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The Megaplex adventure by pandapaco


Maybe it was not a trip as adventurous as the previous ones that I have told on my journals, but I'm pretty sure it contains many great experiences, something that I will never forget and that I will always keep with a lot of love on me.

It was, for me, a real honor to have been invited with such a title for this convention. In truth I never thought it would have happened, I always felt like a "nobody", I just drew because I liked to do it, and I never even thought I would end up dedicating my life to this, I always thought that it would only do this like a hobby. But it was until the first moment that I stepped on a furry convention that I realized that there were many people who knows me, and who even claimed to admire me. What a surprise! From being nobody to suddenly be someone admired in another country. So far I still don't believe it, and I still faithfully think that I'm just another furry in this community that is open to make many friends with common interests, I'm nobody higher than anyone else here. Maybe busier than before, with more responsibilities within the fandom, and more dependent on what happens in the community, because this has become my world now.

Being an event where they announced my attendance, along with the talented singer and musician NIIC (which is a great person, very charismatic and with whom it is very easy to talk), I felt very committed, and also with much desire, to contribute with many things to the event, that's why I many pictures for them as possible (The better I can do). The badges of the convention, the telegram stickers, the cover of the conbook, the design of the shirt, and the drawing for the anniversary poster.

It was the first time I was to Orlando, even to Florida. My big surprise is knowing how much heat is there. It is a very humid place, with a very tropical climate. It reminds me a lot of the Yucatan or Cancun's weather.
The first thing I thought was: How are we going to fursuite here?

Upon arriving at the hotel I was impressed, what a nice hotel! It was like a very vacation feeling, with pools, bungalows, palm trees. And I could already see some fursuiters walking around the hotel. It was all perfect, like a vacation with furries.

Never before had I had so many things to do in a single convention. Not only the events that they had programmed with my participation, but also the activities that I put myself for the event. Almost all the time I had something to do, or I wanted to attend many other panels and activities. So the table at the dealer's den was filled with my absence most of the time since the dealer's den was open.
I knew a lot of people who didn't want to buy my art book until I was present at the table so they could have their book signed, and apparently that never happened. Maybe I was one hour at my table each of the 3 days that lasted the convention, and I tried to announce it each time that happened, but I know that not many people are awared of their cell phone and notifications during the event. At least I'm not, it's difficult to locate me during cons because I'm almost never checking my phone, a big apology for it.
And a big thank you to Koidel Coyote, Vinyl and Soren, for being there every day at the table, selling my silly stuff.

But then, how much did it happen at the con, if I was not at the dealer's den table?

The first was the opening ceremony. An apology in advance for all existing furry conventions that I have attended before for confesing this: At Megaplex was the first time I have ever attended an opening ceremony. So I didn't really know what happened during these, I thought that it was only the chairmans saying "officially we start the convention, enjoy it!" and that was all. For the same reason I had never before had the interest to put a paw on them. And I didn't know if they were gonna request us, to the Guests of Honor, to say some words to the public. The good thing is that we had agreed, NIIC and me, to go in fursuit. For me that was better, it always gives me much more confidence to speak and act in fursuit.
Before starting the ceremony, when people were just arriving to the place and taking their respective seats, I started interacting in fursuit with all the audience, which I have always found very fun, reminds me of those yesterdays when I had to cheer the people as a sports mascot.

They didn't make us talk, it was just a presentation of "here are the guests of honor", we said hi with our paws, and we sat down again. So that after a small show with some fursuit dances, tikis, and some jokes. It was great.

The second event in which I participated was The box of lies. Along with Hino, KP, Alkali and rootaur rootaur. It was quite fun.
The game is about one of the participants takes a box, the other participant doesn't have to see the content, but the audience does. The content of the boxes can be strange and / or crazy objects, something that was not very credible. And then that player, who saw the box, have to describe the other player, who didn't see the object, what was contained in the box, they can tell a lie, anyway a truth was going to seem unbelievable. And the player has to guess if what was told as a description is true or is a lie.

Among makeup mirrors, toilet paper with gift wrapping, sandals with nails, and guitars with eyes, it was a pretty funny panel, many told me later than they wanted to see me telling some few lies, but all what I described were truths. TBH, I had prepared a good lie, but seeing a Lego juice inside a pineapple, it was impossible to lie, it was going to be so quiet incredible that I was sure he was going to believe that I was lying. So it was.

