Spooky Empire Convention Orlando, Florida- House Of Tortured Souls

Over Halloween weekend I had the priveledge to travel to my first Spooky Empire convention in Orlando, FL and after my experience, it will be my last. Normally I do my best to let small quirks of a convention be swept under the rug since all conventions can’t be perfect, but this time I feel like it could of been handled better. 

Lets start with day 1. To park, it was over a man built ramp and parking directly at a lake, I wish I was exaggerating. To get into the building, I personally ordered my tickets back in July, and to have to wait in a will call line for 2 hours (some convention goers waited longer than that) to get my wristband only to walk back out of the doors to wait in another line to get in, was pure ridiculous in my opinion. The convention had a start time of 12 for VIP attendees and 1pm for general admission. In the main room it had every vendor and every guest, to which you can cover the vendors in an hour and unfortunately could not meet any of the guests until 5pm (which on a Friday is exceptional since most start at 5pm).

While walking in the building, there was already a line full of attendees waiting on the exclusive Elvira funko pop which was a disaster in itself (as told in Crypt Keeper Clint’s article). The funko line ran into Cassandra Peterson’s (Elvira’s) photo op line which resulted in an over crowded hallway making it unsafe and unbearable to get through. My first night I spent almost 4 hours waiting on a photo op which usually runs smooth and takes about 5-10 mins per person. The staff members were no where to be seen and the ones we could find did not seem to know much on what was happening. Communication was not on point all weekend long. 

Now comes Day 2. Parking was still the same situation, parking long distances and being carted by a golf cart only to have to wait in a very long line to get into the building. The only thing that they did correctly, was allow the ones who had a photo op and signing at 11 (which is when it opened for general admission) for The X Files cast go to the front of the line. Having autograph tickets and photo ops for Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny sell prior to the show was very smart on their behalf, however it was still very crowded in the halls and in the main room with waits still last for hours, which means they over sold it. The Q&A panels were more organized by having those wanting to attend wait in a taped line and then had us go as soon as each panel cleared out. 

Day 3, the final day, I wish to say that it was finally organized with it coming to an end but it was not. The only thing that finally had order to it was the Elvira funko pop line. They kept it hush hush and limited to how many each person were to have (2 a person) and there were a few volunteers in place to keep the line from getting out of hand, a system which actually went smoothly. Upon leaving early, there was nothing else that could be covered on Sunday.

The highlight of the con for me personally would consist of  The Sleepaway Camp girls photo op and seeing The Soska Twins and their never-ending hugs and passionate outpour of their gratitude to their fans. Usually at conventions I never have a chance to attend many panels, so attending Kathy Najimy’s (Hocus Pocus, Sister Act) and The Sleepaway Camp girls panel really was a highlight for me. It was also amazing to see how the chemistry between the Sleepaway Camp girls were for not seeing each other in 35 years. Katherine Kamhi(Meg) made her first con appearance and hopefully this will not be her last. The guests were great and were very grateful to each of their fans who were local and not local.

I have heard from various Spooky attendees that this is not how every con has been in the years, while that maybe true, this will be a last for me. 

Overall Grade: D-

 


Posted by Sarah Gregory

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