Ultimate Guide to Fan Expo Dallas 2019

Great Scott! Fan Expo Dallas is ready to host thousands of pop-culture fans from all across the galaxy. With guests including the cast of Back to the Future, and interactive exhibits and activities like Escape Rooms, Cosplay Contests, and more! 

When: May 3-5, 2019

Fri: 4:00PM – 9:00PM, Sat: 10:00AM – 7:00PM, Sun: 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Where: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
650 South Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202

How Much: Many ticket plans (including deluxe, and family plans available)

Basic day ticket prices:

*Note, the below are prices for Adults. Youth (Ages 13-17) and Children (Ages 6-12) have separate priced badges. Kids 5 and under attend for free and do not need a pass.

Friday $25 Advance $30 Door

Saturday $50 Advance $60 Door

Sunday $40 Advance $50 Door

Parking costs may vary, as lots fill up quickly. If you do not want to walk far (there is a chance of rain!) I highly advise getting to the convention center around 9 am CST to take advantage of on-site convention center parking. Don’t worry though, if you do arrive after the garage is full, there is plenty of parking around the convention center – you may just have to bring your walking shoes.

Fan Expo Dallas fills the convention center with iconic celebrities and this year is no exception! So far on the list of attending include the time traveler himself – Michael J. Fox, OG Wonder Woman Lynda Carter, Shazam! himself – Zachary Levi, and Baywatch Babe Pamela Anderson!

A few FAQ:

  • Can I bring snacks? No, there are bag checks and no outside food or drinks are allowed. There are vendors inside the convention hall. If you have dietary restrictions and need to bring in your own food, please speak with an official convention staff member.
  • How much money should I bring? This depends from person to person. I would bring the amount of cash you are comfortable spending. While many vendors take card, the wifi is not always perfect, and sometimes may not be possible. Also, situations like parking will most times need to be handled with cash. I would plan $50-$100 as a safe amount to cover your parking and a souvenir.
  • Do I need to be in cosplay to attend? Definitely not! Wear what you are comfortable wearing; whether that is a cosplay or a fun nerdy shirt and jeans! If you have never cosplayed before, Fan Expo Dallas is a fun time to do so! Just remember to bring an extra pair of comfy shoes just in case your feet get tired.
  • Are autographs free? Usually not. Most celebrities will charge for an autograph and/or selfie. Before getting in line, be sure to check for a sign with pricing, or ask a staff member.

THE FULL SHOW SCHEDULE CAN BE VIEWED HERE.

Convention floor map can be seen at the end of this article.

Planning for the Show:

Lines & Wait Times

When it comes to conventions, especially large shows like Fan Expo, it’s safe to plan for the long haul. As fantastic as the guests, events, and panels are that the convention offers, these unfortunately lead to long lines equally a lot of waiting time. Come comfy, and prepared to set aside some wait time. If there is a panel or autograph you are wanting from a popular guest, try to avoid waiting until the last minute. Typically, Sunday is the best day to grab autographs if the guest is still in attendance. Lines are shorter – giving you opportunity to talk a little bit longer and not feel so rushed.

Meeting Guests & Celebrities and Attending Panels

The most common question I get it how long to plan to wait to meet a celebrity or see a panel. This is a tough answer, as it can vary due to many different factors.

If there is a celebrity you want to meet or a panel that you are planning to attend that will make or break your convention experience, make this a top priority. I have seen in the past where celebrities wind up having to leave early, or a cap has been put on the attendance for a panel. Whatever the case, I would plan to arrive early and plan to dedicate your day to this one thing. Make everything else for that day a secondary option.

 

Photos & Photographers

Celebrity photo ops are just the beginning of photos that are taken at the convention. Cosplay is exceptional at this convention, and most cosplays are happy to stop for photos. On the flip side, the convention is full of talented and professional photographers, who take time and attention to getting exciting and exceptional images! Whichever end you are on, the photographed or the photographer, please exercise all proper manners when asking for a photo, or when getting photos taken.

Asking for a cosplayer, or anyone, for a photo is easy! Make sure they are not in the middle of eating or interacting with another attendee. If they are in conversation and you really want a photo, be courteous. A simple, “Excuse me, can I take a photo? If now is a bad time, will you be free a little later?” is definitely acceptable. Do not, under any circumstances, take photos that you do not have consent to take. This includes interfering with photographers who are in the middle of a photoshoot. Always ask permission.

