Walker Stalker Con Atlanta: Tips and Thangs

Andrew Lincoln. Walker Stalker Con 2015 Photo Credit : Carter Phillips.
Andrew Lincoln. Walker Stalker Con 2015 Photo Credit : Carter Phillips. /

Walker Stalker Atlanta is almost upon us!  It is always a whirlwind of excitement and so much to take in.  I wanted to share some “stuff and thangs” about the convention in hopes of helping you manage your experience.

Perhaps this is your first time at Walker Stalker Atlanta or maybe you were an attendee of the inaugural Walker Stalker Con. Either way, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your planning for the big event.

Download the app

I have found the Walker Stalker Con app to be very helpful. You have the floor plan and schedule at your fingertips.

Walker Stalker Con app screen
Walker Stalker Con app screen /

The app will also post notifications of any changes to events or panels that may occur.

You can plan your to do list and connect with other attendees through the app as well. There is also a place to share your convention photos and share feedback.

So be sure to download the Atlanta guidebook on the app ahead of time.

 Disability Services

First of all, do not assume that any concern or special need you may have is not big enough to warrant assistance.  Disability Services welcomes your inquiries and wants to help you in any way possible.

A fan meets James Frazier, co-founder of Walker Stalker Con Photo credit: Tracey Phillipps
A fan meets James Frazier, co-founder of Walker Stalker ConPhoto credit: Tracey Phillipps /

They can assist with accessibility, seating, translation for those hearing impaired, and even offer to change out candy for other goodies for the trick-or-treaters that have allergies.

I have personal experience with Disability Services as my daughter uses a wheelchair and has severe food allergies. Katie and her team are there to help make your experience “fan”-tastic!

Don’t miss the forest for the trees

Time and money simply do not allow for attendees to get an autograph and photo with every guest.  So, of course you want to plan, prioritize, and strategize.  But don’t forget what is right in front of you all the time at Walker Stalker — other fans!

Connor Johnson cosplaying as Aaron from The Walking Dead Photo credit: Michael Saavedra
Connor Johnson cosplaying as Aaron from The Walking DeadPhoto credit: Michael Saavedra /

Enjoy the time to celebrate with fellow fans. Check out their costumes, theorize on plot lines, find out who’s “shipping” who.  Visit with cosplayers.

I met my friend and amazing cosplayer Connor last year at Walker Stalker Atlanta.  Check out this amazing photo of him cosplaying as Aaron during a photo shoot with photographer Michael Savaarde. You can learn about cosplay from expert Amelia Swedeen.  She reminds us that cosplayers typically love for you to take their photos but most like time to get into their pose first.

Related Story: Amelia Swedeen cosplays The Walking Dead's Carol

When else we you have the opportunity to be with an enormous group of people where you have something in common with every single person?

Take advantage of this camaraderie while waiting in lines or join some other fans at the food court area.  Don’t be shy about sharing a table, you’re in good company!


Panels are a definite bright spot at Walker Stalker.  First of all, it’s a great time to sit down and rest your feet.

Be sure to arrive on time for seating for your ticket level.  Be prepared to move closer if the seating group in front of you does not fill up completely. A volunteer will lead this effort if the opportunity comes available.

Check out the panel schedule for Atlanta here!

Prepare your thoughts ahead of time if you would like to pose a question to the panel.  Also, consider sitting near the row exit if you do plan to get up to ask a question at the microphone.

Tom Payne at Walker Stalker Con Nashville panel Photo Credit: Carter Phillipps
Tom Payne at Walker Stalker Con Nashville panelPhoto Credit: Carter Phillipps /

There are two typically two microphones, one on each side of the convention hall, where fans can line up to ask a question. And, don’t forget to tell the panel guests your name and where you are from – they love to hear that!

Panels are also a nice place to get some great photos of cast and other guests.  Just be sure to be courteous and not block someone’s view while taking a photo.  And, of course, do not take any photos of guests that might be deemed unflattering. Respect is always the rule of thumb!

