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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone know if there's either a Home Haunt or Pro Haunt presence / vendors / events / sessions at DragonCon? I'm going to DragonCon in Atlanta this year (over Labor Day weekend). Never been to any SF/Fantasy or haunt Cons. Asked a DragonCon veteran I know--he's not a haunter--and he said Netherworld typically has a booth. But that's about all he recalled.

Man, I wish there was a Home Haunter Track at DragonCon. Would really be great for me because I'm not sure I'll ever get to any exclusively Home Haunter conventions. And the Pro Haunt conventions are probably More Than I Need, being a Yard Haunter. If there isn't a small Home Haunter Track at DragonCon, perhaps it's time to start one? Heck, there's a Science / Skeptic's track (the SkepTrack) that I am excited about attending--sometimes the Mythbusters guys attend--they're pretty famous Skeptics. Don't know if Penn & Teller attend--my favorite magicians minus their politics--but they always go to TAM - The Amazing Meeting - conference in Las Vegas, put on by the James Randi Educational Foundation.

The cool thing about DragonCon is that they seem to have stuff for both paranormalists and skeptics alike. Something for everyone. :) And only $100 (one hundred) admission price for all 4 days of the conference. That's a bargain compared to ComicCon, etc.

http://www.dragoncon.org/
 

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Great convention, with a reputation for high quality costumes in the contest. The closest you might find for haunts is in the costuming track. My focus on props for cosplay ties nicely in with my yard haunt. I went for the first time last year, and it was a blast. The ticket prices increase as time goes on. If at DC 2014, you buy a 4-day ticket for DC2015 it will cost about $65. That same ticket in August is $130. So the sooner you buy them, the cheaper they are. The real cost of DC is the hotel. They sell out really fast, the main 3 hotel, Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt sell out in usually about 15-20 minutes after opening. Last year I looked at pricing, and if I wanted to stay at one of the 5 host hotels, the cost would have been about 400-500 per night, buying in well in advance, you can get rates around 200-250/night. I booked our 2015 room at the Hilton in Oct 2014. Most of the over-flow hotels sell out too. So, it's a blast to attend, but don't wait until last minute. Think of it as a 4 day Nerdi-gras and have fun.
 

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Love DragonCon. Went last year as an attendee for the first time - the rest of the times I've gone, I've worked security. We stayed at an overflow hotel because of the cost. The shuttles are pretty easy to catch, run every day but Thursday (if you get there early to sign in/get your badge like we did), and are a short ride. Only thing you miss out on, really, is DragonCon TV and the additional convenience. Besides, I think it took us less time to get to our hotel via shuttle than most folks took to get to their rooms in the Hilton. Those elevators are a pain to catch.

I don't remember ever seeing a dedicated haunt track, but several of the panels could fit. The entire costuming track is a good one and sometimes includes fabrication of props. The steampunk track covers that genre of costumes, props, etc, but last year they had a panel on how to convert everyday items into awesome props - including "trash" like those HUGE cheese puff barrels, thrift store finds, how to make a costume if you don't sew, etc

What I do recommend is the DragonCon app if you have a smartphone/tablet. Classes change constantly - times, rooms, teachers - so the book is obsolete the moment it's printed, really. The staff pushes updates to the app and then to DragonCon TV, so if you have the app, you'll always be on top of things. Just check it for updates slightly away from the 5 host hotels. Last year, they kept overloading the cell towers and reception was pretty craptastic Every. Single. Day.

Have fun for me! I was hoping to get back, but it doesn't look like it'll be possible this time around.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Love DragonCon. Went last year as an attendee for the first time - the rest of the times I've gone, I've worked security. We stayed at an overflow hotel because of the cost. The shuttles are pretty easy to catch, run every day but Thursday (if you get there early to sign in/get your badge like we did), and are a short ride. Only thing you miss out on, really, is DragonCon TV and the additional convenience. Besides, I think it took us less time to get to our hotel via shuttle than most folks took to get to their rooms in the Hilton. Those elevators are a pain to catch.

I don't remember ever seeing a dedicated haunt track, but several of the panels could fit. The entire costuming track is a good one and sometimes includes fabrication of props. The steampunk track covers that genre of costumes, props, etc, but last year they had a panel on how to convert everyday items into awesome props - including "trash" like those HUGE cheese puff barrels, thrift store finds, how to make a costume if you don't sew, etc

What I do recommend is the DragonCon app if you have a smartphone/tablet. Classes change constantly - times, rooms, teachers - so the book is obsolete the moment it's printed, really. The staff pushes updates to the app and then to DragonCon TV, so if you have the app, you'll always be on top of things.
Thank you Brian and Elaina.

@Brian, love the idea of DragonCon as a 4 day Nerdi-gras. Thanks for that and advice about the Costuming Track. :)

@Elaina, thanks for the great info *especially* the tip about downloading the app--wouldn't have thought of that! Sounds incredibly useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DragonCon is great, but if you really want to see Halloween vendors and such, why not go to HauntCon? It's got plenty of items for the smaller scale home haunters.
Not sure a 100% dedicated Haunt convention would be right for me. I love the fact the DragonCon, evidently, is an agglomeration of 5 separate Cons that came together. My wife is the SF / Fantasy nerd. I am a Science Guy and there's a Science track at DragonCon--so I'm really looking forward to that. Plus I've got a close friend I haven't seen in years who lives in Atlanta. So there are many great reasons for me to go to DC. Given there's Something For Everyone, I hoped there'd be a haunt track. Don't care much about vendors, really--but if that's all I can "get", that's fine. I'd be more interested in classes and lectures geared toward home haunters. And it's costly to go to conferences in general so I've got to pick and choose.

That said, a friend of mine asked if me and my wife would be doing Cosplay. Hadn't thought of it since we don't even dress up for our Yard Haunt. However... I think it would be quite cool for my wife and I to dress up as a Haunted Mansion Maid and Butler. How costly would it be to buy or have someone create those costumes? Not into spending big money on something I won't use much. Unless that's our new Yard Haunt apparel. There's a thought! :)

Anyone got good photos of any Haunted Mansion Maid + Butler pairs together in the same photo I could use as reference material in case I want to hire-out someone creating a costume?
 

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Never been to DragonCon, but each year we go to Trans World in St Louis. It is AWESOME! Tailored for both huge pro haunts, and yard and garage haunts like us. If you have never been, you should look into it. It happens to be next Thursday - Sunday, cant wait.
 
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