I feel like Dragon Con is a television series: the pilot season is good, the second season is the BEST, the third season is awful, and then the fourth season? Looks like my fourth year at Dragon Con was its redemption arc. Dragon Con 2018, thank you for restoring my faith in you.
Last year, my third year at Dragon Con, despite meeting some pretty chill people, was probably the worst Dragon Con I’d ever experienced. That weekend found me grouchy, suffering from heat exhaustion, and early onset con-crud. This year, I’m happy to report that Dragon Con 2018 was markedly better. I’m thankful that things turned around. It could have been that my head space this year was much better or it could have been that I got more sleep. Honestly, it could have been any number of things but at the very least, I’m incredibly grateful for this experience.
True, I did spend way too much on Uber (even though my stubborn self insisted on walking a lot, too). My feet swelled up every day so I had to soak them to be able to put on my shoes. I subsisted on protein bars and purse wine. I’m a true pioneer. I’m ready for my turn on Survivor!
This year, I stayed at the 12 Centennial Autograph, considered one of the overflow hotels. The distance was the only drawback. The room itself featured a fully applianced kitchen, a pull out sofa, a massive bathroom, and a king-sized bed. We squeezed eight people into the room and it never felt cramped or crowded. The hotel was perfect, the staff was friendly, the price was decent, and the room was immaculate. If I hadn’t already participated in the notorious Marriott Hunger Games, I’d stay at the 12 Centennial again.
The SunTrust Plaza food court this year was an absolute godsend for Dragon Con 2018. Almost like an oasis tucked away, it nestled between the Hyatt and the Marriott. The food wasn’t great but it was convenient, it was palatable, and most importantly, there were places to sit around the food court. Although it probably didn’t have anything to do with Dragon Con, it was a smart move to add a second food option for con-goers that wasn’t one of the multiple Papa John’s kiosks around the Marriott. But is it really Dragon Con if you don’t eat at least one slice of $7 pizza?
Last year, unfortunately, my interviews were canceled due to scheduling conflicts, but this year I had the pleasure of interviewing the incomparable Jessica Harmon, Bozzio on iZombie and Niylah on The 100. I finally got a chance to have The Whittle Experience with Ricky Whittle, who is best known for Lincoln on The 100 and most recently as Shadow Moon on American Gods.
If I might get sentimental for a moment, the convention itself has introduced me to so many important people in my life. I’ve had the opportunity to experience the con as media presence and be involved with the Dragon Con media team, who are thorough, kind, professional, and accommodating. I’ve met so many of my professional idols and have been immersed in crowds of laughing and singing people at 3 AM in the Marriott. Dragon Con is truly a convention like no other. Expansive vendor and dealer halls, friends you haven’t met yet, camaraderie, and cosplay craftsmanship, I’ve yet to find its equal.
Dragon Con 2019, you better not follow the television model of The Walking Dead and suck again next year ’cause I’ll only start going out of spite. I’m totally kidding. Or am I?
Bekah has a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Anderson University and is the Executive Assistant at Saga Event Planning. She is a frequent convention attendee and cosplayer and co-hosts The Geekiary webcast “The Bitching Dead”.
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