Finally, here’s a selection of photos, mostly of costumes, from MegaCon 2013. Enjoy!
Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category
[Editor's Note: Special thanks and shout out to SunnyStefani and Mrs. LanceAround for their assistance with this post.]
“I’m so glad we decided to move him to this venue,” the manager in charge of allocating rooms for MegaCon whispers to me as he glances over the crowd. There are now over 4000 people piling into the room.
By “him” the manager was referring to Sir Patrick Stewart, the Star Trek Captain Jean Luc Picard himself as well as the legendary Professor Xavier from the X-Men movies. He was about to enter the auditorium to address the 4000+ fans; many of whom had worn Star Trek costumes for the occasion. The originally scheduled venue would have only held about one third of this crowd, the MegaCon manager muses.
Patrick walks through a rear door casually dressed in blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt with a leather jacket and wearing an old, faded blue baseball cap. The MC announces his appearance on stage with much bravado, reminiscent of a scene from the movie, Galaxy Quest. After removing his hat and jacket, Sir Patrick speaks for a few minutes about some of his current and imminent theatre and movie gigs before the MC interrupts his monologue and begins to introduce the long line of audience members who have waited several hours for the opportunity to ask questions.
After initially grousing that he still had more of his “bit”, Patrick gamely began to address the questioners, but only after warning them that they have to ask “original questions.” When the first questioner begins to ask a very common Star Trek question, Patrick is quick to re-direct her and succeeds in getting her to ask something unique.
The next questioner, dressed in a red Star Trek uniform, goes to great lengths to ask Patrick why his character, Jean Luc Picard, dismissed the obviously romantic advances of Gates Mcfadden’s character, Dr. Beverly Crusher in the scene where they last met. After several minutes where the Star Trek fan emphatically recreates the circumstances of the entire scene, Patrick draws a laugh from the audience by reminding her that he is only an actor, not the writer, and that there were 178 episodes of the TV series which were made 20 years ago, not to mention all the movies, and he can’t even remember what he did yesterday!
From there the remaining half hour or so of questions are an entertaining mix of Patrick’s personal and professional life; from a question about what he said to his son before his wedding to an endorsement for his upcoming theatre shows and movies. One audience member asks if Patrick will do “something special” for her and, after a long, pregnant and tension filled pause Patrick adroitly responds (to the delight of the audience) that he just did something special for her–simply by answering her question!
Then, with little fanfare, he thanks the 4000+ fans who had come to hear him speak, gives a wave of his hand and leaves the auditorium to a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.
[Editor's Note: LanceAroundOrlando correspondent, the newly-turned-18-year-old and most beloved daughter NumberOneEmber, took a troop of friends to this year's MegaCon at the Orange County Convention Center. Here are their reflections about one of the country's most popular comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy and gaming conventions--expressing themselves in a way that only teenagers can.]
MegaCon is the one time of year when I can get together with my friends and go to a place where there is something for everyone. From anime to superheroes, videogames and literature, it is that one place where you belong. You feel accepted and loved. It is a completely positive environment. Free hug signs are everywhere from people with huge smiles on their faces. Elaborate costumes, that you know had weeks of efforts put into them, are donned by all sorts.
My boyfriend, Adolfo, and I decided to dress as corresponding enemies from the hit title, Assassin’s Creed 3. Needless to say, we were a major hit. Multiple pictures were taken of us; we even had a Tumblr post about us from someone who took our picture – our friend stumbled upon that Megacon Tumblr. It was so exciting for me because, after three years of going to MegaCon, I have never worn a costume that was this popular.
Honestly, the best part about having our picture taken so much for me was seeing their reactions to Adolfo’s homemade hidden blade at his wrist. The metal blade extends when he moves his arm, making a sound similar to a sword coming out of its sheath. There are expressions of “That’s awesome!”, “Did you make that?”, and “Where did you buy it?” He explains that he made it from a dresser drawer hinge. It is always a crowd pleaser and wonderful to watch.
