Those familiar with Disneyland in Anaheim, California, may be aware that the park is host to many unofficial gatherings. It’s reputation as a local’s park makes it the perfect place for large groups to meet up. Early last month, I went to Mega64 Gamedays. 2016 marked the 8th year where fans of the Internet Video Game Comedy Group (yes those exist), Mega64, congregate at the “Happiest Place on Earth” with attendance reaching a group size of about 500 people.
What is Mega64?
To understand what Gamedays is, you need to know that it stems from the dedicated fan community of Mega64. Mega64 is an internet comedy group formed by Rocco Botte, Derrick Acosta, and Shawn Chatfield. Fresh out of high-school, it started as a short lived public access TV show. Their popularity exploded through the rise of YouTube as a media sharing site. Early videos had them dressing up as video game characters (or Tetris blocks) and recording the reactions of the public. Since then they have made videos for many of the largest game companies and interacted with many of the biggest names in the game industry. A weekly podcast has also been a mainstay for their loyal community of fans, recently passing episode 400.
What is Gamedays?
This was my first time to both Gamedays and Disneyland, along with anywhere in the US farther west than Pennsylvania. Making the long journey across the continental United States was a bit nerve-racking for me, it was my first time traveling alone. However, it was nice to know when I got there that many had traveled even father. I met those who had traveled from the UK, Australia, Canada, and almost every part of the US (It’s a large country!).
The first meetup of the day was at 12 noon near the Matterhorn. It was easy to tell who was with the group because of the abundant Mega64 apparel. From then on, your Gamedays experience was up to you. Multiple big groups formed to ride various attractions with members of Mega64; however, many split off into smaller groups, which is what I did. What made Gamedays so great was the way it introduced you to so many new people you shared something in common with. By chance, I had met up with people there for Gamedays earlier in the morning. I also had hung out with those who I had only talked to online previously.
The best parts of Gamedays were the unexpected moments. Upon gathering in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle for the annual group photo, a Mary Poppins show appeared at the same time, making for what must have been the largest audience it has ever had. It was also quite a joy to watch real Brits who had come from the UK hear the awful British accents being done during the show.
Gamedays Doesn’t End til’ the Park Closes
After a scheduled meetup at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country,many left, but that’s where the real craziness began. The now smaller group made it easier to have a more personal experience with those remaining. The two highlights for me were the group Vinylmation Unboxing and trading. A group of at least 100 people yelling over $20 toys got the attention of security. We were asked if we were “trading weed.”
Before everyone said their goodbyes near the entrance of Main Street, a group viewing of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln capped off the night. Those Cast Members will now have a story, and who knows, maybe it will become a legend. There is no better way to celebrate the 16th president’s legacy than waving toy gaffi sticks in the air.
(Photos from Zack Kaplan’s Personal Collection, ©Mega64)
Zack Kaplan may be situated far away from a Disney Park, but even in the Disney-less Massachusetts his passion burns strong. You can talk to him about Disney, video games, or philosophy over on Twitter @SteelDiver