This year, I planned a little better. Luckily I’m press, and that comes with a few perks. Dragon*Con provided essential learning tools for us newbies, complete with instructional E-mails, podcasts and a pub crawl throughout the various venues. Wednesday the week of, after hiring the sitter (Grandpa), getting through infamous ATL traffic (like a snail) and parking, I was unprepared for the hotel to already be taken over by fans in half- cosplay. Wednesday! Dragon*Con doesn’t start until Fri. The joke at “The Con” is that Thursday is the new Friday, but apparently Wednesday is the new Thursday. I suddenly felt self-conscious about the fact that I wasn’t donning my elf ears yet.

So as the experience unfolded in front of me, it became very clear that Dragon *Con is a beast and there really isn’t a way to experience everything. I decided to focus on how to get the most out of this truly extraordinary weekend.