We’ve all heard people say that WonderCon reminds them of what San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) used to be like a few years ago. This year, I finally decided to evaluate this assertion myself. I’ve been going to SDCC for probably 7 years and even during that short time, I have seen the crowds grow exponentially. I remember being able to get into any panel I wanted and walking through the exhibit halls without wanting to scream. Here are just a few of my observations:
Programming: I was quite impressed. Considering the fact that it’s way up in San Francisco and in April, the selection of panels was fairly comprehensive. There was seldom a time when I had to worry about two huge panels being scheduled at the same time. I was able to get enjoy Green Lantern, Cowboys & Aliens and Doctor Who. In comparison, I was so stressed out by the crowds and scheduling at SDCC that I only ended up attending one panel the whole time. There were often 7 different rooms with various events going on at WonderCon. Admittedly, that’s a whole lot less than SDCC’s 20 or so, but not too shabby. I was also ecstatic with the programming since 3 of the League of Ladies members were featured on panels this year!
Exhibit Halls: I wasn’t very impressed with the exhibit halls. There were some fun booths, of course, but the halls were just as crowded as at SDCC and there was a lot less variety. I think some of the other League members may disagree with me since there were after different things than I was. I was terribly disappointed with the lack of good Steampunk merchandise. I was all ready to spend, but I couldn’t find anything that I wanted. The HBO booth was frakkin awesome though since you could actually get your picture taken on the Game of Thrones throne and then use a supplied ipad to upload it directly to FB or Twitter.
Food: There are a few on-site food locations, but there were very long lines, so I didn’t bother. I did hear from others that it was quite overpriced. However, right across the street is a food court! There were only a few types of food offered, but what I had was delicious and they are expanding things right now, so by next year, there should be plenty of options. There are also about 20 restaurants within 4 blocks, so you can explore to your heart’s content.
Location: The Moscone Center is located smack dab in the middle of gorgeous San Francisco! It’s a really nice part of town with tons of shopping and a lot of upscale stores, restaurants, etc. If you walk across the street by the food court, there is a lovely park where people hang out in the grass and look at the gorgeous view and the waterfalls.
Hotels: I don’t know exactly how many hotels are located within 4 or 5 blocks of WonderCon, but it felt like about 50. You can get a really cheap room extremely close by at the last minute. For those of you who wage war every year to get a room in San Diego, you will know what a gift this is.
To wrap things up, I will definitely be making the trek up to San Francisco next year. I love being able to get a look at a few of the big summer movies and exploring the big city with my fellow geeks. Fun times all around. Hope to see you all there next year!