HOME Is Where The Heart Is. My Very First Fan Convention Experience
From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Sarah Cooley
I had the absolute pleasure of attending and being on the staff of the House of Mouse Expo 2023. It took place from January 20th-23rd, 2023 in Orlando, Florida.
I decided if I was going to travel to the expo to support my friends, I wanted to get the full experience. I purchased the VIP package that included everything, including the Hocus Pocus Town Hall Ball party that took place on Saturday night. I also found myself a wonderful roommate and stayed right at the hotel where the convention was held. This was very convenient for running back to the room if I needed anything.
I got to help out at the check in/ticket buying desk. This was the perfect job for me! I quickly learned how to check someone in and sell tickets to people who walked up. It was so amazing to talk to and meet some of the attendees and hype them up for what they were about to experience.
Throughout the weekend I was able to attend several celebrity panels. I got to hear from the voice of Bambi himself and he had some great stories about working with Walt Disney. The biggest draw of the weekend was the Hocus Pocus 30th anniversary panel that featured so many of the actors and actresses from the movie (and a bonus from Hocus Pocus 2!) It was hosted by the one and only Main Street Mouse herself, Michele Atwood. Another panel I really enjoyed was the voice of Mickey Mouse, Brett Iwan.
I had plenty of time to shop my way through the vendor hall. I found so many fun treasures from the small shops that were there. I came home with some jewelry, artwork, and a few new Disney inspired books to read among other things. I also tried some yummy expo exclusive treats.
The best part of the entire weekend were all of the fabulous people I met. Disney people really are my people and I am so grateful for all of the new friends I have.
After attending the expo, here are a couple tips I came up with:
- Take in the full experience. It was worth the extra money to be a VIP!
- Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation the other people. Everyone is there to celebrate their fandom and have a good time.
- Stay at the hotel where the convention is being held. It’s just so convenient!
- Bring a bag to put all of your treasures in. You will need it.
- Bring snacks and a waterbottle.
Whenever anyone asks me about the experience, all I can say is “Core memories were made.” I hope you get to experience an event like this one sometime too!