If you want to see the full show, it is fortunately on youtube:

The next thing on the day was "Meet the Guests of Honor". A series of questions that Hino asked us to NIIC and me, and that afterwards the public had the opportunity to ask us more questions.
It was fun to know more about NIIC, I didn't get as nervous as I thought I was going to be speaking in public. It was all very well. Some funny questions (such as What is our favorite pony, which both NIIC and I said Spike), some fun to answer (As What was our favorite character, I remember very well when I said that one of my characters, in addition to Kit Cloudkicker, it was Buster bunny, I could see among the audience a bunny fursuit jumping of joy and saying very loud: "YEEES!!"). And there was a little girl on the audience who, very shamelessly, I couldn't understand what she was asking me, her tone of speech was very dragged and I could barely understand some words, I turned all blushy to not knowing what to answer for the fact that I hadn't understood the question. But in the end it was NIIC who helped me repeat what she had said. These are the little disadvantages of not having English as a mother tongue, and that some accents and ways of speaking are not so obvious to decode for me.

We are still on Friday and interesting things continue to happen at the convention. I remember a moment in the night, two hours before we started the Viernes Furry broadcast, I still felt very energized. The ideal was to rest a bit before a long live broadcast, but I wanted to continue at the event, not I wanted to spend a lot of time in the room doing nothing until the time came. So I went down in fursuit to see if something interesting happened.

And go that something interesting was about to happen and I had no idea of ​​that event. It was the pool party.
At that moment I thought it would have been a better idea, if I had known that there would be that, to go down in a bathing suit, and not in a panda suit. They gave us ice cream and cake (I had to break the magic for a few moments to enjoy those delicious snacks), I talked to a lot of people, I met new guys, and when I put my suit back on, I realized that I was not the only fursuiter around the party, and there were lots of inflatable toys around the pool, so several of us started to play around and goofing around the place, it was a very fun time, I enjoyed it to the fullest, and in the end I didn't regret having worn fursuit there, because it was really very enjoyable.

It was then that the transmission of Viernes Furry began, along with Koidel, on the other side with Roni and Apolo. Many people donating money, a lot of time to speak in Spanish. And to have them tell all the guys around to tell us words in Spanish. It was two hours in a row of being in a fursuit, asking for money for the charity of the C.A.R.E. foundation, we even went to interrupt a panel, and there were also many who decided to donate.
Many thanks to Triton, Lava, Doctor Woofs and all those who were following us during the broadcast, which despite the technical problems, was very fun.

Many thanks to those who watched the live broadcast, and if you want to see it again or missed it, you can watch it here:

I thought Saturday would be a more relaxing day, and I really wanted to participate in the fursuit games, but it turned out to be at the same time as the Luncheon, where the Guests of Honor had to be there (I just wrote that as complaining, hehe, but... delicious and free food? What else do I want? It was perfect!).

The organization of the fursuit photoshoot before the parade was a funny thing, both NIIC and I arrived very early, there were almost no people in the room, and they accommodated us in a very front, near the stage, because we were supposed to be on the center of the photo, for being the GoHs. So we didn't worry so much, and we had fun goofing and dancing in fursuit meanwhile all the other people arrived.
Until someone from the staff found us, while we are still dancing, and said "What are you doing here? You should be in front of the picture!"
Oh man, what was not us in the front of the photo? Apparently not, we were right up behind. They had accommodated us wrongly.
But when I tried to get to the front, already were too many people there, and they didn't intend to move for anything or make a little space for this panda.
I really didn't want to be arguing a lot about that, I didn't care if I was going to go to the front of the photo or to the side, so I went to a sideway, even when they said that probably there I would not appear in the photo.
I also noticed that NIIC didn't follow me, he stayed back near the stage.

If you want to see the photo, here it is:

After that, the fursuit parade began. Very short in my opinion, I think the walk was no longer than 3 minutes.

That afternoon I went with many friends to Disney Springs, my first contact with something related to Disney World, that I was very excited to be there. It was a very nice afternoon, and a getaway away from the convention to meet a little more of Florida besides the hotel.

