The Big Zombie Tour 2 with Atlanta Movie Tours Review

Our tickets were comped by Atlanta Movie Tours so that I could write this review, but all opinions are mine. 

The Walking Dead. I absolutely love that show. I love it so much that we watched all the episodes from season 1 through season 6 over the summer. I am itching to see the season 7 premiere. October 22 can’t get here fast enough! To say that I am a fan is, well, an epic statement.  So, when Fabgrandpa was in the hospital back in August, we were talking about The Walking Dead with two nurses who were in the process of removing the catheter from his leg. One of them asked me if I had been on any of the Zombie Tours yet. And I said, “No! I didn’t even know they had tours.” She said her mother works for Atlanta Movie Tours, and we talked a little bit about it. You never know what you are going to learn from talking about things you love. 

So, I got in touch with Atlanta Movie Tours, and worked out a plan for doing a review of Big Zombie Tour #2. Fabgrandpa still did not feel well enough to go, so I asked my daughter, Emily, if she wanted to go with me. Even though she is a teacher, and it was on a school day, she took the day off as a personal day so she could go. She is an even bigger fan of The Walking Dead than I am, if that is even possible! 

senoia georgia

Senoia, Georgia is the starting point for The Big Zombie Tour #2.

On the day of the tour, we left my house at noon, headed to Senoia, Georgia. It was a 66 mile drive from my house to The Waking Dead Cafe, the check-in point for the tour. You can also meet at the Atlanta Movie Tours office in Atlanta, and ride their bus to Senoia. There was a sign on the sidewalk in front of the cafe so it was easy to find. Inside the cafe, there were The Walking Dead posters on the walls. The coffee drinks were all named after characters in the show. 

The Big Zombie Tour #2 with Atlanta Movie Tours

The Big Zombie Tour sign on the sidewalk.

The Big Zombie Tour #2

The Waking Dead Cafe sign.

The Big Zombie Tour #2

The Walking Dead posters decorated the walls in the cafe.

When all of the people who were going on the tour had checked in, we got on the bus and started the tour. The tour guide, Kent, has worked as an extra and as a Walker on the show many times. He had a remarkable amount of knowledge about the show, and kept us entertained with inside information about the show, the actors, how to get a job as an extra or a Walker on the show, and about the movie and TV industry in Georgia. The bus also had a TV, and when we were passing by or stopped at a location that was used in the show, one of the tour employees played clips from the show with scenes from that location. The clips made the places we were seeing come to life. 

The Big Zombie Tour #2

Atlanta Movie Tours bus. It was very comfortable.

One of my favorite locations was the “Pudding House”. On one of the episodes, Carl found a 112 ounce can of chocolate pudding, and sat on the roof of the porch while he ate the entire can. I loved that episode, because it showed that even though Carl was mature beyond his age due to the challenges of living in a post apocalyptic world, he was still just a boy at heart. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

The “Pudding House”, where Carl ate an entire 112 ounce can of chocolate pudding while sitting on the roof of the porch.

The railroad was central to a couple of seasons of The Walking Dead. We saw several places along the railroad that looked so familiar because we had seen them in the show. This was the tower where Tara had to rest after twisting her ankle. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

The railroad tower where Tara rested after twisting her ankle.

Most of the tour we were on, The Big Zombie Tour #2, was easily accessible for me. I have a disability that makes getting up from a seated position, sitting down, going up and down stairs, and walking long distances difficult. There were only two places where it was hard for me, but I managed to do it. The first place was at an abandoned factory that was the location of the “fight arena” in Woodbury, where The Governor pitted Merrell against Darrell in a fight to the death of one of them. The only way to get to the set location was via a very steep, narrow, stairway. It was harder going down them than coming back up. I’m glad I made the effort, because I volunteered to be one of the people in “Zombie School” where we learned how to walk like a Walker on The Walking Dead. Fun! That’s my daughter, Emily, on the stairs in front of me. I went last so I wouldn’t hold anyone up. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

Very steep stairs down to the fight arena at the abandoned factory.

The fight arena location:

Big Zombie Tour #2

The set location of the fight arena where The Governor made Merrell and Darrell fight.

