This year, I managed to make time to attend Holiday Matsuri for the first time. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend on the Saturday during the midday but I had a blast in the short amount of time I was able to spend there.
Holiday Matsuri is a festively themed anime, video game and cosplay convention that takes place in Orlando, Florida at the Caribe Royale Hotel which has a large convention center. It takes place for three days; Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Guests this year included Grey Delisle (voice of Vicky from Fairly Odd Parents, Ice Queen from Adventure Time and more), and Alyson Tabbitha (Professional Cosplayer) and many more. They had a large variety of panels as well, including Holiday Runway, a Youtube Q & A and a late night Undertale Let’s Play panel.
In the past I’ve attended Metrocon (Tampa), Megacon and Mega Fan Days (Orlando). This was my first year branching out to new conventions besides the ones my friends had told me about. I was nervous at first, as I had heard nothing about the actual Convention from word of mouth.
But I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Down to the friendliness of the staff that I encountered to the ease of the lines to get tickets or line up for large panels, it was probably the best convention in terms of organization that I’ve seen. Of course, I was having a hard time seeing in general through a body suit and mask in my Papyrus cosplay so my view could have been distorted slightly. Not to mention the volume of attendees seemed lower, so it might have been easier to organize.
I attended three panels and an Undertale Photoshoot taking place at 3pm. The panels I went to were the Youtube Q & A, which featured Dookieshed, NateWantsToBattle, Morgan Want and Brett Ultimus. The Youtubers were really great and spent the entire time allowing people to come to the mic and ask them questions, which was great. I liked that they opened up the floor for their fans or just people in general that had questions. The second panel that I attended was supposed to be a Mettaton Q & A. Only, the host did not show up. This was the first time that I’ve seen a host not show up, but a cool awesome dude that was doing an Undertale Panel later that evening stepped up to the plate and started an Undertale Let’s Play on Genocide route with the whole audience participating in it. The third panel that I attended was the Holiday Runway Contest. It was nicely organized and the pacing was great. The staff helped people onto the stage if they needed assistance and they kept the contestants moving. The hosts were a little quiet but overall, it was much smoother than I’ve seen some contests do (shots fired at Metrocon).
Thanks to some awesome attendees giving me a heads up that an Undertale Photoshoot was taking place, I was also able to attend that in the afternoon. It was beautifully executed. The fans that put together the photo shoot took everyone over to a good location. Undyne shouting “OVER HERE PUNKS. FOLLOW ASGORE’S GIANT *ING TRIDENT” as she waved a cosplayer’s trident around still makes me chuckle. They did so many rounds of photos, from a group one to character shots (all the Sans, all the Frisks) to coupled shots (Undyne and Papyrus; Mettaton and Papyrus; Asgore and Toriel). They even had Frisk and Napstablook lie on the ground. You can tell I can’t wait till the photos are all uploaded in the next week or so.
But what really made my day? Despite me going alone and being totally confused, nervous and utterly worried my cosplay would bomb… I was touched by so many people that I had a big grin the entire two hour drive back home. I had so many people approach me as Undertale fans, waving at me or just shouting “Nyeh Heh Heh!” in my general direction. Or “spaghetti!” even. It was fantastic! One girl (I’m not sure who she was cosplayed as but it looked great) immediately rushed after me and asked for a hug even after I had just gotten dressed a minute prior and was freaking out that I might have looked horrible.
Some awesome things that happened from the Undertale fandom:
-Napstablook lying on the ground while we waited for the photo shoot to start. A ton of Undertale cosplayers joining in a giant line on the sidewalk.
-A Papyrus cosplayer who was handing out freaking REAL SPAGHETTI in a gift box.
-Frisk who gave out cards that said that seeing your awesome cosplay filled them with determination.
-Temmie with actual… Temmie Flakes, giving those to people!
-The awesome person who gave me a blue bone and told me that Doggo said to return it.
-Mettaton slipping on dust that got spilled at the photoshoot from a balloon that was popped and sticking the landing in a split.
-The Box Mettaton that came out and started pointing their legs out. Oooo yes!
-The person with the boombox playing Bonetrousle that made me think I was losing my mind at first and then became my jam.
-The Monster Kid who literally slipped and fell on their face. I hope they didn’t need a lot of band-aids after all that falling.
-Sans with a trumpet cosplay that I got a selfie with. I hope they upload that!
-The sweet heart of a girl that helped me when my zipper got stuck at the Mettaton Q & A.
-The Markiplier cosplayer that I kept shouting “Markimoo” at.
-The Undyne that did the split. Omgod.
-The awesome Alphys that helped me button up my stupid armor because I fail at life at cosplay armor straps.
-The Sans and Papyrus (same one with spaghetti) that were roleplaying it up hard. Sans kept telling puns and Papyrus kept shouting.
-A cosplay of Nice Cream guy!?
-A Mettaton that wasn’t even the host of the Mettaton Q & A walking in, everyone getting excited, and them breaking the news only to sit at the panel desk and be all awesome and like “oh yes, darling, this is my panel now”.
-The Frisk and Napstablook that started lying on the ground when Napstablook appeared in the Let’s Play.
I could keep going and going. Long story short… I loved it. And yes, it might have been because of the insane amount of Undertale love going on at the convention, but overall I think that the convention is definitely a must see. I’m planning on attending next year in 2016 and making a weekend of it. =)