This will begin my Anime Festival Orlando review this is day zero to follow will be days one, two, and three, or Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have never been to an anime convention in my life this was my very first, I want to let you all know this from the jump. With that said if I say anything that seems like a generalization toward anime convention in a whole I am sorry.
The convention is held in the Wyndam Resort Orlando, this is a rather nice hotel, the grounds are utterly immaculate, and seemed designed to accommodate the “riggers” of youth, with three pools, the main of which is largest and has a bar open till midnight. The grounds also have large lagoons offering up very nice scenery from almost every building on the property. The location of the hotel is very nice being with in short walking distance of several large restaurant chains also being close to a plethora of huge amusement attractions.
Speaking of those chains the McDonalds here is rather amazing with a large two story play place with an arcade to boot. Not only is the build different from the Micky D’s we know the menu is also different offering up not only traditional entrée’s but also a variety of “finer” dining options. I must say the building boasts that it is the most unique McDonalds, and I feel it is deservingly so.
Now to keep on with the food trend of this review so far, I will turn back to the hotel and talk about it’s two restaurants on the premises. The first is Augustine’s it, looks and feels like a sit down restaurant, it even offers up a breakfast buffet with fresh made eggs to order, and omelets with topics to die for. I stuck with ham, jalapeños, bacon, and my cheeses were asiago, feta, and pepper jack throw on some hot sauce and your talking a “built to last” meal that is your one way ticket to itus-ville, were sleep and lethargy come standard issue. Now on to the Bar and grill by the main pool, this is a themed place called Gatorville, looking like some tropical island party down to straw thatched roof and wicker chairs. I part took of a sandwich known as the….damn I forgot but it was filled with, roasted pork, ham, pepper jack cheese, whole grain mustard on Cuban bread grilled on a panini press to perfection. Top this with some fresh fries seasoned with fresh cracked pepper and salt you are again entering itus-ville. I chose to wash this down with one each of the two local brews available 1) Orlando organic Red Ale, 2) Orlando Organic Pale Ale. The Red was by far superior to the pale Ale to be honest the pale ale was not at all flavorful while the red was robust and a bit sweet. There is no lack of good food nor good service at any of these places, so take your pick and enjoy.
With all that jazz out of the way it is time to get down to what your all here for AFO 2011 in review: Day 0. After checking into my hotel room on Thursday, I of course began to wonder around the ground and see what there was to see, people at this point which was about 2-2:30 were already in costume for the con(go figure right) even though it didn’t officially kick off until Friday. The vibe I was getting at first was very tense like that of an approaching storm so I was very tentative to talk to people, or try to net work, seeing as I am very new to this whole blogging thing, and have yet to finish a single writing work though many are near to being finished. This feeling would be summarily crushed a destroyed by some very nice friendly people whom after I wondered about I met in the line for pre registration. I will have pictures of these guys through out this blog and the other posts in this series to include panel reviews and cosplay, because they did both host a couple panels and cosplay. This group fun seeking anime fans left the line head of me and went to the pool I was still waiting on my badge. It only took about an hour and some change, the line would have been done much, much faster if the people in it had read the fucking rules about what is needed for pre registration, it was nothing major, your ticket, photo ID, room key or hotel receipt, but once I was done I went, changed and hit the pool. We had a very good time I am a very shy person at first so having these guys warm up to me so easily was awesome, I even turned a chick on with my verbose anime knowledge and talk about curtain stuff one of which was Kazuo Koike, another was the 1986 transformers movie, though I am pretty sure it was mostly mentioning Kazuo Koike and if you haven’t read his work do so and you will know why. Oh and I must not forget Sean he was another person I met inline who was awesome and we kept running into one another all over the place so I can’t for get him.
Now whilst at the pool some random guys showed up with some turn tables and music and the party really got started, and I got to say it was a blast and after this wet and wild high jinks we headed to out respective rooms at about three in the morning to prepare for Day 1 of Anime Festival Orlando. Upon returning to my room I saw my phone had exploded with text messages most surprising was from cosplay photographer Ashlee Miller, her and her friends were late getting in so they didn’t get to enjoy Day 0 as the rest of us had and I was sad for them up until I passed out in my bed lucky enough to have set my alarm.
So ladies and gentlemen that is AFO in review: day 0, I have already got Day 1 written just need some edits and the corresponding pictures and it will be posted shortly thanks for stepping into the Big Bear’s Den