WonderCon 2018 was a little different from previous WonderCons. Keep in mind that every year you attend a convention, it will change, little by little, for better or worse. It is these changes, however, that keep conventions fresh, interesting, and keep the discussion open of what convention goers want. Unlike years past, Wondercon featured a little different selection of merchandise. While there was less exclusive merchandise from major booths, there was a larger stock of the merchandise that was available at the convention. The official Artist Alley was smaller than years past, but Small Press was larger. There were less official fan organizations, but the autograph lottery made it much easier to obtain celebrity, author, and artist signatures. There was less variety in cosplay than years past, but the cosplay we did see was very current and popular. The fan art for sale was much less varied in its fandoms, but there were some very fun pins, stickers, and prints available from new and returning artists.
The Terror offsite event was a great first attempt at an off site event for a convention that has never previously had them. We are looking forward to potential future expansions for off site attractions in the future. There is a lot of underutilized space on the North side of the Anaheim Convention Center that we’d love to see more foot traffic for, whether it’s for food trucks (and placing Off Site in their current location) or adding more Off Site events. Additionally, we loved the inclusion of after-hours events at the surrounding hotels that took on a more “adult” tone, allowing for more networking and socializing.
To The Future!
With the close of WonderCon 2018, we were gifted with the WonderCon 2019 dates to start looking ahead to planning for next year (March 29–31 at the Anaheim Convention Center!). While you don’t need to spend the entire year planning ahead for WonderCon, it’s definitely worth it to start getting a basic plan shaped out to attend next year!
Just like San Diego Comic-Con, you’ll need to have a Comic-Con Member ID account to be able to purchase your tickets for the convention. WonderCon tickets will usually go on sale around 5 months ahead of time, so expect to see the badge sale open up around November of 2018. Hotels will follow shortly after, probably around December 2018. If you buy your badges before February, they will mail them directly to you, which saves time when you arrive. Unlike SDCC, though, these sales are a lot more relaxed and don’t require the same waiting room process. This being taken into consideration, don’t sit on these sales. Hotels start to sell out of certain rooms as early as January (especially those near the convention center), so keep that in mind if you really have your heart set on a certain type of room in a certain hotel. WonderCon badges will start to sell out in March, so if you want all three days, you’ll need to make sure to buy your tickets early.
WonderCon is a full three day event, so plan to take off Friday (it’s the quietest day, and a great way to get a head start on the more popular events). If you are traveling from out of the area, you’ll want to make sure to take off Thursday and Monday as travel days. For 2019 we do get the additional benefit of WonderCon falling outside of the Spring holiday season, unlike years past when it’s fall over Easter and Passover.