This is my third year attending MegaCon Orlando! MegaCon is one of the biggest, all-fandom conventions in the southeast United States, regularly drawing over 100,000 attendees and inviting celebrity guests like Stan Lee and Jason Momoa. It is four days long and held annually on Memorial Day weekend at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This year I was very excited, since Elijah Wood, Cary Elwes, and Jewel Staite were attending, but also a little wary with the new, heightened security.
Unlike past years at MegaCon, this year attendees could only enter the convention via one entrance, where it’s mandatory to have bags checked in addition to any props. If an attendee leaves the building at any time they must re-enter the building via the only entrance and have their bags checked again. After that we were directed to walk across the building to the other side where the convention was being held. An improvement from last year is that attendees didn’t have to wait in a line outside for their passes. The ticketing area was in a spacious, air-conditioned room and we got our passes in less than ten minutes. Since we had Deluxe passes, we could also enter the Artist Alley and Vendor’s Hall two hours early.
As with previous years, MegaCon did not disappoint with its wide variety of art and other products. Rooster Teeth, in honor of its 15th anniversary, had a booth with a host of products from socks to figures to soundtracks. The artist alley was fantastic with art of all sorts from your favorite fandoms, including prints, polymer clay sculptures, jewelry, pillows, and more. Some of the reoccurring artists were the Angry Mask Salesman, the Truffle Cottage, and Darkartist Productions, as well as new faces such as Naomi Vandoren.
Then my friends and I proceeded to the autograph line where we got to see Max Mittleman, Chris Sabat, and Maile Flanagan! All of them were very kind and a joy to see.
At the end of the day, we discovered with the new security policy if you’re remaining in the building it isn’t a problem, but if you want to do photo shoots or just need some air, not so much, especially since there are complimentary shuttles at each side of the building but none go to the same destination. After taking a photo shoot outside we were stuck on the other end of the convention center and had to take a different bus to a hotel a mile away from our parking, which was a hassle.
The first thing I did today was make a beeline for the Cary Elwes line! One thing I do have to say about MegaCon is the lines are managed very well. I had to wait about two hours to see Cary, but I got a good place and the line formation wasn’t confusing. Cary Elwes was very kind and wrote the beautiful signature below!
The cosplay game definitely stepped up today. Some of my favorites were a whole family of Avatar: The Last Airbender characters, Thor with Stormbreaker, Porco Rosso, and the Armored Titan!
The cosplay game is always at its top on Saturdays and I got to see some great ones including the Witch King, Cotton Candy Randy, a great Super Mario group, and Inori from Guilty Crown! Weirdly this year not many people were taking pictures of cosplays, not of mine or others, which was odd for a convention.
Today I got to meet Jewel Staite. She was very kind and she signed my Kaylee Pop!
This was the big day! We got to meet Elijah Wood! First, we attended his panel held in the Chapin Auditorium. We had GUG’s up and coming anime editor Cooper Barham save our seats, which the convention staff kindly let him do. Most of the line was formed in a room off to the side, ensuring those ahead of me filled in their seats before latecomers could take their place.
The auditorium was very spacious and the big screen above the stage allowed everyone in the audience to see the host and Elijah clearly. The forty-five minute panel consisted of Elijah answering questions posed by both the host and the audience. He spoke about his career, such as transitioning from a child star to an adult actor, and even spoke about other actors he admired such as Vigo Mortensen.
After the panel, we headed straight to the line for our photo op. We got in very quickly. We had the opportunity to shake Elijah’s hand and get this great picture with him!
Overall, it was a fun weekend, though next time we’ll have to take care of shuttles. Nonetheless, we made memories we’ll cherish for years to come!