It’s the Monday after WonderCon Anaheim and we’re thoroughly exhausted from the fun 3 days of conventioneering and more! How are you feeling? Have you had your coffee today yet? Well grab that cup and let’s dive in!
We always love heading down to Anaheim for WonderCon and treat it like a mini-vacation, even though Anaheim is not too far from where we are. It’s a nice way to unwind, be nerdy, and see people that you may not have seen since that last convention!
One thing we always love taking our time to search and look through is the exhibition hall, which was larger than ever before this year. Taking up an expanse of halls within the convention center, there were so many things for fans of all types to get their hands on and see up close and personal. Some of our favorite booths included the Capcom booth, which always looks so cool and interactive for the fans. The booth this year was a Monster Hunter Four Ultimate theme, and you could see convention attendees relaxing in the booth and playing their game of choice. The SuperFight booth was fun to stop by and look through the game decks, as well as have a quick round of play with other attendees! We had a battle with someone: A Girl Scout who really had to pee and was drunk vs. Thor who was made of lava and could breathe fire. In the end, the Girl Scout won! If you’ve never heard of SuperFight, head to their website now and check it out!
The Artist Alley this year was a force to be reckoned with! There were so many talented artists selling their art, crafts, and just all around awesome nerdy gear. We picked up an awesome Godzilla vs. Pacific Rim art print, a great Pokemon coffee tumbler, and these adorable earrings (I cannot for the life of me remember what of!)
While we did not get to go to as many panels as we originally intended to (see our Programming Highlights,) we tried to see at least something! We were in line for the “Big Hero 6: Art of the Story” panel but left to meet some friends, were able to see the “Anti-Heroes” panel, and finished out the night with the “Fairy Dust: LGBTQ Disney Fandom” panel.
Cosplay was big draw this year at WonderCon, as it continually grows in popularity and more attendees bring their cosplay to the convention for all to see. Everywhere we looked we saw cosplayers, ranging from all the Harley Quinn’s you could ever imagine to fully armored Big Hero 6 teams (they looked awesome!). From DC to Marvel, Walking Dead, all things Disney and this awesome Agent Peggy Carter, you could find someone in cosplay wandering the convention grounds.
With the newest announcement that WonderCon would be moving from Anaheim and the Anaheim Convention Center to Los Angeles for 2016, we have to throw our two cents into the ring. While the Los Angeles Convention Center may have more space, there are a few hurdles that may come in the way of guests attending the convention.
First, you have the Los Angeles traffic, which is always bad throughout downtown and the area surrounding the convention center. Have you ever tried maneuvering around the L.A. Live area (right next to LACC) on a Friday night? It’s difficult. Yes, there is the Metro as an option to get to and from the convention, but not everyone prefers taking the subway around Los Angeles.
Second you have the lack of close hotels. In our experience with staying in the hotels nearby for conventions such as Anime Expo, the best way to get from a downtown hotel to the convention center is by shuttle. Walking is something that you can definitely do, but hotel options such as the Omni, Westin, and Sheraton range from 1-2 miles away. Plus, LA blocks aren’t the smallest distances to cross.
Third, and quite possibly the most important factor, is the crowd capacity. As conventions continue to grow in popularity, the crowds are becoming more and more a challenge to attendees. The Los Angeles Convention Center can hold quite a hefty amount of people, but at what cost? Our minds immediately focus on Anime Expo in 2014. Huge daunting crowds converged upon the convention center and made the experience a hellish one. Lines were wrapped in and out of corridors, extending out into the Los Angeles heat. Attendees were suffering from heat exhaustion while unable to go anywhere. While the heat may not be the factor for March/April, it can be hot standing in line in or out of costume with folks standing around you. Badge pickup for those who had pre-registered waited in lines that spanned an hour or more, while the on site badge purchasing took less than a few minutes for some. Panel rooms were full for hours, and the lines waiting outside were barely able to get in to see what they came to see. We hope that WonderCon has a plan in place to make sure something like this does not happen.
We definitely look forward to WonderCon next year, and we are curious to see how it fits in Los Angeles for 2016.