There are nearly 10 comic com events held in the state of Florida every year and Megacon Orlando is Central Florida’s largest convention which sees around 100,000 visitors across the four days every single year.
Planning a visit to Megacon Orlando can be overwhelming especially if you’re traveling from out of state.
Not only do you have to plan out your days so you don’t miss anything but you also need to arrange transport and accommodation for the long weekend, along with nearly 100,000 other people.
So whether you’re a first-timer to a comic con event or maybe this is your first time attending the Megacon event held at the Orange County Convention Center, this ultimate guide will be able to help you prepare and tell you what to expect whilst you’re there.
Buying Your Ticket/Badge
We can’t recommend enough that you buy your tickets in advance, this is essential unless you want to be disappointed.
Single-day passes start from as little as $20 but will be higher on the busier days across the weekend. Child tickets are $10 for every single day of the event and you can even buy a family day pass that will provide 2 adult tickets and up to 4 kids tickets.
A single-day pass includes admission to just one day at Megacon, show floor access, panel room access, and a souvenir badge for the event.
Make sure the ticket that you buy is for your chosen day as you won’t be able to just rock up on any day with a single-day pass.
However, you can also buy a 4-day pass ticket in advance which will cost you $100 and will provide you with access to the convention for the entire weekend.
If you’re waiting for the schedule to be released so you can buy a ticket for a specific day, you can buy tickets closer to the time and there are also some tickets available at the gate, but just make sure to get there early.
If you plan on having some celebrity autograph and photo opportunities then we recommend buying your ticket in advance as these can sell out, especially for well-known celebrities.
If you’re not a seasoned comic con-goer, then you should know that these extra opportunities will cost you extra and are not included with the price of your ticket.
There are also VIP and Premium packages available that also provide you with exclusive access to rooms, priority entrance, free merchandise, and a more inclusive experience.
Before buying any tickets or packages, you should make sure to read through the fine print and terms and conditions on the website so you’re not caught out by anything.
What To Bring To Megacon Orlando
Make sure to bring a bag with you to keep your possessions such as your phone and wallet in. You’ll also need a bag to put merch or collectives in that you buy at the stalls.
A refillable water bottle is also essential as you’ll be able to fill your water up for free instead of buying a plastic water bottle each time.
It can get busy and quite warm inside the center, especially if you’re trying to see as much as possible.
You’ll often be waiting in lines outside in the sun waiting to get in every day so staying hydrated will ensure you’re on your best game to get around everything.
If you think you’ll be buying some posters or art in the convention center, then bring along an art storage tube to store everything neatly, however, some stalls may provide you with a tube if you’re buying one more one item.
In Megacon’s regulations policy, they do not allow you to bring outside food into the convention center unless medically necessary. However, people are seen there with their own snacks, so they must be more lenient with bringing smaller food items like chips or bars into the center.
They do have food stands inside, but they don’t have a wide variety available and they’re often overpriced.
If you plan on taking lots of photos, then we recommend bringing along a portable phone charger so you can keep your phone topped up so you don’t miss a photo opportunity.
Bring a notebook and a pen (or two) so you won’t miss out on the chance of getting an autograph from your favorite celeb.
Apart from the material essentials, you’ll also need to bring along some patience and some good humor as you may have to endure some long waiting times and a lot of busy crowds who are all trying to get to see everything as much as you are.
What To Wear To Megacon Orlando
You will need to wear comfortable footwear, regardless of if you’re wearing a costume or not. You’ll be on your feet the entire day and spend a lot of time waiting in lines and walking across the huge center so it’s important that your feet don’t hurt, especially if you’re visiting the whole weekend.
It can get pretty hot in Florida, so loose-fitting clothes will prevent you from getting too warm inside when wandering through the crowds. A simple t-shirt with jeans or shorts is more than enough.
You can also choose to buy or make costumes to wear to Megacon, although the convention center does have some dress code minimums that you’ll need to consider beforehand:
- The bottom of your feet must be covered
- No rollerblades or shoes with wheels cannot be worn inside
- Women’s garments must have no less coverage than the average bikini
- Fabric must be opaque and not show bodily features
- If you’re wearing loose-fitting clothes, you should wear nude clothing or use clothing tape
- Men’s clothing must have no less coverage than a brief style swimsuit
Saturday is pretty much always the main and busiest day at Megacon and it’s the day where everyone wears their best costumes, so just a heads up if you’ve already got your costumes lined up.
However, a costume is NOT a requirement to enter the convention center, so if you’re not comfortable dressing up in costume then feel free to wear your regular civilian attire.
If you choose not to dress up but you feel inspired by everyone’s creative costumes inside, there will be many exhibition stalls that will sell outfits, wigs, and even accessories for you to join in on the fun.
Easy Megacon Orlando Costume Ideas
If you’re looking for some inspiration for costume ideas for your time at Megacon, then a quick browse on the web will give you endless ideas that you can find in a costume store or choose to make yourself.
You don’t have to break the bank buying or creating your costumes, there are some you can make by using your day-to-day clothes, painting your face, and making something out of cardboard.
Some people choose to wear individual costumes, so if you’re visiting Megacon on your own and looking for some costume ideas, take a look at the ones below.
