The Cosplay Train Express is heading to southern California!
July is an exciting time to be a geek, especially in southern California. This year, along with all the amazing events that happen in San Diego, a lucky number of people will get to be part of the Cosplay Train Express that will travel from Los Angeles to San Diego daily from July 21st to 24th. The experience will be hosted by Angry Goats Productions, which hosts various cosplay and pop culture related events. The idea is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! If I wasn’t already booked solid for that four-day period, I would seriously consider it myself. Regardless, I may wander over to where the train will be stationed to check it out myself!
I was lucky enough to be able to chat with Ray Jelley, the President and Executive producer of Angry Goats Productions LLC, and learn more about what inspired this idea.
What inspired this unique idea?
In December of 2012 while traveling on vacation with my wife and business partner, the topic of fan conventions came up. Just having attended one in California the week previously, we discussed how the growing trend and business model for fan conventions appeared for them to consistently get larger and larger. What used to be a gathering of like-minded fans with the celebrities they adore, has turned into – in some cases – one big blur with the hopes of an autograph and a quick handshake. This realization then led us to designing something that was unique and more intimate for both fans and celebrities.
Have you ever done anything like this before?
Being event producers and nerds ourselves, we came to the conclusion that what fans like us were really searching for was an amazing experience. So we then searched for unique and intimate venues to produce these events at. Selecting private luxury railcars and chartering them for our Cosplay Train Express has taken nearly two years to develop. And its big sister Cosplay Cruises has taken just over three years to develop. So after starts and stops like any major project they are both ready for launch.
With the addition of celebrity guests this seems like part mobile convention, part party. Would that be an accurate description?
Not exactly. For our “Railers” as we call them, the Cosplay Train Express (CTE) provides an immersive, intimate, and all-inclusive experience, on the way to a special event. It could be down to the wonderful San Diego Comic-Con or to our Cosplay Cruise for the ultimate “rail and sail” adventure. But a resounding YES to the party element question of course!
Speaking of which, we are converting one of the privately owned luxury railcars into TRAXX Celebrity Lounge. Who knows, this could be the world’s first rolling night club!
How many people will be able to be part of the Cosplay Train each day?
Depending on rail traffic and the number of private cars allowed by Amtrak at one time, our attendee count could be 100 to 300 guests and 20 to 25 celebrities and VIPs at any given time.
There are multiple themed passes for the train, including wizard focused tickets and a science fiction focused ticket. What sets these different ticket types apart? What kind of unique experience does each offer?
Great question. As I mentioned earlier, our events are immersive, so when designing the theme for each railcar, our event innovation team pooled from multiple fandoms for each experience. Thus lovers of magic and wizards will feel right at home in our Wizard Express car. The same holds true for fantasy, sci-fi, and our comic book themed cars. In select railcars there are also limited passes available for our second level “Sky Dome” area of the train. This pass offers those “railers” breathtaking panoramic views. As far as your last question regarding the unique experiences for fans… it’s a well-guarded secret reserved only for those lucky enough to score one of our GOLDEN Rail Passes.
Thanks for chatting with us!
As a special thank you to our readers, the team at the Cosplay Train Express have offered a Buy One, Get One 50% Off Coupon! Just use the following code and check out their event!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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