For the third year in a row, the great people at Orlando Megacon granted Brothascomics press access for their event and we are forever grateful. Check out my review of the con below and links to our pages for video and pics of the event.
Megacon is held in the Orange County Convention center and getting into the con can be challenging with the parking. Visitors must be aware of where they are parking in relation to entrance into the convention. If you arrive early enough, you can back in the north or south lot and walk into the convention space to big up your badge. If you arrive later, you will need to park in the west lot an that will require taking the free shuttle Megacon offers to get to the con. That may not seem like a big deal, but after a long day of nerding it up, looking to take a shuttle and then finding you car will feel exhausting.
|Yes that is the Predator riding on the Shuttle Bus|
The Badge Process
This process changed since last year. Much like the past three years, press badges are picked up at a separate location than the fan badges. Before that, you will need to go through security where they will check your bags and if you have props, they need to be cleared before you make it to the convention floor.
The badge process depends on if you are walking up and purchasing or picking up from will call or if your ordered on line. Megacon is huge and a highly recommend buying your badges on line and getting there early to pick up your badge. The lines can be long either way and frustration mounts very easily. And even if you purchase on line and get their early, the line for entrance into the convention is long. Very long! Bring your patience with you.
And an added wrinkle this year, once you have your badge, you need to register your badge on line at the convention which, with the limited bandwith was challenging. Then you need to scan the badge in with a worker before you could make it onto the convention floor. This was a new process for Megacon this year and it seemed to go smoothly, but my process as media was a bit different.
Megacon is Florida's largest convention the second largest in the southeast after DragonCon in Atlanta. The Convention center has plenty of space. This year, the crowds were even larger. My convention strategy is to go on Thursday and Friday to avoid the huge crowds and miss on Saturday's because Saturday convention is mega crowded. This year, Thursday and Friday at Megacon had huge crowds; it almost felt like Saturday on Friday and I was not expecting that. But with a great guest list, its easy to see how Megacon keeps growing and growing each year. I highly suggest, if you can afford it, get a hotel near the host site. This allows for you to go to the con, take a break, a nap, grab something to eat, and then head back to avoid the crowds. Saturday is a great day to con, but if you have issues with large groups of people in confined spaces, pick Thursday, Friday, or Sunday.
Megacon probably does not get its due for the quality of cosplay it receives. Fan cosplay is fantastic and you can see the hours that fans have put into their cosplay. Everyone is always open to take a picture either by themselves, in a group, or with you. There is a real sense of community and its one of the most enjoyable parts about Megacon. On top of that, their professional cosplay guests are diverse and welcoming to their fans.
In the three years I have been to Megacon, the guest list has not failed to disappoint. Whether its tv stars or movie cast reunions like Back to the Future and Goonies this year, you can definitely get that picture and/or autograph with someone you admire. My daughter met John Barrowman this year and even tho I do not watch a show that man stars in, he was such a delight to my daughter. I attended the Goonies Cast reunion panel and was able to relieve my excitement of watching Data, Mike, and Mouth tell stories about the filming of one of my favorite movies ever. Plus, we were able to attend a Zack Levi panel. and if you have never done that, you are truly missing out. What a wonderful human being and a treasure to have at Megacon.
If the celebrities don't do it for you and you are into for the comics only, Megacon has you covered there, too. Heavy hitters like Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder were there. Plus, awesome writers such as Tom Taylor and Charles Soule were also there and all were willing to sign and chat with their fans. Such a great chance and opportunity to meet with legends in the comics industry.
I joked a few years ago that Megacon could be called Vendor Con because the convention floor is so packed with vendors. Again, that is not necessarily a knock. The vendors allow you to find whatever it is you want in geek swag. Whether t-shirts, lanyards, comics, or toys... on the floor, there will be someone selling what you are looking for. Bring cash tho because the ATM's on site charge almost $4 per withdrawal and its easier to haggle with vendors with cash than with a credit card.
A great experience once again. This year, I did get a hotel and stayed over Friday-Sunday and had a wonderful time with my family at Megacon. It seems to get better and better each year and the moved up date off of Memorial Day Weekend was an added bonus. Once again, thank you to the folks at Megacon for putting on such a wonderful event this year!!!