Adolfo had been working on his costume since last October. I had started mine about three weeks ago. It is obvious the amount of work that he put into his. I think that is what people at MegaCon truly appreciate; they like to see effort and a love for the subject matter you are depicting. It is this feeling of love and obsession that runs the whole show. We all have things we are passionate about. At MegaCon, passion is held above all else. That is what creates the positive energy which makes this event so worth attending, so worth making costumes for and so worth the money I spent on it. I love MegaCon and fully intend to go next year as well.
Seeing all the interesting people dressed in every costume you can think of is wonderful. It is a great place to go to in order to feel like you fit in when you do not fit in anywhere else in your life. You feel accepted and there’s the feeling of connections. It is the one place where being a nerd is a good thing; it is like the biggest nerd is the best. And of course the stores; where you can find comics and manga, and amazing artwork for great prices you can’t find anywhere else.
We didn’t really go to many panels, but there are great panels out there.
Downsides. If you don’t like crowds, it is not a good place to go. Also, if you do not like people taking pictures of you. But if you do like to feel really, really special it is a great place to go because you are like, I feel like a movie star. Those are my thoughts.
I liked everything, especially seeing so many people in costumes; it is interesting and fun. Everyone always seems to be so happy and involved. I really liked seeing and hearing people’s reactions to our costumes. A lot of people comment on my costume. They would say “you are some [freakin] nice cosplayers” and everything. It meant a lot because I worked really hard on it. Even though I didn’t feel like I had finished my costume, I liked the positive reactions that it got.
We did not go to many panels, but I really liked Crazy Random Happenstance’s shadowcast of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. I liked how people in the audience would yell out random and funny comments at the screen and sing along to the songs. It really added to the experience. I am not really into MegaCon for its panels or shopping, but for the atmosphere. There’s a lot of positive energy. In general, I just like it.
Things had become a little strained between myself and my teenage daughter, NumberOneEmber. So when our Disney Reps came into my office at Florida Dream Homes to offer me two free tickets to a rock concert by a group called Pennyback or Dimeback, or something like that, I thought it would be a great opportunity for my daughter and I to get a little closer. Since I had never heard of the group, I figured they wouldn’t be very popular (or very good.) I was going to find out just how bad an idea it was. After our night at the concert, I don’t think I’ll be able to fix my relationship with my daughter.
Well, this was unexpected. My dad surprised me by taking me to a Nickelback concert. This is one of my favorite bands (which I’m sure he had no idea about.) It was the BEST!
It soon became apparent that this was a big mistake. We took the elevator to the level where our seats were. There was no one in the hallway. Just as I feared, the place was empty. We got to the door of the suite. As soon as the door opened, NumberOneEmber burst into tears. I had no idea she would be so upset by my choice of concerts.
We arrived at the new Amway Center. Even though the arena was packed, only a few people were allowed past the concierge and into the hallway where the luxury boxes were located. We had to pass through five different guarded checkpoints to arrive at the suite. I still had no idea why we were there. When the doors to our box opened, I knew that Dad had brought me to the Nickelback concert I had heard my friends talking about. They’ll be so jealous. I couldn’t believe it, Dad had gotten seats in the Disney luxury suite in the very center of the arena. I was so overwhelmed that I teared up.
I took NumberOneEmber into the suite. At least they were serving some gourmet food and drinks so she would have something to eat. She quickly ran to the large leather seats at the front of the box without glancing at the food. I didn’t think she’d be this upset. I grabbed a plate and some food, wondering how I was going to cheer her up.
As soon as I got into the box, I ran to the front to get a good view of the arena that was jammed full of rocking bodies. I think they had some pretzels and soda in the food service area, but I wasn’t the least bit interested. I couldn’t wait to see the bands play. I wasn’t as impressed with the first two bands, The Darkest Hour and Seether, mostly because of their lyrics. I did, however, enjoy the screamo and shattering drum beats. My favorite warm up act was when Push played Come Together by The Beatles.
There were only 14 seats in the box. Everyone else, like me, was a business owner, who had brought their spouse. My daughter was the only teenager in the room. No doubt she felt completely out of place. What a mistake this was. I saw the Disney Reps leaning over to speak with her. They probably apologized to her for my error in bringing her to this concert.
