Last year’s MegaCon was among the most enjoyable I’ve ever attended. Much of that was, of course, due to the events, the guests, and the overall planning from the team behind the convention. But it was also the best I’d ever seen the event handle crowd control, which made for a really enjoyable and easy to navigate experience. This year, I didn’t get quite as lucky, but that doesn’t necessarily fall onto the convention itself. Over 100,000 people attended MegaCon and that is simply too many people to reign in and attempt to coordinate, at the end of the day. It’s hard to get a handle on that many attendees to make sure everyone knows where they’re going and what they’re doing, but the staff did everything they could to make sure that the event didn’t descend into chaos. And when you’re dealing with that many people, that’s kind of a minor miracle in its own right.
In case anyone has any doubts, MegaCon is absolutely a sea of people. But if you can manage to breathe and poke your head above the crowd, there is a whole lot to see. After all, something doesn’t attract this many people because it’s bad. If anything, such a shocking number of attendees basically proves just how great a convention this really is. It’s so massive that, permitting you can actually find it, there truly is something for everyone.
For horror fans, especially, there were so many neat things to see. Our genre almost always tends to get buried in larger conventions, and with MegaCon being one of the biggest in the world, I didn’t expect to see nearly as much horror merchandise as I did.
Many of the original run Movie Maniacs figures were being sold by vendors, with prices ranging from astronomical to shockingly reasonable. There were statues, hand-made figures and even quite a bit of original artwork depicting the likes of Michael Myers, Jason, Freddy, Pinhead and more. At a convention dominated by Deadpool cosplay, it was kind of amazing to see little kids walking the main hall dressed as Freddy and Jason. There were even some surprisingly horror-themed events, things I would never have expected to see at MegaCon, like a panel dedicated to the history of horror poetry. Last year’s shadowcast of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode “Once More With Feeling” also made a return appearance.
MegaCon also brought out some major heavy hitters for their guests this year. Obviously, the biggest name in attendance had to be Jeff Goldblum. When he was announced, everyone who planned on attending was stunned—and for good reason. His panel went exactly as one would expect if they’ve ever seen an interview with Goldblum before.
Eccentric and unpredictable, Goldblum also manages to be himself and do and say practically anything that comes through his head while still effortlessly promoting whatever he has coming out. In this case, those would be films like Hotel Artemis and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, both of which will see release in June, and the latter of which sees Goldblum return to the iconic role of Dr. Ian Malcolm.
For me, a particular highlight of the convention was the Daredevil Q&A with star Charlie Cox. Moderator Aaron Sagers made sure to preface the panel with the announcement that no questions could be asked about any upcoming material, such as the recently-wrapped third season of the show or the potential for a second season of The Defenders.
Interestingly enough, Cox seemed determined to say at least something in regards to those questions fans had about the future of the character. When asked about the possibility of seeing Daredevil on the big screen in the larger Marvel Universe movies, Cox of course said that he had no control over that, but that fans should let Marvel know if they really want to see something like that come together. The biggest reveal, though, is one Cox mentioned while talking about the stunt work of Daredevil.
He mentioned that fans of the two one-take fight sequences in both seasons one and two of Daredevil (the second of which is actually a false oner and more of an homage) will be delighted to know that the upcoming season will showcase another one-take fight that he thinks will dwarf what was seen in the previous two. That’s definitely an interesting tidbit for fans anxiously awaiting the third season.
There is so much to do and see at MegaCon and because of that, yes, it’s impossible to do it all. The event is simply much too big for that. But that’s because it’s a convention that appeals to so many different tastes, from comics to anime, horror and more, that there should be plenty for anyone who’s a fan of pop culture to get excited about. It’s hard—almost terrifying, in fact—to imagine this convention getting any bigger, but if it continues on at this level, with the amount of A-list guests it attracts, it will certainly cement itself as the SDCC of the Southeast.
Yes, there are gripes. Parking is a nightmare and the Orlando Convention Center is the second largest in the entire world. Navigating your way around the proper parking lot and finding your way inside could, without exaggeration, take all day. If you’ve never been and don’t know the area, you could truly spend the entire duration of the con’s operating hours just trying to find your way—although everything else is surprisingly easy and quick once you’re there. Navigating MegaCon can be overwhelming.
But more than any other convention I’ve attended, MegaCon truly feels like entering another world once you’ve finally made it inside. And that’s perfect, in some ways, as it is a celebration of other worlds, of stories across the entire spectrum of pop culture and their fans. The concept of stepping out of our world and into that one for however long—be it the span of an episode, a feature film or in this case a weekend—is exactly what made us fans in the first place.