|First iteration||8-10 March 2002|
|Organizer(s)||Florida United Furry Fandom, Inc. a 501(c)(3) charity (Previously Pawpet Live Experiences, Inc.)|
|Charity||The CARE Foundation|
|Resources||Photos, videos, reports: Megaplex resources|
Megaplex is a furry convention first held in March 2002 as Pawpet Megaplex. The latest edition, Megaplex 2021, was held August 6-8, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. The convention's slogan is Florida Sun, Furry Fun.
Megaplex's stated goal is to provide "a celebration of interactive arts and performance, with a primary focus on anthropomorphics and fantasy". Programming has focused on fursuiting, puppetry, improvisation, and other types of performance.
Megaplex has featured musical performances by Toxic Audio, 4:2:Five, Matthew Ebel, Fox Amoore and Rhubarb the Bear, stage performances including musicals Julie Bunny Must Die! and Fosgate: Ferret Loan Officer, and out-of-fandom honored guests including Trace Beaulieu, Paul Zaloom and Noel MacNeal.
A variety of factors had caused Megaplex's attendance to fluctuate in its first decade, though it has been steadily increasing since 2010. The 2019 event had 3,617 in attendance, the highest to date.
|Pawpet Megaplex 1 (2002)|
|Pawpet Megaplex 2 (2003)|
|Megaplex 3 (2004)|
|Megaplex 4 (2005)|
|Megaplex 5 (2006)|
|Megaplex 6 (2007)|
|Megaplex 7 (2008)|
|Megaplex 8 (2009)|
|Megaplex 9 (2010)|
|Megaplex 10 (2011)|
|Megaplex XI (2012)|
|Megaplex XII (2013)|
|Megaplex XIII (2014)|
|Megaplex XIV (2015)|
|Megaplex XV (2016)|
|Megaplex XVI (2017)|
|Megaplex XVII (2018)|
|Megaplex XVIII (2019)|
|Megaplex guests of honor|
Pawpet Megaplex came into being as a replacement for Furry Spring Break, which was held in 2001. Furry Spring Break was unable to secure hotel space for a second convention in 2002, and folded. In its stead, Pawpet Live Experiences, Inc. was formed and on short notice held the first Pawpet Megaplex at the Ramada Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The convention supported the animal rescue C.A.R.E. Foundation, featuring a live animal presentation. The convention has continued to support the same charity each year.
The convention moved to the movie-themed Sheraton Studio City Resort for its second and third years, closer to Universal Studios Florida. In 2003 the convention had its first guest of honor, Susan Rankin, and first of many musical guests, a capella group Toxic Audio. In 2004 Megaplex officially dropped the "Pawpet" from the name. Megaplex 3 was the first year to make heavy use of the convention theme ("MP3", derived from the abbreviation of the convention name) with posters and hallway decor.
The convention upgraded to larger quarters at the Sheraton World Resort, right next door to the SeaWorld Orlando theme park, from 2005 to 2006, continuing to introduce new traditions such as a Saturday Night "Rocky Horror Picture Show" viewing complete with staff members as cast members.
The Jacksonville Years
Due to rising hotel costs in Orlando, Megaplex was forced to move in 2007 and chose the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida where they remained through 2008. During this time Megaplex saw a drop in attendance which was expected due to the move.
The Return to Orlando
Returning to the Orlando area, Megaplex was held at the Worldgate Resort in Kissimmee, Florida from 2009 to 2012, a short distance from Walt Disney World's main gate. The convention was rescheduled from March to late July to achieve better costs and hotel rates, and to help space the event out from the growing FWA. The con expanded its meeting space to include a larger Dealer's Den, an Artist Alley, and lounge area dubbed "The Lair."
From 2013 to 2015 Megaplex returned to Orlando proper and expanded into larger meeting space at the Marriott Orlando Airport hotel. The convention has increased its focus on quality main events and immersive theming. At the end of Megaplex XIV it was announced that the convention would be moving in 2016 to the Embassy Suites - Lake Buena Vista South in Kissimmee to accommodate the convention's growth.
After only 1 year Megaplex had outgrown the Embassy Suites - Lake Buena Vista South and at closing ceremonies of Megaplex XV announced that it would be moving to the Seaworld DoubleTree in Orlando, FL for Megaplex XVI. Megaplex had previously been held at this property for Megaplex 4 and Megaplex 5 when it was the Sheraton World Resort.
Megaplex remained at the Seaworld DoubleTree in Orlando, FL for Megaplex XVI and Megaplex XVII. While the new space was completed for use during the second year Megaplex's growth made it difficult to hold a 3rd year at this venue. It was announced at the end of Megaplex XVII that Megaplex would be moving to the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL.