Everyone else in the suite was much older than me. However, I was really glad Dad decided to bring me. I was so proud of him! Every other person came up to me and told me how lucky I was. The Disney Reps were very nice to me and frequently asked how I was enjoying the concert. They seemed excited and happy I was there.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, something went horribly wrong with the sound system. The speakers began to make an awful whining noise. The video monitor also malfunctioned. Wavy lines scratched through the screens. At one point, it was so loud I could feel my entire chair vibrating. I was certain it was going to collapse straight through the floor.
I may have lost a bit of my hearing, but the sound in the arena was epic! I loved the mind-blowing rock beats and the laser effects. You could feel the drum beats vibrating your ribcage. It was a lot of fun. I’m glad my camera died halfway through, because I got to use Dad’s smartphone which has much better quality. I was able to record some of the songs I really love. (Too bad I don’t have one of those smartphones *hint*hint*Dad.)
By the end of the concert, NumberOneEmber had obviously had enough. She stood all the way on her tiptoes and just started to scream as loud as possible. All the other patrons who were in the box with us were polite enough to just sit there and not make a big deal out of it. The concert was so loud I don’t think anyone else in the arena saw how much pain my daughter was in. I was mortified. I don’t think Disney will ever invite us back to another event. At the end of the concert, I hurried out of the box, hoping to avoid the Disney Reps.
I sang along during most of the Nickelback sets, which one can–embarrassingly–hear on the songs I videotaped. I would also shout out with the rest of the auditorium. I was really impressed with the effects that Nickelback had (like fireworks, actual fire, a moving stage, digital photos, a platform that rose up in the air over the audience and then rotated, moving/swaying lyrics that matched the speed of the song, etc.) They were so amazing. The concert ended way too soon. After it was over, the Disney Reps told me how much they enjoyed having me at the concert. Dad was nowhere to be seen.
The drive home told me just how bad the night had been. My daughter didn’t say a word. She even gave me a punch when we pulled up to the house. I can’t believe how foolish I was to think she would enjoy this concert. Fortunately, September is only a few months away. I’ll make it up to her by taking her to more Virginia Tech football games in the fall. I can only hope that by tomorrow NumberOneEmber will have completely forgotten about this night!
By the time Dad started to drive home, I was thinking about the concert and quietly humming the songs to myself. This was one of the best nights of my entire life. I gave my dad a little punch on the arm to let him know how much I appreciated it. I loved this so much better than other places he has taken me–like in the fall when he takes me to one of those Virginia Tech football games. Thank you so much, Dad, and the Disney Reps, for giving me this wonderful experience. This is one night I will NEVER forget!
[Editor's Note: LanceAroundOrlando is pleased to introduce our newest correspondent--AnaBanana. As a lifelong resident of Central Florida, young AnaBanana is perfectly suited to share her view of this wonderful area that provides so much 'more than a mouse'™. We sometimes like to tease AnaBanana because she is short and petite with an infectiously bubbly personality; but don't underestimate her. She packs a lot of energy into a little body. Just how small is AnaBanana? Well, she recently gave birth to her first child and we are starting an office pool to guess how many more days it will be before the baby is bigger than her!--LanceAround ]
Hello LanceAroundOrlando readers! Since I haven’t had the opportunity to personally meet you, I just wanted to say how awesome it is to get to share my thoughts with all of you remarkable people. I was born and raised in Central Florida, home of Mickey, Minnie, Shamu, and now Harry Potter! Growing up, all anyone ever hears about is the Theme Parks; I’ve been hearing it for years and years! No one seems to remember us Sports Enthusiasts.
Those of us who enjoy basketball take that with a grain of salt. Whoever said Orlando was all about the mouse probably never thought they would see the day when the NBA All Star Weekend would make its return to the City Beautiful!
