I am a huge horror fan and while I've been to many conventions, there is a surprisingly lack of horror conventions in my schedule. We first attended Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, NJ in 2014 and this past Saturday we got to attend their Hunt Valley, MD show. Monster Mania is put on 3 times a year, generally in March, August, and October in Cherry Hill, NJ and Hunt Valley, MD and if you are a horror fan, I highly recommend this show!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a gigantic Nightmare on Elm Street fan and I absolutely LOVE Robert Englund. So when he was announced as a guest for the August show in NJ, I immediately started planning my trip. Unfortunately a week before the show, we realized that at the time, it just wasn't financially feasible for us, especially with my husband's trip to Baltimore Comic Con shortly thereafter. As you can imagine, I was heartbroken and to be honest, I actually cried about it. Within a few days after the August show, they announced that Robert was going to be a guest at the MD show and I felt like that was the universe giving me my second chance so I immediately purchased tickets.
|Photo courtesy of monstermania.net|
We arrived at the convention around 11am, and the line for Robert was in the hallway and as long as you can imagine. Obviously, since we already had our wrist bands because I pre purchased them, we were able to get right in line, and thank goodness we did! I really recommend pre purchasing tickets for this show because you don't have to wait in ticket lines and can just walk right in and get in autograph lines or shop the vendor area. It easily shaves 15-20 minutes off your time waiting in lines, and if you choose to pre order VIP tickets, you shave off even more time because as a VIP you obviously get to hang out at the front of the line and you get in the vendor area 30 minutes early. In addition, you get a really cool tshirt and get to attend the VIP party on Friday night.
We were in line for Robert for a little less than two hours and were second to last in the room to meet him before he went on lunch break. Stepping in that room and seeing Robert Englund in person was amazing! I swear to you, I cried about meeting him for weeks leading up to the day I actually met him. I really thought I was going to cry in front of him, but surprisingly, I didn't. I think I may have just been in shock.
He signed my glove, commented on my "Mrs.Krueger" necklace, and I got to have my picture taken with him. As I went behind the table, he noticed I had my hair in a pony tail and grabbed it for the photo. Afterwards, we laughed as he had a hard time getting the glove off of his hand. And then that was it. It was over. I waited what seemed like forever to meet Robert Englund and it was over in less than 2 minutes. I wish I would have had time to chat with him a bit, but I didn't want to cut into his lunch time or take time from the two ladies who were in line behind me. Even so, it was an experience I will be forever grateful for and will remember it the rest of my life.
|Myself, the great Robert Englund, and my husband, Gary|
After we were done there, we took a walk around the vendor area and second celebrity signing room, located downstairs. The vendors were out in the hallway and in a small room. I didn't get any photos down there because of the amount of people. I just couldn't get any good photos. It wasn't cramped with people and there was plenty of room to walk, but there were just enough people to keep a steady flow through the room. Probably the creepiest thing I saw there was "Father Evil". I mean, the guy wasn't really creepy to look at, in my opinion, but when he walked over to me, got literally so close it made me really uncomfortable, and whispered "I can smell your sins" into my ear, I was actually creeped out. This guy played this character so well.
We didn't stay long, but we definitely plan to go back!
The staff was very friendly and helpful, the vendors and celebrities are great to interact with, and the other attendees and wonderful people. had a really nice conversation with a guy from Ohio the entire time we were in line for Robert Englund and the staff members were nice to chat with while we were in line as well. Vendors are engaging which is good to see. That means they are happy to be there and it's nice to see every single person who walks through those doors have a good time.
Now that I have been to both locations, I can accurately compare the two for you. I'm not sure if I would or could pick a favorite, but there are pros and cons to each. Hunt Valley is a smaller convention with incredible parking that is very easy to get to. We were able to park pretty close to the building despite arriving later than we had intended. It's also closer for us by 3 hours. Cherry Hill is the larger one, but because of this, you run into vendors being squished into two or three rooms and a hallway and celebrities squished into one room with lines actually stretching outdoors. The parking at the Cherry Hill location isn't the best and when we were there we actually parked a mile and a half away because that was the only place available and we even got there an hour after doors opened. However, regarding the Cherry Hill location, the vendor selection is amazing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either convention. I just believe that the Cherry Hill Monster Mania would benefit from a larger venue.
I also want to really point out how great the promoters of Monster Mania are. They update their Facebook page constantly, are dedicated to making sure everyone has a great experience, and they love what they do. As a matter of fact, they are currently working on the three 2017 shows already and it's not even a week after the last one ended! Please do yourself a favor and attend one of these conventions. You will certainly be glad that you did.
Check out some more photos from Monster Mania 35 courtesy of Leroy Leake.
Check out Monster Mania on FACEBOOK and the Monster Mania website for more info and guest announcements!
*Photos used with permission*