Ah, Fan Expo. The costumes, the make-up, the dancing, the mountains of Japanese snacks, the awkward in line fan arguments, the hordes of fangirls and fanboys gushing over their favourite voice actors, internet stars, big-screen thespians…
Truly, this is Geekvana.
From testing out the latest games to posing with Jabba the Hutt, there’s something here for everyone. Here, horror, Anime, Sci Fi, comics, video games, card games and LARPing join forces to create a magical 4-day experience that no one will ever forget.
Some might argue that it’s not COMICON, it’s not Japan and that it doesn’t have the biggest or shiniest guest list. And, hey, maybe they’re right.
But, do you know what?
All those people gathered under the same roof of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre have more than enough spirit, energy and heart to make up for it.
So, grab your Leaf-village headband, slap on your Freddy glove, put on that Starfleet-issue red shirt uniform and don’t forget those Night Elf level 6 ears (you know they’re in your closet somewhere,) because we are going gluten-free hunting at Fan Expo, baby!
First stop, the top-level food court.
While there is a Pizza Pizza, a Crepe de Licious and a hot Dog Stand, only the Cashew and Clive has Coke beverages. For those who are new to the Celiac world, several coke products don’t contain gluten. (However, you’ll need to email the company for an up-to-date list.)
Also, don’t look to Batman for help, either. Turns out, he’s fine with allowing insane costumed villains within city limits, but not Celiacs.
Downstairs, there are two separate food areas. The one near Artist Alley has Nacho Cheese flavour Doritos…
…and that’s it.
On another note, near the convention centre, there is a Panago Pizza which has a gluten-free menu. Also, there is a Starbucks and a few convenience stores.
In addition, if you’re considering staying at a hotel or b&b, you should know that most hotel room kitchenettes in Toronto are not cleaned properly which means that there is no way to safely prepare or store food. Also, the majority of servers and cooks in restaurants -both in and outside your hotel- don’t know how to keep orders gluten-free.
Considering the lack of safe food options, Fan Expo may want to consider adding a dedicated gluten-free food truck or an allergen-free food stand to their list of food options to make things easier for fans with special dietary needs.
So, how do you navigate conventioning with special dietary requirements? Let me know in the comments section and enjoy the slideshow.
See you all next year!