Colossalcon 2024 – A Wet and Wild Anime Con

If you are a fan of anime or video games, at some point, you have seen someone in cosplay or at a convention and thought to yourself, Man that looks fun. If you have been a fan for long enough and have friends who are fans, then you most likely have seen photos of someone at a convention. Now, once you have seen those photos, you have a choice, do you want to go to a convention or do you want to keep on looking in from the outside? If you have chosen to take the next step, the next question is, which convention do you go to?

If you have never been to a convention, picking one for the first time can be intimidating. Some choose conventions based on their friend group, others choose them based on proximity. If you are a first-timer, it is better to start out with a smaller con like Anime Expo Chibi, Colossalcon Texas, The Sangawa Project, or another to that scale. If you want to go big right out of the gate, then you may want to try Colossalcon Prime, Anime Expo, Otakon, Anime NYC, or San Diego Comic-Con; these conventions welcome a ton of people from all around the world but each has its own unique feel or theme.

Anime Expo invites fans from all around the world to interact with one another and go to panels with some of their favorite voice actors. Arguably, Anime Expo is the largest anime convention in North America and gives anime fans the opportunity to show off their cosplays, buy exclusive merch, and get sneak peeks at upcoming shows. Anime Expo takes place July 4th to 7th this year in Los Angeles. Now, let’s talk about what actually brought you here; you want to know what happened at Colossalcon 2024.

Colossalcon 2024 Experience

For years, I have heard that Colossalcon Prime (in Sandusky, Ohio) is one of, if not the wildest Anime conventions out there. Throughout the years, people would tell me about the parties they’d go to, show off their cosplays, and tell stories of debauchery. After a busy May, I knew I had to end May off right. Plus with the lineup of guests, it seemed like a no-brainer; plus who doesn’t enjoy the idea of drinking with fellow enthusiasts at a pool?

Due to some last-minute planning, we were not able to stay at the Kalahari Resorts for Colossalcon Prime. This limited what we could do/see during the convention. If you wanted to use the pool during the day, you had to be either a Kalahari guest or buy a day swim pass; the four-day pass cost $95 for multiday admission and didn’t include the night swim pass. If you wanted to participate in the night swim, it cost $99 for the multi-night pass. Despite not being able to use the outdoor pool since I didn’t want to spend more money, we were able to check out some of the convention panels.

Although the convention had multiple guests planned for the weekend, a good number of them were not able to make it due to illness or flight issues. Patrick Warburton had to cancel due to covid. Despite featuring a ton of voice actors, there were very few panels featuring the voice acting talent; in fact, there were more autograph signings with said special guests than panels featuring them.

Other Activities/ Water Slides

Despite having limited voice-acting panels, there was still a ton for us and other guests to do. On Friday, we had a late start to our con day due to working earlier in the day. The first panel we decided to check out was Waifu Wars and then decided to hit up the water park for the night swim. While at the water park, we decided to get one of the Kalahari drinks; the initial price of $30 for the first drink was a steep starting price. Even the refills at $20 afterward were still a bit high. Many guests chose to fill their cups up with their own booze rather than pay the Kalhari prices.

At the water park, guests could dance in the wave pool, soak in the indoor/outdoor hot tub, a lazy river, or go down one of the many slides. Each slide had a sign at the bottom of it showing the weight capacity allowed for each rider. On the tube rides, it stated that parties of 3 or 4 could not be over 800 lbs. Despite being a party of three, we had a member who was 280 and they were prohibited from riding the slide because the weight limit for 2 riders was 400 lbs and solo riders was 250. Because of this, we chose not to ride most of the water slides in order to avoid waiting in line for a long time to just get a no.

Despite not riding on the water slides, we still had a fun time talking with other guests, partying with them, and dancing in the wave pool. Most of the guests were fun to be around and wanted to have a good time but there were a few that had bad intentions. Thankfully, Colossalcon staff the tips they received seriously and dealt with problems promptly. Whenever we visited Con ops, we noticed that guests were helping one another out by turning in lost cell phones, wallets, keys, and even badges.


Negatives of Colossalcon

Going to Colossalcon 2024, we knew that it was primarily going to be a party con. Despite this, we were hoping to interview the different guests and share with you some interesting facts about them. Sadly, due to the chaotic schedule, we were not able to interview any of the special guests. Also, as we previously mentioned, a good bit of the special guests were unable to attend for one reason or another; throughout the weekend, we heard many of the congoers complain that they didn’t get to see who they wanted to. Additionally, the special guests were kept off-site, making it hard for con staff to get them to their meetings on time, no matter how hard they tried.

Foam Party Fail

Outside of guests canceling, the thing that guests complained about the most was an event called The Foam Party. Originally, it was marketed as a foam party at one of the smaller parts of the water with privacy for guests to wear some of their more risque outfits. At $40 dollars, many expected it to be a small area where there would be a ton of foam. On the day of the event, hotel guests were notified that the outdoor waterpark would be closed for three hours for the foam party; photos from the event showed that there were very few bubbles and few attendees.

When guests were asked about who was behind the foam party debacle, some believed that it was the Kalahari’s call while others believed it was Colossalcon. Hopefully, next year if they plan to have the Foam Party again, it will go more smoothly.


Artist Alley/Vendor Hall/ Flea Market

Our third major complaint was in regards to the artist alley and the dealers’ hall. In the Artist Alley, guests were not supposed to take pictures of the artwork. This was obviously an attempt to stop guests from stealing artwork and claiming it as their own; however, there was one major problem, as we were walking through, we could tell which art was stolen from other creators or what was their own unique pieces.

At two booths, we walked up to the “artist” to ask them if they had ever posted their artwork online. When they told us no, we pulled out our cellphones and showed them the art online and the known artist; their response was to claim that the art was stolen from them. Because of this, we did not buy anything from the Artist Alley, however, we did take some cards and add some Instagrams to check out at a later date.

When we went to check out the vendor hall, we noticed that a lot of the vendors had the same things, there was very little variety. We did notice that some vendors would lower their prices when they saw their competition with the same or a lower price. Most of the vendors were unwilling to trade or haggle. If you pointed a flaw out in an item, most didn’t seem to care. Some would take it off their table, however, most would put it back on once you left.

The Flea Market was also something that had positives and negatives. Rather than having a signup sheet before the event, guests had to rush over to the rooms as fast as possible in order to participate. The rooms weren’t laid out by what most had to offer; this was both a positive and negative because you could find a good variety of stuff. The downside was some of the people in the flea market weren’t trying to just get rid of stuff, they wanted to sell things at marked-up or market-rate prices. These vendors should have been in the dealer’s hall vs the flea market.

Confusing Layout and Price Variations

When guests looked at the schedule it would say the event is at X room, so you could walk to the said room and it would be a completely different event. Now, this was easily rectified by looking at the map, but many lost the map and didn’t want to kill their phone battery by looking at the map online. At other cons, we typically see the con schedule and map taped to the wall of different intersections; while walking around, we only saw a few. The biggest problem with the maps is a panel would be listed as room 1 so we’d go to room 1 just to find out it was actually room 5.

In addition to having trouble finding our way, we noticed that food prices were not consistent. Now this isn’t something Colossalcon can control, but it was something we heard guests complaining about. Depending on which side of the building you were, the prices would be higher or lower despite coming from the same kitchen. In addition, multiple guests had digestive issues due to some of the food they consumed; we ourselves had issues after eating some of the salads.


Despite some of the issues that we faced, we would still be willing to go back to Colossalcon, only if staying at the hotel. Guests canceling or being unable to make it due to weather or illness is not something that the convention can control. Despite all the issues the staff faced, the team took each setback with a grain of salt and did whatever they could to make sure that attendees had a good time. In the future, we would like to see the con have more special guest panels but there is only so much you can do.

So if you are looking for a wet and wild time at an anime convention, it might be worth checking out Colossalcon. The Kalahari is a beautiful hotel and has a ton of rooms for guests. Even with a ton of rooms, it is possible to get locked out of the chance, so make sure to plan in advance. It is definitely better to stay onsite for a little bit than buying day passes.

Hopefully, by next year the hiccups from Colossalcon 2024 will be fixed or less prevalent. The no photos in the artist alley shouldn’t happen because it keeps artists honest and allows buyers to check and make sure they are supporting the real artist. Overall we had a fun time and would like to come back next year.



Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!