It's been a few years since i've attended DragonCon, missing it in many cases because its schedule often conflicts with WorldCon. Labor Day is a slow hotel period, and probably the only viable weekend the con can strain the resources of two or three hotels to the degree required. i tried to take a few pictures to show what some hotel areas and lines look like. Light early afternoon, and multiply this by three. Remember all the big ballrooms, conference rooms and theaters are occupied and often filled at this time. They don't picture the crush of the evenings, or the block circling registration lines after the convention has officially opened. DragonCon's History Page has become more vague about attendance in recent years, sticking to an 'over 20,000' number, but in my admittedly subjective opinion, there are a great deal more people here than in 2001, when they first counted more than 20,000 separate memberships.
The lines photographed were for the Browncoats Serenity/Firefly Shindig, which wasn't in a big enough hall to contain the thousands of fans. i spent about an hour and a half in the line, which snaked through the common floor down a narrow hallway and back up again to the door of the filled-to-capacity improvised cantina. like hundreds of others, i never did make it in, but as is often the case, the line became fun of its own, with singing and riffing by Jaynes and Inaras, Kaylees, and Malcolms.
Eventually many Browncoats gave up on the Shindig took the hall party out to the lobby and common areas to make their own fun.
Here are a few random photos; if you search i'm sure you'll find thousands of moments and costumes documented on the web in the coming days.