So, over the past weekend, my fiance and I took a little road trip from Miami to Orlando to attend Megacon. Like many conventions, the place was full of celebrities from all walks of entertainment, tons of merchandise to purchase, and many budding artists with amazing prints and creative commissions. It was only my second time there and at a convention in general, but it was a memorable time in all the right ways.
We arrived on Thursday at our hotel nearby the convention center: a Doubletree. It had been a nice place to stay and convenient to boot the last time we attended Megacon, so we were glad we took advantage of it again. By Friday morning, we were all set and excited to jump into the convention scene and were praying we wouldn’t come home with con flu as a result.
As soon as the doors opened, our first order of business was to redeem and buy our photo ops at the booth. That ordeal took at least 45 minutes, but we were glad to get it out of the way and start roaming the floor. We headed over to Artist’s Alley first and found a few repeat friends my fiance knew from previous conventions. While there, we “ordered” a few commissions, since we both knew that artists tend to get many even on the first day of cons. It was good that we did, because at least one artist was booked solid by the end of Friday alone and couldn’t take new commissions over the weekend.
We spent more time in the Alley, buying nice prints and even checking out some of the merch booths. My biggest role during the con weekend was commandeering my fiance’s iPhone to take pics. Why? Because as many con-goers know, cosplayers are abundant at cons. I love seeing cool costumes, especially those that people have made themselves, so I got a lot of great, nerdy costume pics throughout each day. Finally, it was time for us to check out the autograph booths. After a bit of coaxing, we went up to the original voice actors for the “Animaniacs”: Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Tress MacNeille. We also met popular voice actress Grey DeLisle, as well as the actor who played Vincent on “Doctor Who,” Tony Curran. All of them were amazing and just wonderfully kind to us. My fiance had wanted to get $10 phone-shot photos with the voice actors, and they were extra nice enough to allow me to be included in them. And to cap off our con day, we got a photo op done with Alan Tudyk aka Wash from “Firefly” (among many other roles). He was also very nice despite the brief time we got with him. It was a great experience and all-around perfect start to our weekend.
We expected Saturday to be busy, and kinda unfortunately it didn’t disappoint. The crowds were much bigger and we purposely avoided being near the celebrity area because of it. Thankfully, compared to previous years (which were insane, from what we heard), the convention seemed pretty well-organized with handling so many people. However, thanks in part to the huge amount of people, we had to miss out on a voice acting panel to catch our noontime “Doctor Who” photo op. But we didn’t mind so much, as the two of us got to chat with some fans and then got our picture taken with Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston. Once again, despite our lack of time with them, they were very sweet. After that, we ended up spending much more time on the floor, checking out most of the merch booths and buying up some comics and such along with more artwork. By the end of the night, despite being tired by dinner, we decided to check out an acting troupe called Crazy Random Happenstance. We had seen them perform “Dr. Horrible” on our original Megacon trip and were hoping to catch the debut of their “Firefly” performance. Unfortunately, it ended up being pushed to a later time, so we watched “Dr. Horrible” again. But luckily for us, they chose to change it up and made it genderbent. It made it extra funny in places and we were glad it gave us a different experience from the first time.
By Sunday, we knew we’d have to leave the convention early to make the long drive back to Miami before it got dark. Our main goals were to pick up a couple remaining commissions (by the way, all the ones we got were excellent) and check out a “Firefly” panel. Considering that we didn’t get into the panel on Saturday, we chose to play it smart and get there as soon as our shuttle reached the center. Because of that, we got great aisle seats, and I was able to nab a few pics of Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, and Adam Baldwin. The panel only ran for an hour, but neither of us wanted it to end. It was an hour filled with laughs and some interesting tidbits and stories. After that, we picked up our commissions and I found one last booth worth buying from. We bought lunch (Papa John’s pizza, our go-to con lunch for that weekend), and eventually made our way back to the hotel to make the trek home.
All in all, it was a weekend we’ll never forget. We met a lot of cool people, not just celebrities, and not once did we take issue with anyone. From the convention’s volunteers to the various fans and cosplayers, everyone we came across seemed to be in high spirits. It honestly made our trip even more enjoyable and we wished we didn’t have to leave. Personally, I do want to attend more conventions outside of Megacon, but I’ll gladly go again and again if given the chance. Both of my con experiences have been very positive and I hope that streak continues.