As promised, today I’m going to tell you about The Walking Dead Studio Tour. A couple of weeks ago, your PopCulteer and his wife cut out of ToyLanta early so we could go on this, possibly once-in-a-lifetime, tour of the studio areas where The Walking Dead television show is produced. We not only got to see the studio lot, which was previously off-limits to fans, but we also got to go behind the walls at Alexandria, in nearby Senoia, as seen at right.
Before AMC purchased the former Raleigh Studios in Senoia in 2017, the studio was available for hire for other productions all year long, so backlot tours were not feasible. Since AMC took over and renamed it “Riverwood Studios” the studio is only used for The Walking Dead, and so last December they decided to offer tours during the off-season.
The tour will wrap up on March 31, and even with added times for this two-hour excusion, most of the remaining days are sold out. They plan to stop the tour in time to give the crew time to prepare for shooting the next season of the hit AMC series later in April. We don’t know yet if they’re going to offer the tour again next year, once production wraps. It’s been a huge success, and an added revenue stream for AMC, but they may have other plans for the studio.
The tour cost 65 dollars per person (plus taxes) and that had to be paid when we made our reservations. We also had to read and sign a very lengthy agreement to not take pictures without permission, plus video was absolutely forbidden and we had to behave ourselves, or risk getting kicked off the studio lot, or dumped in the middle of Senoia, outside the wall.
To be honest, that was a bit of a relief. I rarely get to attend events as a “civilian” without shooting video, and this gave me a chance to relax and enjoy the tour, which came in handy since I had pulled an all-nighter the previous night, editing the ToyLanta wrap-up video.If I look surly or bored in any photos, it’s the result of sleep deprivation. I had a great time and really enjoyed the tour.
Over the years I’ve posted lots of photos and video of Senoia, from the other side of the wall. This was going to be a dream realized for Mel, to see the other side.
While I am not a huge fan of The Walking Dead these days, I still like the show, and Mrs. PopCulteer is a rabid devotee of the program. Just watching her reaction to being on the sets used for her favorite TV show was worth the price of admission for me. Watching Mel be so happy is one of my favorite things in the world. I’ll even endure awful music just to see her beam with joy.
The two of us boarded a bus with a dozen other fans of the show, and we were wisked away to see where the magic was made.
Our tour guide was Elias, who also works on the show as a location scout and is very knowledgeable about the inner-machinations of the production. He had lots of juicy details and behind-the-scenes stories that I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to tell you about here, due to the NDA I had to sign when we booked the tour.
I can tell you that we got to visit The Heaps (above), where Rick fought Winslow, the walker who looked like he was from GWAR. We also went to the studio buildings, which were the Prison set in earlier seasons, and are now Sanctuary. We were taken to The Hilltop and to a lake with a houseboat and some floating walker bodies in it.
At one clearing, we saw the spot where Negan killed Glenn and Abraham. That same spot was the site of Father Gabriel’s church and also where The Governor checked out a wrecked helicopter. It’s currently being used to store some trailers that have been used in the show. The very first thing we saw on the tour was a parking lot filled with recognizable vehicles from the show.
We were also taken a short drive away, to the Gin Property in Senoia, right off Main Street, where we were allowed to go behind the walls of Alexandria. I’ve posted lots of photos and video of the wall before, but this time we were able to go inside, and see the buildings and houses that are still used on the show. We got to see the windmill from the current season, but the blades had been removed while they weren’t shooting, to save wear and tear during the high winds.
There were only a few places where we were allowed to take photos, and I’m going to post those below. The tour was a total blast for any fan of The Walking Dead, and I’m hoping that they start offering it again once the next season of the show finishes production around Thanksgiving.
Now here are the rest of the photos…
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