Dragon Con Recap #1: Day 0 – In The Beginning

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jen or Lil’ Bit in con circles. I created the Dragon Con Parties, Meetups & More group on Facebook back in 2019. In just a few years, we’ve grown to over 4,500 members. That same year believe, I also had the pleasure of guesting on the Dragon Con Report a few times which lead to me going that crew as a full member of the team for the past 2 seasons of the show.

As an admin of a party group, you might think I partied in up every night at con this year – and I did, but not in the traditional sense. “Parties, Meetups & More” encompasses a wide range of events at Dragon Con. Sure, classic official parties are listed there such as the Bunny Hutch and 80s Prom as well as the more private ones that organizers wish to invite the public to, however there are also a plethora of fandom group meetups throughout the day & night, swag and ribbon events, concerts, puppet shows, trivia, karaoke, etc. All this is to say, each year I “party” in a different way.

I fly in from Texas and prefer to arrive on Wednesdays. My gang hit our local airport at 4:40 am and arrived in Atlanta a bit after 9 am. Then it was on to the Sheraton for an early check in and the usual hit every store we can to stock up for the week. By 6 pm, our yearly pre-con traditions began.

Not thinking about what has been on this floor before we laid down
  • Trader Vic’s for group dinner & Mai Tais
  • Say hello to the Over 40s in the Hilton Lobby (no seating? we make our own seating)
  • Enjoy the Wednesday night T-Rex parade
  • Over to Marriott for “Welcome Home” & all the other various group meetups
  • Take a picture on the Marriott floor and remember the old carpet
  • Wander over to the Hyatt and surprisingly discover they have started selling the Rum Buckets a day early
  • Rinse and repeat at the 3 main hotels until the midnight Marriott countdown to con
Corralling the Herd

In years past, I’ve stayed out pretty darn late on Day 0. Not this year however, as soon as the countdown was done so was I. Those early morning flights when I can barely sleep the night before from all the excitement are finally catching up with me as I race toward 47 years old.

Every year I see quite a few posts on line asking if arriving on Wednesday is worth it? Does anything happen? Are people in cosplay? For me, the answer is a resounding yes. I spent the early years watching videos and photos while being envious that I wasn’t there with the Day 0 crowd. You get to beat the check in chaos and acclimate to people, it’s easier to find your con friends to greet and the stress of not having panels/other scheduled events that first nite is pretty freeing.

Stay tuned for my Day 1 recap, which really affected how the rest of my con went.

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