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BATMAN LIVE: World Arena Tour

On July 20th, 2011, Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), DC Entertainment and Nick Grace of Water Lane Productions Ltd introduced the world of Gotham City to the UK. Batman Live is an original story of the Batman mythos, following Dick Grayson on his path to becoming Robin, and of course teaming up with Batman to become the greatest crime fighting duo in Gotham City and comic book history. Unlike Spiderman Turn off the Dark, this multi-million dollar production was not hindered by as many injuries and poor management. They were a few set backs like the Batmobile created for this show crashed into the set. But since then it has been a green light from then on. Trapeze artists train for 45 minutes a day for three months, and it was designed to play for an audience as little as 4,000 to 10,000.

ConnectiCON 2011

The weekend of July 8th - 10th I attended the 2011 ConnectiCon for the first time. Taking place in Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center which is connected to the Hartford Marriott, the hotel of choice for the majority of attendees. If you were unable to drive or get a ride to Connecticut, getting there was a pretty easy coming from NY. A bus trip, which was pretty cheap round trip from NY to CT, or 2 trains and a cab would have gotten you there about 2-3hrs.

AnimeNEXT 2011

On the weekend of June 10th-12th I had the pleasure of attending one of the biggest anime conventions on the east coast, AnimeNext. Located in Somerset, NJ; AnimeNext gives both fans and newcomers an amazing anime experience. The convention center itself is surrounded by plenty of hotels, but the Double Tree is the one hotel connected to it. So if you were lucky enough to stay at the Double Tree that weekend you were greeted by wall to wall cosplayers as well as many special guests attending the convention. While there were many other hotels that surrounded the convention center, easy access to and from the hotel and the convention center was not available. Staying at the Marriott, I had to walk on the actual road and/or cut through parking lots. While the walk from the neighboring hotels may have been a bit of a pain, AnimeNext does make it worth it. There were a bevy of options food wise available at the con. You had of course the con food, the restaurant that was connected to whatever hotel you were staying at, and take out menus provided by the hotel. But for those looking to do a little grocery shopping or just spend less money, AnimeNext had food Shuttle buses available that took you to the Village Plaza Shopping Center. So if you were lucky enough to have a fridge and a microwave in your room, going grocery shopping was a great idea. Hell even if you didn’t it was still worth the trip to save some money.

Wizard World Philadelphia 2011

On June 18, 2011 Wizard World Philadelphia was in full effect. Taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, located near the China Town district and Philly's Capital building and surrounded by many accommodating hotels, bars aren't to far from the convention center and restaurants are around just be sure to have a map of the area which you can get from any of the hotels. My mistake for this trip was not getting a hotel before hand. Assuming that because there were so many hotels in the area it made finding one at a decent rate almost hard to find. Luckily the Marriott was better compared to other hotels and it also helped to split the room with somebody. The majority of the con goers, including myself, actually had to split rooms amongst 5 or more people. The influx of people at hotels also put a strain on the hotel's resources such as towels, roll-away beds, etc. There was no street parking, but there were plenty of parking garages that had decent overnight rates. Day or night the city was very beautiful, only problem was that a lot of places closed early, so if you wanted a late night dinner best bet was the hotel bar or if you did have a car take a drive further out from the area.