If someone asks to take a photo of you, great! That is a great compliment and usually, they are just excited about your costume, or work, as you are! It is important to be respectful, and if you do not feel comfortable having your photo taken, do not feel obligated to allow it to happen. If someone persists and takes a photo you did not consent of, or touches you inappropriately in any way, alert convention staff immediately.

 

Advice

Out of any advice I can give, my strongest piece is to be ready for your plans to change. Guests cancel, panels get pushed, and lines can get way longer than anticipated. Go into the convention with goals, but also go in with an open mind. At the end of the day, the point of the show is to celebrate our favorite fandoms with the people who make us love it.

Have fun and I hope to see you at the con! 

More information will be added periodically

Show Map from FanExpoDallas.com – click for HQ PDF:

SHOW GUIDE MAP COPY_April 25_FOR UPLOAD_USE THIS ONE

Dallas Fan Days 2018 – Calling all Wizards!

 

Get your costumes out a little early – Dallas Fan Days comes to the Irving Convention Center this weekend with an opportunity for cosplayers and fans alike to release their inner nerd!

 

When:

Friday, October 19, 2018 4:00PM – 7:30PM

Saturday, October 20, 2018 10:00AM – 6:30PM

Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:00AM – 4:30PM

 

Where:

Irving Convention Center

500 West Las Colinas Boulevard, Irving, TX 7503

 

How Much:

At door pricing:

Friday $20, Saturday $45, Sunday $35

All days: $70

Kids pricing: $5 or Free with this coupon Friday and Sunday

 

Dallas Fan Days offers an extensive list of activities for attendees including meet and greet opportunities with many celebrities including Ray Park, most famous for his role of Darth Maul of Star Wars.

Listen up, Hogwarts recruits! A new activity to Dallas Fan Days is a Harry Potter Escape Room! “Play one of two Escape Room scenarios inspired by the magical world of Harry Potter! Try to escape from a vault in the Wizarding Bank or save New York by figuring out the plot of three rogue witches and wizards!”

Beyond the Irving Convention Center, there is more themed fun just around the corner! Alamo Drafthouse will be hosting after-convention events including a Buffy the Vampire Slayer 90’s themed Dance Party. Be sure to check out the full list of events to see everything going on!

So grab your costumes, prepare to shop the booths of talented artists and eclectic vendors, and head to Dallas Fan Days for an exciting weekend! Hope to see you there!

North Texas Comic Book Show Brings Conventions Back to Their Roots

A show that’s truly about the comics, the North Texas Comic Book Show showcases guests and vendors that have dedicated themselves to comic books.

  • When: February 10-11, 2018
  • Hours: General Admission Saturday  10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Where: Irving Convention Center
  • 500 West Las Colinas Boulevard, Irving, TX 75039
  • How Much: $20/day or $30/weekend pass. Kids 11 and younger are free!

Dr Strange #26, December 1977, cover by Jim Starlin

Meet the legendary Jim Starlin – creator of Thanos, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and many other iconic characters. Other guests include Jim Shooter, former editor at Marvel Comics, Mike Zeck, artist on Secret Wars, and Michael Golden, whose artwork with the Jurassic Park franchise makes him a personal favorite.

The NTCBS is known for bringing exceptional cosplay talent, including this weekend’s guests Kevin Lewis – Imaginary FX and MCubed Cosplay.

Kevin Lewis is known in the community as an inspiration through incredible special effects makeup and costuming. Truly immersing himself in the character, Kevin creates stunning looks that bring some of the creepiest and intricate characters to life. MCubed has a reputation for stellar Star Wars attire and for having an infectious smile that is contagious with fans both young and old. Both Kevin and MCubed are not only known for their costumes, but for enriching the community beyond the convention walls – visiting children in need of a smile anywhere from a household to a hospital room.

Kevin Lewis of Imaginary FX

MCubed Cosplay

Hosting a cosplay contest with a Top Prize of $100  – contestants should be ready to strut their best costume and performance on Saturday at 2 p.m.. That’s right – this contest is not only judged on what the contestant is wearing, but how well they perform their character. Get ready for fun skits and lots of talent on display. This is a cosplay contest that attendees won’t want to miss!

