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ExCeL London West Entrance

MCM London Comic Con (formerly known as MCM (Movie Comic Media) Expo) is a modern pop culture convention that takes place twice a year in May and October at the ExCeL London dating back to its debut in October 2010. Holding the title of UK’s biggest modern pop culture convention, a record-breaking 130,000 visitors attended the recent London Comic Con’s winter edition, making it the third largest Comic Con on the planet after New York and San Diego Comic Cons. The 2015 winter event was held one week before Halloween from October 23 to 25.

MCM London Comic Con covers a broad spectrum of fandom ranging from western comics, movies, eSports, Steampunk, and of course, anime and manga. Attractions such as VidFest, Comic Village, and the EuroCosplay Championships are some of the highlights of the event. Special guests from all over the world gather to MCM London Comic Con to hold panels, signings, and promotional appearances.

Having the privilege of studying an undergraduate degree in the UK, I have been able to visit MCM London Comic Con several times. Let’s examine what MCM London Comic Con have in store in this particular occasion.

The Journey Begins

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Kongou enjoying a train ride heading towards London

Most people travel to ExCeL by trains that will arrive in the respective terminals across London. You can then take the Tube (London Underground) followed by DLR or Cable Car to reach ExCeL. Alternatively, you could either take a taxi or a bus to reach there. For international visitors, ExCeL is located in close proximity to London City Airport, which connects to cities across Europe and more.

There are a lot of accommodation choices in London ranging from cheap rooms to very expensive hotels. As London is one of the world’s most expensive cities, most people would travel back as it is cheaper than staying overnight in London. Fortunately, I have booked the hotel in advance with my friend to secure cheaper prices.

Most cosplayers that stay in hotels will dress up as the characters prior to leaving for the event. Although some would use the cloackroom provided in the ExCeL to store their belongings after changing to their costumes.

Excellent Crowd Control

Crowd Control
Queue for MCM London Comic Con 2015 Entrance
Priority Wristband
Weekend Priority wristband for re-entry

Crowd control, which was something MCM struggled in the past, have notably improved over the past few events. As with other conventions, it is slightly quieter on Friday as a lot of people would not be available in the weekdays.

The huge difference can be seen on Saturday where people traveling in cosplays can be seen from trains arriving at Waterloo Train Station to Tube (London Underground) trains. Fortunately, there are several different routes that you could take to travel to the ExCeL. It is conveniently situated across two Tube stations which can take you to all major train stations across London. Also, its proximity to the London City Airport makes it convenient for overseas visitors to come to ExCeL since it only takes five minutes to travel from the Airport via taxi.

This winter season, in particular, there has been an overall increase in staff coordinating the crowd compared to earlier years. The tickets are split into General Entry and Priority Entry tickets. Priority Entry Tickets holders can gain entry up to 2 hours before the general entry time. E-Tickets are issued via emails and scanned at the entry in exchange of wristbands, which will allow re-entry to the exhibition site should you have to leave the venue.

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