Summer travel posts are something that will be plugging up my post stream soon, we’ve traveled a few great places this summer, all in Ontario Canada and I can’t wait to share our adventures with you, however, this long weekend was our last trip of the summer up to Ontario and it was an expensive and disappointing one at that.
My daughter, who’s a huge comic and Anime fan really wanted to head to Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, I myself am not a huge comic book fan, nor an Anime fan, however when I learned that Dave Bautista was going to be there (WWE Superstar, Guardians Of The Galaxy) I was in, there was no hesitation on my part.
So, Friday we took to the road, our 4 hour drive to Hamilton to stay with my parents, and then the next day took the train to Toronto. My daughter was excited, but I was beyond ecstatic to finally meet Dave Bautista, who I love, adore and have been a fan of for years!
We were going to purchase both our event tickets and photo opp tickets online, however, when I went to do so they were no longer available for purchase online. Odd, but whatever, we could just get them at the venue, easy right? Nope not at all!
Me and my hubby just celebrated our 12th anniversary, and as his gift to me, I was going to get my photo with Batista! My gift to him, a photo opp with WWE Diva’s Trish Stratus and Lita, together! An amazing opportunity!
We get to the Metro Toronto Convention Center and see a huge line of people, who were there for someone, I find an Fan Expo worker and ask, where do we purchase tickets, he points to the right, we start walking that way and even though the signs I’m seeing to the right say pre-purchased tickets, we were walking that way. We see another worker so I decided to ask. She points us to the left and says you take a right, walk into the parking garage and purchase tickets there. I asked her, is that where you purchase photo opp and autograph tickets as well? She says yes. So, away we go, for a very LONG walk, at least 15-20 minutes away from the venue, no signs about tickets until we’re about 2 blocks away. We walk into this underground parking lot where there’s 2 lines. One VERY long one for Debit purchase and the other almost non existent line for cash only. We waited in line for about an hour and a half, in which time we probably could have walked to an ATM and back quicker, but being not from the area, we had no idea where the closest ATM was, and no one there knew until we got to the bottom of the line and he told us 2 blocks away, too late now!
We finally get to the ticket booth and state 2 adults, 1 child, and that we need to purchase our photo opp tickets there as well, to which the girl states we purchase those inside in the North building. We were apparently in the south building. So we ask how do we get there, to which the response we get is, I don’t know, you’ll see signs once you get in.
Not thinking it would be hard, we look for signs, see NONE, ask someone and they have no clue either. So we walk, finally see a security guard and mind you, we arrived in Toronto around 10am. It’s now 11:30, my photo opp for Batista starts at 2:00pm. The security guard tells us to keep going up the escapologist till we can’t go up anymore, about 5 flights from where we are. We walk, and walk, and go and about 1/2 hour later arrive in the North Building. Fighting with the crowds, and walking and seeing no maps, no signs, no schedule signs or anything along the way. Arrive in the North building and I again ask a Fan Expo worker, where do I go to purchase Photo Op tickets? She doesn’t know, tells me there’s an information booth around here that way somewhere. Great! Finally find the info booth and she tells me see the big photo opp sign? It’s there. I again ask her, that is where I can purchase tickets? She says yes. So we head that way, into a SEA of people, I’m not kidding it was so crowded, trying to stay with each other and keep my daughter with us, and get to where we were trying to go was almost impossible.
I finally see where you can purchase tickets, and its all CASH ONLY! WHAT?? These photo opps are not cheap, Batista was one of the cheaper ones at $60, and hubby’s photo with the Diva’s was $70, I don’t carry cash like that on me. So we find where the end of the line is, which is all the way at the end of the building, me and my daughter wait in line, hubby goes to find an ATM. Someone asks the Fan Expo worker how long the line was at this point, she said about an hour or more…. It’s now 1:00pm….Remember, my photo opp starts at 2:00pm….We both look at her and say, the photo opp we want starts at 2, she states you won’t make it, you probably won’t want to stay in line. I’m freaking out, almost in tears..YES I AM THAT MUCH OF A FAN!
Hubby calls me pissed off beyond belief. We’ve now been there for 3 hours and haven’t done a thing, and now the ATM won’t take his American cards. NONE OF THEM! So now we have no cash, no way to get our photo opp and have wasted $110.00 admission, $42 on a train ride, and 3 hours of our day!
I traveled 4 hours to meet and get a photo with Batista, that was my ONLY reason for going. Yes I wanted to take my daughter as well, but if Batista wasn’t there, honestly we wouldn’t have gone.
We get out of line, I run into the bathroom and just sit in the stall and cry, my day, my weekend has been CRUSHED. My daughter tries to calm me down, yes I’m an idiot for crying I realize this, but to me, this was a HUGE deal.
We finally decide this is now a day to get a long with for my daughters sake, and we do, however, we were dropping a ton of money on this, and Epic Photo Ops dropped the ball big time, disorganized line, people cutting, and taking cash only? Who carries cash in this day and age?
Never mind that the ATMs don’t take international cards. I had to pull money out of my Paypal Mastercard account that had little money in it just to get through the day, thankfully that one worked!
The crowds were unbelievable, you could barely move sometimes, I didn’t even get many photos in fear of my camera dropping and not wanting to fish it out of my bag, just too many people to even take photos sometimes, and with the halls being all spaced out, it took you half an hour or more to get to place to place, going up and down multiple escalators and not having ANY schedules and signs posted at all. I had no idea that Batista was doing autograph sessions, or a Q&A that day, it wasn’t on the website, there was no info on the app, no signs nothing. I found out on HIS Facebook page when I finally had signal on my phone and it was too late.
I have never been to a more unorganized event in my life. If you have people working, please train them, they knew nothing, have signs, it helps tremendously for your attendees. Don’t over sell tickets, let people purchase tickets online, have better and more ATMs and please don’t offer cash only at huge events like this….Also, keep you tickets all in one place, having to go to a million different places, all far away from each other to purchase tickets for different things is ridiculous!!!!
I’d never attend a Fan Expo again, we’ll stick with ComicCon, Wizard World or DragonCon from now on and I don’t recommend anyone going to such a disorganized event! At least my daughter had fun….
September 1, 2014 – 11:49 AM - | Posted in daily life | 2 Comments »