Come out to the Irving Convention Center and experience a nerdy weekend full of amazing artists, spectacular talent, and everything comic books! See you at the show!

Me and a really cool Robin cosplayer, Bryce Culver, at the NTCBS!

Dallas Fan Days October 20-22

Calling all Super Nerds! Dallas Fan Days is coming October 20-22 to the Irving Convention Center. Guests from Riverdale, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, and Dr. Who are all planned to be in attendance.

The October event of Dallas Fan Days is one of my favorite conventions. Not only is the Irving Convention Center an optimal place for a convention, but this show always has something for everyone. If this is your first convention, or you have never been to the Irving Convention Center, please see my Beginner’s Guide for FAQ!

Staying true to the “comic” aspect of Comic Cons, Dallas Fan Days has an exceptional range of comic creators, artists, and comic book professionals who are always excited to meet their fans and share the excitement for comic book culture.

Costumes are in no shortage for this show. However, it is totally not necessary to be in cosplay. Most people at the shows are simply rocking their favorite nerdy shirt and jeans – and this is perfect!

If you’re planning on wearing a costume, but don’t know where to start, think about your favorite fandoms and choose a character that is true to you! Never feel pressured to wear a specific costume just because everyone else is. If you’re wearing a costume, chances are people will want to talk to you about the character you are dressed as, and nothing is worse than trying to converse with people about a character you know nothing about! Chances are someone will recognize the character you are dressed as, and getting to talk to someone who is as excited about a fandom as you are is the goal!

Dallas Fan Days always has a solid Artist Alley. This is the best place to find unique pieces of art to make your walls pop! Pro Tip: I tend to pick up a couple new pieces of art at every show. There is no way that I would ever have enough wall space (or money for frames) for everyone! Instead, I picked up a Portfolio book from Hobby Lobby that is filled with over 100 clear pages that I can slip the art into. This makes a fantastic book to keep on my coffee table. Guests love flipping through it, and I love telling them all about the amazing artists!

Whatever you plan to do, make sure you have fun! Sometimes, the best part of the convention is getting great photos together, and wandering the vendors room basking in everything nerdy. Cheers and enjoy the con!

The Thrill of the Toy Hunt

One of my favorite toys, Kota the dinosaur! Photo by Open Book Entertainment

I love toy hunting! In fact, it’s probably one of my favorite hobbies, and surprisingly, one of my most inexpensive hobbies.

First and foremost I’m a Jurassic Park collector. Anything Jurassic Park is instantly necessary. Especially Kenner toys. I like to think I’ve developed a sixth sense for finding Jurassic items almost anywhere I go; but some places are easier than others.

My favorite places to look are antique shops, toy shows, comic cons, and thrift shops. I have found my best luck to be finding Jurassic pieces at toy shows, though sometimes it almost feels too easy since the entire show is geared at vintage toy collectibles. Antique shops are a bit more of a challenge. Typically here the toys range more in the 1920-1970s timeline, and it can be difficult to come across more “modern” items. The perk of finding Jurassic Park items at antique shops is that they are usually priced way below their value. I’ve found that many sellers aren’t as familiar with the popularity of the Jurassic Park franchise and don’t see much value in these items. AKA, jackpot!

On one of my most recent hunts I visited a local Doll Show. This show was geared towards doll collectors who enjoy dolls from the turn of the century and popular classics like Madame Alexander and Barbie. For me, this was the perfect opportunity to scope out a booth that may be hiding some Jurassic treasures. After doing a couple of rounds at the show I final came across a booth that seemed promising. Here are some signs that tell me I may find what I’m looking for:

  • Clear bins full of colorful, plastic toys (like Happy Meal Toys)
  • Boxes and bins under the table that are full of items for sale, but not presented as cleanly as the items on the table
  • Kids toys shoved in piles or bunches in/around the table

Sure enough, under the table at this booth was a clear bin full of large Ziploc bags that each had a theme of toys inside. I found a dinosaur themed bag and inside instantly saw two Jurassic pieces. I was able to snag the entire bag for $2 and while most of the bag isn’t items I would keep, the two I did were totally worth it! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rarely do I have much luck at thrift shops. In fact, I usually end up leaving with things totally unrelated to what I originally went in for (like beer brand paraphernalia, old records, and bizarre coffee mugs). But that’s not to say it’s not worth stopping in. I’ve seen many people have luck finding Jurassic Park posters, hats, and toys. Even with never finding anything here, I always get excited when I walk in the door in hopes that I just may!

