Friday, May 17, 2019

MegaCon Orlando 2019: Thursday Preview!

Today I donned my finest (and only) galaxy dress to go check out MegaCon, the 4-day behemoth of a convention that brings in over 100,000 attendees.

(After this I'll be in my "work clothes" [jeans, hat, & holster bag] so I like to pretty it up for the first day. :D)

Thursday is sort of a preview/shopping day: the convention floor doesn't open to the public until 4PM, and crowds are low.

One great perk of having a Press pass: John and I were able to tour the enormous hall a full 2 hours before everyone else in this staggering line:


(Still mystified as to why folks would queue up 2 hours early. Maybe there were some great exclusives?)

We bee-lined it for one of this year's newest - and arguably coolest - attractions: the Millennium Falcon cockpit:

 Ok, so it doesn't look like much from here, but check out the view when you stick your camera through the front window:

Awww yeeeeah
 This is with almost no editing, too; it photographs insanely well, with so many lights and details!

Of course that coolness comes at a price: you'll have to pay $20 to get your photo inside.

In fact most of the cool photo opps around the con are pay-to-play now, though with several exceptions. (Some give their profits to charity, if that helps.) I think all the pay ones have signage up to warn you, but always ask first, just to be safe. If you have to get on or inside a vehicle for the photo, count on there being a fee.

Most of the best ones are Star Wars, of course. This community never fails to bring out all the stops: 

Pretty sure these next few are free to take pictures around:

This one's pay, though:

There are TWO Deloreans from Back to the Future available for pics, and I highly recommend saying hello to Doc Brown: 

  He sounds just like Christopher Lloyd, stays in character, and is SUPER fun.

The fact that we were able to get all these photos without a million people in them is so wonderful, I can't even tell you. It was glorious wandering an almost empty convention floor, and I savored those two hours; come Saturday, this entire hall will be elbow-to-elbow crowds.

The containment unit on the table has the niftiest effect built in:
 It's just a screen playing ghost animations, but it is SO COOL in person. Go take a closer look if you're there.

 More cute photo opps:

And some that just seem a little desperate, ha:

Though I do appreciate the huge bottle of hand sanitizer next to them!

In fact Ripley's here has a "lightsaber photo opp" - basically I think you get to hold it? - for $25. WHAT. C'mon, guys.

WARNING: There's a somewhat subtle Endgame spoiler in my next 2 photos. Scroll quickly if you haven't seen the movie yet.

More pics from around the floor:

Ok it's safe now!

The Doctor Who area is huge and fantastic:

 The console moves and pulses with light.

There are a couple of great charities with booths this year:

Magic Wheelchair! I'll have more of that incredible Bumblebee build later.

There was a charity that helps adopted kids by using the world of Harry Potter (they'll sort you for free at their booth, it's super cute), and a wildlife conservatory with owls you can hold! (For a fee, of course.)

The owl handler is awesome: he told us he's been caring for that owl in particular since the owl was 4 weeks old. "He's my original wing man," he said while snuggling the bird, who ruffled up and head-butted into his hands. 

I died, y'all.

 Plus the handler looks kind of like Hagrid. Just sayin'.

 More random shots:

Again, lots and LOTS of Star Wars.  (And I'm not complaining!)

John and I already bought this "Huffle Puffin" painting... and we're considering buying the robot:
 The 'bot would be gorgeous in our steampunk room, right? I think he may be coming home with us.

(The puffin is by Christie Cox [tell her she should make prints in the comments, since this is the original!], and the robot is by Barrett Biggers.)

 Oh hey, speaking of Christie, here she is getting a tattoo at the con!

She already had the BB-8 there on the right, and was getting the R2 next to it.

Her tattoo artist also sells these designs as stickers, and I'm loving the Jawa and grumpy Yoda:

A hilarious mounted dragon head:
The artist told me the dragon's last words were "Hold my beer and watch this," which is why there's a bottle opener mounted below his head. Bahaha!


 Fun backpacks!

Yet another photo opp: this one for my fellow Trekkies!

Artist Alley is so enormous this year, I think it's at least 20% of the entire vendor hall. It's not just traditional art, though; they've mixed in a whole variety of crafts. We didn't even make it halfway through all the art yet, but there's everything from hand-sewn aprons to clay figures.

 Wibbly Wobbly Time Dragon!

Here's one more thing that may be coming home with us this weekend:
 This beautiful Thestral sculpt inside a lighted lantern terrarium is calling our name, y'all. It's a bit pricey, so if it's still there tomorrow we may be apologizing to our bank account, ha. I love how the artist used a background of white branches in there, and her sculpt is so lovely - a little more bird-like.

One more piece of eye candy:

 Color-changing, light-up Pokémon balls, with different Pokémon suspended inside! These are so stinkin' pretty, you guys, it's a good thing I don't play. Heck, I'm half tempted to buy one anyway, it's such a beautiful - and clever! - design.

And now that I've walked you through all that, here's the final cherry on top:

Our video! As usual John knocked it out of the park with the editing, and the music is really fun. You'll get to hear Doc Brown and see a glimpse of "Hagrid" with his owl, plus lots more goodies I didn't cover here.

 I hope you guys enjoyed this preview of MegaCon! Now I'm off to collapse, because tomorrow (well, technically later today) the con starts FOR REAL, and I'm super excited. (Please forgive any typos or mistakes here; it's 3AM and been a long day. ;p)

Stay tuned for all our favorite cosplay finds, and also keep an eye on my Instagram Story, which I'm currently flooding with MegaCon videos and highlights! Those all expire within 24 hours, so be sure to check them each day over the weekend if you don't want to miss anything.

