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Entertainment
How to survive Dragon Con 2018
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How to survive Dragon Con 2018

How to survive Dragon Con 2018
Photo Credit: Stephen Morton/Getty Images
Dragon Con kicks off in Atlanta this weekend.

How to survive Dragon Con 2018

Dragon Con, and all of its many celebrities, panels, screenings and Storm Troopers, is back for its 32nd year.

>> Read more trending news 

The four-day convention draws tens of thousands of people to Atlanta and runs "round the clock" Aug. 30-Sept. 3 at five downtown hotels: the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Hilton Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta, Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the Westin Peachtree Plaza. 

The ever-growing event is again expanding its scaly footprint into the AmericasMart Buildings which sadly, won’t be renamed DragonsMart.

Last-minute admission — "membership," in convention parlance, as it also confers several discounts and benefits will cost $140. Check this page for onsite registration details closer to opening day.

>> Related: Dragon Con promises a ‘Stranger’ Labor Day

Complete info on memberships is available here. Children ages 6 and under get in free.

Here's what else you need to know if you're attending. (No: You cannot get married at the convention.)

Where to park + stay

Dragon Con has partnered with Spot Hero to sell guaranteed parking passes, including overnight parking. One-day passes start at $7. Remember that MARTA is a great way to get to anywhere in downtown Atlanta, use the Peachtree Center station for Dragon Con. Remember also that MARTA stops running at 1 a.m. Check out Dragon Con’s transportation page for more info including parking.

There are dozens of other options outside Spot Hero. Here's an interactive map of downtown options, including garages and covered and non-covered surface lots.

The convention maintains a list of area hotels with available rooms, including rate information, here.

Rick Diamond
Spectators fill the parking garages in downtown Atlanta, jockeying for the best view of the annual Dragon Con parade.
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How to survive Dragon Con 2018

Photo Credit: Rick Diamond
Spectators fill the parking garages in downtown Atlanta, jockeying for the best view of the annual Dragon Con parade.

What to do

The convention is huge, encompassing programming from many different genres (science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic book, cartoon, etc.), so attendees are best off planning a personalized schedule.

There are many options: Here's a list of featured appearances(including “Stranger Things” middle schoolers Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin, Jennifer Morrison aka Emma Swan from “Once Upon A Time,” former Big Bird Carroll Spinney and more) and a list of the 45-plus performers; and here is a list of events, including a late-night puppet slam, late night DJ dances, a burlesque show (geek burlesque), wrestling and of course, the parade.

>> Related: 7 places to people-watch at DragonCon (without a ticket)

Many guests will also host autograph signing sessions.

That's not all: The convention will host gaming events of all kinds (video games, board games, table top games, live-action role-playing gamesand more); workshops covering acting, special effects and makeup, writing and more; and "tracks" (bundled panels, seminars and other events) on topics such as "Star Wars," alternative history, urban fantasy, young adult literature and more. A first for 2018: A diversity track.

Stephen Morton/Getty Images
Thousand of sci-fi fans are expected to converge on downtown Atlanta this weekend to participate in the annual Dragon Con event.
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How to survive Dragon Con 2018

Photo Credit: Stephen Morton/Getty Images
Thousand of sci-fi fans are expected to converge on downtown Atlanta this weekend to participate in the annual Dragon Con event.

And then there is the artwork, which attendees can see and own, while exploring the art show and the comics and pop artist alley, which for 2018 features a Monster Mash tribute to classic horror and monster artwork. Think Dracula, Frankenstein all the way through Buffy and lots of classic comic book art. This year the comics and pop art venues will be in the Americas Mart near the Dragon Con Vendor Hall.

>> Related: For first time, Dragon Con offers fan track focusing on diversity

Want to save a photo from the weekend? Here are the details on opportunities for fan photography (you, your costume, your friends) and celebrity photography (you, your costume, a famous person).

Richard Hallman contributed to this report.

Read More

News

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  • The reign of 'Avatar' as the top-grossing film of all time is over after a decade. 'Avengers: Endgame' has toppled James Cameron's sci-fi movie to become the highest-grossing box office film in the world.  Variety reported that the Disney and Marvel blockbuster has made more than $2.7902 billion at the global box office Sunday, surpassing the $2.7897 billion gross for 'Avatar.' The announcement was made at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday afternoon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. >> Read more trending news  “A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,' Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn said in a statement. 'Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s 'Avatar' remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Pandora.” In June, 'Endgame' returned to theaters with about six minutes of new footage in an effort to dethrone 'Avatar.' It was initially released in theaters in April. The news comes after a slate of new Marvel projects were announced at Comic-Con. A new ensemble franchise, 'Eternals,' was announced, with Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee and Angelina Jolie. Marvel dominates half of the top 10 highest-grossing films in the world. A list of the top 10 all-time worldwide box office grosses is below. 'Avengers: Endgame' - $2.7902 billion 'Avatar' - $2.7897 billion 'Titanic' - $2.1875 billion 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' - $2.0682 billion 'Avengers: Infinity War' - $2.0484 billion 'Jurassic World' - $1.6717 billion 'Marvel's The Avengers' - $1.5188 billion 'Furious 7' - $1.5160 billion 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - $1.4054 billion 'Black Panther' - $1.3469 billion
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  • The carcass of a minke whale washed up along a Massachusetts beach Friday.  >> Read more trending news   They are not endangered or threatened but the species of whale is part of an unusual mortality event since 2017, with 59 documented deaths along the Atlantic coast from Maine to South Carolina, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Fisheries. They are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Heavy equipment was needed to move the 23-foot marine mammal, considered a young adult, the Cape Cod Times reported. Minke are the smallest of what are considered the great whales. They grow up to 35 feet and weigh up to 20,000 pounds. Their common name comes from a Norwegian whaling spotter named “Meincke” who mistook a minke whale for a blue whale.  A necropsy will be performed Monday.
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  • Officials are offering a reward for information leading to the people who they say stole from a Walmart store and pointed a gun at a manager.  Three people — a man and two women — shoplifted from a Walmart in Conyers about 4 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.  When the man was confronted, he chambered a pistol and pointed it at a store manager, officials said. The three suspects got into a dark 4-door sedan and fled, authorities said.  Anyone with information is urged to contact Conyers police.  Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website. In other news: