The closest thing I had seen to a celebrity prior to attending Fan Expo in Toronto this year was watching Paula Abdul exit the Late Show with David Letterman eight years ago. I had some doubts about whether or not to go. I would be going alone and could only attend the Friday of the convention. As the day approached, I got more excited and wanted to find the Disney angle amongst all the exhibitions and guests.

Fan expo logo

It started early with a pre-convention press call where I got the pleasure to talk with David Finch who drew many in the Marvel comic universe from the late 90’s until the mid-2000’s.

As I walked around the exhibit area, a giant poster of Marvel’s Netflix series Luke Cage looked down on us keeping the peace as thousands milled around the autographs booths and the many vendors who were actively selling their swag to the thousands of convention goers.

star wars bannerVenturing across the street to where the toys were, I was inundated with Star Wars and Marvel images either at the Hasbro store or at the Lego station. A master builder and many little helpers were actively building a life size model from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I even took some time to stand with one of his finished works and stare at the complexity of his brick making.

Stan Lee on his last visit to Canada was signing autographs and posing for pictures. He was easy to find because he had his own designated area, and he was the older gentleman with white hair that thousands stood in line for.

I walked by Joe Quesda, the Marvel comic maestro. He didn’t know me, even though I had a name tag on, but I knew him, and was pleased that I could pick him out of a crowd. I only wish I could have made his panel. It would have been interesting to have asked about Marvel and where he hoped the comics would go, but it wasn’t meant to be.

I spent an hour being entertained by the anecdotes of Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy since 1987. He regaled our small but spirited group with his life as a voice actor, and even gave us a rendition of the Goofy holler. Farmer talked about how another how to Goofy cartoon that would be funny, How to Go Through Airport Security, now that would be a riot to see how Goofy does it. I had so much fun with Goofy, I couldn’t leave without a picture and an autograph. I didn’t care about the fee.

me in vrI also got to try Playstation VR. For a few minutes I got to step into the virtual reality future of gaming, and I was blown away by the complexity that this gaming system offers. I never felt so close to the action and look forward to seeing how gaming with change in the next couple of years. Imagine a virtual reality game like Disneyland Adventures. To put on a head set and get a quick fix of being at a Disney Park would be a great game. Hopefully something like this will happen. I would even settle for a virtual reality game where we could visit Disney Parks that were never built. What a great way to bring back Disney’s America.

Finally, I finished my time by listening to one of the most popular stars of the convention, Mark Hamill, who happens to star in a small series of Disney movies called Star Wars. Luke Skywalker himself was only a few feet away from me. He didn’t let anything slip. Instead he entertained and thanked the people who were touched by how Star Wars had influenced them.

My trip to Fan Expo Toronto would only be for a day. I spent the whole day walking and taking in the sites. Disney has become so big that no matter what convention you go to their will always be more than enough to whet your appetite. I just wish I could have attended the other three days. Oh well, one is better than none. Thank you to Fan Expo Canada for letting me cover the day for LaughingPlace.

Editor's note: We'll have much more of Bill's coverage of Fan Expo Canada 2016 in the coming days.