Updated: Apr 4, 2022
WonderCon 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center was this weekend April 1-3rd.
I decided to dip my toe back into a pop culture convention for the first time since San Diego Comic Con in July 2019. I wanted to see what it was like and maybe get a preview of what Star Wars Celebration might be like at the same location just a few months down the road.
It was a bit surreal at first but seeing some familiar faces quickly reminded me how much I missed these things. WonderCon has always been a cosplayers dream convention with beautiful space outside to take pictures and have group shots. However, I really didn't feel like taking a lot of pictures, In fact I almost left the cameras in the hotel room to enjoy it.
In the shadow of all things pandemic related I was curious how attendance would be but more importantly how things would be run with restrictions that are still in place. Masks were required as well as either being vaccinated or showing a negative test result to get your "covid" wrist band. The very first thing I noticed were many vendors and convention center staff (not event staff) were not masked as well as all law enforcement. fire dept and officials not associated with the convention staff I witnessed. There is not an indoor mask mandate in California right now so I was not sure how enforcement was going to be handled but generally inside the majority were masked while walking around. Outside you were free to do whatever you wanted and most were without for pictures, cosplay, etc. My hotel was about 80-20% with the majority not masking. So if this is an issue for you I guess you should avoid large gatherings still.
The attendance was the lowest I have seen in a decade or more and hotels were easy to get and cheap in comparison to what we used to pay. I booked last minute and was at the Hilton Convention Center with it's side entrance to the con.
Once you were in a panel room it all felt pretty much normal, no spaced seating, same lines and all the panelists took off there masks so you could understand them. I was able to check in on three of them, The Her Universe Fashion Show, Kevin Eastman and Craig Miller who had his amazing stories from Lucasfilm.
So I did it, I returned to fandom and dusted the cobwebs off. With a little luck we all will be getting back to the things we love.