Winner: Morgan Anderson
Happy Halloween and Happy 5th Birthday to my littlest zombie!
Welcome to Zombie Blog Crawl 2015!!!
This is the second year Band of Dystopian has put together a Zombie Blog Crawl for Halloween, and the second year I’ve participated. You can see my post from 2014 HERE. After you look through this post, be sure to scroll down and check out the links to all the other blogs participating in the Zombie Crawl, and enter the giveaways! (Be sure to check out my giveaway at the end of this post.)
This year I was lucky enough to get a short break from life by taking my second ever Momcation with my best friend Erin. Lucky for me, she just moved to Peachtree City, GA, which isn’t too far from where they film The Walking Dead. Pretty cool, right? While visiting Erin I was able to visit Senoia, GA (AKA Woodbury), take a tour with Atlanta Movie Tours, and do a drive-by of a couple other filming sights not included in the tour. Ready to see some pictures?? I’m more than ready to show off all the amazing sights and share a little insight I gained about the filming industry in the Atlanta area.
Did you know they film a ton of movies in and around Atlanta?? They do! It isn’t just The Walking Dead. My first day there, Erin and I headed into downtown Senoia (Which also happens to be downtown Woodbury).
The town itself is cute and welcoming, and a great place to spend some time if you’re visiting the area, but it also happens to be the filming sight of dozens of movies and television shows. Little plaques have been placed in the sidewalks with the name and dates of each production filmed in the area. Remember this tear-jerker from the 90’s?
Downtown Senoia is also the home of The Official Walking Dead Store
and The Walking Dead Cafe!
There’s even a little museum downstair that has some pretty awesome props from the show!
You might recognize these doors from the very first episode of The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye
Remember when the Governor captured Andrea in Season three?
Here’s the chair she was tied to:
The motorcycle Daryl Dixon rode during the first few seasons:
A zombie on loan from Executive Producer Greg Nicotero:
The downtown of Senoia is only a little bit more cheery than it was the first day Michonne and Andrea were brought in by Merle. The town’s main street is also main street Woodbury, which is pretty amazing to walk down. The woman working in the fudge shop told me the front windows of all businesses were covered during filming, and customers used back entrances to gain access to the stores. If you rewatch episodes shot in “Woodbury” you’ll notice it this time around.
Back when Woodbury existed, both ends of this street were blocked off, but now all you have to do is walk to the end of the road and the walled city of Alexandria, VA looms in front of you.
I made the trip to Senoia twice while on vacation, but unfortunately they weren’t filming in Alexandria on either occasion.
Visitors are allowed to take pictures and walk by the set, but there is always a security guard on duty (That’s who’s in the white SUV pictured below). When we took the tour, our guide told us they’ve shot down several drones that people have tried to fly over the set, and they’ve even had to shoot a couple people who tried to climb the walls with tasers. One woman tried to get her young child to gain access to the set by having him/her crawl through the drainpipe. Security was waiting on the other end and the woman was immediately arrested.
They take the privacy of the set and filming very seriously, and you should too.
We did walk down the street and take a few pictures, but the security guard wasn’t messing around, and even though I didn’t step off the street I was told one time that I was too close and I needed to back up.
Below are a few different shots of the walls. These are REAL houses! We were told during our tour that a few people actually live on the set (they have to show ID to get home and sign any guests in). Some of these houses were already built when filming started, but others (the brownstones, which are common in a suburb of DC) were built exclusively for the show.
This is a burned building just inside the walls of Alexandria, which we just saw in last week’s devastating episode. When I was there (in late August) our tour guide pointed the building out and told us it used to be a church and just a few weeks before it had been burned down. We now know why…
Excuse me while I dry my eyes.
First up is the house Rick and Carl hid in after leaving the prison (Season 4, episodes 9 & 11). You might remember it as the “Claimed” house because it’s where Rick first encountered Joe and his men – don’t worry, they get what they deserve.
The second is the infamous pudding house. Yes, Carl (Chandler Riggs) sat on the roof of this very house and ate pudding until he wanted to throw up. If you’re interested, they sell giant cans of pudding at The Walking Dead Cafe in downtown Senoia. If I hadn’t been flying, I would have bought one to take home to my kids. Maybe next time.
