I flew down to Orange County on Friday, August 14, in the evening, and was picked up by my new friend Lauryn, who helped run RegalCon. I'd only briefly met Lauryn at RegalCon, and we may have both been pleasantly surprised to find we connected instantly and deeply during this D23 adventure. She and her parents were kind enough to host me for the weekend (thank you!!) I think we went to bed after 10:30 p.m. Friday night, knowing we planned to wake around midnight to begin the hair and makeup process for the Evil Queen cosplay.
::::Knock knock knock!::::: "Time to wake up your majesty!!" I looked at the clock. Yikes! It was already 1:30 a.m.! I didn't even hear my alarm or Lauryn's early wake up texts. Nice. I am happy to say the process of putting up my hair did NOT take as long as usual, so the late start wasn't too bad. The makeup went on smoothly as well, as did the false lashes!! (Whew! That's always a heart stopper...if they don't go on right the first time...yikes). Lauryn was laughing at me for perching on her sink during this entire process. (What can I say? I like to perch!)
It was quite amusing seeing people's reactions to the EQ cosplay...a lot of people in the building pointed through the windows, wowed, and waved. In good sassy character, I held my head high, smirked, and flashed the queen's Evil Regal hand gesture as I strutted down the pavement. That seemed to more than satisfy the onlookers.
We could see where the VIP line was for entrance, but couldn't seem to figure out where the general admission line began. We inquired and were ushered into a line in the building downstairs. The room was HUGE and packed full of Disney fans and cosplayers, my favorite one being the Mad Hatter! The moment he saw me, he cried out, "I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE DRESSED AS JEFFERSON TODAY!" (Love you Chad, you looked great!)
While waiting around, Lauryn and Malerie were at work taking many candid and posed pictures (what else was there to do??) Most of these you can find in the Convention section of this site, but here are several that are not posted there:
Note: Click on pictures for full view. Apologies, some of these images have arrows on the sides that I haven't edited out yet.
What a sight to behold! So many exhibits, vendors, and cosplayers, each unique and wonderful! Our one objective for the day: Get to the stage pass line, get our placeholders for the Once Upon a Time panel, and get in line early for that event!
We stumbled upon the line when we ran into my lovely friend Yalina, who was cosplaying a very accurate Jasmine (see below).
With passes in hand, Lauryn and I decided to scope out where the panel would be held and hopefully create the front of the line for the event...we wanted good seats!! We got pleasantly lost for a short time and came across a very convincing Jack Sparrow cosplayer...(or was it??) There was talk that it was really Johnny Depp, but we weren't sure. Cool either way!
After getting slightly lost with Lauryn, we finally found our way to the third floor and found where the unofficial front of the line was...I think we were sixth in line. Not bad! We decided to camp out the next five hours in line...we wanted good seats at this event! The Knave was kind enough to obey his Evil Queen and fetch us coffee. (Thank you, Justin!)
Not two minutes after sitting down, we were approached by a staff member running the Once panel. He was a HUGE fan of our costumes and wanted to know how many people were in our party. Malerie, being quick to think (while I mentally calculated how many people we came with) said, "TWO!" He smiled and ushered us to two available seats down front in the VIP section...wow!!!! We were composed on the outside and screaming wildly on the inside!
We hadn't sat for more than two seconds when he pulled us out of our seating again to have our costumes photographed in front of the big Once Upon a Time screen to the side of the stage! This was followed by a barrage of photographing everywhere, some professional, some private, and a lot of people wanting their pictures taken with us. Needless to say, it was thrilling!
Once it was finished, we wrapped up with more photographing, and left with a small group of us to finish the night at the Cheesecake Factory and converse about the day. It was amazing.
The best part of this whole experience was solidifying and deepening the friendships that had been made at the previous convention, and creating future plans for more adventures.
Many thanks to Lauryn and her parents for hosting me, to Malerie for meeting up in Hollywood for lunch the next day (and for the fun presents!), and all my love to my new lifelong friends!