This tale begins with an airplane. When going to Dragon Con from afar, one of the first tasks to complete is the customs and security line. Once that overdose of paranoia has successfully finished searching every nook and cranny that has ever existed throughout all of history and violating every ounce of human dignity you possess, you actually get to board the plane. Although the plane ride itself is boring, the trip serves to contrast the excitement and wonder that is Dragon Con.
After the flight (and maybe a short trip on MARTA) comes the first impression. As the front doors open to cool off new arrivals, a sense of grandeur sweeps over you and your companions. In the face of the elegance, stone, and metal…wham! The Dragon Con-themed spotlight invades the overheated-adolescent mind, leaving once arrogant and entitled teens feeling like insignificant husks.
Next, there’s the tour. In other words, walking around for three hours and shifting between the cool climate-controlled air of the grandiose hotels and the scorching, mind-numbing, anger-inducing heat of an August in Atlanta.
Then you stand in the line known as Registration. (Rumor has it that the lines have been getting faster every time.) After following the tape road (blue if you’re lucky) and wandering patiently through a maze of volunteers herding you and telling you both where to go and where not to go, you finally get to hand over money in exchange for the world’s most awesome badge. Finally, you leave the farthest-away hotel, pushing through sweaty flesh and reeling from over-stimulation. After another round of scorching sunlight, with exhaustion riding your back like a surfer and fatigue-laden feet dragging across the solar-irradiated stone, you arrive back to your hotel for food and recuperation, wide-eyed and enthusiastic for the start to an amazing convention.