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F.A.Q.: Newbie Advice for people arriving on Saturday

Offline Trathor

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F.A.Q.: Newbie Advice for people arriving on Saturday
« on: August 20, 2015, 12:12:05 PM »
So from another few people posting over the years and recently, here is a common question "I can't want to come to DragonCon, and this is my first, but I do not arrive until Saturday.  Help?" 

This is my advice... (and yeah, it is going to feel like you have gone straight into the middle of the Thunerdom... only there are twice as many people and cars, and they are going three times as fast...):

Before you go, critical Prep:
(1)  Have a loose plan. 
 - Download the app with the schedule.  (iOS Link: )
 - The App also has maps that show what is in what building. 
    - For each day, Decide on EXACTLY TWO things you want to do, and try to find TWO MORE new things that you will discover when you are there. 
    - Figure out WHERE those things are. 
 - Try to understand the map, and the also plan on asking once you get there. 
    - When you are lost, volunteers have official lanyards - ask them, or ask the information booths, or ask random people.   
(2)  Pack a portable snack, and if you need it, portable caffeine/ drinks.  There is water everywhere, so don't go crazy. 
(3)  Try to travel light and loose.  It will be packed and crazy, and you are going to want to be as portable as you can. 
(4)  Be sure your phone is fully charged, but do not expect it to work.  In fact, you may want to put it in Airplane mode for periods of time to save battery. 

Once you get there:
(5)  Getting your badge will be pretty quick (probably 20 min-ish, it used to take hours), but don't be afraid to talk to people in line/ all around, and say it's your first DragonCon. 
(6)  I like to spend time walking all parts of the Con and my pre-ritual, but you will not really have time for that.  With crowds, it may take you 2 hours to walk through the main level of each of the 5 hotels.  Instead decide what you want to check out, do that, and do something else also.  Each hotel and each floor (and often times each room) has something very different going on.  You are going to see 1.2% of DragonCon if you are lucky... and that is OK, that 1.2% is awesome.   If it is not, move to the next room/ floor/ hotel. 
(7)  Main points of interest/ orientation for Newcomers:
 - Badges will probably be in the Sheraton (has been for the last several years)
 - Sheraton tends to be the Star Wars/ Star Trek/ BSG & Pool parties. 
 - North of that is the Hilton.  This is where gaming usually is.  Board/ Card/ general games are in the basement.  RPGs on higher floors.  Also panels for some of the less pop-culture tracks.  May have walk of fame.
 - To the West is the Marriott (Ground Zero) of DragonCon.  Avoid the skybridge from the Hilton and take the street.  Skybridge will take 30 min to walk 100 feet, and be stuffy and gross. 
 - Marriott has many layers and many rooms for all sorts of stuff.  But is also one of the key places to look at Cosplay.  Also may have walk of fame. 
 - Marriott connects to the food court (south) and Hyatt to the West.  Skybridge here are not as bad, but still pretty crowded. 
 - Hyatt is more layers and sectioned than the Marriott, and traffic is more regulated.  More events in ballrooms here.  Art gallery is cool to check out, as are BattleBots. 
 - Vendor halls keep moving, but may still be in the America's mart to the South West of the Hyatt. 
 - Weston to the south of the America's mart is the last host hotel listed here, and is a little more quiet, and tends to have Authors, Whedon Track, Steampunk, and Zombie themed stuff. 

Hope this helps. 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 02:05:04 PM by Trathor »
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Offline Vondor

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Re: F.A.Q.: Newbie Advice for people arriving on Saturday
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 08:54:47 PM »
Agree with all of the above.

-- Walk of Fame is in the Marriott.  Lower level below the Lobby.
-- Sheraton also has British Track- Dr. Who, etc.
-- Hilton has the Science and Space tracks.
-- Marriott has Classic TV track, New TV Track, X-track (I think)
-- Hyatt has a Film Track with independent films on the lower level.    and continuous video rooms on an even lower level- 1 movies and 1 anime
-- Vendor hall is in the Apparel Mart for this year.
-- Big Panels with celebrity guests tend to be in Ball rooms and may be in different hotels than the regular track.  I.e.  Dr. Who Panel with a celebrity may be in Hyatt Ballroom even though the track is based in Sheraton.
-- A lot of the Panels are Fan run but are still a lot of fun to go to.
-- Tracks tend to have panels until 10 PM/midnight
-- Parties start around 10 PM and are typically found in ballrooms (or rooms) in every hotel
-- Bands play every night
-- After the parties and bands, there is usually 1-2 raves from 2-6 AM

-- The Con is way more crowded than you can possibly imagine
-- Be patient

Good rules to live by
1) Eat at least 2 meals a day
2) Shower every day
3) Sleep at least 6 hours a day.  Not necessarily at night or continuous.

Carry a water bottle.  It is easy to refill.

The Unique Geek runs a good set of Podcasts.  50 days of Dragon Con.  I have been listening to them on the way to work and learned something new about every track.

Offline KPK

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Re: F.A.Q.: Newbie Advice for people arriving on Saturday
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2015, 10:02:46 PM »
Question- where are the raves normally?

Offline Charismaryllis

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Re: F.A.Q.: Newbie Advice for people arriving on Saturday
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 10:36:45 PM »
I don't know if they're considered raves, but there are concerts/dances going on all night long friday, saturday and sunday in the atrium ballroom.

Why, yes, i'm still marking up the program grid, now that you mention it. ;)
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