Every Dragon Con is different and every year I learn something new that I want to do for the next con. This year I didn’t stress the schedule. I didn’t worry about competing to wait in lines for big panels. I didn’t go to the food court in Peachtree Center hunt for a space to hurriedly inhale a meal. I took my time. I strolled. I used Lyft instead of searching and trying to save on parking.
If I didn’t make the first American Gods panel, I didn’t rush my friends. I hung out and went to the next one. I hiked around the four floors in the Dealer’s Room and played some new favorite games in the arcade. I discovered that smaller panels can be just as enriching, if not more stimulating than larger ones. The only time I overextended myself was by eating everything my eyes could see at South City Kitchen. Dare I say I had a relaxing and rejuvenating con?
I have previously described Dragon Con as Halloween on acid and a party with 80,000 of your closest nerdy friends. With jaw dropping cosplay, panels with your favorite actors, writers, animators plus hundreds of hours of programming scheduled around the clock for five (knocking on six) days, the celebration is undeniable. After dark the music pumps and the drinks flow as T’Challas, Princesses, and Power Rangers float from bash to bash.
Your first Dragon Con you’ll want to do it all. You’ll take 1,000 photos, try to get up for the parade, created different cosplays for different days, you’ll hike to all the panels and the signings, and the parties. If you have enough vim, vigor, and youth you’ll bounce back pretty easily. However, if you combine years with those lunar activities, the hot Georgia sun and the concrete journeys between venues you may feel less like partier and more like a prune.
How do you feel like you’re still apart of the festivities, attend events, and get your money’s worth without completely overextending yourself?
- Download the Dragon Con App in the Google Play Store or in iTunes Store a few days before you get to the con. The app is user friendly makes it very easy to create a schedule for yourself. You’ll notice many of the larger panels will repeat themselves over the con and find maps for the all of the attractions. With this app you’ll be able to easily
- Pace yourself. Don’t stuff your day or feel the need to make your feet fly; walk leisurely. Consider there will always be crowds and factor in wait time to your panels. Bring an extra battery for your phone/camera, a friend, or a book to keep your company. You may want to pack water and healthy snacks (because we can’t live off of gushers forever) to make it easy to
- Refuel. Decide with your friends where/if you want to meet for meals. There are plenty of great places to eat around the city. Getting out of the con will give the opportunity to breathe and experience a bit more of Atlanta. However, if things don’t go as plan, don’t stress because you can always
- Divorce your schedule. Expect the unexpected at Dragon Con. Impromptu parades, celebrity sightings, kick ass cosplays, or a last minute cancellation can change the structure of your day. Luckily, because you’re already at the con you’ll find many things to fill that gap. Even if it’s just a nap or cooling off in the pool.
- Have fun! Not everything at the con can be done, but everything you get done will be worth it. You can even buy your pass for the next year, at a discounted rate, before you depart.