MegaCon Orlando 2022 — Watch Out, DragonCon, We’re Coming for You!

Conventions Entertainment

MegaCon in Orlando, Florida by FanBoyExpo was held May 19 – 22, 2022, and it was the first real convention experience that the Orlando fandom community has had since the pandemic started. I expected a crowd, but nothing could have prepared me for just how much of one there would be. Over the years, I’ve been able to get all my coverage into one post, however, this year was so freaking big, that I’m going to be breaking my coverage into three posts, starting with my overall convention coverage. Stay tuned for my favorite vendors and the story behind my photo with the Undertaker!

The History

MegaCon has been happening in Orlando, Florida since 1993. In 2015 it was sold to FanBoy Expo, which has been putting it on ever since. Tickets have gone up over the years with this year a Saturday ticket costing around $62. Four-day and VIP packages were available and well worth it if you were spending the entire weekend at the convention.

The caliber of guests, extremes of the cosplays, and overall comradely of the event has grown significantly over the years, with some starting to compare it to DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, however, I believe it finally lived up to the comparison.

Convention Crowds

Saturday Crowds \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Saturday Crowds \ Image: Dakster Sullivan

Thursday is usually my day to walk the convention floor with minimal crowds. HA! Not this year. Thursday was like a typical Friday. Friday was a typical Saturday. Saturday and Sunday were… I have no idea what the comparison would be. Let’s just call it nuts. You could hardly move on the convention floor.

I was eager to learn the attendance numbers because the rumor at the convention was that it was oversold by accident. I learned a few days ago that the convention had over 140,000 attendees. To put that in perspective, the last time DragonCon was held before the pandemic, they had around 80,000 people attend.

The crowds made it hard to see everything on the vendor floor and, despite walking it for four days, I know I missed some things. I did get some goodies though from Ubb Gear (check out my review of their bags here on GeekMom), Tee Turtle, and I talked a bit about dice and how they help my mental health with Misty Mountain Gaming (review coming soon).

Safety

You can’t talk about the crowds without talking about safety. Last year, the convention had hand sanitizer everywhere. All the vendors had it. Places in the food court had it. This year… ::crickets chirping::

As for masks, they were enforced last year, but this year they were simply encouraged. I would like to have seen more than one or two hand washing stations as well as hand sanitizer available in the food areas.

Outsider Thoughts

I talked to some convention-goers to get their thoughts on the setup this year. Here are a few things I heard.

“It would be nice to have a ‘fast lane’ between the north/south sides for people who need to cross the vendor floor to get to a panel. It took me an hour to cross the floor between the two sides just for a panel.”

“The quiet room is a nice idea, but they had them placed on the third floor, all the way at the end of the hall. A quiet room that is closer to the main floor would be more ideal.”

“I went to the Cosplay Changing room and it was just an empty, unlit room. I think having some amenities including an attendant to help those that need to get in or out of a costume but have no handler with them to help would be a big plus.”

“One of my friends got hurt and we couldn’t find anyone to help us. He injured himself on the elevator and made it to the food court before the pain was more than he could handle to walk. Someone had to track down someone with a radio to find someone else to help us. An information booth at the center of the convention main floor would have been nice.”

“I loved the variety of vendors this year. There wasn’t too much of anything.”

Guests and Cosplay

Star Wars Cosplayers \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Star Wars Cosplayers \ Image: Dakster Sullivan

We didn’t have nearly as many guest cancelations as in years past (understandably). The hobbits and Cobra Kai were a huge hit, as well as Brenden Fraser. (I still regret missing out on his photo opp.)

All the guests I checked out from a distance looked to be having a great time.

Cosplayers came out in full force with some unique takes on characters such as Captain Hook and Evangeline. Spider-Gwen was INSANELY POPULAR. My favorite cosplayer, however, was a service dog named Grim who was dressed as a member of the X-Men. He was released from his duties to give me some much-needed love.

My only experience with a guest was with the Undertaker. His pricing was way out of my range, but someone found out how special he was to me and my brother and bought us a photo opp with him as a surprise. It was the highlight of my convention weekend. (I’ll be writing up more about this in a separate post, so stay tuned!)

Panels, Oh My!

I was nothing short of shocked by how many panels were held this year that talked about psychology and the paranormal. The paranormal fandoms had their own wing of the convention center with local investigators setting up shop to talk all about the spooky. Geek Therapeutics and author Dr. Travis Langley had their own booths respectively with books and discussions about psychology and mental health in the fandom world. I got a set of super cute micro dice for following Geek Therapeutics on Instagram, as well as some other goodies that I’ll be writing up more about in a separate post. (Stay tuned!) 

Other popular panels include the hobbits reunion and Brendan Fraser’s return. Gina Carano was also in the house, and her panel was at capacity at one point. (Her favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, just in case you’re curious.)

Final thoughts

MegaCon is my “adults only” weekend of the year with my husband and, while crowded, it did not disappoint. The only thing I don’t like about the convention is the number of amazing people I meet once and never see again. Some I only see once a year at the convention.

MegaCon returns to the Orange County Convention Center on March 30th through April 2nd, 2023.

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Disclaimer: GeekMom was given a press pass to this event.

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