Happy weekend, peeps! See ya on the other side.


  1. Who are the artists that did the Timey-Wimey dragon and the Thestral? If they have links, would you include those as well, please?

    I hope you two have fun at the rest of the con! Don't forget your self care!

  2. Yes...all artists names please, or even just a picture of their business card if they're not online for some reason.

    And all artists should sell prints so I can afford to have awesome art at my house and not break the bank doing it.

  3. Oooh that Laputa: Castle in the Sky robot art is so beautiful. Love the colours and vibe of it.

  4. I am incredibly envious of that man who gets to be best friends with an owl! If that booth was at my local con you can bet I would be holding that owl ASAP!

    I saw on your instagram stories that you guys had the chip badges this year. I'm really curious if that's becoming the convention norm, my local con just switched to them after using a wristband system for 5 or so years (They actually switched from non-chip badges to wristbands because they didn't like how people could easily share the badges as a group). Apparently registering the badge online is mostly for managing lost badges.

  5. At 2:06 in the video, is that a Falcor next to the Thestral? Because I want one!

  6. Yesss! This is great! I was there yesterday, but I think I missed about a third of the photo areas you showed, so now I know what to look for!

    Also, that Huffle-puffin is so adorable! I hope she comes out with prints with all of the houses. I would absolutely love some snake-in-a-scarf art for my wall!

  7. OMG I want that mounted dragon head! ooooh, how cool would it be if it was an animatronic!

  8. Yay Transfiguring Adoption! We used to be on their board up in Tennessee and then they moved to FL (yay for them, sad for me!). I'm glad you saw them. They're great people and doing a lot of great work!

  9. A hundred thank yous, again, for sharing all this wonder and loveliness with us. I can imagine all the labor that went into selecting the photographs and writing the narrative around them, and all after an exhausting day. The video is amazing! I'm very impressed with how how well the videography is paired with the music. Keep up the great work.

  10. That is an amazing idea for an adoption help agency. Wow. And that Robot from Castle in the Sky!!!! Goodness, I really miss going to cons, cannot wait to be able to again!

  11. Oh wow, that Thestral lantern made my jaw drop! And I adore the Huffle Puffin. Please please pleeeease make prints! I want one!

    PS -- The robot needs to go home with you.

  12. Man, I'm almost sorry that scifi/fantasy is so mainstream now. I started going to cons when a large one was maybe 400 people (outside of WorldCons). You got to hang out with the writers, no one charged extra for a pic or an autograph.

    Now cons seem to be about grabbing as much money as possible. It's depressing.

    1. Girl, I feel you in my BONES on this; I started my con-going career back in '82 at little cons in hotels, just as some of the best movies EVER were coming out. Some of those cons would have a movie star or two (Two different cons I attended had James Doohan, George Takei, and Kirstie Ally promoting "Wrath of Khan"), but even then, it was usually maybe a couple hundred people in a hotel, making friends with other fans and sometimes Pros. Good times!

      I did San Diego Comic every year from 1984 to 2009, when I decided that it really was just too damn much anymore, and even getting down there from my home less than 5 miles away gave me shpilkis in my ganekdagazoink.

      BUT! There ARE still wee li'l cons around the country that are totally old school fun, like the San Diego Comic Fest, put on by some of the surviving originators of Comic Con. A LOT of folks that used to do Comic Con but haven't in years (both fan and pro) make a point of coming to the Fest, because it's like they remember; very slow-paced and chill, very welcoming and friendly, and intimate. Younger folks, especially those with any kind of crowd anxiety, really should be getting the word about it more, because not only would they enjoy it more than a giganticon, but these small cons need a shot of new blood. The Fandom we remember is "greying out", ya dig? I make it a point to say a warm goodbye to all my friends every year, because I worry that I won't see them again until I, too, go to The Great Con in the Sky. (RIP Batton Lash-- Fest is less snazzy without you)

      Have you checked around to see if there are any in your area, or easy to travel to? I know that since the Fest and other smaller San Diego cons like ConDor don't advertise very aggressively, so randoms don't think it's another Comic Con, a lot of people that would love to go never hear about it. Good places to check; your local comic book and/or SF/Fantasy bookstore, or any store that sells D&D and other games. Sometimes there will be ads up, or if it's the "off-season", you can ask the counterfolk, or a likely looking patron.

      And if you're an old broad like me, don't be afraid to hit up the con Disabled Services departments; I work for Comic Fest's DS dept., and we're happy to help our fellow Greynerds. At the very least, they'll be able to tell you where the elevators are and spare your knees. ;)

      Chin up, me fangirl, there's still fun to be had!

      Your Pal,

      Storm the Klingon

    2. Yeah, I still get to some occasionally. I just get depressed reading about cons with 100,000(!) attendees and where you can't shake hands with someone without paying them first.

      I live in a small town without comix shops or gamer hangouts, so I have to get my info from the Internet. I did just get back from an MST3K 'Expo' that was loads of fun.

  13. Looked for ya but it is super busy there. Great pictures look forward to seeing the other days

  14. Eeeeeeee!!!!! Swan Princess!!! And I'm in love with the millennium falcon car---such an awesome paint job!

  15. So I don’t know if you already know this, but you can make Instagram stories permanent! They’re called “highlights” and they sit below your profile pic and above your feed on your Instagram page. You can sort them by content, so you could make a “highlight” for each specific con. All you need to do is click “add to highlight” when you’re posting the story.

    Sorry if you already knew about this! I just wanted to let you know it’s an option :)


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