There are fan conventions for just about every television show, comic book, and movie, but Walker Stalker’s Atlanta convention is something else entirely. Due to its proximity to the filming locations, no other convention related to The Walking Dead universe has as many actor appearances and the level of fandom is surreal. Held over Halloween weekend every year, the event welcomes over 65,000 fans of all abilities and backgrounds.
Purchase your pass early. Decide whether you want to attend for one day or the entire weekend. There are also nightly events that cost extra, like a massive Halloween party, and a viewing of that week’s episode of the show. Ticket prices range from $25-40 plus optional add ons. You should also join meetup groups on Facebook to chat with fellow fans before you go.
Make a plan. Purchase any photo ops and autographs you want in advance so that you won’t need to bring as much money. Map out which panels you want to attend. Some are announced rather late, so this might change from day to day. Some of the actors will only be there for one day rather than the whole weekend, so factor this in as well. And don’t leave out the fan-run panels, kid-friendly trick or treat,
Also take the opportunity to see parts of Atlanta, especially filming locations from the show. We’ve gone on the Big Zombie tours 1, 2, and 3 with Atlanta Movie Tours, which showcases the best parts of the show.
Bring cash. If you want selfies and autographs, bring cash for these, which range in price and are set by the individual celebrity. If you didn’t purchase one of the organized photo ops, which cost $50 and up and sell out quickly, these are good alternatives to get up close with your favorite stars. There are also many souvenir and memorabilia booths where you can purchase comic books, gifts, and even an area to get a tattoo!
Be patient. Lines are a natural part of any convention, especially for photo ops and autographs. There are lines for everything, from food to bathrooms to getting into the panels. Everyone is excited to be there, so keep a positive attitude.
Bring snacks. Food tends to be expensive within the convention center, so bring a water bottle you can easily fill up as well as energy bars. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat nearby, I recommend the food court at the CNN Center, No Mas Cantina, Smoke Ring BBQ, and Elliott Street Pub in Castleberry Hill, and the restaurants at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Dress up. The best part of Walker Stalker is the cosplays! You don’t have to go all out with zombie makeup to stand out, although it certainly helps. Like at other fan conventions, get someone’s permission before taking a picture of them.
Stay nearby. I usually take MARTA in for the day, but if you’re going all weekend, it’s nice to be able to crash at your room in between panels. The Omni CNN Center Atlanta Hotel (review here) is the best place to stay for its proximity to the Georgia World Congress Center, but the Glenn Hotel, Embassy Suites, and The American Hotel are also good options nearby. Some even have special attendee rates. Don’t forget about Airbnb, either. Give yourself plenty of time to get around the massive convention center.
I received a media pass into Walker Stalker Con, but have paid for passes previously. This post contains affiliate links.