Think rabid theme park enthusiasts are the primary source of geek culture in Orlando? Think again.
The zombie hordes of AMC’s The Walking Dead will have nothing on the Orange County Convention Center this month as the nerds turn out in costumed force for MegaCon (March 21-23, 2014), a multi-genre pop culture celebration of epic proportions. Attendees will be “consuming” like zombies, as well, generating millions in business for the local economy. And this year’s Walking Dead-heavy guest panel will generate an inspired, if undead, boost.
Cosplayers welcome! You'll see every genre, from sci-fi to horror, anime to gaming, represented and even melded — Photo courtesy of MegaCon
“We are the first convention in the United States to have David Morrissey and Danai Gurira appearing together,” says Convention Director Christine Alger.
Indeed, Morrissey and Gurira, who portray popular characters The Governor and Michonne on the show, are huge gets. Emily Kinney (Beth) and Steven Yeun (Glenn) are slated to appear, as well, along with many other celebs from television, film and the realm of comics – including industry icon Stan Lee.
Comic book icon Stan Lee - creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man and more - will be among the celebrities returning to MegaCon. Advance autograph tickets are already on sale — Photo courtesy of MegaCon
Beyond the lines for autographs and photo-ops, events abound.
“We offer a large variety to keep con regulars and newbies entertained,” says Alger. “Things like comic book industry panels, the large video gaming room, RPG, LARP, board gaming and anime events, speed dating, a zombie walk, indie film festival, two huge costume contests and much more!”
An AMC-approved Walking Dead Q&A panel is sure to pack the hall.
MegaCon's props and displays, like Jabba the Hutt's beloved Rancor, are often truly impressive — Photo courtesy of MegaCon
Orlando, Alger notes, is an ideal host city for a geek gala.
“We work very hard to make MegaCon an environment for the whole family,” says Alger. Indeed, entire broods often show up in themed costume. “This city is so family-friendly it makes planning an entire vacation around our show possible.”
Although MegaCon encompasses a wide range of genres, comics are still king. And organizers are hip to trends.
“We realize that the youth of today are the comic book readers of tomorrow.”
Thus MegaCon offers one free admission for kids under the age of 10 per each adult admission purchased.
“We have a large LEGO pit, a kid zone with activities . . . and panels for those 18 and over are generally scheduled after hours, when children are less likely to be in attendance.”
MegaCon welcomes the young and young at heart, as this display by the Adult Fans of LEGO proves — Photo courtesy of MegaCon
And new this year for the 18-and-up set is the Cosmos Party (Friday, March 21 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.).
“There will be a state-of-the-art laser light show, guest DJs, celebrity guest appearances, dancing, drinks, a costume contest and more!”
For details and advance tickets to MegaCon and related events, visit MegaConvention.com.