A few short weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend Orlando's biggest four-day convention extravaganza, Megacon! I've been going to Megacon for almost a decade now. While I could easily say that it was the best yet, I could also argue that some aspects of it were the worst I've ever experienced. As an extension of my thoughts and experiences, I've compiled a list of the pros and cons of Megacon 2022.
PRO: Cosplay And Costumes
Cosplayers were in full force from the streets to the south concourse red carpet runway this weekend. The Justice League was seen hanging out with Deadpool, Jedi and Sith dueled in the concourse with lightsabers in all colors, and every Spider-Man under the sun gathered together to take part in an amazing Spider-Verse photo shoot. It's always a delight to see people dress up as their favorite video game/film/anime characters and bring them to life in a captivating way. They work year-round on their cosplays, and it brings me great joy to see them being stopped to get their picture taken by fans who are amazed by all the effort they have put into their outfits.
This year I am so glad that I booked a hotel that was within walking distance of the convention because parking was an absolute nightmare. On Saturday, Megacons official social media accounts were flooded with negative comments and refund requests due to a lack of parking spaces. Several fans were stuck in traffic for up to four hours only to get turned around due to no available parking. If the organizers want to do better next year, they either need to provide more parking spaces or cap off ticket sales after a certain number has been reached.
PRO: Guest LineUp
The all-star lineup of celebrities and voice actors at Megacon was, without a doubt, its defining feature. Fans traveled from around the world to meet their favorite stars and take pictures with them. There were several celebrities in attendance, including Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Nathan Fillion (Con-Man, Firefly), William Zabka (Karate Kid, Cobra Kai), and even WWE Legend The Undertaker. Several amazing voice actors were also present at the event, including the Dragon Ball Z heroes Sean Schemmel (Goku) and Christopher Sabat (Vegeta), as well as the legend that is Kevin Conroy (Batman), and the Master Chief himself, Steve Downes. Lastly, all four Hobbits from The Lord Of The Rings also made a special appearance. I was able to relive my childhood dream of meeting the heroes I had grown up reading about in books and watching in films. It was a rather magical experience for me, I'd say.
CON: Hobbit Lines
So I was one of many that purchased a ticket bundle where I was granted a photo op and signature from all four Hobbits; it doesn't sound too difficult to obtain, right? WRONG! When you bought the bundle, you would think all four autographs could be obtained at once, but that was not the case. There was a line for each of their tables, and you had to wait hours just to reach the front of the line. Several people failed to get the autographs they pre-purchased by the end of the two days that the Hobbits appeared due to the long and unorganized lines. If I hadn't been extremely lucky with how I planned my trip, I would have been one of those poor unfortunate souls. Of the four lines I waited in, the longest one lasted four hours, while the shortest was an hour and a half. It was even more difficult because the talent was either breaking for lunch or had to do a panel or photo op every 45 minutes. The situation wasn't made any better by the fact that a majority of the staff working there didn't know when or if the signings would resume. It got to the point where some crew members were asking those in line when the celebrities would return. My disappointment has nothing to do with the talent, but with how the bundles and lines were organized. If you paid for a special package, they should have at least grouped those with it together in its own line and allowed a time slot for them.
PRO: Artist Alley
It's always a treat to see all the incredible artwork talented artists display at conventions. Every year at Megacon, I never seem to be disappointed. I find a few shops that stand out among the rest and amaze me with their creativity. As I was walking through the exhibit hall on the first day of the con, I discovered a shop named Ali Wagner Sculpts. My wife Taylor and I bought quite a few of their gorgeous handcrafted figurines on custom-painted canvases. We look forward to purchasing more as soon as we can to add to our growing collection! With an impressive array of beautiful artwork available for a great price, Rossome Designs is sure to leave you speechless with an abundant amount of designs from Marvel, Disney, and countless other brands. The one booth Taylor looks forward to seeing every year is Studio Hadley. Artist Mark Hadley has some of the most fascinating artwork out there. His pieces are both beautiful and spooky at the same time, and it works! All three of these artists are unbelievably talented at what they do and deserve some serious love, so please do me a solid and support them by giving them a follow on their socials.
CON: Overbooked On Saturday
To put it simply, Saturday was a disaster. There should have been a cap on how many attendees were allowed on that day. Guests were constantly arriving on the show floor, elbow to elbow, as crowds piled in by the minute. There were still hundreds awaiting parking outside, trying to get in. On top of that, the website was still selling tickets for the event on that day. Although I am aware that Saturdays are usually the busiest and most crowded days of the convention, I have never encountered a situation this horrible in all my previous experiences at this convention or any other.
Taking everything into consideration, Megacon Orlando 2022 had its ups and downs. Yes, parking was difficult, crowds were excessive, and how they handled celebrity lines was less than pleasant. In no way do I intend to discourage you from experiencing all that it has to offer. In my opinion, there is nothing quite like the feeling you get walking into the con for the first time on opening day and being exposed to all the crazy, fun-filled adventures that await. With a variety of artwork to browse through and the creativity of cosplayers to marvel at, you are sure to have a wonderful time taking part in the convention. Despite its shortcomings, no con is without flaws, so don't let it stop you from unleashing your inner nerd!
Enjoy some photos from my experiences at Megacon, including a few of my cosplays and some awesome artwork.
Did you attend Megacon Orlando this year? Will you be attending any other cons in the near future? Share your thoughts down below in the comments.