WonderCon is truly a great show. Nestled in the heart of Anaheim and adjacent to Disneyland, it’s a great show and is high quality. Known as Comic-Con’s little sister, WonderCon has filled to capacity (40-50k+) for the past few years. It’s been a great alternative show if you were not able to get a SDCC badge for this year. With all of the quality and less of the craziness, it’s also ideal if this is your first comic convention experience. However, Friday and Sunday tickets are the only days left so buy one before they sell out onsite. While relatively easier to manage than it’s behemoth older sibling, there are still a few things to consider before you arrive at the Anaheim Convention Center.
1. Find Sidekicks
As I encourage in my Comic-Con related posts, I want to challenge you to make connections while at WonderCon. Meet as many people as possible, chat it up in line, or while sitting at a panel room. I’ve been to many conventions and the Comic-Con community is some of the friendliest. Not only will you make new friends, but you might make a connection that can change your career, hobby, or passions. Make sure to have business cards on hand and always trade social media info. Most of my significant career advancements have come through casual encounters at these shows. Don’t waste the opportunity. Plus, if you are single, this is a safe environment to engage in some pleasant conversations too!
2. Cosplay Circle
WonderCon is a fabulous cosplay convention. The Anaheim Convention Center has an awesome plaza & fountain area where a significant amount of the cosplay community hangs out. Sure they will also be inside but the serious artists will be hanging around out front for a stretch. Unlike it’s big brother convention, this central location makes it idea for pics, giant group photo ops, and finding complimentary costumes to partner with for the day. Whether you are a cosplayer, attendee, or photographer, plan on spending some of your day out in front.
3, Comfortable Shoes
Pretty self explanatory. Good shoes are a must since you will be doing a lot of standing, shuffling, and walking. Guys not the time to break in new high heels.
4. The Crowd
Even though WonderCon sells to near capacity, it’s has not reached the mass frenzy as Comic-Con has, For the most part, it will feel full but you won’t have that ‘near death crushing experiencing’ during your day. You also won’t need to line up for most panels longer than an hour or so- with many being able to walk in at anytime.. The main room, the Arena, will be the busiest hosting many of the WB properties. With the Arena holding thousands, it should handle WB’s San Andreas and Mad Max comfortably. General rule for WonderCon is to check into your desired panel about an hour ahead of time.
5. WonderCon App
Don’t want to deal with the clumsiness of a program book? Check out the WonderCon App for show info, Program Schedule, Exhibitor lists, maps, to set your schedule, engage socially, and more! If you are planning on attending for all 3 days, I definitely encourage you to download it for just the program schedule alone. Go to iTunes and search Comic-Con International.
6. Food Trucks and Restaurants
Whatever convention you go to, food is always an issue. Fortunately, WonderCon has some pretty decent options. One thing that the San Diego Gaslamp space can’t offer is a space for easily accessible food trucks. A fleet of 12 trucks will roll in for the weekend offering a wide range of food. A couple of tips though; Eat lunch early or you will be waiting in line out front for a while. So around 11 or 11:30 at the latest. Also, the two adjacent hotels also have food options. The Hilton has a little food court and the Marriott has a few restaurants- the Pizza Hut at the Marriott is the fastest meal I’ve had there since their pizzas are ready to go.
7. Geeks Keep’in It Hot [Sat 3p, Elite Ballroom, Marriott]
Remember not to miss my panel! Professional nerds square off in an epic trivia battle of the ages while discussing the hottest pop culture topics, including racial stereotyping, objectification, gender-bending, casting news, and more! Spanning comics, TV, film, and web, this discussion will be hilarious and outrageous, and will challenge your perspective on culture. Moderated by Tony B Kim (Crazy4ComicCon.com), this superpowered team will include Amy Ratcliffe (writer), Chris Gore (comedian), Ivy Doom Kitty (cosplayer), Andre Meadows (comedian), Rachel Lara (actress), Sean Long (toy professional), Tracy Doering (writer), and Emily Ong (cosplayer, Fashionista).
Check out the entire WonderCon Program Schedule and their Quick Guide for complete WonderCon info. Don’t forget that the Elite Ballroom (Marriott) has been added as a new offsite location. Hope to see you there!