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By Matt Rodriguez

Atlanta Movie Tours: Big Zombie Tour 3 Showcases Big 'Walking Dead' Locations

From classics like Driving Miss Daisy and Fried Green Tomatoes to recent blockbusters like The Hunger Games and Captain America: Civil War, Georgia has always been a great filming location, but in recent years, substantial tax breaks have made it the filming location for the filming industry. Atlanta Movie Tours has capitalized on the new Hollywood of the South by offering various types of tours to the locations where some of your favorite movies and television shows were filmed. I had the opportunity to check out their newest tour, Big Zombie Tour 3, that takes fans south of Atlanta to Haralson, GA to see some of most popular locations from AMC’s The Walking Dead.

 

As I boarded the bright blue and green bus with the words “Get In. Geek Out.” printed all over, a tote bag placed on the seat welcomed me to the tour. Dozens of Georgia produced film and television titles in varying fonts were strategically placed together to form the shape of the state, and of course the largest was The Walking Dead. Now filming its seventh season, it is without a doubt the most popular Georgia production. This is the Big Zombie Tour 3 after all, proving how popular the series is with fans. If you’re caught up through the sixth season, then this is the tour for you!

 

The Big Zombie Tour 3 begins in Haralson and right off the bat injects tour takers into the third season of the show. You’ll see the shed where Rick and the Governor first meet as well as the grassy patch where Merle Dixon met his unfortunate end. It’s interesting to note how completely different scenes might be shot in locations that are mere feet away from each other. Our initial walk around Haralson was maybe a two block radius but was the filming location for six or so scenes that each served different purposes. It’s one thing to recognize a location in the show. It’s something completely different to experience it in person.

Our tour was led by Kent, who has been a featured walker on the show so he clearly knows more than most when discussing all the filming locations. As a matter of fact, all the guides with Atlanta Movie Tours have been involved in the production in some capacity. Their personal stories and insider knowledge of the show is what makes the tour extra special. Sure, you could visit some of the locations on your own - at least the ones that are on public property - but being with a passionate group of people simply enhances the experience. As we drove from location to location, Kent told us about applying the extensive makeup, what Walker School was like, and other stories from set. It’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else.

Our tour continued through Griffin, GA where we got to see some of the forested areas and train track locales. As a refresher, clips from the show featuring each of these locations would play in the tour bus as we drove past. If you decide to take this tour, I would recommend sitting on the left side of the bus for the best view, especially if you plan on taking pictures and want as few obstructions as possible.

 

The highlight of the tour was when we stopped off in the small town of Hampton, GA to visit the infamous dumpster location for the Season 6 episode, “Thank You.” Fans will recognize this as the spot where Glenn “died,” and there’s even an outline of his sprawled out body that you can attempt to lie in, provided you’re somewhat of a good contortionist. Unfortunately the dumpster itself isn’t there anymore, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

 

The Big Zombie Tour 3 is a must-see attraction for any fan of The Walking Dead. Atlanta Movie Tours is still relatively new having started in 2012, but the experience is as professional as can be. With Season 7 of the show currently filming, now couldn’t be a better time to take a tour. Who knows, maybe you’ll stumble across an active set. Even if walkers aren’t your thing, Atlanta Movie Tours has plenty of other exciting tours to look into. And with productions in Georgia continuing to skyrocket, you can no doubt expect to be seeing more stops and a bigger tote bag to fit all the titles. It may be number 3 for the Big Zombie Tour, but Atlanta Movie Tours is just getting started.