So, I’m in a good mode, listening to Chris Rock, just came back from the party (more on that latter). So, how does it stack up? Well, as most people know, I wasn’t a, well, fan, of Houston. I preferred Disney every way. Well, I’m happy to say Atlanta is better than Houston, and, yes, better than Disney is some parts. Well, here we go, jump down the rabbit hole!
Disney has the parks, Houston had something open for FIRST to use, and Atlanta is the best of both worlds. The place is beautiful, it’s great. Atlanta has the best downtown space I’ve seen so far, much better than barren Houston. The Georgia Dome is also much cleaner, friendlier, and just nicer than the Astro/Reliant combo, not also to mention much easier to walk through. The pits were nice, and the place housing them had lots of plants, open areas, and other nice places to hang and rest. The Georgia Dome was just like Reliant, but just seemed a lot less sterile, also the audience wasn’t as far from the field, but unfortunately, they were still far compared to most regionals. Food has been a discussed as a large problem on Chiefdelphi in some threads. Well, I can say that IMHO that the food is much better than the infamous Houston stuff, but still has some way to go. Unlike Houston, you can literally get anything you want with Dining Dollars, so you aren’t forced to eat what they pass off as food at some places. And if by some chance you hate the food, you can take a 5 minute walk to the Omni and choose from Wendy’s, Arby’s, Chick-fill-a, or Taco Bell. For the improvements, prices are still very big and the quality to price ratio is bad, and line were a problem at some times of the day. Overall, I’d give the venue a rating of 8 out of 10.
I was a fan of Stack Attack. There was something that was amazing watching robots crashing through stacks of bins. And frankly, I never like Raising the Bar, I mean, how many years have we used balls in goals? Luckily many of the problem from the VCU competition have been addressed, including live scoring, times on the a/v unit, ranking systems, and field software, all of which were not done on Thursday of competition. Everything was polished from the first second all the way to the award presentations at then end. I give FIRST a huge “HEY!” for their efforts in turning around. I can also now say that the I was partially wrong, the competition is loads of fun, just if great teams are up. The finals were amazing, but most other matches were boring. For this year’s game, I’ll give FIRST a 6/10.
This party could go two ways, it could be the most fun you’ll ever have, or it could be so boring that you’ll want it to be over NOW. Thankfully, I was part of the first group. The games were fun, including the spontaneous jousting fight, not also to forget the hypnotist that was pretty good (he was good, but I think the one at VCU 2002 was better, since he did more). Plus, we had our human player up there, so was R.Lopez from the boards, so that was funny to watch. The food was decent, not the best, but the fireworks were awesome. Also, the provided ice water and excess cups made great weapons against team mates, coaches, and mentors. Also, the centennial fountains were loads of fun, especially when you throw your friends and teachers in. Now, if torturing friends, teachers, and mentors wasn’t fun, nor the fireworks, nor the hypnotist, you can be seriously bored. So, for the party, I give a ‘nearly good as Disney’ 9 out of 10.
For certain reasons, I will leave out the transportation and hotel aspects, since everyone had vastly different experiences, I will only summarize this part and not include it in my total tallying of the event
The Omni was wonderful, the rooms very nice with loads of coffee and stuff. Everything was nice and beautiful. I would say the accommodations were better than both Disney and Houston. For transportation, walking was the best way, and quickest to get around. Not only that, but driving around was easy too.
Overall, I’ll give Atlanta an amazing 8 out of 10.