(This picture I had to snap through the tour bus window. More on that later.)
There’s plenty to see in Senoia, but a lot of the locations are things like “This is the alley where Andrea and Milton conspired against the governor,” or “They shot a scene of the group walking down these train tracks.”
Still, it’s pretty cool being in a town that so readily embraces zombie enthusiasts.
(You can even buy a zombie charm at the local jewelry store.)
If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Senoia, be sure to have lunch in Katie Lou’s Cafe. We did twice, and the brisket sandwich was great.
Plus they serve wine all day long. #win
My second day in Georgia we headed to Newnan to do a little shopping and grab some lunch. I swung by Let Them Eat Toffee for a delicious vacation treat, and we ate at Fabiano’s Pizzeria. It’s a funky and fun place, and the attached theater had a sign up saying that they were going to host a Walking Dead premiere event. If my husband and I lived in the area, we would have been there for sure.
And yes, Fabiano’s had wine. I ordered a glass of the Sassy Bitch Cabernet.
It wasn’t until we got home later that night and sat down with another glass of wine (we like wine) to watch Zombieland that we realized where we had just been. A pretty awesome scene from this movie was filmed right where we had walked only a few hours earlier. Here’s a clip from Zombieland that shows downtown Newnan, GA (the apocalypse version anyway).
Before leaving Newnan we took a quick detour so I could check out the hospital Beth was held in. Now closed, the hospital sits pretty much in the middle of nowhere and the gate only prevents people from driving up to it. You can get pretty close by walking through the grass, and if Erin’s two kids hadn’t been asleep in the van, I would have spent some time walking around the empty building so I could take a few more pictures.
Erin was also nice enough to drive me to this neighborhood in Peachtree City so I could check out Noah’s house! This is where the group headed after Beth’s death, and where Tyrese ends up getting bitten.
Other Filming Locations
In Grantville, GA you can find the Cafe Michonne and Carl went to in the season three episode “Clear.” If you remember correctly, you’ll recall that Carl came here looking for a picture of Lori so Judith would know what her mom looked like.
Too bad there wasn’t a picture of Shane too…
Sharps burg, GA gives us the bar Hershel ran to so he could get drunk after the infamous barn incident. (Once again the picture is taken through the window of the tour bus, so it’s a little out of focus.)
And just across the street is the pharmacy Glenn (sob) and Maggie first got busy in…
We also had the chance to drive by the motel Merle dragged Michonne to after he decided to turn her into the Governor. (There happened to be a splatter of blood left behind on the wall.)
You might have noticed that a few of these locations were not part of the tour, but places we just decided to drive by on our own. So how did I find them?
Easy. I bought this handy book in The Walking Dead Store:
Just to prepare you, this book wasn’t cheap ($30) but it lists most filming locations. (Some private residences, like Hershel’s farm, are not included because the families have not given their permission.) Owning this book enables fans to drive by these locations instead of paying for a guided tour, which is a great alternative for anyone on a budget. The tour was fun, but it also wasn’t cheap ($65 a person, including kids), and most of it was spent driving by the filming locations. So why pay for the tour? Going with the Atlanta Movie Tours allowed us to go INSIDE three buildings the average person can’t access. Which was really cool.
The Zombie Arena
Featured in several episodes, you’ll recognize the Governor’s work right away. Merle and Daryl were almost forced to fight to the death here, and as part of the tour you get an exclusive look at the inside.
Here’s a picture of my best friend, Erin, and me in the arena. She isn’t a Walking Dead fan (we’re working through this situation), but she tagged along because she knows how much I love the show.
(BTW: the crates behind us were the ones that held the zombies in between fights.)
Remember when Rick found Morgan and he had gone totally crazy? (A different kind of crazy than he is now.) Yup, we got to go inside his apartment.
The Barn where Rick and the Governor Met
Then there was that time Andrea thought the Governor could be rational. All he and Rick had to do was sit down and have a little chat and everything would turn out okay… (That was before the Governor tied Andrea to a chair and let Milton eat her.) We got to go inside the barn….