For all you readers who are Basketball Enthusiasts and who share my excitement, you understand the importance and honor this brings. Every Basketball Enthusiast believes their favorite team is a hero of some sort. I will not be one to disappoint in this aspect. This past year has been a big year for our Hometown Heroes with the closing and scheduled destruction of the old Amway Arena (which was the home of the Magic for 22 seasons) to the opening of the colossal Amway Center (which has been called the best basketball venue in the world.) Then, finally, the announcement that Orlando would host the epic All Star Weekend for the first time since 1992. I recall that the 1992 All Star Weekend was hailed as one for the history books, with few other All Star Weekends even coming close to rivaling it. Unfortunately, for me, I was just a baby when the All Star Weekend was last in my beautiful hometown. However, for every one who was old enough to enjoy the festivities, you may remember the return of the legendary Magic Johnson who had retired in late 1991 after his contraction of HIV. So the question remaining on the tip of every tongue was, “How would Orlando rise to the occasion this year?”
I, for one, can say that the City Beautiful rose to the challenge magnificently. For weeks before the hordes of fans and countless celebrities arrived the city was buzzing with preparations; making our city even more beautiful and, most importantly, safe for everyone coming to enjoy the festivities. Now most of us here can only dream of being courtside at the All Star game (or even in the nosebleed seats.) Thankfully, for us there were a ton of celebrity hosted events all around the city, ranging from charity volunteer events to unforgettable club nights. Needless to say All Star Weekend brought everything it promised to Orlando.
All Star Weekend showcased many of the awesome things Orlando has to offer; hosting events such as the All Sports All Art Sports Fan Happy Hour which showcased sports related artworks. Also Thursday night Dwayne Wade and Orlando’s own Superman Dwight Howard hosted events at Club Vain and Club Roxy kicking off All Star Weekend in spectacular fashion. Undeniably one of the most memorable events was the concert that took place in front of the Amway Center, preceding the All Star game. Fans stood shoulder to shoulder as they got to hear incredible performances from chart topping artists, two of the most memorable being Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
For those of us who could only hope and dream of going to see the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, the three point shoot out, the slam dunk contest, and/or the skills challenge, the charity and club events provided us with a way to get the most out of the weekend as well! When I say those of us, I include myself because, unfortunately due to some unforeseen super complicating circumstances, I got to enjoy hearing stories about the festivities from family and friends but could not attend them personally. For those of you who are just as green eyed as I am, I hope to see you in Houston next year for All Star Weekend 2013!
Now Orlando is getting back to as “normal” as we get, with the Spring Break crowds invading and the super busy Easter tourist week ahead. But the Slam Dunk that All Star weekend made will not soon be forgotten.
[Editor's Note: Jeff and Kathryn are from the UK. We manage their beautiful vacation home right beside Disney World. We love when they come to visit because they have an adventurous spirit with a delightful sense of humor. (Oops, they're British so that should be "humour.") They love reading my blog and they often visit the "more than a mouse"™ off-the-beaten-path places we feature. Last week, they turned the tables on me and discovered a delightful event. It's the MacDill AirFest, featuring the USAF Thunderbirds, located in the heart of the bay in Tampa. Kathryn was particularly engaging as her face visibly flushed and she fanned herself with her hand while she spoke of the "hot young men in uniform" who seemed to be everywhere throughout the festival--saying all of this right in front of her husband Jeff. Of course I insisted that she write a guest blog post about her experience (with vivid detailed descriptions of these young men that she found so appealing!) At first, she resisted, but after several emails from the LanceAroundOrlando editorial desk (i.e. SunnyStefani) with a stern warning that she had better do as promised or risk having a reduction of the free compensation she had been promised; she relented and provided the following information. (Albeit sans the requested description!)--LanceAround]
By Homeowners Jeff & Kathryn
We are now back from our trip down to Key West and thought we had better do as promised and send you some details on the MacDill Airfest.
The AirFest is held annually at the MacDill Military Air Force Base near Tampa. We arrived to be met with military precision parking–it is suggested that people should get there around the opening times of 8am to be sure of finding a parking space, although the parking area is huge. It is estimated that over 100,000 people attend the AirFest.
The show actually begins around 9am and runs to around 5pm. There were many aircraft on display, including the range of very large cargo/bomber types. Many of these aircraft allowed people to enter them and have a good look round. There were numerous vendor stalls at the grounds, which were selling various foods and drinks throughout the day.