Returning to the hotel, I turned in a panda again, and I went to play to the inflatable panel. That is always one of the most fun things to do during a convention. It is to have many game items with which to be able to interact with other fursuiters, and to be goofing with them in their maximum splendor. And so it happened, many people were following my stupid games. It's always like being a kid again, being together with other kids, and having a great playground where to play. But it's even better because all the other kids you play with, are terribly adorable anthro animals.

That evening, during the dance, it was possibly one of the best dances I've been to. Maybe I exaggerate because I remember many good dances during other conventions, like that one at BLFC where my friend Croc was DJing and there were only friends of mine dancing on the stage; or that unforgettable first time that my soul, along with my fursuit, put a step on the dance floor, with more animal costumes, that very first furry dance. My heart is full of emotions reminding those moments.

To dance is really something that I enjoy a lot during furry cons, it makes me forget everything, I feel very free, I can be myself.
This time in Megaplex dance on Saturday, they played very good songs, remixes from the 80s and 90s, while dancing with Tycoon and with a rabbit whom I had already seen back in several conventions, and who finally had the pleasure of knowing better.
It has been one of the moments in which, no matter how tired I was, I was already losing the energy to keep dancing, but I didn't want to rest, I wanted to continue there. While I was thinking "Finishing this song and I'm off to the fursuit lounge", and then... Barbie Girl starts. AAAAAAAH. "Nope, I must dance this, no way!"
When I decided it was time to go for some air and water, I was on my way to the fursuit lounge, when suddenly, they closed the lounge in front of my face. "Sorry, the fursuit lounge has already closed." NOOOO! I'm sorry, I hate to break the magic, it's really one of the things I hate the most, but I had to take off my fursuit head in public,I was very tired, I needed to breathe, and my room was very far enough to run there.
However, after some resting and putting my head back on, I met several friends and stayed awake for a while, while we just talked and waited for the guards to kick our asses from the convention center, then we went to one side of the elevators of the main tower to continue the conversation and to look how the clock was running through the high night hours.

Sunday came, much faster than I expected, the weekend was running out, but there was still a good day to enjoy.
That day in the morning was the Charity auction, where three of my original paintings were going to be auctioned, and the money collected would be for the C.A.R.E. foundation.
There were many offers, many disappointments of people who wanted to bid on my drawings and that their budget was overcome in the biddings. I was surprised how high biddings my paintings had. I'm sorry for those who really wanted to have those paintings and you couldn't get them, but be happy for all the animals who will be saved :D

Almost immediately began the panel that I run: "Switch-on to the mode: drawing". With many more people interested in listening to me than I thought. And although I still have problems with fluency at the time of speaking English (as you can maybe also notice reading this journal, sorry if my English is not perfect), I think people came out very satisfied with the panel, and they asked many interesting questions at the Q&A time.

Out of the panel something interesting happened: Makati, a guy from Seattle, asked me to make a drawing on the touchscreen of his car, a Tesla. I had previously accepted that request but I didn't know when it was going to happen during the convention. That was the moment.
Obviously I had never been into a Tesla before, they are very nice inside, and I also had the opportunity to sit in the driver's seat (Even when the car can be driven by itself).
It was very difficult to draw a picture on that screen, since it had no pressure sensibility, only touch, and I had to draw it with my finger. But in the end I managed to do something decent.
The funny thing is that Makati decided to make a live stream with my phone, on my Twitter account. If you want to see that transmission, it was divided into two:

The closing ceremony was there. I almost always go to those (not like the openings, hehe). Again I went in fursuit like NIIC. And again, before the closing officially began, I started to play with people in the audience. And again, they only called us to stand on stage to introduce ourselves and thank our presence, but none of us spoke.
But it was in that event where they publicly showed the anniversary poster, to complement all the posters that have had convention after convention (a very nice tradition, in my opinion, and that I haven't seen in any other convention), and this year they used one of my drawings to commemorate this year's convention. Another great honor!

After the grand closing and a nice (and yummy) dinner with the staff, they began to organize a night impsovised fursuit parade, organized mainly by SkippyFox, something I had not heard before. We were summoned by telegram and twitter messages to the people, and also by word of mouth, to go with their fursuits to the fursuit lounge. And soon the fursuit lounge was already full of fursuiters waiting for the night march to the last dance of the convention.

Another great fun memory, to reach the dance room, which at that time was almost empty, and that of the few people who were dancing was that rabbit from the other night. And from one moment to the next, the whole night parade fursuit arrives, to fill the dance of fursuiters.
It was another evening of much dancing, of farewells and hugs, of some tears to think how much I was going to miss those good times, this great convention, this excellent weekend.

