Okay, so Open Registration for San Diego Comic Con has come and gone – and you didn’t get tickets. Now that the dust has settled and the tears have been shed, it’s time to figure out Plan B. Have you ever considered WonderCon? Don’t think of it as WonderCon vs Comic Con. And don’t think of it as a ‘consolation prize’ for failing to pick up SDCC badges. WonderCon is an awesome experience in it’s own right.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of disappointed potential con-goers out there who just aren’t able to score SDCC badges. With each passing year it seems like it’s harder and harder for people to get them. (If you were among the unlucky you aren’t alone – there have been times none of us even made it out of the waiting room.) A lot of people — myself included — have recommended that those of you who sadly aren’t headed to SDCC this year look into attending WonderCon instead.
WonderCon is put on by the same people who run SDCC. It’s just as fun but also a bit more laid back. And every year it seems to get better and better. So don’t be upset if you’re missing out on SDCC this year, here are some awesome reasons to attend WonderCon!
It’s basically SDCC Lite.
Unlike a lot of the different conventions around the country, WonderCon is one of the closest experiences you’ll get to “the real thing.” It’s put on by the same people as SDCC, so a lot of things look and feel very similar. WonderCon has all the same kind of great panels and cosplay opportunities you’d see at SDCC with an awesome exhibit hall to explore as well.
And because it’s run by the same people, they can rely on their pre-existing relationships with big name networks, publishers, and companies to draw in some big name talent. They come out each year to promote lesser-known shows and films hitting theaters before SDCC – and they bring the stars with them for panels and Q&As.
Things feel a whole lot less hectic.
Because WonderCon is a “smaller” convention than SDCC things feel a bit less crazy. One thing that just about anyone will tell you about SDCC is that it’s incredibly fun – but also really hectic. People are constantly moving, you have to queue up for basically everything, and there’s inevitably a lot of disappointment.
WonderCon still has a lot of people milling about, but it’s nothing like SDCC. There is no WonderCon equivalent to the Hall H or Ballroom 20 lines. You don’t have to line up at 2 AM and sleep outside to get in line for autographs. It generally feels like there are a lot more opportunities to get into panels and meet the people you want to meet. So the whole experience seems a lot more laid-back – especially for SDCC veterans.
WonderCon vs Comic Con: The badges and the accommodations are cheaper.
This is a big consideration for the budget conscious among us. SDCC is amazing – don’t get me wrong – but it’s also pricey. You can attend all three days of WonderCon for about the price of just two days at SDCC. That doesn’t even take into consideration the hotel and travel costs.
Granted, if you’re coming from outside of California there probably won’t be much of a difference in the cost between traveling to Wondercon vs Comic Con. The accommodations, though, are a lot cheaper for WonderCon. If you want to stay in a Downtown hotel for SDCC you will be paying at least $250 a night – and often closer to $300 a night – for four or more nights in a row. Yikes. But for WonderCon, there are convention hotels priced around $130. The savings add up!
WonderCon vs Comic Con: There’s way less pressure when it comes to getting to WonderCon.
Another big plus is that you don’t have to deal with a hellish open registration process or Hotelpocaylpse either if you decide to attend WonderCon. Registration opens up each year usually around January and continues until they sell out. There are no waiting rooms. You just hop online and register!
That isn’t to say the tickets stay available until the day of the convention, though. Previously, they have sold out of three-day badges in early March and single Saturday badges sold out before that sometime shortly after SDCC open registration. Still, there are badges and hotels aplenty available long after they go on sale.
Now is really a great time to become a WonderCon regular.
The convention grows each and every year and there is still a lot of room to grow. Give it a few more years and WonderCon could easily become as big and awe inspiring as SDCC or New York Comic-Con.
So, have we convinced you yet?
After striking out with SDCC and with the convention still in California (bonus – it’s closer to Disney Land than SDCC!), it still might not be practical for people to make it. That’s fine — WonderCon happens every year! With SDCC badges as hard to come by as they are WonderCon will be just as great an alternative next year as it will be this year.
And you can start consciously planning for it next year! Get things set up now so you don’t miss out.
We’ll see you there!