Today we're kicking off our Halloween coverage in a HUGE way with Day One from last weekends Midsummer Scream. Below you'll find some great pictures and video from the show floor, hall of shadows and three of the amazing panels that were held on the first day of this amazing convention.
Written by Gregg Condon
Putting on an event is hard, it takes a LOT of hard work. As we learned from a lot of the panels over the weekend, when it comes to a Halloween event the work for the next years event usually starts just after (or sometimes during) the previous years event. Putting on any large scale event is no different. The amount of planning and preparation that goes on takes a year, from booking talent, convention space, vendors, and in the case of Midsummer Scream, scare zones and mazes.
The fact that the team was able to do all of this in about 4 months is amazing. Even considering the years of expertise of those involved (and they are exceptional at what they do) pulling off what they pulled off in 4 months was amazing.
We arrived at the event about 30 minutes prior to doors open, usually a time when you find chaos and issues everywhere. Yet there was a calm and orderly general admission line, when we went inside to get our press badges there were only a few people in line. The staff knew just where to send us and we were ready to go with a good 15-20 minutes before the event opened.
This gave us time to catch up with friends, get some amazing pictures and plan our attack for the day.
First up was a walk of the show floor, which is the heart of any event of this kind. And this was our kind of event. So many amazing displays, merchandise and even mini experiences. We could have spent SO much money.
We then headed into the Hall of Shadows and without even realizing it we walked right into a Scare Zone ... at a convention. And it was amazing. You could tell the talent was having so much fun with it, and the entire event was just so calm and relaxed, no drama that we could see.
Be sure to check out our 360° video of Hall of Shadows. We will have additional videos with our day two update next week.
Our first panel of the day was "Frightful Attraction Design for Theme Park Audiences" and our first chance to thank the Midsummer Scream crew for all of their hard work.
This didn't have the feeling of a first year event and you could tell they were all (rightfully) proud of what they've created.
Oh yeah, the panel. It was amazing. Great talk about some amazing dark rides like Indiana Jones Adventure, Monster Plantation at SFOG, the Ghostbusters show at USF and of course the greatest scary dark attraction of all time Alien Encounter (I assume as sadly I never got to experience it).
Having the panel hosted by Rick West who's expertise and familiarity with both the rides and the panelists made it that much better.
After a quick lunch at one of the plethora of nearby eateries it was time for our 2nd panel of Midsummer Scream ... Queen Mary's Dark Harbor.
First of all, if you've never been to Dark Harbor, what are you waiting for?
Secondly, if you've never attended a panel about Queen Mary's Dark Harbor at one of these conventions, what are you waiting for? The cast of characters they bring out is amazing. Both at their event and at Midsummer Scream their actors get to bring their own personality and fun into the experience.
Throughout the presentation they talked about this years event (you can find all of that information here). Needless to say it's going to be amazing once again and we can't wait to experience this amazing event again.
Click to see the full update on what's coming to Queen Mary's Dark Harbor in 2016 ...
After some more time spent on the show floor it was time to head back into the ballroom and to check out the presentation for Halloween Horror Nights.
Unlike the other panels of the weekend nothing was actually announced at the HHN panel, but that didn't take away from the greatness of it. John and Chris so love what they do and it shows. They spent the hour (that went by way too quick) talking about the history of the "Big 4" Slashers that will be appearing at this years event.
And that's going to pretty much wrap it up for day 1. Be sure to check back on Monday for Day Two of Midsummer Scream.
In the meantime, be sure to check out the release for Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Freddy vs Jason coming to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood and for Krampus coming to HHN Hollywood and Orlando.
Be sure to check back next week for the rest of our Midsummer Scream coverage and great panels from Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm.