Hey everyone! I went to a new convention! Well, it was a new convention for me. I journeyed to Florida to attend Holiday Masturi, more commonly referred to as HolMat. It was held at the Orlando World Marriott Center, which was close to Disney World and Universal Studios. Many attendees visited the parks either before and after.
This anime is different compared to most others since the event is holiday-themed. Many cosplayers wore holiday versions of their favorite characters. Also, the hotel was decorated with Christmas trees, ornaments, tinsel, and all the other trappings of the holiday season. It isn’t a requirement to fit the theme. HolMat just provides the opportunity for people to be extra festive.
Since the convention is held in the heart of Orlando, there are many hotel options aside from the host location. If you were staying at the World Marriott Center, there were many food options available for attendees through the various restaurants and food trucks. On top of that, the venue is HUGE! I rarely felt cramped but you could still tell that there were a ton of people in attendance. As with most conventions, the cost of attending varies depending on when you bought your badge. The average price for the full event was about $70, which I think is worth it considering the size of the convention, the venue, and the amount of events and panels.
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As for my personal experience with Holiday Matsuri, I had a blast! Being a larger event, I was able to meet up with so many people! On top of the wide variety of panels and events, the convention also had a phenomenal nightlife. The rave was packed with people and so many attendees hung out and continued the convention fun through the night. On top of being filled with so much fun and excitement, the convention appeared very well run and organized. The staff did a great job keeping lines moving and keeping the environment fun.
One of my highlights of the convention was the fact that a booth in the vendor hall was applying glitter to all the attendees so everyone was sparkly and living their best life! It was just fun seeing people’s faces light up, figuratively and literally, once they had the fun, chunky glitter applied. I also had such a great time meeting up with my east coast cosplay friends! I rarely get to see them due to the distance and Holiday Matsuri allowed me to see them all.
Overall, I highly recommend going to Holiday Matsuri if you have the chance! I know that I’m for sure going next year!