As I sit here writing this and thinking back over the days I spent in downtown Atlanta, GA, celebrating Dragon Con 2019, I’m being washed over by all sorts of emotions. I’m happy to be home where I get to sleep in my own bed, I get to eat something that isn’t a sandwich or spend $10 on a small burger, but I’m also sad that I’m home sleeping in my own bed instead of a hotel room, and I miss rushing to my hotel room to eat a sandwich really fast so I can make it to the line for the next panel. I’m happy to be home where I don’t have to wait half hour for an elevator and after waiting celebrate in cheer when one arrives full of people where I must cram myself in it with all the other people and not mind the smell. Ok, I minded the smell a little bit, but the point is this, I was happy to become a human sardine in an elevator being touched by strangers and touching the strangers.
This is post Dragon Con emotions and anyone that has been to the full 5 days of Dragon
Con understands what I’m going through. Until you have been to the con to experience it for yourself, you will never understand the vast emotions we have after the con is over. Dragon Con is no ordinary convention. Yes, it has most of the ordinary events and things to do that most conventions have like the celebrities, the cosplay, the vendors, art, and panels. So, what makes this different than any other convention out there?
One of the main reasons Dragon Con is different is that it’s held in the hotels instead at a convention center. At Dragon Con, when the walk of fame floor closes, the vendors close, and you think the con day is over, it’s not. Yes, the walk of fame closes, and the celebrities go on to do their own thing, the vendors close so you can’t buy anything, and the art room is closed where you can’t see the artwork, but the con continues. There are still panels, there are still tracks to go to, you can go to concerts, parties, raves, or go to the gaming room to get some gaming in. If that’s not enough for you, then you can go the many, many, many photoshoots that are always going on. I’m not talking about the many photographers and people with cameras taking photos of all the cosplayers walking around, which you can do that also, I’m talking about official and unofficial photoshoots that happen at different hotels.
The Hilton is one of the biggest of the photoshoot areas because they have 2 sets of open areas with steps and a great view of the skyline to get some great photos and with a large group. These shoots are going on at almost all hours during the con. Still, if this is not your thing, you can just hang out in a lobby to look at all the different costumes. I’ve been going for many years now, my first was in 2008 on a Monday and since then I’ve been going each year. In that time, I’ve yet to do everything that I plan to do while there and I never see everything. There is so much to do and so many people to see that it just can’t all be done. You could stand in the Marriott lobby for the whole 5 days, 24 hours a day, and still only see a small fraction of the people in costume. Or you could try to go to as many panels as you can, and you still wouldn’t get them all in. In fact, I would be surprised if you got half of them in. This is one of the few instances that I can honestly say that not only do I not mind standing in line for 1+ hours but I’m thrilled to be doing so.
I really can’t stress how much there is to do at Dragon Con and how much fun it is. It’s a surreal experience to say the least and it’s a memory maker every time. No matter where you look stuff is going on, excitement is palpable, and oh the cosplay. Going for the cosplay is worth attending the con at least once. A second time would be the panels, and ongoing times as well.
But what’s a typical day like at Dragon Con? Well, first thing to know is that a day is planned, or it should be, because those plans will constantly change even when they stay semi the same. Depending on what you are wanting to do at the start of the day, your roommate situation, and dress for the day, you wake up time will vary but it’s usually early. For instance, if you are going to a 10AM panel for someone like David Tennant, well, you better be waking up at 6AM and be out the door by 7:30 to get in the already forming line. If you wait too long for someone like David Tennant’s panel, say an hour before start time, you will be very far back in line.
Now if you are going to the parade as a spectator, and you’re not too worried about being in that perfect front spot, then you can show up at 10AM and you can sleep in some. However, if you’re wanting that perfect spot, well get there early because the parade is the largest and most attended parade in Atlanta and if it’s your first time going, you will discover why it is.
Now, the rest of the day is basically the same as the morning. You pick the thing you want to do, which the app is great, and you get a free schedule book, you time it out, you add time between each for walking, crowds, and photo taking. The you eat, you might shower, you change, and then you hit the lobby floors for the cosplay, the mingling, or the parties galore that are going on. Basically, a typical day involves a lot of walking, a lot of standing, a lot of sitting, and non-stop excitement.
It’s so much fun that I usually go through a week of being a bit depressed and missing all the fun. Maybe my normal clothes are the costume and when I go to Dragon Con, I put on my real clothes and become myself? At any rate, I’m looking forward to my future appearances at Dragon Con.