There were also many static displays from all the different aspects of the military Air Force, which Kathryn found to be very interesting as she was able to get up to and personal with the men in uniforms!! [Editor's note: Wow, Jeff is a much more understanding husband than I am!]
The actual flying displays included demonstration parachutists, which Kathryn seemed particularly interested in as she had already met one of the display team (see photo–she is the one who is blushing), acrobatic flying, fighter planes both recent and vintage. All this culminated in a fantastic display from the Thunderbird team. Except for the vendors, everything was completely free of charge, including the car parking, which was really great.
All in all it proved to be a fabulous day out.
[Editor's Final Note: Since Kathryn is an avid reader of this blog, perhaps if you would write a comment requesting more details from her regarding the "men in uniform" whom she so passionately found appealing she will be kind enough to respond...]
Last month Edward James Olmos, who portrayed Commander Adama in the new Battlestar Galatica, gave a shout out to our good friends J and Mo, who love science fiction. Perhaps their favorite sci-fi of all time is Star Wars. J even proclaims he’s a Jedi bfa. So I knew that when Jeremy Bulloch came to Disney World for a Star Wars Weekend Jeremy would want to give a special shout out to J and Mo.
You see, Jeremy portrayed Boba Fett, the bounty hunter, in the original Star Wars Trilogy.
Sure enough, as soon as I introduced myself as the blogger LanceAround, he immediately recorded this message to J and Mo. We suspect there’s a deeper, hidden message embedded inside this video so listen very carefully:
I asked Jeremy how he became so popular when playing a character who was completely covered in costume. He suggested that he has so much charisma, it just oozed out of the costume and onto the screen. Makes sense to me.
And in case you’re wondering how we managed to smuggle this highly sensitive video out of from under the noses of the dreaded Imperial Stormtroopers, well, it wasn’t easy. Number One Daughter had to use the Jedi mind trick to get the video out.
Don’t believe me? Seeing is believing…
Megacon (short for Mega Convention) is one of the country’s largest conventions catering to comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy and gaming fans.
This year, Thomas Cook Photography has a booth at Megacon where he takes pictures in front of a green screen and can superimpose them onto a plethora of backgrounds.
He needed some help, so he hired Number One Daughter and Number One Boyfriend to assist at his booth on Friday
Meanwhile a walk around the con will unearth the most serious of fans…
The most creative of costumes…
Iconic characters from across the ages (and galaxies far, far away…)
Everyone ready to show off for the camera…
The convention is taking place today and tomorrow at the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive just north of Disney World. Tickets are only $25 at the door. (10 & under get in for free.)
While it’s too late now–for only $495 you could have purchased a personalized meet & greet with this year’s featured guest, William Shatner.
Film buffs attending the Mecum Auto Auction in Kissimmee this January got a real treat. A vehicle on auction was an original Batmobile from the movie Batman Returns.
This is one of the actual Batmobiles driven by Michael Keaton during the film and brought to you via video by LanceAroundOrlando. [Note: The auction you hear in the background is not for the Batmobile]:
Apparently, the auction of the Batmobile was not successful as the Batmobile is still available for sale here.
Here are the signs that were on the Batmobile:
Imagine a museum with over 1750 of the most unusual cars you have ever seen.
Imagine a string of huge tents which would dwarf even the largest circus in the world holding rows upon rows of these cars.
Imagine aisle upon aisle of car memorabilia, accessories, clothing and much more.
That’s what the annual Mecum auto auction in Kissimmee is like. You’ll find muscle cars and museum pieces; cars built in the early 1900’s to futuristic autos used in recent sci fi movies. There are motorcycles and minivans, hot rods and love bugs. You name it and if it’s auto related chances are you’ll find it at Mecum.
Certainly you’ll find someone who knows about it and has a passion for it.
The auction has been in Kissimmee for six years. The first year, it was held in one small tent on a corner of the Osceola Heritage Park complex. Now, it has grown into the second largest Mecum auction featuring over 1750 cars, original auto memorabilia, clothing and other accessories.
The 2011 auction took place from January 26 to 30. Here’s a video that gives you just a small glimpse of the action at this year’s auction: