I had never had the chance to attend a Dragon Con before. I had heard about the convention for many years so this year, the 25th year of the convention, we decided to make the short drive to Atlanta, Georgia to check it out and see if it lived up to the hype that I had heard. Did it live up to the hype your ask? Yes it did, and in many ways it surpassed the hype!!!
Let me say that I have never attended a convention on this scale. If you have heard that it is huge, that is an understatement. Not knowing what to expect, I was a bit over whelmed on Thursday when we arrivied. When you buy your passes to the convention online in advance they do not mail them out to you. You have to stand in line to get them. I don’t know if you have ever experienced a hot afternoon in Atlanta in the late summer, but standing in line with thousands of other hot sweaty people is not how you want to spend it. When my son and I first got to the convention the line to pick up passes went all the way around the block. And I mean “all the way around the block”. The end of the line was very close to the front of the line. We decided to go check into our hotel, relax a little while and eat and then return to pick up our passes later, since they were giving them out until 10pm that night. When we returned around 7pm the line was much shorter and the outside temp had cooled down just a little. This is my first grip about the convention. Why not mail out the passes to those who buy them in advance? There are some people who can’t stand the heat. I also noticed that if you were just walking up to buy passes you avoided the wait in line. You could just walk into the hotel and buy them. Maybe it would be better to just wait and buy them when you first get there. Once you got into the area where they were giving out the passes you were horded thru what seemed like an endless zig-zag line. You know, like the line at the bank that is roped off. And it went on and on and on for what seemed like for ever. Finally, we had our passes in hand and believe me it was a good feeling to have thos babies hanging around our necks.
My favorite part of any convention is getting to meet and talk to the stars that are guests at the show. Dragon Con had many, many guests covering just about any media genre you can name. There was Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, Video Gaming and so much more. Some of the big names that were on hand for this years show was Elvira, Robert England, cast members of
The Walking Dead, Ernest Borgnine, Howard Hessman, Lonnie Anderson and countless others. My second gripe is that most of the stars would only make pictures with you if you bought a photo op with them. I don’t really think this is fair as a lot of people can’t afford the prices just to have a picture made. Some of the celebs would make pictures with you if you leaned over the table but I find that is not a very personal picture. But some of them like Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery would come around from behind the table to make pictures.
With Addy Miller from The Walking Dead
Now, this is my next gripe. There were thousands of people wanting to get the photo ops with the stars. When I say thousands, I mean thousands. Guess how many people they had processing these thousands of requests? No not 10, not 6, but 4. Yep, you heard me right. There were four people taking these thousands of orders. And on top of that there was just one line taking credit cards. You didn’t find out about that little detail until you got up to the actual table and they said “Oh, that is the credit line over there at the end of the table”. There were a lot of people were missing the photo ops they wanted because of standing in line so long. Also the area where you paid was a very small area which was right next to the room where you stood in line to wait for the actual photo sessions. I thought this was very poor planning. I wound up standing in line for over 3 hours to get my tickets for pictures with Elvira and Robert England. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be standing in line for the whole weekend. I found out while in line that you could have pursched your tickets on line. That will be the plan next time.
The vendor rooms were another story all together. The rooms were huge but there were so many vendor tables in the rooms and so many people walking up and down the aisles that it was merisable to be in the rooms at all. My son likes the venders with the Steam Punk merchindise and you just about had to fight your way thru the crowd while in the room. I noticed in the program that they might limit the number of people in the rooms by order of the fire marshall but looked like to me that this was over looked. If there had be an emergency or fire at any point it would have been big trouble getting out of the vendor rooms. I guess the fire marshall was no were to be seen.
Sean Patrick Flanery
There were other “stars” at the show and that were the fans that came dressed as their favorite characters. Like I said just about ever genre was repersented ad Dragon Con
All in all I had a great time at Dragon Con. The celeberty guest list went on and on, there was a lot going on for you to see and do. Like I said I had never experienced any convention on this large of a scale. I will try to make it to Dragon Con again next year for sure.
I think this picture says it all. This is my son Julian after our last day at Dragon Con!!!