Labor Day weekend has past and that means so has another DragonCon. I was able to go to DragonCon this year, but was only able to attend on Saturday. While I think the Saturday only passes are great for people like me who could only make it there for a day, what I learned was that things seem to run more smoothly if you can attend more than one day.
Every year the con gets bigger and more crowded. When I first started attending several years ago, the convention was only taking place in two-three hotels. Now the event has expanded to five hotels and the AmericasMart trading center. I’ve seen a lot of posts where people have complained about the crowds this year and I will agree that even though the con expanded again this year, it still managed to be more crowded than ever. However, I will not be joining in on the complaints about crowds because the thing I love most about this con is that it’s not like all the big comic cons. SDCC is a con that I would love to attend, but chances of me getting a pass is unlikely since tickets sell out in mere minutes and seems to be solely based on luck. I do not want DragonCon get to the point where tickets are limited and I have to stress whether or not I will get to attend.
Badge lines can get pretty long even if you arrive early in the morning. We arrived about ten minutes after the lines opened and that took well over an hour, so we missed out on a good spot to watch the parade. The sidewalks get really crowded for the epic parade, but we did find a parking deck to watch from above. This is one event that I always recommend for people to check at out when attending their first D*Con. There is no parade like the DragonCon parade! Where else in the world will you see Storm Troopers and Ghostbusters marching alongside superheroes and zombies? Steam punk fanatics and Whovians? From the top of a parking deck I saw a pretty awesome cosplay of Rocket Raccoon and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and was geeking out.
After standing out in the GA heat, we headed to the Walk of Fame to see which guests were signing autographs. I was fortunate that the lines were short and was able to walk right up and meet the lovely Eliza Dushku. After that the lines had grown and we waited to meet Michael Rooker. If you read my previous article about favorite past DragonCon guests, please know that Rooker has now made the top of that list. While other guests sat quietly behind their signing tables, Rooker stood in front of his as he greeted all the guests around his table. Not many guests stand in front of their table, take pics with the fans, and hug each and every fan that they meet.
As always, I was able to attend some great guest panels. First, was the Guests of Whedonverse with writer Jane Espenson, Eliza Dushku, Miracle Laurie, Kristine Sutherland, & Nicholas Brendon. I will bring a better camera next year to get some pictures for you all. All the guests were as awesome as you’d hope they would be and Nick Brendon provided the comedy. Second was the Walking Dead Q/A panel with Chad Coleman, Scott Wilson, Daniel Thomas May, Steven Yeun, & Emily Kinney.
This was all I had time for in the one day of con. The guest panels are usually about an hour long and with the popular ones, I would recommend getting in line an hour or two before the start to try and get a good seat. To enjoy the most of DragonCon, my recommendations would be to stay at one of the con hotels, get the four day membership, get your badge at the early Thursday pickup, get a spot for the parade early, get in lines early, & pack a bag of snacks and bottled water. The food court lines are horrendous and it can get hot in the crowds.
I hope all you fellow nerds and nerdettes enjoyed my recap of DragonCon 2013 and I apologize for my lack of pictures.