Plan your parking in advance

Whether coming from out-of-town or as a local, you probably want to investigate your parking options ahead of time.  You may want to consider options like Parking Panda to reserve parking in advance.  Don’t forget carpooling as another possibility.

In general, try to get as many “logistics” out of the way before the big weekend, so you can focus on the convention.

Pack a bag

Find a nice bag or backpack to carry with you at the convention.  It’s usually pretty easy to work this kind of storage in to your cosplay outfits as well.

Use a bag with zipper pockets to protect your valuables.  The crowds get thick and you are sometimes shoulder to shoulder. You do not want items falling out of your bag as you weave through the crowd.

Think about bringing water or snacks in your bag along with your necessities like keys and money.

Josh McDermitt with fans at Walker Stalker Con
Josh McDermitt with fans at Walker Stalker Con /

Make sure your bag is wearable. Inevitably, you will probably put your bag down at some point, but try not to.  It’s so easy to get excited and walk away leaving something on the ground or on a table.

Basically, keep your stuff on you.  If you have to put your phone down to get some money, put the phone in your pocket or your bag.  Don’t lay it down.

Get creative and make room for everything.  See, I even managed to fit “baby Judith” in my pack one year!

Plastic sleeves for autographed photos

You do not want your precious autographs and photos  to get damaged in your bag!  There are usually vendors selling hard plastic sleeves to store your photos.  They come in different sizes and are often discounted if you purchase multiples. Economize and store two in each one back to back.

Budget your time and money

If you are like me, you probably don’t have the funds to get all the photos and autographs you may want, but do not let that dampen your cheer.  Always check with the volunteer in a guest line to find out if the guest is doing “meet and greets” where you can meet the guest and say hello without purchasing anything.

Tovah Feldshuh, Jordan Woods-Robinson, and Daniel Bonjour at Walker Stalker Con Nashville Photo Credit: Carter Phillipps
Tovah Feldshuh, Jordan Woods-Robinson, and Daniel Bonjour at Walker Stalker Con NashvillePhoto Credit: Carter Phillipps /

Granted, you will not have a photo or autograph to take home with you, but surely the memory of meeting a special guest will be lodged permanently in your memory.

Some guests offer meet and greets, others do not.  Some may offer them toward the end of the day but not the entire time.  Check with the volunteer to get the current status.

If you qualify for the VIP entry time, you may want to think about heading to your favorite guest’s line during this window when the convention hall is less crowded.

Consider sharing photo ops and table selfies with a friend to cut your cost in half!

Don’t forget about the extras

Be sure to take advantage of the plentiful supply of vendors at Walker Stalker.  Shop for unique merchandise, or perhaps have your makeup done zombie-style.

Photo Credit: Tracey Phillipps at The Walking Dead Experience
The Walking Dead Experience Photo Credit: Tracey Phillipps /

There are also inflatables for the kids and gaming stations for different ages.

The Walking Dead Experience will also be on hand if you dare to participate. Immerse yourself in the world of The Walking Dead, complete with fellow survivors, walkers on the prowl, and some dicey situations to escape.

There is no need to fear any physical harm during the experience, but you should consider your ability to function in tight spaces.  Should you need an extraction from the experience, you can raise your hand for someone to come get you as the experience is monitored.

Related Story: Sneak Peek of The Walking Dead Experience

Wear comfortable shoes

I know I sound like your mom.  But I am a mom.  And those concrete floors are very unfriendly to your back and feet.  If your cosplay does not have the most comfortable shoes, consider tossing a pair in your backpack to give yourself a breather, or at least go catch a panel so you can take a load off.

Next: Revolving Door Panel: Nicholas and Noah!

Have fun

Most importantly, have a blast!  There is so much fun going on at every turn.  Keep your eyes peeled and ears open to all that is Walker Stalker Atlanta!