Yesterday we went to MegaCon in Orlando. Every year we tell ourselves that we aren't going to go and every year we change our minds. This year it was the same. Gina Torres popped up on the guest list. She's the last of the Firefly cast that we have yet to meet. Unfortunately we missed meeting Ron Glass prior to him passing away. This year they moved the con to Memorial Day weekend.
It started out normal enough. We woke up early and grabbed some McDonald's on the way out of town. We made great time since the traffic isn't too bad that early in the morning. Typically we get there early enough to where there are no attendants for parking and we end up not having to pay. While this was not the case this year, the entry in was certainly easier than if we went at a peak time. Upon arrival we parked in the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention center which is probably about a 15-20 minute walk to the North/South Concourse where the con was actually taking place. Most of that walk is spent walking through the air conditioned building. This year they had us walking outside to get to the entrance unless we already had our wristbands. We're assuming that this was due to the issue in Phoenix, but no one could confirm. Security was MUCH tighter this year than any other year previously.
Once we reached the entrance the issue became clear. It was 745 in the morning and they had us line up outside on the east side of the building. It's May. It's Florida. There was no shade. This was a bad plan. We had to wait there until the doors opened at 8:30. Some kid was blasting EDM while we stood there and we discovered a new kind of torture. Once they let us in to the air conditioned area it was much better, but they don't actually let you in to the con until 10am. So we sat and waited.
The plan was to go directly to the booth for Gina Torres from Firefly. It's always a crap shoot with the celebrity stuff. They either show up more or less on time or they just arrive whenever they feel like it. We were the 5th or 6th people in line so we knew this was either going to be efficient or painful. Lucky for us, she was relatively on time and we were done by 10:45. Gina was delightful and signed our items with a smile. I never know what to say to folks when they are signing a picture for me. It's terribly awkward for me to talk to people I don't know on a good day, much less someone I've admired for so long.
By this time we had already burned through our breakfast so we decided to eat our lunches. Con tip: if possible always bring a sandwich in a lunch bag and extra bottles of water. Everything is overpriced at MegaCon and I've yet to have a meal there that was anything more than disappointing. Honestly, how the Papa John's kiosk can produce lukewarm pizza that tastes like it's two days old during a lunch rush is beyond me. We brought in subs from Publix instead and ate amongst the costumed masses.
From there we went over to Artist's Alley to meet up with some friends who were at the Con. Then we just did our usual trek through the booths. This usually involves walking up and down every aisle and making note of the things that we like and making purchases along the way. I stopped and said hi to some friends from school at their booths. I've included the links to their artwork below not just because I know them, but because it's also awesome artwork.
I got some really fun stuff this year. I almost never see Parks and Rec stuff but managed to find a vinyl sticker for my laptop for the Pawnee Goddesses. Some new t-shirts, some night-lights, and my favorite items, the vinyl stained glass clings that I bought from another favorite artist as well as the "T is for Tardis" book for kids because it was adorable.
We left around 4, exhausted and sweaty but happy to have had the experience once again. If you're into nerdy things like I am but have never been to a con before, I highly recommend attending one. If you budget correctly you can do it fairly inexpensively. Aside from the beginning of the day which was a little rough, overall we had fun as we always do. Love my Nerd Culture and love being surrounded by thousands of people who are into all the same things I am. It's like the high school reunion I always wanted.
Here are the links for my favorite artists below.
You Found Jacob