Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Halfway Home

It's the first week of March, and that means we're halfway home to Dragon*Con!

The guest list is picking up some steam. Recent additions include first timer Christopher "Doc Brown" Llyod and Felicia Day (a personal favorite thanks to a wonderful encounter in '09). Mr. Lloyd is an indication to me that the con is getting a bigger appeal to the celebrity guest community. We have folks like James Marsters and Richard Hatch who are annual regulars; Aaron Douglas also repeatedly attends, including one year as a fan and not on any official guest panels; and Garrett Wang, who went from a guest to a track director. Now THAT is going boldly where no one has gone before. I believe that the powers that be still have some surprises stored for us in celebration of the 25th anniversary this year. Two thirds of the usual 400 guest list remains to be filled!

Now for 2 pieces of advice regarding hotels for the con.

1. If you missed first opportunity to book from official means with the "con rate," I recommend using discount travel sites, especially Last Minute Travel. These shave over a hundred dollars off your stay, and it's getting easier to figure who where you're staying before they tell you. FYI, I'm referring to sites that don't tell you the hotel's name until after booking. LMT even has pictures now for some of those hotels, and based on those images as well as information on the number of floors and rooms, you can easily figure out which ones are the Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton. Oh, click on "downtown" hotels to narrow your search.

2. Regardless of how you book or where you stay, an important thing to do a week away from your reservation is to call and ask for some requests. For instance, getting extra towels or asking for a mini fridge. A big thing to consider is the level of your floor, and I'll give you some reasons why. If you're too low and near the main lobbies, that crowd noise could interrupt your peaceful slumber. However, if you're too high, then you are completely at the mercy of the elevator gods to reach your room. And the those gods are very fickle during D*C week. Some specific floors like the 10th at the Marriott are known to hold several photo shoots, further complicating the crowding issue. What do I do? I book the Hilton for its quiet reputation and ask for a low floor so I can take the stairs to my room.

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