MegaCon 2019: Marinating in Pop Culture Never Felt So Good
As children we are told to grow up. To move forward in our lives we must put away the dress up clothes and toys, and find our destiny in the jobs we choose. But what if that childlike flame was never extinguished? What if we were able to move on while still looking at life through magnify glasses and butterfly nets? How different it would be if for a period, or a weekend, we could ignite that flame and put on the Princess dress or Superhero outfit…without judgement, without fear, without shame. Somehow, fantasy was thrown into this category of “ridiculousness” once we reached a certain age, but our brains don’t forget. Our hearts don’t forget. Then once you find that courage to don the mask of your choosing, you then must find your people. Those that “get you” and get that THIS is life! It’s the artistic expression, our souls manifesting in clothes and makeup…and for a weekend, you get to see everyone show it. THIS is MegaCon.
When I moved here in 2011, I moved here for the weather, the Theme Parks, and for adventure. I had NO IDEA what I would find here in the spaces between all of that. MegaCon ALONE is worth living here because it is such a GREAT event and they do a great job putting it on! If you are a fan AT ALL of Pop Culture, or Movies, or TV Shows, or Actors, or Art, or Collectibles…I mean, this has it all. Most of the time when I walk in, I don’t know what to do first. Do I shop first? Do I walk and see everyone in their cosplay? Do I want to walk around with bags full of Pops while I try to look at other stuff? It’s a great problem to have. The event usually starts on a Thursday night and wraps up Sunday afternoon.
And like a Disney vacation, this is something you want to dig your heels in and research on before you step foot inside. Why? Well, with everything I mentioned on top of numerous fam groups that meet up inside or around the outside for photos, get togethers, games, etc… Honestly it’s an experience like no other, simply because you can immerse yourself in costume while still buying a churro or taking a class on Anime makeup. YES- there are classes! Classes on makeup and cosplay, and then there are the panels. Celebrities mostly make up these panels where you can sit and listen to them regale you of their time on set and the stories that most likely haven’t been shared before.
Speaking of Celebrities, you also can meet them in so many different ways- you are just going to have to pay extra for it! There are professional photo opps to sign up for, and then there are the table meet and greets. The professional ones are very pricey, with the table meet and greets a bit cheaper, pending on the Celebrity. What’s the difference? Well, the professional ones are very “herded cows” like. We are lined up in long lines, ten or more lines next to each other, they scan your ticket (you pre-pay online or can purchase the Photo opp when at the Con, depending on availability some have sold out) and then you wait for the “black curtain” area. They usher you in, putting your stuff on a cart including cell phones unless you have it in your pocket, and then have you walk in, smile and pose with said celebrity, and move out. I kid you not, it’s all of maybe 20 seconds. For what you pay, in the hundreds, you should be able to talk to them, at least something, and it’s nothing like that. Of course, you can’t use your own phone either. You are paying for the professional pic- and maybe the bragging rights you were in the same space as them. NOW once you leave the euphoria of meeting them, you head to the pick up area of your picture, which is done instantly. And you stand there until you get it, and if you don’t, you speak up right away because it happened to me and they had to have me go and take it again. A different MegaCon, but it did happen. The Table Meet and Greets are more for autographs and selfies with them- you get more time to talk to them, so if you want more of a connection and moment, I would suggest the table ones instead.
This was the year of “Back to the Future” and I was STOKED!! Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd were going to be there, along with the rest of the Cast. When my family got our photo opp, they told us not to touch either of them, which we respected. But when Kyra and I went next to Michael, he turned to us and told us to come closer. After the pic I told him I LOVED “Teen Wolf” because I did- it made him laugh. 😊 (I watched it hundreds of times on the weekends during Junior High). They also had fun “Back to the Future” cosplay all over the place along with photo opps completely worth it- who doesn’t want to sit in a Deloreon?
My other photo opp was the next day with THE GOONIES!!! I mean, come on, this was an 80s dream weekend!! Sean Astin runs the Princess Marathons at Disney World, so I have seen him there so I told him when I walked up for my pic “Yeah I screamed for you at the Finish line last year- my apologies” which made him laugh. I LOVE SEAN!! Corey Feldman would have been fun to talk to, but again, you get seconds, and Sean seemed easier to talk to. And Jonathan Ke Quan (Data), I got a “hello” from him. It was all good. Actually it’s one of my favorite pics ever taken- I look like I am part of the Goonies- dream come true!! *Bought the shirt at MegaCon the day before and am quite happy with how it turned out.
I have learned that you need to go to MegaCon for AT LEAST two days. One day to shop, look at all of the amazing artists and talk to them, and just take it all in with a burger and a Coke. Next day, dress up and/or take pictures of all the amazing cosplay that surrounds you, get celebrity photo opps, and see the other photo opp exhibits. Know that the first day is the best day for shopping if you are looking for something specific, obviously once the days move on, the variety is depleted, Saturday being the busiest. I have heard the “hottest” day is Saturday for the best cosplay, classes, etc… it also is VERY busy so if you hate crowds- avoid Saturday!
Last but not least, I wanted to share my favorite booth this year was the Ghostbusters. For a small fee, you can wear the pack, get pics in the car and with the cosplayers, and the famous Igo picture. Honorable mentions to the Pizza Planet truck and the Star Wars area.
I had such a great time on Saturday and Sunday, and loved playing again. Remember just playing? No agendas, no worries, just playing with your imagination and enveloping yourself in unrequited joy. They hope to be back in 2021, and I for one hope to be there. I encourage you to go play…or not, it’s your life.
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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!