The Season 9 midseason finale of The Walking Dead was an excellent episode and perhaps one of the best finales in the history of the show. Although many viewers have dropped out after the last two bad seasons, The Walking Dead is back with a gripping and frightening story-line. With Rick Grimes’ departure and a six-year time jump, season 9 offers the fans a refreshing and a new beginning for the series. The communities are now separated, new characters have been introduced, and the Whisperers are finally here. For many of the comic book fans, the Whisperers are the most terrifying group of villains in the popular post-apocalyptic series.
Since 2010, The Walking Dead has been mostly filmed in Georgia. The first season was mainly filmed in Atlanta but all the production for the following seasons was moved to Riverwood Studios, purchased by AMC on July 2017. Located just outside of Senoia, Ga., Riverwood Studios is now open to all The Walking Dead devoted fans. The Walking Dead Studio Tour will take you to the series’ most iconic sets and additional sites for an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience. Some of the scenes were shot outside of the studios. The charming Downtown Senoia was once Woodbury and Alexandria is located in a peaceful neighborhood not far from this location. Minutes away from the studios, Rick’s final walk and other memorable scenes were filmed on the countryside roads of Coweta County.
If you are a fan of The Walking Dead, this tour will be a lifetime experience for you.
The Walking Dead Studio Tour and the Spoilers
The studio tours are offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until March 31, 2019. You can purchase your tickets online at The Walking Dead Studio Tour official website . The $65 tour ($45 for children between 8 and 11 years old) will offer you a 95-minute bus tour inside Riverwood Studios, a 25-minute bus tour of Alexandria and Woodbury, and a very cool security badge you get to keep. Buy your tickets asap because several upcoming tours are already sold out.
The Heaps – Your journey will start here and you will never be this excited for seeing a pile of trash. Call them what you want – Heapsters, Scavengers or Garbage People, the group was briefly seen in the comics but they played a major role in Grimes’ story line in the TV show. The set of The Heaps is quite stunning for a dumpster and you will be able see the arena where the iconic spiked zombie, Winslow, fought to have a piece of Rick Grimes *yum*.
Walker-Infested Pond – Navigating a walker-infested pond is not an easy task so we are happy to see it from a distance and appreciate the dead-bodies-floating view. Back in season 7, Rick and Aaron managed to cross this pond and encounter a boat filled with guns and assorted supplies. According to Andrew Lincoln, the walker-infested pond scenes were difficult to film but it was the most fun he had all season.
Hilltop – The 4-acre fortress is the most breathtaking site of the entire tour. The enormous mansion towers over the stables, the blacksmith forge, the water tower, gardens, and the fields of crops outside its walls. You will be able to visit the inside of the colony, giving you the chance to see parts of the set that will be featured in upcoming episodes. No photography allowed here – surprise?
Oceanside – Where is the female tribe of survivors? Season 9 has not seen any activity from the beach side community but I believe we are not quite done with Oceanside. No photography is allowed at this location and the set felt pretty much “alive”. If you’re lucky, you will find cool props in this location.
Sanctuary – “Those who arrive, survive.” The Sanctuary was once the home base for the cult-like community led by Negan, the longest-running villain in TWD’s comic book series. The property itself is a large factory surrounded by a fence, and just like the Saviors, the distressed location represents a group that survives from extorting, threatening, and terrorizing the surrounding communities. The Sanctuary is another stunning location that you will love to see in firsthand.
Woodbury – Charming and charismatic, the Governor and the town of Woodbury, Ga., were introduced to the show back in 2012. The bus tour will drive through Downtown Senoia, Ga., where most of the filming for Season 3 and Season 4 took place.
Alexandria – This is the longest lasting location survivors have lived in. Although Alexandria is portrayed to be a small town in Virginia and only six miles from Washington, D.C., the safe zone is less than a mile away from Woodbury. The community is an actual development known as Gin Property in Senoia, Ga., where people do live in some of the houses. Local homeowners have learned to coexist with the inconveniences of living within a live set but it also has its perks. Alexandria’s surrounding wall is perhaps the most iconic structure of the site but you will have access to other well-known locations within the set.
We took the rest of the day to do some exploration of our own. The Walking Dead Locations website, gave us easy directions to find nearby filming locations outside the studios. Many of the surrounding roads and locations are low-traffic so you can safely pull over to enjoy the view and look at the flowers.
- Crook Road Scenes: Andrea & Shane Hook Up (Season 2); Daryl and Carol Travel To Atlanta (Season 5); Michonne Passes Burnt Mattresses (Season 7); Ambush On Savior’s Convoy (Season 8); Saviors Followed By Walker Herd (Season 8); Maggie and Kal Savior Roadblock / Maggie and Daryl Walk To See Negan (Season 9)
- Chestlehurst Road Scenes: Merle Dixon Drinking Whiskey With Zombies (Season 3)
We also returned to Senoia to visit local shops and restaurants. At The Woodbury Shoppe you can find unique TWD memorabilia, and have free access to The Official Walking Dead Museum located underneath the store. Prison cells, Daryl’s motorcycle, and the Governor’s torture chair are some of the show’s props currently on display and the walls are covered with actors’ autographs. The museum also offers photo ops and you might find a look-alike Abraham Ford!
Whether you are a fan of show or not, end your day at Nic & Norman’s, a restaurant owned by The Walking Dead special-effects creator, Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus. The exposed brick walls and vintage bar area gives this eatery a unique design and an inviting ambience. Gourmet burgers, flatbreads, and other simple dishes are locally sourced and prepared with non-GMO ingredients. Nic & Norman’s is a family-friendly restaurant that delivers good food and good service.