I've decided for my final Gen Con post to touch on a subject that just recently came to light for me. With 2013, I've now gone to Gen Con four years in a row. On top of that I also went four times when the convention was in Milwaukee (long live the Safe House).
In all that time I can honestly say that I've never had the "Full Gen Con Experience". And honestly, it's a myth (hence the title for this post).
While the convention technically goes on for four days, five if you count all the Day Zero things--more of which seem to crop up every year--there is really just too much going on at any given time to take it all in.
In all the years I've attended, I've only seen the costume parade once, stumbled in to the anime room once, and never played a game of MTG. I rarely attend the "Paint and Take" any more, though I love to look at all the contest entries, and I probably spend way too much time in the Vendor's Hall.
But this is just my experience. Many other people can tell stories of near round the clock D&D, or all night Werewolf LARPs, or countless German-language board games. That's really the beauty of Gen Con. You get to customize the con to your tastes. The down side is you can't do it all, nor are you meant to. Pick what you like the most (and sample a few new things, if your adventurous), and build the Gen Con experience you want. And don't worry about what you missed.
It may be the best four days in gaming, but my four days are probably different from yours, which are different from the next guys.