Wonder Con in Anaheim is one of the best con experiences out there! It’s not as crowded and insane as San Diego Comic Con while still being large, well-attended, and full of variety.
One of the biggest perks for me is that the Anaheim location means there is more of a Disney influence than most cons, however it comes without the hefty price tag of a D23 admission. $81 for a one day ticket? Ouch!
So, should you start planning your trip to Wonder Con?
The only downside is that Wonder Con doesn’t draw the biggest stars the way that D23 or San Diego Comic Con does. Don’t get me wrong, there are still stars to dazzle you if you know who will be there and make an effort to find them. I ran into both Nichelle Nichols and Sydney Blake. I heard that Sophia Loren was also seen shopping.
One of the best parts of every con you attend is wandering through Artists’ Alley. This is my budget buster. It’s just too easy to find amazing stuff! It’s really not fair that some folks are that talented. Bring cash for this section. While most artists accept cards, you can often strike informal bargains if you’re paying in cash. Artists will often also sign their work for free. Ask about custom commission work, too.
Hamilton poster created with song lyrics by Line By Line Posters
You can also find authors autographing their latest work. I found my all time favorite author and her co-author/illustrator husband, Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. They are one of the most famous husband and wife duos in science fiction-fantasy writing today. Mrs. Lackey was gracious enough to autograph several of her older titles, as well. All of the authors in the autographing section were as nice as could be and happily took pictures with their fans. Keep a close eye on the convention schedule for them, though. They don’t do announcements to warn you they’re starting.
Panels! Panels are an awesome part of the con experience! You get to interact with other fans of the things you like, hear information from experts, and get sneak peaks into new things. I had the joy of attending the Wonder Con panel on Disneybounding. My good friend @Radgeekyrose was one of the panelists. They provided a great presentation on the history of bounding, the current trends, and how to get started in bounding from your own closet. Check the panel schedule on the site in advance to determine your schedule. Also, check to see if you need to specific tickets to enter. You’ll want to show up early to line up for your panel. The more popular ones will be crowded, and you won’t be allowed in once they reach their room limit.
Sneak peaks at new things! Cons are famous for offering sneak peaks at new comic titles, video games, and products of all types. Below is a slide show of some of the products I saw, including the new Clue comic book series, the remastered Disney Afternoon game series, and picture records and turntables from Disney Music Emporium.
The Disney Afternoon Collection booth even featured fake bedrooms set up to take you back in time to the 90s.
Probably the most visible face of any con are its cosplayers. At every con, cosplayers will find a location for photos. Professional photographers will set up here to build their portfolios, and the cosplayers will flock together to turn the area into a Wonderland of characters.
You can also approach cosplayers on the floor of the con. Remember, cosplay is not consent. They don’t owe you their time and attention just because they exist. Politely ask to take pictures, and they will most often enthusiastically participate. However, if they refuse for any reason, you need to respect their decision and move on.