Do I know everything about Jurassic Park toys? Oh buddy, far from it. And because of my slips of knowledge here and there, I’ve missed out on a few great finds. My best “one that got away” was the infamous Gallimimus Kenner “Dino Screams” toy. I found it at DallasComic Con once loose in a Ziploc bag for $20 (ones in their package sell for upwards of $300). I was so focused on looking for a certain piece (Ian Malcolm) I picked it up and immediately tossed it aside. When I left the show I realized what I did and by then it was too late! If I ever come across one again I will treasure it forever!

A lot of people ask why I don’t just buy pieces I want from Amazon or Ebay. True, that would help me build my collection much faster; but it’s just not as fun. I love having a story behind each piece. Whether it has been given to me as a gift or found “in the wild” during one of my hunts, I love to have a little history behind each one. It makes looking at my collection and talking about it much more fun!

People collect many different things – from sports memorabilia to china plates, we all share the love of finding pieces that make our heart race. Whatever you collect, enjoy the hunt!

Fan Days October 17-19

 

This weekend is Fan Days, a convention dedicated to all types of nerdy fandom. From sci-fi to animation, there is something for everyone at Fan Days!

 

When: Friday October 17 4pm-8pm

Saturday October 18 10am-7pm

Sunday October 19 10am-5pm

 

Where: Irving Convention Center

Cost: Fri: $25 Sat: $40 Sun: $30 or $60 for all three days (online ticket purchase ends 10/16)

Children 6-12 $10, 5 years and under are FREE

 

Guests attending include Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood, Weasley twins James & Oliver Phelps, and Batman & Robin Adam West and Burt Ward (Postponed).

There will be an artist alley and dealers room. Bringing cash for these is the best option, as typically either booths don’t elijahaccept credit card, or non-reliable wifi connection makes it impossible for credit cards to be accepted. If you do not plan on purchasing anything specific but plan to shop, I always suggest bringing $100 in cash.

There are three parking options typically at the Irving Convention Center. However, construction on the grass area may narrow this down to do (I’m not sure). In the past, there is the connected parking garage to the convention center which fills up very quickly (get there extra early if you plan to park there). Additionally, parking on the grass across from the center is usually available, and there is also a parking garage beyond the grass. Although this is a bit of a walk to the convention center, typically a shuttle service to and from is provided.

Additionally, there will be a Saturday Night Social event after the convention Saturday night from 8pm-1am.  This event will is $30 and tickets are available online or at the door of the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill.

 

Here is the list of events and information from DallasComicCon.com:

ATTRACTIONS

AUTOGRAPH SESSIONS

A perfect opportunity to get that special something signed by your favorite celebrity! Be sure to check out the schedule so you don’t miss out! NOTE: Some guests may charge additional fees for an autograph.

CELEBRITY PHOTO SESSIONS

Don’t miss out on a chance of a lifetime to have your photo taken by a professional photographer with your favorite celebrity! This is the only way to get a beautiful 8×10 glossy photo of you with one of our guests in an intimate setting.

PANELS / Q&As

They say knowledge is power. If you don’t know, all you have to do is ask…and you shall receive! The pros will be here to answer all your questions about the industry and to talk about their latest projects. You never know what they might say!

COSPLAY MASQUERADE

With the ever-increasing talent level of cosplayers at Dallas Comic-Con, we’ve modified our event showcasing our costumed attendees. We’re inviting our cosplayers to have their spotlight moment onstage during the COSPLAY MASQUERADE, hosted by arch nemeses Devin Pike and Ben Ambroso. Sign-ups for the Costume Contest will begin at 4pm on the 3rd Flr, in the Cosplay Hideaway. Judges will be on-hand to preview the costumes up close, and may ask a few questions. The first 72 adult entrants (ages 12 and up) will be admitted into the Contest. Signups will close at 5pm. NO EXCEPTIONS. Click here for more info.

