So, this was our second time attending Dragon*Con. The first time was in 2008. All we really did that time was walk around and take pictures. We only did a couple of things that actually required our badge, and in the end decided we'd wasted our money. Not that it wasn't worth it, it's just that our favorite parts of the trip were free, such as the parade. (2008 Facebook Pictures: Here. Parade Video: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
Come to think of it, this is actually the fifth con we've been to, if you count Star Wars Celebrations. We went to SW Celebration 2 in 2002, SWC 3 in 2005, GenCon Indianapolis 2007, and of course Dragon*Cons 2008 and 2011.
But Dragon*Con is our favorite. Every year when it looms closer, we consider the following options:
2. Be complete cheapskates. Either get a cheap hotel Friday night, or just drive down very early Saturday morning. Don't buy tickets. Just watch the parade, walk around the hotel lobbies taking more pictures, then drive back up Saturday evening.
3. Pay, but make it worth it. We still wouldn't pay for all three days, but whichever day we do pay for, make sure we actually attend some of the symposiums we paid for. Come back with a couple of souvenirs.
4. Go whole hog. Get a room in one of the actual hosting hotels, and pay for the entire weekend.
Maybe someday we'll do #4, but that plan might involve winning the lottery. But this year we at least managed to scrape together enough for #3.
After poring over the event schedule, we decided to attend the con itself on Friday. We attended two symposiums. The first was Star Trek related, and was hosted by Garrett Wang (Voyager). The second was a discussion of Doctor Who continuity. We also bought some souvenirs at the vendor hall, walked around an art gallery, and took lots and lots of pictures (here). On Saturday we returned to the con to watch the parade (pictures here).
It wasn't all about the con, though. We got to visit with my cousin, and we went to the Atlanta Zoo (pics here). We had a great time, and we're thoroughly exhausted.