By Ashley Benson
Convention season has started early this year. This past weekend fans of all fandoms flocked to Miami for the very first Magic City Comic Con. Even though this was a first year con, it certainly didn’t feel like one. This has to do with the fact that the folks who ran this con are also responsible for Florida Super Con and Animate! Miami. So the convention was in good hands and from where I stood ran very smoothly.
For fans of Once Upon a Time, this convention offered the opportunity to get up close and personal with a number of fan favorites, including Sean Maguire, Lee Arenberg, and Robbie Kay. This convention also marked the first appearance of Christie Laing at a fan event. Unfortunately, there were also last minute cancelations. Georgina Haig, our very own Once Upon a Time Elsa, was set to appear and there was much excitement surrounding this considering it would be her first convention. However, she had to cancel at the very last minute due to filming obligations. Very lucky for us fans, the wicked Rebecca Mader stepped up and filled in for her.
At this convention I saw very unique set-ups in terms of photo ops and panels. Both were actually in the same room, a large ballroom with the panel seating on one end and the photo ops and attendee registration at the other. I actually enjoyed this set-up because if you had a photo op time that conflicted with a panel, it was possible to listen to the panel while you waited in line. This also allowed for guests to crash each other’s panels, which definitely happened in the case of Once Upon a Time. The panels were also open, so you could come and go as you pleased. There wasn’t any pressure regarding getting seats or missing any of the action that sometimes happens with cons.
Aside from the photo ops, our Once Upon a Time guests were available in the autograph area to sign photos and take selfies. But the highlights of the convention for Oncers were the panels. There was one every day which allowed single day attendees to get in on some of the OUaT action. We had a panel with Sean Maguire and Christie Laing, one with just Rebecca Mader, one with the entire cast of attendees, and one that featured Robbie Kay. This final panel was my favorite as it was the final Once Upon a Time event and the panel was crashed by Sean, Rebecca, and Christie, making for some of the funniest and memorable moments at the con, as well as a fantastic finale for us attendees.