It was announced that Megaplex would be seeking 501(c)(3) status under the newly setup corporation Florida United Furry Fandom Inc. (FLUFF Inc.) at the end of closing ceremonies of Megaplex XVII. The new corporation was setup and all assets were transferred to the new Florida Nonprofit corporation. On May 18th, 2019 FLUFF Inc. received notice from the IRS that their 501(c)(3) status was approved.
Megaplex has introduced many ideas to augment the convention's programming and atmosphere:
- Pre-registered attendees can provide a personal avatar to appear on their convention badge.
- Megaplex was the first furry convention to introduce a convention fursuit mascot, Pounce the Panther, in 2008.
- Starting in 2012, Megaplex has created a commemorative poster celebrating each year's convention. One copy of the poster is offered for sale at the convention's charity auction.
- Collectible glassware is given to all attendees.
- Megaplex offers high dollar member levels above supersponsors, Megasponsor and Gigasponsor. Both receive all the perks of a Supersponsor level, plus special unique gifts each year such as engraved pocketwatches.
- Game show concepts have been introduced such as "Fursuit Deal or Big Deal," partly mirroring Deal or No Deal, with fursuiters instead of models.
- The convention's main events have been streamed live online since 2005.
- An exclusive hospitality lounge with hot meals is provided to sponsor and higher level attendees.
- The convention has donated "con badge number 1" for the following year in the charity auction since 2010. This badge number is usually reserved for convention chairman. The auctioning of badge number 1 raised over $300 for charity in 2010.
- Hall prizes called "Achievements" are awarded to attendees who accomplish them at any point during the convention. Most achievements are typically kept secret until the time they are rewarded.
- Megaplex archives all of its past con books, artwork, badge imagery, photos and videos on-line, available for all individuals to view on its web site.
Staff and organization
Florida United Furry Fandom, Inc. (FLUFF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation . Fluff was preceded by Pawpet Live Experiences, Inc. (PLEx), a class C for-profit corporation which operated out of the State of Florida. PLEx, Inc. was incorporated in January 2002, a mere two months before putting on Pawpet Megaplex 1, and went the faster route of incorporating under the less stringent for-profit statutes.
FLUFF, Inc.'s current president is Christopher “Blitz” Darling (also the chairman of Megaplex), and the secretary is Daniel “Nyghtpanthyr” Deschand.
As of 2022 the Board members are:
- Christopher “Blitz” Darling - president and chairman
- Daniel “Nyghtpanthyr” Deschand - secretary
- Daysha “Vixy” Albano
- Steven “Allon” Rehbein
- Roxanne “Kismet” Martinez
- Stephen “Kedzie” Stoltenberg
A listing of Megaplex staff and their roles, including former staff members, is available on the convention's website and archives.
Megaplex's mascot is Pounce the Panther, a Florida panther (an endangered subspecies of cougar). Pounce was introduced as the Megaplex fursuit mascot, in 2008 at Megaplex 7, as Megapanther to match the comic book theme of that year's Megaplex. Pounce is seen at Megaplex in a costume that matches that year's theme.
