“The Walking Dead” returns tomorrow night, February 8th, and along with being excited about that, we’re really looking forward to seeing what the powers-that-be cook up for the show’s spin-off. As we’ve learned previously, the companion series will be set in and around Los Angeles, but is that really the best location for a zombie apocalypse?
Our friends over at Movoto did a bit of research and came up with Orlando, Florida, as the perfect setting for the new show. Be sure to click the link for all the details of how they arrived at that conclusion, but here are the highlights:
Below are the basic criteria used to help figure out in which city “The Walking Dead” spin-off should take place. Yelp was used to rank the top 100 cities according to how many locations they had per the city’s population of:
- Gun stores
- Hardware stores
- Grocery stores
- Gas and service stations
- Sporting goods stores
If you’re going to survive a zombie outbreak, you need resources. You need guns to protect yourself, hospitals for the sick and dying, pharmacies for medicine, hardware stores for hammers and chainsaws and all those fun zombie slaying things, grocery stores for food, and cars for those much needed escape vehicles. Sporting goods are also important so people can get baseball bats.
So, what this all means is if we want our characters to live longer than the first season, they need to have some access to basic necessities.
As stated above, the winner is… Orlando. It has all the resources people need to survive this brave new world. Out of all the cities that Movoto looked at, Orlando was first in three of them: sporting goods stores (one for every 1,140 people), grocery stores (one for every 718 people), and pharmacies (one for every 903 people). It also ranked second in number of gas stations (one for every 1,417 people), second for hardware stores (one for every 3,095 people), and third for gun stores (one for every 19,858 people).
The only category that Orlando didn’t make a killing in is hospitals, where it ranked seventh (one for every 1,847 people). And after the hospital this season, do we really want another hospital-based arc anyways? Yeah, didn’t think so.
Sure, all of this helps make Orlando a great candidate for surviving a zombie outbreak, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that setting “The Walking Dead” there would make for interesting television. Or does it?
Lest you forget, Orlando is rife with amusement parks, which would give the show myriad possibilities. The original episodes followed Rick Grimes and the search for his family. But what if Rick was on vacation and didn’t have access to his house or the police station? What if Lori didn’t have to yell at Carl to get back in the house because there weren’t any houses nearby… and they were stuck in Space Mountain instead?
To take that a step further, what if ALL the survivors were on vacation? Their extended families aren’t anywhere close by. No communication. Nobody knows who is alive or dead. It’s some intense horror, that’s for sure. The survivors would be immediately thrown into a situation where they have to survive with people whom they don’t know and are from totally different backgrounds, lifestyles, and ages.
And is there anything scarier than a whole city full of undead, screaming babies?
Orlando also allows for more diverse and international faces to become part of the story. Orlando is such an international resort destination that it really would provide a great canvas for all types of people (i.e., not just native Floridians) to have part of the zombie-slashing fun.
Universal Studios already has “Walking Dead”-themed horror nights, though that could get confusing if the outbreak started during Halloween and you didn’t know who was a zombie and who was just wearing makeup…
And last but not least, a little truth. Back in 2012 there was the bath salt attack in Florida, leading people into a new form of zombie hysteria.
Florida actually had three cities in the top 10: Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. Just think about all the fun the show could have with swamps and alligators. Zombie-gators, anyone?
“The Walking Dead” Episode 5.09 – “What Happened and What’s Going On” (airs 2/8/15)
After all the recent trials the group has faced, a slight detour might prove to be the solution they’ve been looking for.
To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit “The Walking Dead” on Facebook. For more info be sure to hit up the official “The Walking Dead” page on AMC.com.