Before everything was over, I decided it was a good idea to swim in the pool for the first time. I ran to the room for my bathing suit and went down to the pool, which was full of unknown people, but being all furries, I didn't worry about not knowing anyone, and I joined a circle where they were playing with a ball, which was adopted with the name of Derrick, even if it already have a twitter account, yes, that ball has a twitter account, you can follow it on:

It is nice that, even if you don't know the people around you, being furries, you feel them as belonging to the same family and you can have that confidence to suddenly add you to a circle of more furries. That's the beauty of this fandom.

In truth, thank you very much to all those who organize this great event, it is a very good convention, it is quite fun. The heat of the place is in the background and the important thing is how much we have fun.
Also, thank you very much to all those who congratulated me for my 10 years in the fandom, I know that many of those who congratulated me. I know many of that people who gave me a hug and congratulated me for that, have been more than 10, or even more than 20 years on this fandom.
And also to all those who were giving me gifts, that however small, medium or big they were, I keep them with a lot of love.
And to Cloud and Koidel, for being such good roomies during this, which has been one of my favorite conventions.

I saw too many friends, and I also met a lot of new people. Impossible to mention them all, I'm sure I would always miss someone, but you should know that I really appreciate very much having seen you there, and expect many more hugs from this panda for the next time I see you.

If you want to see the rest of the pictures, you can watch them on this Dropbox link:

The trip in Florida didn't end there. I always had a dream since when I was a little cub, and was to be to any Disney park. I blame my parents for making me such a Disney fan, and I blame Disney for making me such a fan of animals.
My family never was of having too much money, not even to think to have a Disney vacation. So I took advantage of being in Orlando for the first time, and I wanted to go to Disney World, it doesn't matter if it costed all my savings.

I won't tell here in detail what I did in the parks, because it is something very separated to the furry fandom and maybe you wouldn't find it interesting to read, because it would be more like telling about my vacations. What I can tell you is that I am very grateful to the people who could make this dream come true that I had to meet Mickey Mouse and all his friends. To Koidel, Star Raccoon and Tony Ringtail.

And I greatly admire those who perform the Disney characters in the parks. You makes everything magical, that even a skeptical adult believes that the one in front of us is the real character we saw in the movies. They can also interact so beautifully with people, that makes them feel everyone so special. I enjoyed very much being able to interact with the characters and that they respond to me in a very charismatic way, without losing the touch of the personality of the role. I had the opportunity to take pictures, to say hi and to interact with Donald, Scrooge McDuck, Chip & Dale in his dinosaur outfits, Russel & Dug, Winnie the Pooh & Tigger, Stitch, Minnie and Mickey Mouse. And of course I could see Nick Wilde and Juddy Hopes at the parade.

Something funny, I don't know if any of the characters were excited to see me because they recognized who I am, I know this sounds like an exageration or maybe that I'm thinking myself as someone very important, but I'm kind of sure of this. And it's more than obvious that they couldn't tell me right there, and that they can't write it to me or say it on the internet "hey, I saw you on Disney, I was performing this character". NOUP!!

There was more of 2 characters that pointed to my shirt (I was wearing shirts of my own designs during all the days I visited the parks) and they seemed excited, one of them pointed to my shirt and then pointed my face, as if saying "You did this design!", that's what I understood, it was the shirt of the skunk with the umbrella. I can't think in something else I would have liked to say with pointing my shirt and then to me, and then clapping and hugging me.
Another character was watching us while posing for our camera, but paying close attention to us among the crowd of the parade, and suddenly, that characters started doing that formerly famous in the furry fandom "Caramel dance". Was that a signal that the character wanted to give us to say "Yes, I'm furry like you"? I wouldn't doubt it. But if someone of you is reading this and knows that you saw us at Disney: You Rock! Your performance of Disney characters is the ultimate!. I love it!
And of course you never have to tell me, don't break that magic!

Thank you to everyone for reading my entire journal bible. Just to check who read it to the end, random question: What is your favorite Disney character?

Mine is Koda, from Brother bear. It is a pity that we never saw him in the parks, I doubt very much that he comes out lately.

Panda loves you!

The Megaplex adventure


17 August 2018 at 10:28:53 MDT

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