview about Interactive Theatres.
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena opened in 2016, replacing the former Action Theater. Together with the interactive theatre, Carowinds announced the closure of two other rides: Southern Star and Yoyo. All three rides are in the same area. Carowinds has not announced a replacement for the rides yet, but according to rumours a new theme zone called ‘Aeronautica Landing’ will replace the closed rides in 2023.