|Title||Dates||Theme||Venue||Location||Guests of Honor||Guest Performers||Attendance||Parade count (day/night parades)||Charity Amount||Notes|
|Pawpet Megaplex||8-10 March 2002||N/A||Ramada Resort and Convention Center||Orlando, FL||N/A||N/A||126||?||$1,378.49||Replaced Furry Spring Break|
|Pawpet Megaplex 2||21-23 March 2003||Hollywood||Sheraton Studio City Resort||Orlando, FL||Susan Rankin||Toxic Audio||197||?||?|
|Megaplex 3||19-21 March 2004||"MP3"||Sheraton Studio City Resort||Orlando, FL||Trace Beaulieu||Toxic Audio||357||23||$2,500+|
|Megaplex 4||11-16 March 2005||Road Trip||Sheraton World Resort||Orlando, FL||John Kennedy||Orlando's Potpourri of Puppets||387||32||$2,210|
|Megaplex 5||17-19 March 2006||...Teh Horror!||Sheraton World Resort||Orlando, FL||Brian Reynolds||4:2:Five||257||41||$3,100.40|
|Megaplex 6||2-4 March 2007||Game Shows||Wyndham Jacksonville Riverfront||Jacksonville, FL||Mike Kazaleh||?||185||31||$2,825|
|Megaplex 7||28-30 March 2008||Comic Books: Heroes & Villains||Wyndham Jacksonville Riverfront||Jacksonville, FL||Adam Wan||Matthew Ebel||255||45||$1,185|
|Megaplex 8||24-26 July, 2009||Toyland / Christmas in July||Radisson Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||BigBlueFox||Matthew Ebel||425||80||$1,500|
|Megaplex 9||23-25 July, 2010||Mad Science||Radisson Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||Paul Zaloom||Matthew Ebel||410||81||$2,928|
|Megaplex 10||29-31 July, 2011||Retro Arcade||Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||Chad Krueger||Matthew Ebel||553||86 / 64||$1,368||Hotel name change|
|Megaplex XI||27-29 July, 2012||Steampunk: Turn Back The Gears||Worldgate Resort||Kissimmee, FL||Noel MacNeal; Ron “Dreamfinder” Schneider||Julie Bunny Must Die!||625||142 / 55||$4,257|
|Megaplex XII||26-28 July, 2013||Rocking At The Hop||Marriott Orlando Airport||Orlando, FL||Fox Amoore, Tirrel||Fosgate: Ferret Loan Officer||821||185 / 86||$4,038|
|Megaplex XIII||25-27 July, 2014||The Candy Factory||Marriott Orlando Airport||Orlando, FL||Mary Mouse, TaniDaReal||Fox Amoore, Rhubarb the Bear, Husky In Denial, Pepper Coyote||1,281||320 / 76||$10,696.98|
|Megaplex XIV||31 July - 2 August, 2015||Cops & Robbers||Marriott Orlando Airport||Orlando, FL||FableFire, FizzOtter||Fox Amoore, Rhubarb the Bear and Cosmik, Husky In Denial||1,472||359 / 82||$8,260.23|
|Megaplex XV||5-7 August, 2016||British Invasion||Embassy Suites - Lake Buena Vista South||Orlando, FL||Kenket, Cosmic Wuffy||Fox Amoore, Pepper Coyote, Rhubarb the Bear and Cosmik||1,860||449 / 150||$8,467.86|
|Megaplex XVI||4-6 August, 2017||Mega Quest: The Wrath of Con||Seaworld DoubleTree||Orlando, FL||Kodi (Canada), Rick Griffin||2,430||N/A / 162||$12,394.89||Saturday parade cancelled due to weather|
|Megaplex XVII||3-5 August, 2018||The Furnesian Islands||SeaWorld DoubleTree||Orlando, FL||Panda Paco, Kyle McCarthy||2,602||468 / 68||$10,849.88|
|Megaplex XVIII||9-11 August, 2019||The Greatest Escape||Caribe Royale||Orlando, FL||JD Puppy, SonicFox5000||3,615||617 / 138||$40,000.00|
|Megaplex XVIII½||21-23 August, 2020||Megaplex Online||Online||Online||N/A||571||N/A||$10,079.73|
|Megaplex XIX||6-8 August, 2021||All Aboard!||Caribe Royale||Orlando, FL||Kyell Gold, Hyena Agenda||Alkali Bismuth||2,889||669 / 179||$50,000.00|
|Megaplex XX||5-7 August, 2022||Electric AvUwU||Caribe Royale||Orlando, FL||Illumi-Nation Cyberwear, Lofi||N/A||4,662||1,024 / 160||$70,000.00|
|Megaplex XXI||15-17 September, 2023||Be Anything, Do Anything!||Hyatt Regency||Orlando, FL||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
- ↑ About Megaplex (22 September 2010)
- ↑ Some Candid Comments on Megaplex, from the Chair - Carl Fox, megaplex (24 December 2006)
- ↑ Goodbye, 2007...Hello, 2008! - Carl Fox, megaplex (7 March 2007)
- ↑ https://twitter.com/TheDanteOxalis/status/441613535224008705 Twitter photo of a Megaplex mug found at a Goodwill store
- ↑  - Florida Department of State
- ↑ Megaplex - Who We Are Accessed August 13, 2022.
- ↑ Megaplex - Who We Are Accessed August 13, 2022.
- ↑ Megaplex History: Past Convention Archives
- ↑ Megaplex website - About us, #Meet Pounce the Panther on Megaplex website, archived 2015 March 24 at archive.org Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2015 July 31.
- Megaplex official site
- Megaplex on Fur Affinity
- Megaplex: Furry Fun, Florida Sun on Facebook
- Megaplex on Twitter
- Megaplex on Mastodon
- Megaplex on YouTube
- Megaplex on LiveJournal
- Photos, videos, reports: Megaplex resources