Saturday begins at AWAY MISSION: ORLANDO

There’s a long, full, and hopefully fun day in store for us here in Florida at the AWAY MISSION: ORLANDO con, filled with panels, chatting with actors and authors, checking out the dealers’ room, and just plain hanging out with fellow enthusiastic scifi fans, which is always the best part of any convention experience.

Picking up the con tickets at pre-reg last night went seamlessly, I have to give props to the Vulcan Events staff for a prompt and efficient check-in procedure, making this a quite different experience from the last con I did just 2 weeks ago. First impressions mean a lot even to a longtime con-goer and having smiling, well-informed staff on hand to guide and greet you and simply act happy that you chose to attend their convention can really start an event off right. I’m quite used to standing in long lines at cons, so little things like having emcee Marc Lee on hand last evening walking the line and greeting and chatting with guests was a nice touch. I’ve only done one other Vulcan Events con since the company’s regrouping, back in May 2010 in Tampa, and I can see the same attention to detail present here as well.

As usual at these things I’ve already met some folks who have attended some of the same conventions as I have in previous years, including several of the past Vancouver and Chicago Creation Entertainment cons. One lovely couple from Michigan that I met up with in line traveled to Florida specifically to see Jewel Staite and David Nykl (he because of FIREFLY, she because of STARGATE), so I know I’m in good company! I’m not yet sure how many people are registered for this con, once I see the setup in the main ballroom today I’ll be able to judge better, but I am curious to see how it compares in size to other cons. Hotel staff have told me that the hotel is hosting a couple of different conventions at the same time, so our con is definitely not taking up all of the hotel’s meeting space, but the place is certainly large enough to accommodate several events of some size.

In fact, from the moment I arrived at the Hilton at Lake Buena Vista they have done nothing but impress me. The valet, front desk and concierge staff here have been treating me like royalty, so I am not surprised that this hotel gets such good marks from Disney Park-hopping visitors. We are located just a stone’s throw from the Disney Marketplace and Downtown Disney, favorite shopping destinations of mine here (all the fun of the Parks without the hefty admission fee!), and  the hotel itself is spacious and well-appointed. My plush and extremely comfortable room even affords me a view of the nightly fireworks at Disney.

Tonight being my only free evening I have plans for dinner with family so I can enjoy some delicious downtime in the midst of what will surely be a frantic weekend! As usual, you can check out my Twitter feed for the daily con madness (at @seshat_6).

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