Sirius Black from Harry Potter
Marty Mcfly from Back To The Future
If you’re visiting Megacon Orlando with a friend and you want to dress up as a pair, find some duo costume ideas below.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting with a group of friends and you’re looking for some group costume ideas that you can go as together, take a look at some of these amazing ideas below:
Can You Go To Megacon Without A Costume?
Of course, everyone is welcome to wear whatever they want (within reason of course).
However, cosplay is all part of the fun of Megacon and so many people will spend weeks and even months planning, buying, and making their costumes ready to wear every day across the entire weekend.
What To Do When Nobody Gets Your Cosplay
Just do Arthur’s fist. What a genius idea for a cosplay outfit, right? All jokes aside though, if someone is giving you strange looks then either ignore them or take the time to explain it to them.
Guide To Megacon Orlando Lines And Crowds
There’s no hiding the fact that Megacon Orlando is going to be hella busy and there are going to be big crowds, especially on Saturday and Sunday.
For popular events like panels and celebrity photo-ops, you’ll want to get in line early and leave enough time in between exhibitions and events to get to your next one.
You’ll probably only be able to do one major event a day so you may want to plan your whole day around that as you’ll be waiting in line for a while.
Lines for events and exhibitions are well organized and there is plenty of staff on-site to make sure everyone is neatly in line and not blocking walkways.
We’d recommend looking at the schedule ahead of time and writing down the times and locations of things you want to see and do on your phone so you can stay on track and not miss anything whilst waiting in long lines.
There’s nothing worse than waiting ages in line for something to then realize it’s the wrong one, so always communicate with staff to make sure you’re in the right place.
Getting Your Comics Signed
There’ll be an opportunity to get your favorite comic signed during the autograph sessions, so narrow down your favorites to bring along with you.
You’ll need to purchase an autograph ticket online before the event to guarantee you get your comic signed. There may be spare tickets available on the day which will be at the guest’s table.
Autograph fees may vary depending on the guest, so check the prices on the guest page on Megacon’s website.
For popular guests, you’ll have to wait in line for your turn so make sure you set aside enough time in the day so you don’t miss out.
How Much Money Do You Need?
Once you’ve bought your ticket, you could spend no money for the entire day at Megacon if you don’t want to and still have a great time.
However, if you plan on buying merchandise, event tickets, cosplay costumes, food, and more you’ll want to make sure you save up a little before the convention as your money can quickly go especially within all the excitement.
Some people spend thousands of dollars on unique cosplay costumes, but we’d recommend that about $500 for the whole weekend would be enough to get you some cool bits that you can easily carry around with you.
We’d recommend you set a food budget of a minimum of $50 a day per person if you’re going to be getting food inside the Orange County Convention Center.
Don’t Forget To Bargain
If you plan on buying some rad stuff at Megacon, make sure to do your homework beforehand and research your prices so you don’t get ripped off.
Write down a list of things you’d like to buy at Megacon and the prices that you’ve seen them go for elsewhere, this way you’ll be able to haggle your way to a good deal hopefully.
If the seller is asking for $100 but you’re willing to pay $70, offer them $60 to start with (always go lower than what you’re willing to pay) and they could say yes or no.
If they say, offer them $65 but if they still say no, ask them what they’re willing to settle for and tell them what you’re willing to pay. Therefore you’ll know if you’re wasting your time.
Sellers will be more likely to accept lower offers if you’re paying with cash as they’ll get to avoid credit card fees, so make sure you’ve got a good amount on you.
Other Tips For Megacon Orlando-goers
- If you come across anyone in cosplay, make sure you ask before you touch as it may have taken them hours and a lot of money to buy or make the costume.
- Bring a light sweater in your bag, even if it’s boiling outside, the AC may make it slightly chilly in the center.
- Don’t pick up every freebie you come across as you’ll then have to lug it around with you for the entire day.
- Eat a good breakfast before you head to the center. You’ll want to waste as little time as possible throughout the day in food lines.
We’d recommend booking your accommodation for Megacon as early as possible as many nearby hotels will quickly fill up as soon as tickets are released for the convention.
The two hotels below are the most convenient options if you want the convention center to be right on your doorstep.
The Hilton is connected to the convention center as is only a 5-minute walk away from the main area. You’ll get to enjoy the pool, lazy river, and many dining options in your downtime after the convention.
Also connected to the convention center by a sky bridge and only a short drive from International Drive.
- Rosen Centre
- Rosen Plaza
- Vista Cay by Millenium
- Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando
- Doubletree by Hilton Orlando
Car Rental Nearby
Orlando is a popular tourist destination so there will be endless options of car rental companies nearby including:
- Budget Car Rental
Most of which are located just off International Drive. There are also popular car rental companies at the airport so if you’re flying into Orlando you can pick one up from there as well.
Parking At The Event
You can pay to park at the West parking lot at the convention center and when it fills up there is additional parking at the North/South parking lot. There will also be a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the ticketing hall.
Public Transport Near The Event
Megacon has its own bus called the Megacon Express which picks people up on a daily schedule and goes from the Tampa Convention Center and drops them at Megacon Orlando for just $15 each way.
Tickets need to be purchased in advance as seating is limited.
There is a rideshare pick-up & drop-off zone just outside the convention center so you’ll be able to Uber or Lyft to and from the event.
The I-RIDE trolleys are the most convenient way to get to the event if you’re staying within the International Drive area.
The LYNX bus route also stops outside the convention center and will also stop by Downtown Orlando as well as the airport.