Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BLIZZCON and Disneyland.

I feel like this is way too much to try to cram into one blog post about BlizzCon, but here I go attempting to do so anyway.

Thursday: I flew down to LA with Justin, Ariana picked us up at the airport, and then we headed to EchoBase briefly to pick up Erinn and Aaron. The plan was to go immediately down to Anaheim to check into our hotel, pick up our BlizzCon registration, and hit up the WoWHead pre-party.

The line for registration was out-the-door long, but chatting in line and feeling the building anticipation made the time go quickly. This was where the joke "Black Shirt Con" started, I believe, on account of 80% of the people in attendance wearing black shirts. I think that gives a pretty good picture of what this convention was like. We met a guy in line who was wearing a My Little Pony shirt; he definitely approved of the costumes we told him we were wearing the next day.

The swag bags were awesome. The main gift was a model Tyrael from Diablo, a WoW authenticator, and an assortment of other little fun things I can't be bothered to go rifle through my bag to remember. After we go our bags we stuffed them in a friends' car and headed out to the party. Almost immediately Jason and I recognized TradeChat and said hi to her; I was surprised she recognized me as well and would not stop telling me how much she wished she could have my voice. Guess she hasn't heard about the nodes, har har (that was a terrible joke, I'm crying inwardly). We wandered around a bit more, saw Felicia Day sitting at a table surrounded by weird creepo lurking fans (I really did want to try to say hi to her, but not under those circumstances) and then chose to leave the party early in favor of hanging out with Hank Green (who also happened to be in Anaheim at the same time as us).

We kind of made it an early night (well, if you can consider 1-2am "early"; this was a convention) because we wanted to get up early to put on our costumes and see the opening ceremony.

Friday: The morning was a hurricane of tights, makeup, wigs, costume pieces and fighting over the bathroom mirror. We have a guild on the WoW servers called "Friendship is Magic" and all of our characters have My Little Pony related names, so we decided to dress accordingly for the first day of BlizzCon. In the order pictured down below, Aaron was Soarin' from the Wonderbolts, Justin was Spike, I was Pinkie Pie, Ariana was Applejack and Erinn was Rainbow Dash.

For the most part, everyone really loved our costumes. We even met a little girl dressed as Twilight Sparkle, which was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. We had one or two hardcore BlizzCon attendees give us a little attitude about dressing in non Blizzard attire, but I didn't really care at all. It's called imagination, Black-Shirt. Get some.

Anyway, the first day of BlizzCon was totally awesome. We got to watch a bunch of panels on the new WoW expansion "Mists of Pandaria" (which, as cheesy as martial arts pandas is, sounds really cool). We played the demo (super fun even though we only got 20 minutes - I tried out the new race/class combo Pandaren Monk), we tried to open the prize chests at this one booth with the "epic loot keys" that came in our swag bags, and we attempted to play this bean bag throwing game at the Jinx booth but failed miserably (aside from Justin and Austin who won TEN TIME IN A ROW and won 50% off coupons at Jinx!). We got our pictures taken at the green screen photo booth (ponies in Azeroth!) and Erinn and I got a picture with Tink and Clara from the guild and we found this big mountain thing that looked like the Aggro Crag and we took pictures there too.

Having been to PAX Prime and Emerald City Comic Con, I was a little more prepared for a convention of this magnitude, but the whole thing was still just so incredible to take in. There were rows and rows of computers out on the floor for demo-playing, people milling about everywhere, and booths bigger than anything I've ever seen at previous conventions. Not to mention the attendance level was somewhere in the twenty thousands. WoW feels like such a solitary game when you're alone in your bedroom -- it was amazing to me to be walking around this convention hall seeing the THOUSANDS of people I probably pass in-game as well that only appear to be computers there.

That night we partied in our hotel room a bit but found ourselves pretty exhausted after our first day at the con. I can't even tell you how awesome it felt to take our costumes off as well... eight hours of wearing a long curly wig while walking up and down a gigantic room all day is enough to make anyone crazy.