COSPLAY RED CARPET

The Cosplay Red Carpet returns at 3pm on Saturday, Oct. 18. The skill and craftsmanship of dozens of Cosplayers from across North Texas and around the country are on display, in a red carpet format worthy of their time and creativity. All photographers are welcomed to line up for the best shot possible during the managed event. Cosplayers will begin lining up at 2:45 pm on the Ground Floor Concourse, and the Carpet runs until 4pm.

FAN DAYS KIDS COSTUME CONTEST

Kids 11 and under will have their Costume Contest on the Cosplay Red Carpet area on the Ground Floor on Sunday at 3pm, with signups beginning at 2:30pm. Hilary Thomas from the FANGIRLS: DAMES OF THE ROUND TABLE podcast will be the emcee. Prizes will be awarded for the top 3.

DCC COSPLAY HIDEAWAY

Returning due to popular demand, the DCC Cosplay Hideaway provides an area to repair an element of your costume, or simply a place to sit for 15 minutes and recharge your batteries (literately or figuratively). Located on the Third Floor of the Irving Convention Center in Meeting Room 1, the Lounge gives you the space you need. The DCC Cosplayer Hideaway is presented by the North Texas Cosplay group!

DOCTOR WHO PROPS

Whovians rejoice! We are going all out to provide the best WHO Experience at Fan Days this year, so be sure you drop by and get a photo with a real Dalek and amazingly detailed TARDIS.

ARTIST ALLEY

Indie meets pro in this special area where you will find all of your favorite pencillers, inkers and writers. This is a ”must experience area” for anyone interested in meeting the rising stars and the people who work the front lines of the industry! Here you’ll find it all – comics, graphic novels, limited edition prints and best of all, original art and sketches!

SHOPPING MADNESS!

Hundreds of retailers from all over will join us to make your experience an unforgettable one! Specializing in everything comics, anime, gaming, science fiction and/or horror, these retailers have what you need. It is THE area to find just what you’re looking for – whether it’s a comic books from any era, original artwork, graphic novels, memorabilia, DVD’s, videos, games, toys or t-shirts – you will find it all here.

COSTUMES! COSTUMES! COSTUMES!

Fans dressing up in costumes, or cosplay as it is sometimes called, is a BIG part of the weekend. Literally thousands of amazing costumes are available for your viewing pleasure throughout the weekend. Don’t be shy; get your photo taken with all your favorite characters or come dressed up yourself. It’s all good!

EXHIBITOR AREA

Experience the hottest new products and services – before anyone else sees them! Companies from all corners of the industry will be showcasing their upcoming projects and promos in the Exhibitor area and you get to be there for a sneak peek. You’ll also be sure to receive samples, goodies and chances to win prizes through their contest

 

Additional information can be found at www.DallasComicCon.com 

Informa/Fan Expo acquires Dallas Comic Con

1922294_622739544466482_1774214569_n

The news broke late today that Informa has purchased Dallas Comic Con along with the DCC sub conventions, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days. Previously owned and run under Official Pix, the convention will now be run by the international owner, Informa, and presented by Fan Expo.

Mark Walters, one of the organizers for Dallas Comic Con, officially broke the news on Facebook today.

“The rumors are true. Dallas Comic-Con has been acquired by Fan Expo, but before everyone freaks out and thinks the end of the world is near, I want to assure you all that Ben Stevens and I are still very much involved and will stay involved,” Walters posted on Facebook. “If anything this announcement will mean big things for Dallas in the years to come. We’ve already got a LOT of exciting deals in the works for May, which is our big move to the Dallas Convention Center, and there’s plenty cool announcements to come. Stay tuned for more news, and get ready for greatness…”

Last year Dallas Comic-Con announced the plans to move to the Dallas Convention Center which offers exponentially more space than the previous host, the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas. (Irving Convention Center: 100000 square feet, Dallas Convention Center: over 1,000,000 square feet). Such a big jump in space would naturally come with big changes.

So, who is Informa/Fan Expo and why does it matter?

Informa is a company based in Switzerland who specializes in events. They are responsible for Fan Expo Canada which is one of Canada’s largest fan events, attracting over 100,000 attendees. For reference, San Diego Comic Con averages around 120,000 attendees.

To sum it all up, Dallas Comic Con will now be presented by Fan Expo instead of Official Pix, but the original organizers will still be involved. Expect large spikes in attendance and a larger variety of celebrities. Will DCC reach the attendance levels of San Diego Comic Con? Only time will tell.

Reference