The most magical time of the year is upon us. As we get into the single digit days before Dragon Con 2014, we are scrambling to get everything done. Costumes, general packing, setting aside appropriate funds, and reading handy dandy survival guides, but Dragon Con is not a static thing in how things are laid out. If you’re cosplaying or photographing cosplayers this year, here are some important things you should know in advance of the con.

The Tenth Floor of the Marriott is a lounge for cosplayers now

For years and years, the tenth floor of the Marriott Marquis (also known as the SkyLine) has been a popular spot for cosplay meet ups and photos. Wide open space away from a lot of hustle and bustle of the convention, and a lot of natural light without having to go into the potential soul sucking humidity of Atlanta in late August/early September.

However, there’s going to be a slight change into how the 10th floor is run this year. According to the statement released on the official Dragon Con Facebook page, the tenth floor will now be a “Cospitality Lounge” sponsored by Riot Games. Meaning that there will be repair kits and hydration stations for cosplayers as well as an area to escape from the convention for a little bit.

It also means that there will be no photography allowed.

This has some longtime cosplayers of the convention very noticeably upset, but it does actually go a long way to protect the privacy of cosplayers who may not want photos of them taking a break for lunch circulating around the internet. (Seriously people, unless it’s a guy cosplaying Bernie Lomax, don’t take pictures of cosplayers if they’re just trying to sit down and breathe for a few minutes.) Plus, regular meet ups will still be allowed in the spaces the lounge is not using.

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Construction + Concourse = Tight Squeeze for Big Cosplay Photoshoots

This one will mostly only pertain to this year. Georgia State University recently acquired the building attached to the backend of the Hilton and are currently in the middle of construction on it as part of its expansion plan for the future. This is making it considerably harder to have big meet ups at the Hilton steps like it has been done in the past, but we’ve survived Marriott renovations making moving around the convention a tight squeeze. We can survive this.

Also, as part of the expanding concourse programming, a second concourse stage for bands has been added outside under one of the sets of steps. This doesn’t concern me much for cosplayers, but for the bands. IT’S FREAKING HOT OUTSIDE? WILL THE MUSICIANS BE ADEQUATELY HYDRATED SO THEY DON’T DIE?

My personal concerns aside, you can read more about the construction at the Superhero Costuming Forum.

Are you excited for these changes or do they make you worried about the convention? Either way, we’ll find out how it goes in a little more than a week!

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