Yamacon is one of those conventions that you look forward to all year long. Ever since it moved to its new location at the La Conte center, Yamacon has been one that I really can’t wait to attend. Not to say that the old location (now used as the night time venue known as Senpai central) was bad, but the convention had definitely outgrown the smaller center. One thing that really draws me to this convention is the star studded guest lineup. Every year they simply boggle my mind with the voice actors and guests that they manage to round up. Yamacon is simply a convention that you need to experience if you live in the area!
First off, lets talk about the venue that I mentioned earlier. The La Conte center is in a very central location in Pigeon Forge and is very easy to locate. Attached to the same parking lot as the large outside mall, The Island, the La Conte center has a lot to offer (food and shopping are literally all around you). Not only are there plenty of food choices to choose from, but there are also an abundance of hotels that you can stay in that won’t cost you an arm and a leg which is definitely a plus for someone like me that has bills to pay after the convention. The only drawback of the location is the potential for traffic. Now, if you live in the area, this may not be too bad. However, for someone that is used to going several miles in 5 minutes, suddenly being in Pigeon Forge traffic is kind of terrifying. Granted, it is a few weeks before Christmas, Dollywood, and all other attractions around, the traffic could be so much worse. Just make sure to plan your routes before hand and make sure to leave several minutes early just in case.
The La Conte center has a beautiful area for photoshoots if the weather allows like it did this year. There is a small river right out beside the center with a beautiful greenway that are perfect for several kinds of shoots. I saw photographers taking shots right and left while outside. The weather was simply perfect for this convention and allowed for even more outside shoots and meetups to happen. It was simply gorgeous!
Alright, now lets get down to the convention itself. Yamacon, like most years, was held in the first week of December and had quite an array of guests. Returning to Yamacon were Johnny Yong Bosch, the band Eyeshine, and Paul St. Peter. Joining the Yamacon veterans were Eric Vale, Ian Sinclair, and Chris Sabat. Quite the line up, right? Each guest had panels and the bands had concerts that all could attend. In addition to the panels and concerts, there were also times allotted for autographs throughout the weekend. On Sunday, everyone, with the exception of Johnny Yong Bosch and Eyeshine, were available to sign autographs, take pictures, or just to speak to.
Voice Actors/Guests and photoshoots not your thing? Well how about some good old shopping? The Dealer’s Room and Artist Alleys seemed to be much larger this year and were packed with some amazing things. One of the fastest sellers that I heard of was a dealer having Digimon plushies (which can be very hard to find). They were all gone by the time that I got there on Friday afternoon, which is crazy for something to go so quickly! In addition to the quickly selling plushies, there were figures, wall scrolls, and all other matters of anime/gaming merchandise. Like other years, the Artist Alley was full of amazing artists with prints and handmade trinkets.
In all, Yamacon 2015 was simply amazing. The weather was beyond perfect, the convention was safe and fun, and the guests were amazing. Personally, I can’t wait for Yamacon 2016! Hope to see you there!
Visit the Yamacon website for more details as they become available. Yamacon website