The Big Con: Convention Accounts
Spooky Empire 2014: A Fangirl's Account of Her First Convention
The Big Con is where lady con-goers get to share their reviews and experiences at conventions.
Friday, May 30, 2014. Orlando, Florida.
This marked the first convention experience of my fangirl life.
I met up in Orlando with my best friend and Evil Regal Sister Marissa. We had both traveled many times for Once Upon A Time related reasons – including going to see the cast at PaleyFest in L.A. and seeing where the show is filmed in Vancouver, Canada – but this would be our first convention, and we were super excited about it.
Spooky Empire May-hem is a three-day convention that celebrates everything horror. This was a convention where Freddy Krueger, Mike Myers, creepy clowns, and all manner of scary creatures could be found around every corner. I didn’t think Once Upon A Time could be classified as “horror” (although, these days, I suppose it depends who you ask… but I digress), but this convention was giving me the opportunity to meet some of the Once Upon A Time stars, and for that, I was grateful.
The Once Upon A Time stars that were in attendance that weekend were Lana Parrilla (the Evil Queen/Regina Mills), Rebecca “Bex” Mader (the Wicked Witch of the West/Zelena), Lee Arenberg (Grumpy/Leroy), Freya Tingley (Wendy Darling), Sean Maguire (Robin Hood), and Jason Burkhart (Little John). The organizers of the convention were very smart in putting all the Once Upon A Time stars together in one room; this allowed the Oncers to have their own corner of the convention, which I thought was nice. The convention offered the opportunity to meet and spend some time with the stars, get their autographs, and take pictures with them. There was also an hour-long panel with the stars, in which they talked about some of their experiences filming the show and answered fan questions. Because I opted to get the V.I.P. Pass, I was able to get access to fast pass lines for autographs, photo ops, and panels, which was so worth it (especially for Lana, whose autograph line was pretty much always wrapped around the building). V.I.P. Pass holders also got the opportunity to attend the V.I.P. party, which was a lot of fun. We got to spend a little extra time with Lana and Bex, bust a move on the dance floor, and bid on some items in an exclusive auction.
Attending Spooky Empire May-hem was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I had met Lana a few times before, so it was lovely to be reunited with her and I always treasure any time I get to spend with her beautiful, loving self. Getting to meet Bex for the first time was amazing. She is so sweet and adorable, and she genuinely loves talking to and spending time with the fans. It was her first convention experience as well, so it was nice to share that with her. She was a bright ray of sunshine throughout the entire weekend, and her laugh is one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard. Most importantly, I walked away from this convention with a new family. [pullquote]
One of the amazing things about going to conventions is that you meet a group of people who have the same interests as you and understand what being a fangirl is like. [/pullquote] You spend pretty much every waking moment with those people for an entire weekend, and you get to share some of the greatest moments of your life with them.
In going to Spooky Empire May-hem, I finally got to meet so many of the friends I had been talking with online for years, and we all instantly bonded. I now have a group of best friends that I call my Spooky Family, and I talk to them every day. And now, some of us will be reuniting for a one-year anniversary at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. to do it all over again – this time with the Queens of Darkness!