Am I Going to Dragoncon This Year? / Plus Some Tips


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So I have gotten requests from some people already asking if I am going to Dragoncon this year.  For one, I have never been to Dragoncon ever!  But this year, that is going to change.  This year I am only going on Sunday.  One, because I have been unemployed for almost 26 months now.  And I live in East Alabama in Anniston, where the unemployment rates are way too high.  I was thinking about going on Saturday, but I am going to stay at home and enjoy some college football.  I don’t want to mingle and deal with the traffic from all the Alabama fans going to Atlanta and on the MARTA trains.

And two, I don’t want to pay up to $1000 for a hotel room in the Atlanta Metro to cover this event.  No doubt, I really want to cover all four days of this event.  But I don’t want to drive 70 miles back to Anniston every day.  One thing I have seen from the Dragoncon Facebook group page is some people are hoping the Dragoncon officials will move the event to a different date in the future so it would not cost too much.  With all the major events going on in one weekend in the Atlanta Metro, the hotels can jack up the price of a hotel room to huge rates!  Labor Day weekend has the following events going on in the Atlanta Metro.  First off is Dragoncon, one of the biggest cons in the country with around 80,000 people expected.  If you think only Dragon con is going on, boy are you wrong!  ‘

There is the Black Gay Pride Festival happening all weekend with 50,000 people expected.  The Decatur Book Festival happening all weekend with 10,000 people expected.  Georgia State Football Friday at the Georgia Dome with 20,000 people expected.  The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with Alabama and Virginia Tech on Saturday at the Georgia Dome with 60,000 people expected.  Kickoff Classic Concert featuring Sheryl Crow in Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday with 25,000 people expected.  And NASCAR at Atlanta Motor Speedway happening all weekend with 65,000 people expected.

All but NASCAR are in Downtown Atlanta with both Dragoncon and the Black Gay Pride Festival holding Parades.  As some people would say, enjoy the traffic everyone!  Well, except for me.  Because I am going to post some great advice that I am going to follow on Sunday.  For one, I am not driving into downtown Atlanta.  I will be getting off at exit 52 on Interstate 20 to connect to the MARTA line and the Hamilton E. Holmes Station.  The train line runs every day from 5 am to 1 am and runs every 20 minutes.  A round trip costs $5 for each person and its convenient and easy to use!  Parking at the station is free and I won’t have to worry about paying for parking in downtown Atlanta.

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I will use MARTA to the Five Points station, then transfer to the north/south line to the Peachtree Center station, and then go up the stairs and you are at Dragoncon!  Dragoncon is at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Hilton, Sheraton Atlanta, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in downtown Atlanta.  A Dragoncon membership is $40 each for Sunday, but registration begins at 8 am and I am sure I don’t want to be left out when the con reaches capacity.  The con runs 24/7 from Friday until Monday, but I need to be on the trains by midnight.

Here’s a little trick, each person must generate a QR Code at registration.  But since I will be paying on-site, I can shorten my time in line as well.  Click here and fill out the form, submit it, and it will generate a .pdf file with a QR code that you print and bring to the on site registration area at the convention.  The QR code will contain all of my demographic information, mildly encrypted and base64 encoded.  Once I have gone through the cashier line, I will use this printed QR Code to go to a special line to speed up the process!  This has to be done for each person going to Dragoncon.

So here is what me and friends are going to do on Sunday.  I also did this post for someone who needed some help. (times central)

6:00 am – Leave Anniston

7:30 am – Arrive in Atlanta – Hamilton E. Holmes Station

Around 8:00 am – Arrive at Dragoncon – follow the blue tape and go to the Capitol Ballroom at the Sheraton for registration.

Rest of Sunday, enjoy!

 

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