A Guide to Fan Expo

Fan Expo is a great event that happens in Toronto every year on Labour Day weekend. You can dress up like it’s Halloween and meet your favourite TV actors, movie stars, comic book artists, and voice actors. Every year, there are different exhibitions for everyone to enjoy: Thor Ragnarak costume display, Stephen King’s It – Virtual Reality Experience, Super Mario Odyssey demo, Jim Lee Q&A panel, and Nintendo Switch’s Arm tournament just to name a few. Despite all these cool things, it is actually still possible to have a terrible time at Fan Expo but hopefully the following tips and suggestions will prevent that from ever happening to you.

Tip# 1: Eat BIG!

The food and drinks at Fan Expo are incredibly over-priced. This year a hamburger was priced at $11 without french fries! It’d be an extra $4 if you wanted french fries. So you’re looking at $15 for a full meal…without a drink. A smart way to avoid getting ripped off from over-priced food at Fan Expo is eating a BIG breakfast that’ll satisfy your hunger for the majority of the day. If you have a big appetite, bring some snacks and water in a back pack unless you want to pay $4 for a bottle of water. My favourite Fan Expo tradition is having a fantastic breakfast at the Cora’s that’s within a 5-10 minute walk from the Metro Convention Center.

Tip# 2: Pay Online

It’s cheaper to buy your Fan Expo ticket online instead of paying at the door. However, try not to buy your ticket months in advance because sometimes celebrities and attractions get added to Fan Expo only a few weeks before the actual weekend, which also means celebrities can cancel within a few days before Fan Expo. The last thing you want to do is buy a ticket for the Thursday, but your childhood hero is only coming on the Sunday.

The photo ops are also cheaper online as well so try to check the Fan Expo website and Facebook page for updates. And don’t worry, if your favourite celebrity unfortunately cancels their photo op, you’ll be given a full refund.

Tip #3: Just Ask Fan Expo!

From my experience, their official website is usually the last place to find the most up-to-date information whereas their Facebook page and Twitter account posts updates on a regular basis. If you can’t find the answers you were looking for there, then just send them a direct message on Facebook or Tweet them. From my experience, they answer within 10 minutes, even during the actual Fan Expo weekend! If you’re still not getting a clear answer, you can ask them in person as there are usually an abundance of Fan Expo employees walking around the convention center, ready to help out.

Take my experience as a great example; I couldn’t find information about when and where Jim Lee would be doing public autographs on the Sunday on the Fan Expo website. So, I asked four different Fan Expo employees for some information and unfortunately, I got about 3-4 different answers (one of which was to download the Fan Expo app…this pays off later), but luckily one of them was accurate because I found Jim Lee’s manager. I politely but persistently asked him several times if/when/where Jim would be doing public autographs and he told me to leave him $20, my graphic novel for Jim to sign, and my phone number so he could call me to pick it up later on without having to wait by Jim’s booth the entire day. Two hours later he called me, I head back to Jim’s booth and was able to by pass the entire autograph line to pick up my graphic novel. I shook Jim’s hand and embarrassingly geeked out and got a photo with the legend himself. So with luck and persistence, you can make great things happen!

Still can’t believe I actually got to meet Jim Lee!

Tip #4: Be Quick (Literally and Figuratively)

Planning ahead is a smart way to make the most out of your time.  However, as I mentioned earlier, things can change sometimes within a few days notice or from my experience, within a few hours! So be prepared to do some quick thinking and some speed-walking to turn a bad situation into the highlight of your day. My friend paid for our photo op with Tom Cavanagh (Harrison Wells/Harry/H.R./The Reverse Flash) online. However, I was notified through the Fan Expo app (funny how things turn out eh?) that his photo op was cancelled! My heart sank but my friend did some quick thinking and remembered that Tom was still doing autographs. So we used the Speed Force to dash to his autograph line and not only did we get a great photo with him, we got a few minutes to actually talk to him! From my photo-op experience with Stephen Amell a few years ago, there’s no time to chit chat due to the massive lines for the photo ops but luckily for us, we got to ask Tom about what it was like to be The Reverse Flash in season 1.

He loved my costume….I think?


Tip #5: Have Fun

It can be stressful trying to squeeze everything into one day (photo ops, autographs, panels, video game demos, etc.) but don’t forget to have fun! Fan Expo is an annual event where everyone comes together to celebrate their inner nerd! It’s never been a better time to be a nerd than today with all the cool stuff at Fan Expo now. Hopefully these tips will help you have the best Fan Expo experience (like I did this year) whenever you attend and until next time, nerd out.

Don’t mess with Cyclops and Logan!

Beautiful poster

Jedi mutants on Tatooine?

I’m running out of space for all my toys!


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