In less than a month, Downtown Atlanta will transform with the arrival of the internationally known sci-fi, fantasy, pop culture and gaming extravaganza known as Dragon Con. The festival spans four days over Labor Day weekend (August 29 -September 2, 2019) and expects more than 85,000 guests from around the world and from galaxies far, far away.
It's not held in a convention center, but rather five "host hotels," the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, the Hilton Atlanta, the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, and hopefully the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. This year's Dragon Con is larger than ever before, with programming planned across more than 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming.
Expanded in 2019 is Dragon Con TV, available in each of the host hotels and online.
Whether this is your first year at Dragon Con or your 33rd, the festival always offers something new.
Here's what you need to know for Dragon Con 2019:
Dragon Con doesn't actually sell tickets, they sell memberships. You can buy a weekend membership for $140 (through 08/16/2019), Saturday only for $50, Sunday only for $45 or an eternal membership for $3,000.
Regardless of when you get to the convention, your badge is essential. You'll need to wear your badge the entire time you're at the convention. If you lose your badge, you'll have to buy a new one.
Unless you are staying at a hotel downtown or live downtown, MARTA is highly suggested. It runs directly from the airport and from various other parts of Atlanta directly to Dragon Con. The Peachtree Center station will put you right in the middle of the action. Just remember MARTA stops running at 1:15 a.m.
If MARTA isn't for you, Dragon Con recommends booking parking in advance through Parking Panda, a parking reservation app. Check out Dragon Con's transportation page for more info including parking.
What is there is to do and see
What is there not to do and see? From daily panels and programming spread out among all five host hotels, to gaming areas, the famed Dragon Con parade, costumed convention-goers as far as the eye can see, more gear than one could ever buy at the America'sMart vendor hall, daily pool parties, and nightly hotel parties, there is literally no end to the Dragon Con to-dos. It's as simple as following your heart, a schedule or wandering around downtown.
Pro-tip: if you are looking for cosplay and socialization, the Marriott lobby levels are always a safe bet.
This year, Dragon Con is placing a special emphasis on its Comics & Pop Art programming, attracting art and comic enthusiasts of all ages with a "dream team of Bronze Age and Modern Age comics writers and artists."
Also of note this year is the people to see. Some of the cast from Spongebob Squarepants will be in attendance, along with dozens more of the actresses and actors, illustrators, authors, voice artists, writers, puppeteers, and creators of the shows, movies, and comics you know and love.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.