Texas Anime Convention
Weebcon is an anime convention based in Dallas, Texas. For being just three years old it’s doing great. It moved to the fabulous Gaylord Texan this year and had a great turnout. I’d estimate it to be around 15k attendees. While there might be some bumps and growing pains along the way, I’m pretty sure this con is going to keep growing and improving. Definitely consider it if you’re looking for a new convention.
The Gaylord Texan is part of Marriott’s Gaylord chain of destination resort hotels. They all feature an impressive atrium and theming of the area in which they are built. Being in Dallas, Texas, this one is of course Texas themed. It has stars on everything, pictures of cattle and ranches, and rustic wood finishes. Unfortunately it also has country music playing in the atrium (I don’t like country music 😝).
The theming and construction of this resort is particularly impressive. It looks like an old Spanish fort that is worn and weathered from time. It reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean, to be honest. There are lots of plants and trees and even a creek and a fountain blasting water 40 feet into the air.
Multiple restaurants fill the space so you have some good choices of places to eat. That’s good because this resort is basically an island unto itself. You have to drive to find somewhere to eat outside of the resort. That presents a problem when you realize there is no parking available at the busiest times. There were some food trucks parked outside the convention center, but they weren’t well advertised.
The vendor hall was impressive for a convention this young. It was quite large and had perhaps the largest number of guests I’d ever seen at an anime convention. They lined the walls of the hall. While I did peek my head into the main events room just to see what it looked like (large but boring looking), I didn’t spend any time in panels or other events. There was just too much of a good opportunity to film people at the fantastic resort.
There is actually a second convention center area at the Gaylord Texan. It has a more modern design and is set on the opposite side of the resort from the other convention center. Weebcon didn’t use this part of the resort, but I can see it expanding here as it grows.
There were some notable issues at Weebcon. Firstly, registration was backed up on both Friday and Saturday. The queue stretched from the convention center all the way into the atrium ,which is probably a good city block long.
Being held on Easter weekend there were a number of families roaming around on Sunday taking family pictures. It created that odd mix of "normies" and girls in bunny cosplays. It would be nice if the event could completely take over the resort so that it had a "closed profile" where only attendees are allowed in. That or move to a different weekend. Since everything essentially happens indoors it could be held at almost any time of the year. Fellow photographers should be informed that Marriott resorts typically don’t allow light stands. There were a couple of security guards who took this one step further and said no lights were allowed, but I think they were misinformed. Another said he wasn’t aware of such rules and I should just keep shooting until they tell me not to 😆. It’s something to keep in mind if you use lights for your photography.
If you haven’t already, please watch the video to get a glimpse of the resort as well as the fantastic cosplayers. I met a lot of new people at this convention and a lot of people new to cosplay. Thank to everyone who filmed with me!