This year marks the second year I’ve covered the Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta, and let me tell you, each year only gets better.
My best friend flew in this year and we went together, which only added to the experience because we’re both huge Walking Dead fans.
Being able to see the effort people put into their costumes and cosplay is inspiring, and the artists have an amazing variety of works available for purchase.
The best part of the convention, of course, is being able to meet these amazing actors that bring this iconic show to life.
Now, there are two ways to get photo ops with the actors. The first way is through purchasing professional photo ops through Celebrity Photo Op, and they are great at what they do. My friend and I split group photos and bought some with Danai Guirira, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, and Sarah Wayne Callies. The lines for these photos are huge, but once they start moving, move quickly. I think one line I was in went through about 300 people in 20 minutes. I was curious, so I timed it.
The second way to get photos with the actors is through the booths the day of. You will have the opportunity to buy selfies, autographs, or combos with the actors, which are much cheaper then the photo ops and you get more time with the actors. If you want a big actor, like Jeffrey or Norman, the line will still be huge. However, I had selfies and autos taken with Tom Payne, Lennie James, Michael Cudlitz, Christian Serratos, and David Morrissey and I think I was only in line for about 10-15 minutes for each of those at most. I definitely recommend selfies as opposed to the professional photos, but you can also do a combo where you get a professional photo but get autographs from the celebrity later. It just depends on their schedule as well as yours, so be sure to take that into consideration.
There’s more to the convention then just meeting celebrities.
Though that’s a major part of it, there’s also costume contests, Halloween balls, charity events, etc. There’s a little something for everyone here. The artists are so creative and have everything from drawings, dolls, fragrances, swords, bobble heads, even tattoo artists are on site. Make sure you leave plenty of time to look around and pick up a souvenir or two.
The staff is excellent and happy to help with any needs you might have,
whether it’s medical or just asking questions. There’s always some confusion in events as large as this, (I think I saw that on Facebook alone, over 38,000 people had checked in). If they don’t know the answer themselves, they’ll find someone who does and make sure you get taken care of. The guests are the number one concern for the staff and they want to make sure everyone leaves as happy as possible.
A side trip that’s not specifically involving the convention is a trip to Senoia,
Where they shot the town of Woodbury, and are still filming the Alexandria scenes currently. It’s about an hour’s drive from Atlanta, off of I85, but a must see if you’re a true Walking Dead fan. You’ll be able to recognize many iconic places, such as the Governor’s office and the arms location. I booked a tour through Atlanta Movie Tours and was thoroughly satisfied. The tour guides are local residents and know the history not only of The Walking Dead, but other films that were shot their as well.
Be sure to check out local restaurants and shops while you’re in Atlanta as well. Atlanta is famous for its food, and some of the best are within walking distance of the Georgia World Congress Center. Also be sure to tour the CNN building, which is in the same plaza.
So, is it worth it?
After two years of positive experiences, I can say without a doubt, absolutely. It can get on the expensive side, so start saving early. They offer various levels of passes for every budget. If you have patience, I’d suggest signing up for their emails because they’re always sending out info and discounts after the initial passes go on sale. Even if they say sold out, don’t panic, because they release the passes in waves, and the closer to the event, the bigger the discount.
So take a friend, take five, split the costs, and it won’t be quite as expensive as you might expect. But if you love The Walking Dead, and are a die hard fan, this is a must on your to do list, because Walker Stalker Con is definitely a must for any die heard Walking Dead fan.