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3 AM and You're Still Awake

Page history last edited by Malachi 7 years, 5 months ago

The parties have wound down for the evening. The drunken shouting has dulled. The hotel lobbies have emptied of even the hardiest of partiers, as the crowds have reached their collective Bacchanalial orgasm and slunk off to bed without even a cuddle. But not you, no. You, my voracious friend, are a creature of the night... or perhaps you can't sleep for all the nightmares brought to you by your shame, your guilt, and the letter H. No, the night is young yet.


Unlike other conventions, DragonCon literally never sleeps.  One only need walk to the balcony of the Hyatt or Marriott and you will see a sea of people moving and writhing in convention waves.  Many folks, who are lucky, find a spot down amongst the masses, claim real estate and plop right down to watch the madness unfurl, and the unlucky are asked to move Marriott security. (Thanks, whomever threw the bottles over the balcony of the 10th floor of the Marriott. We really appreciated it.)


However, as with any attendance of any convention, there are a few rules to follow when you find yourself wandering the halls at 3:00 AM and sleep runs from you like a Democrat from a Tea Party.



People Watching


1.  If you are staying in the Marriott Marquis, you can wade out amongst the sea of folks.  There are three main levels where one can spot a multitude of costumes and lack there of at any particular time of the evening.  I prefer the bottom floor as that is where the most fun usually takes place including photoshoots with large groups of people in costume.  This floor is also the least crowded early in the morning.  The upper two floors including the main lobby (with the bar) are often VERY crowded.  This is the main interstate between the hotels so people are coming and going 24 hours a day through this venue.  Avoid the bars, Starbucks and restaurants on this level as they are expensive and usually have 18 hour waits.


2.  If you are at the Hyatt Regency, your main lobby and the three floors below it are also bustling with activity 22 hours a day.  Going up to the second floor to hit the Con Suite and watch the crowd from above is recommended. The Hyatt used to be the source of all events at DragonCon until they allowed themselves to be consumed by greed, jealousy and an adherence to the fire code.  There is no stopping in the lobby, no photo's in the lobby, no looking around in the lobby... you are to walk through, do not talk, do not look right, do not look left and if you pull out a camera, you will be removed from the convention floor by one of several off duty Atlanta police officers earning an extra buck at DC as security.  The Marriott has taken most of the Hyatt's business as they invoked a different approach... being nice to their guests and welcoming them!!!  Imagine that. 


3.  If you are at the Sheraton... well... I'm sorry.



DragonCon itself doesn't sleep. There are several late panels that will roll all night, or until people start collapsing. Many of the raves in the Hyatt will last until the dawn comes to scatter the goth crowds like cockroaches. Many of the film and animation tracks will also run movies throughout the night, which is a good choice for them: inebriation is no bar for their guests nor their technicians.


Hosting your own panel

By this point, many of the smaller conference rooms may be empty. This is your chance! Now you can get up at the front of the room and drone on for an hour about anything you want, without being pelted with bottles or other assorted debris from an annoyed audience, or escorted out by convention security for displaying your genitals to the celebrity guest (please don't display your genitals in an area considered public, thanks)! Carrying simple supplies like paper, masking tape, and a sharpie will let you put up your own sign, too. What about an audience? Surely that's the point of your ravings, right, is to have someone listen? Trust me, you're not the only one awake and wandering aimlessly. Shout at passerby and demand they join your mini-convention. You finally have the power!




Gaming Track






There's food in the con suite.  It's free.  Need I say more?



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