The second place where I had a hard time was when we got to the place where Morgan’s Apartment was. The tour guide parked the bus, and we had to walk a couple of blocks. I was waaaay behind everyone else, because I am so slow walking, but I made it all the way to the apartment. This is what is on their FAQ page about accommodating handicapped guests:

Do you make provisions for handicapped guests?
Yes. We want everyone to enjoy themselves. There are portions of the tours that occur on foot, but all surfaces should be safe for wheelchairs. The bus is not equipped with a lift and we ask that you notify us in advance if you need to bring a folding wheelchair with you so we may make arrangements for storage.

Big Zombie Tour #2

Emily was attacked by a walker in Morgan’s apartment. She was bitten, poor thing!

You can also find information on the FAQ page about transportation to Senoia from Atlanta for the Big Zombie Tour #2 and Big Zombie Tour #3; refund policy; interpreters; and a lot more. 

Big Zombie Tour #2

Emily and me at the wall.

Tours are priced at $65 per person, which in my opinion are well worth the cost. My daughter and I really enjoyed our tour. We saw a lot of places (I didn’t even show you pictures of more than half of them!) and learned a lot about how and where our favorite show is filmed. We are planning to go on Big Zombie Tour #1 and Big Zombie Tour #3 as soon as we can!

To contact Atlanta Movie Tours, you can call them at 855-255-3456; send them an email at info@atlantamovietours.com ; or visit them at their shop at  327 Nelson St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313. You can save $5 per ticket when you purchase them online using promo code FABGRANDMA at checkout! 

 

Out On The Town: Zappa Plays Zappa Concert at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta

zappa plays zappa

The variety Playhouse

We bought our tickets and paid for our hotel in November! Fabgrandpa was counting down the days until the 18th of April. Finally, the big day was here. We had the VIP tickets that allowed us to enter the venue at about 5:30 so we could be there for the sound check. What a treat. This year we did not have to leave after the sound check. We just moved over a bit to the side where we would be able to see better during the concert.

Becky and Fabgrandpa at Variety Playhouse

Becky and Fabgrandpa at Variety Playhouse

Funny thing: We were standing in line outside the theater, talking to the people behind us. It turns out, they are from Tallapoosa, about 8 miles from us. Talk about a small world!

Standing by the bulletin board outside of Variety Playhouse

Standing by the bulletin board outside of Variety Playhouse

At 5:30, we went in and found a seat up close to the stage. The sound check was not as much playing songs like they did last year.

Sound check

Sound check

Dweezil said they played an outdoor venue the day before, and their equipment got wet.

Sound Check

Sound Check

They were having some problems with Ben Thomas’s guitar. They got it going to their satisfaction before the concert started.When it did start, all that empty space in front of the stage filled up with people.

Ben Dweezil Sheila

Chris Norton, Ben Thomas, Ryan Brown, Dweezil Zappa, Kurt Morgan  , Sheila Gonzalez

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More music.

The Concert: Zappa Plays Zappa

The Concert: Zappa Plays Zappa

When the concert was over, we were treated to a meet and greet. We stood in a really long line, for a really long time. It was ok though, because everyone there was just like us. They wanted to meet the band, meet Dweezil, shake his hand, get an autograph.

the long line in front of us

the long line in front of us

When we finally got up there, though, it was worth the wait for at least one of us. Fabgrandpa had his picture taken with Dweezil. The only thing that would have made this man any happier would have been if Frank himself had been in that photo with them.

Fabgrandpa and Dweezil Zappa.

Fabgrandpa and Dweezil Zappa.

Just look at that huge smile. We also got some photos of the rest of the band:

Ben Thomas, the vocalist. Chris Norton, keyboards. Kurt, the bass player.

Ben Thomas, the vocalist. Chris Norton, keyboards. Kurt Morgan, the bass player.

I was talking to Dweezil in this photo, but all you can see of me is my hand. The rest of the band is Sheila Gonzalez, Kurt Morgan, Chris Norton, Ben Thomas.

I was talking to Dweezil in this photo, but all you can see of me is my hand. The rest of the band is Sheila Gonzalez, Kurt Morgan, Chris Norton, Ben Thomas.

And my stupid line of the night, when I was talking to Ben Thomas, the vocalist: “I am so impressed with your singing.”  I walked away and smacked my own head. Sigh.

And, just in case you are a Zappa fan, here is the playlist for the concert:

  • Vamp (equipment repairs)