Saturday: I will admit, we slept in really late the second day of the con. We made our way back to convention center at our leisure, knowing we had plenty of time to hit up all the things we'd missed the day before. We waited in line a while to spin the NVIDIA wheel to try to win prizes (we didn't get anything good) and played the demo again (this time I switched it up and went Pandaren Mage) but spent most of the day just wandering around trying to make sure we didn't miss anything. We finally ran into other friends we knew there and saw their amazing cosplay (Joey and Meghan looked awesome in their tabards and armor, Katers17 had a seriously mind-blowing Priest costume, Jimmy was rocking a murloc suit) and managed to snag pictures with both Bladezz (from the Guild) and Felicia Day. Pretty pumped about that.

The con ended with a Foo Fighters concert, which was great, despite not being able to get in the main room and having to watch it from an overflow stage on the big monitors. I didn't really mind though, because it meant we got to sit down and relax for the concert rather than being jostled around in the crowded see of black-shirts.

Also, some crazy WoW-themed death metal band opened for the Foo Fighters, so we had a grand old time head banging and making fun of their lyrics (example: "it's time to raise some hell" followed by some head banging). Their closing song was called "I AM MURLOC" and consisted of basically all screaming. Pretty great. And by great I mean.. well, you know. Something different.

That night we went and hung in Hank's "Governor's Suite" again, which was a nice way to end the event. He was there scoping things out for VidCon (which is being held in the same space as BlizzCon was) and was given a room much too big for just him, so we were happy to come take up space in it for awhile. When your friends live all over the country, you get to see each other so little -- it's really nice when these freak coincidences happen where you randomly end up in the same city with free time and get to hang out. :)

Later on, we spent our last night in our crappy hotel with our crappy pillows. This group of people has spent so much of the last few years together in hotels though, it's hard to complain. Hotels just feel a little like home, crappy or not.

Sunday: We went to Disneyland. There isn't a ton to report, as it was a pretty standard Disneyland day. Haunted Mansion was The Nightmare Before Christmas themed, which is my favorite, and Justin, Aaron and Erinn got to see World of Color for the first time. They added a little section to World of Color to promote the fourth Pirates movie, and it includes that bit with the mermaid who apparently looks like me. I have to admit, with the image being projected on water like that, it DID kind of look like me. So. That was kind of fun.

I also got to ride the new Little Mermaid ride in DCA as well as the new Star Tours which was incredible. The day was a success, in short.

After Disney we said our goodbyes and only Justin and I continued on to Ariana's apartment. Tyler came to hang out with us, which was nice as it's always a pleasure to see him. The next morning literally all we did was watch the My Little Pony Halloween special, eat breakfast and watch Ariana play WoW (we didn't bring our laptops). It was really nice to have a day to just... relax. Three days of a convention, flying, and a day at Disneyland is taxing on the body, haha.

Since coming home from BlizzCon I've played a lot of WoW, but that's to be expected I suppose. Blizzard knows how to get people excited about their games. I'm so glad we were all able to go, not only because it was a total blast because it really did break up the terrifyingly large span of time we may have to go between seeing each other again. I actually don't know when my next trip is to see my friends, and that always makes me a little uneasy. At least we can run dugeons together. :)

Flights taken: 26


Kate Atkinson said...

Aaaah, one day I'll be able to go to conventions hopefully. LeakyCon 2045 or something..

You're back on goodreads! And you accepted my friend request! I'm ridiculously starstruck but I promise not to stalk you - just your reading habits :D

Awesome as ever Kristina <3

Kathy S said...

I would have loved to be at BlizzCon this year. The new expansion is pretty exciting :)

Paula Yang said...

BlizzCon sounds so fun from how you described it. I want to see a swag bag ;D Haha, & love the outfits! Bright pretty colors!

Rida said...

Your wig and outfit are both really amazing!

Arden said...

Oh my gosh, I was at Disneyland on the same day you were at Disneyland!