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A Dragon Con Checklist: How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience

Credit: Dragon Con Media Relations

With only 4 days left until Dragon*con, I thought it would be helpful to make a checklist to prepare you for your con experience. I think this list will be routine for the usual con goers, but to some newbies going this year, this list might help!

Dragon Con Checklist: Your Blue Ticket

Dragon con sends you a blue post card as your registration ticket, and don’t forget your blue ticket at home. Sometimes it’s almost traumatizing for people who accidentally leave their ticket at home. Good news is, you can still get in without it. Bad news is, you’ll be that one guy who holds up registration and ruins the con for everyone! No, I’m kidding, it just takes longer for you in the prepaid line.

Dragon Con Checklist: Your wig.

True story. My 2nd Dragon con I was a ballgown attire Poison Ivy with my friend being Harley, and I thought I had the right wig with me. Turns out it was a very wrong wig, which left me to improvise with lipstick, powdered blush, and water as a makeshift natural hair dye (It worked by the way, but it took 30 minutes though. 2 out of 5 stars. Would not recommend).

Which brings me to my second on the list. Don’t forget your cosplay items! Double check always. Especially if you happen to have weapons or props of any sort. Same goes for if you rely heavily on your FX makeup, double check to make sure all your makeup items are along for the ride. Don’t want to be that one healthy looking human trying to pose as a zombie. Typical.

This also includes cosplay repair stuff. Let’s be real here, who actually finishes their cosplays before a con? Hot glue, pins and needles, heat guns, duck tape, etc. Wardrobe malfunctions are the worst.

Dragon Con Checklist: Ca$h

When going to the nerdy promise land like Dragon con, the vendors locations have made me drool a couple of times. However the prices have made me cry. Bring money.

I would say mostly cash so you can make it rain when you’re buying that Chewbacca hoodie. I’m not speaking from personal desire at all what so ever (I’m coming back for you hoodie!) But also there’s a lot of merch, celebrity photo ops, autographs, artwork, and even workshops that require money. Also the food court is my group’s go to spot for quick food on site. Money will become your friend and worst enemy this week.

Dragon Con Checklist: Phone Charger

Never has my phone ever had a shorter battery life than it does at a con. Your poor phone will be trying to keep up with your enthusiasm of trying to take videos and pictures of everything around you.

One year I brought my charger and sat on the ground in the food court while eating just to charge my phone. If you are the investing type, go for a portable phone charger. Just plug it up and let it charge in your purse/pocket/utility belt.

Dragon Con Checklist: Con Crud Prevention Plan

The infamous Con Crud. I get it every year. This year my con crud actually decided to come early…aka now. I never thought to prepare on not getting sick, but it’s a smart plan that is well worth it in the long run.

Con crud can hit hard, and it will get it’s fuel from your lack of sleep. So want to keep partying and not have to rely too much on rest? Bring Emergen-C packets, vitamins, drink SO much water, Zyrtec, witchcraft, and potent health poultices! Start now!

Dragon Con Checklist: Street Clothes

IMG_4544 (1)You can’t sleep in Mass Effect armor. Ok you probably could, but it would be extremely uncomfortable. As if being cramped in a hotel room wasn’t enough.

It’s easy to focus only on bring your cosplays to a con but sometimes it makes you forget about normal clothes. Sometimes your cosplays start to get that good ol’ “I’ve worn this in Georgia summer heat for more than 24 hours” stank.

So bring extra clothes just in case. Also bring comfortable shoes. Can’t stress that enough. Dragon con is definitely a walking experience. My group has walked from the hotel every year, even when the walk was over 2 miles. My second year was also the year I decided to wear heels. My friend and I shared a very dramatic walk back to the hotel that night where I stopped and leaned against a pole and yelled out “Go! Go on without me! I won’t be able to make it!

So this is why all my cosplays are usually of people who wear combat boots or flats.

Dragon Con Checklist: Proper Expectations

It took me a really long time to embrace my weirdness/nerdiness. I never felt like it was a part of my true identity until I started to really figure out who I was.

My friends went to Dragon con without me one year and I regretted not going so I tagged along the year after. They shared stories, experiences, and so many inside jokes. Even then I didn’t know what to  expect. I never expected to go to a Post-Apocalyptic Disco and dance the night away, meet 2 new people within my group and 2 people at the con, get featured in an Atlanta news article, have strangers want pictures of me, and to get so hooked to a convention.

Reason why I am big on this one is because my second year at Dragon con, I had more experience, even cooler cosplays, etc. Let’s say I expected more. Before the con even started my expectations started falling like dying flies.

Our group had a bump in the road with hotel issues, one person got sick and couldn’t come, I got the wrong wig, my poison ivy dress and shoes weren’t finished, registration was a pain, and so on. In my head my expectations were already crumbling and I was trying to stay positive.

Well it all started to turn around when a friend and I accidentally got a pool suite with no extra charges. Two people sharing a HUGE hotel room for Dragon con for cheaper than expected is like seeing a mermaid ride a unicorn in broad daylight.

At a con you just have to take everything in the moment, and just be extremely open and spontaneous. There’s always something that will pleasantly surprise you.

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