The sailors say “Dairy Queen, you’re a fine place. What a good shake you would make!”
LOCATION: Dairy Queen 1980/2014 (5039 Memorial Dr, Stone Mountain, GA 30083)
FILM: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2, 2017
At the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Meredith Quill and the aptly named Ego pull into a Dairy Queen store in Missouri in 1980. Later in the present day (of the film), we see a modernized version of the same DQ. The closest Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 got to Missouri was about 600 miles away, in Atlanta Georgia. So the best place to start was to center my map on Atlanta and look at the DQ’s that show up near it.
There were about 10-12 DQ’s that showed up in my first search, so I just started clicking on them. A number of the DQ’s matched if I was looking at the style of the building from the 1980 scene. But there was always something else that did not match, such as no trees in background, the parking lot went the wrong way, or the sign out front wasn’t in the right place. They were all ‘close’ but not exact. At this point I wasn’t discounting CGI as a possible film trick for the location, but something told me that this was a real location!
So my next step was to go to the official Dairy Queen website, and search for all stores within ‘20’ miles of Atlanta. Maybe Google Maps wasn’t showing me everything. So…holy heck! That looked like a lot of stores! Well, this was for posterity wasn’t it? So, I started checking.
Quick Dairy Queen Facts
DQ has about in 5200 stores in North America, with 210 in Georgia alone. (Texas appears to have the most with 600 stores!)
I may have looked at 40-50 stores with the same luck. They looked similar, but there was always one or two details that were not correct. I had pretty much given up. I felt like it was close but it was rapidly slipping away; much like a Blizzard™ on a hot summer afternoon.
Then in a fit of googling “Guardians of the Galaxy Dairy Queen Georgia” I saw an interview with the film’s first assistant director, Lars P. Winter where he mentioned filming at “Stone Canyon.” That didn’t sound like a place in Georgia, and a google search confirmed it. I reached out to some friends in the Atlanta area, and they told me that he might have meant Stone Mountain. Immediately performing a Maps search for Dairy Queens near Stone Mountain yielded the location above. It’s not a DQ, or rather, it was a DQ at one time, but is no longer. Everything on the checklist could be verified: shape of building, parking lot, trees and even the cracks on the sidewalk at the entrance!
I celebrated by heading to Dunkin’ Donuts and getting a Mango Fruit Blast!
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Behind every scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a location. Some are iconic. Some are functional. Some are completely fantastic. But all of them are there to support the story.
Here at the MCU: Location Scout, Jovial Jay digs deep to uncover the real-world filming locations behind your favorite super hero films. From Iron Man to Inhumans and everything in between!