While here, though, all I could think about was this bad lip-reading video.
It always makes me laugh.
Below is a picture of our tour guide inside the barn. He’s been an extra on The Walking Dead a lot, and he had a good amount of info to share, especially about the filming in Woodbury and the prison. (And he gave some hints about how to become an extra.) Our guide was an extra as a part of the Governor’s army when they attacked the prison. (If you watch the episode where they’re handing out weapons, he’s wearing a hat.) This is another bonus you get from going with Atlanta Movie Tours: all the tour guides have been extras on the show.
Right across the street from the barn are a few other places you’ll recognize.
This old feed mill is featured in the opening credits the first few seasons…
While Rick and the Governor were inside the barn “negotiating,” Daryl and Martinez had a pissing contest here….
In case you’re wondering, Daryl won.
And here’s where Merle tried to ambush the Governor’s men,
and where Daryl found him after he’d turned. #tear
So, which was better? Driving around by ourselves or taking the guided tour?
I’m glad I got to go on the tour once, but next time I think we’ll just use our little book and find places on our own. While $65 wasn’t bad when it was just Erin and me, I have four kids…that can get pretty pricey. And they all like The Walking Dead, so leaving them behind isn’t an option. (They were actually pretty mad that I went without them this time.) We hope to go back to Peachtree City as a family next spring, and when we do we’ll definitely be using my handy Locations book to check out even more filming locations!
And that was the zombie portion of Momcation 2015! If you’re a fan of my contemporary romance novels and you want to check out the Charleston portion of my trip, you can find that post HERE.
***Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Not only can you win a DVD of Zombieland and the first season of The Walking Dead, but you’ll also get book one in my Amazon best-selling zombie series, Broken World. (Signed by me, of course.) In addition to that, you get: a Broken World mug, pen and magnet, and a very special pair of Glenn Rhee socks to keep your feet toasty through the long winter ahead.***
I know what you’re thinking: How do I enter!?
You can like my Facebook author page, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram, but that isn’t necessary to enter or win the prize. This giveaway is open to residents of the US & Canada, and all you have to do is click on THIS link and fill out the form. I’ll choose the winner on November 2nd and shoot you an email (I’ll also announce it on my FB page)!
Before you leave, be sure to check out all the other posts included in the Zombie Crawl and enter all the other great giveaways!
Zombie Crawl 2 – Blog Party
October 22 – 31, 2015
How it works: Each day, the scheduled authors and bloggers will post awesome zombie-tastic content for your enjoyment along with a giveaway on their site/blog/page. You can hop around to all of the participating sites and enter as many giveaways as you like! If you would like to be emailed links to the new posts each day, join this Zombie Crawl Daily Digest list which will ensure you don’t miss a post (or join the party on Facebook to get notifications). Make sure to leave comments and interact with the participating sites. Thanks for joining the party!
OCTOBER 22 – Thursday
Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans (Party & Grand Prize Host)
Jo Michaels Blog (author)
OCTOBER 23 – Friday
Claire C. Riley (author)
2 Girls & A Book (blog)
Emily Shore (author)
OCTOBER 24 – Saturday
Kathy Dinisi (author)
Us Girls & A Book (blog)
The Voluptuous Book Diva (blog 18+)
OCTOBER 25 – Sunday
Casey L. Bond (author)
THE KATY blog (blog)
OCTOBER 26 – Monday
Saul Tanpepper (author)
Warren Fielding (author)
The Leighgendarium (blog)
OCTOBER 27 – Tuesday
Kody Boye (author)
Rhiannon Frater (author)
ER Arroyo (author)
OCTOBER 28 – Wednesday
Allen Gamboa (author)
Armand Rosamilia (author)
OCTOBER 29 – Thursday
Kate L. Mary (author)
Eli Constant (author)
OCTOBER 30 – Friday
Aria Michaels (author)
Brian Parker (author)
Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps (blog)
OCTOBER 31 – Saturday
Cindy Carroll (author)
M. R. Pritchard (author)
Toni L.H. Boughton (author)
Digital Dirty Girl (blog)