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Monday, May 2, 2011

And I'm home

7 hours later and we made it. And I made it with very little motion sickness. I was able to get some reading and other work done on the long ride home.

So re-cap

Con: Anaheim Comic Con hosted by Wizard World
Previous comic con experience includes SDCC and Wondercon. WWACC is fairly well organized, especially considering they put on CC's throughout the year. I was a bit disappointed in the programming schedule. I didn't put any effort into catching any of the panels. Albeit, I was working most of the con, but if I needed to I could've have left to watch a panel. Of course, I worked on the costume contest "panel" and thought we did a decent job and had a lot of fun doing it. I heard the panel with Dan Fogler was pretty good. I did NOT like the layout of this con, but I don't know if that Wizard World's fault or the convention center. I missed not getting a badge. Instead wristbands were used.

Venue: Anaheim Convention Center
WWACC was only held in Hall A of the con center. So it felt kind of small. The initial dealings with the staff put them in high regard. We arrived late and they stayed open later to let us unload. However dealing with them during the set up of the booth and breaking down the booth left much to be desired. Basically it felt like they had forgotten about us.
Wifi: there is a "free" wifi channel however it's impossible to get on. Otherwise it's $99.95 per day if you're an exhibitor or $12.95 per day as an attendee.
Food: is what you'd expect. Drinks from $2.50 (coffee) - $3.75 (large fountain drink soda). Food available hot dogs, pizza, salad, and wraps $4.50-$9 ($11 for combos). Snacks available bagels, chips, candy average price $3.
Don't count on outlets being available. I couldn't find any to just use.
Parking-we paid $12 a day for parking, no in/out privileges unless you were an exhibitor and it was a load/unload day.
Disneyland! It's within walking distance. If you need a break from the con and have extra cash or year passes it's awesome.

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel-Irvine
A decent hotel with comfy beds. It's about a 20-30 minute drive away from the con. Usually traffic was in our favor. Parking is $15 a day for guests. While I checked out the gym and pool I didn't have a chance to utilize them, but they seemed nice enough. Don't ask me about rates and I didn't pay for the hotel. While a coffee maker is provided I was disappointed with not having some sort of fridge unit. Also the room was kind of small, the California King size bed pretty much took up the entire room. Finding the hotel was tricky as Google maps was wrong and the highways are a little wonky.

Food in general
By the Crowne Plaza Hotel-lots of nice restaurants in and around the hotel we didn't visit. I did however take note that there is an IHOP right across from the airport. And for fast food there was a Carl's Jr. (which we did eat at), a McDonald's, and a Starbucks pretty close by.
By Anaheim Convention Center-there is a Coco's and Tiffy's with just outside the con. There is also a food court (Baja Fresh, Submarina, Starbucks, S'Barro, and Just Grillin) inside the Hilton. The Marriott has a Pizza Hut and Starbucks inside their hotel.
Dowtown Disney and nearby: there are a ton of places to eat along the S. Harbor strip. This year we ate at La Brea Bakery Cafe and Rainforest in Downtown Disney and McDonald's and Denny's along Harbor Ave. I did see that there was a 24-hour Subway on the strip as well.
As a vegetarian I'm actually pretty easy going and could've easily lived off of bread and cheese. However I try to get in protein/veggies when I can. On that note I definitely recommend burritos from Baja Fresh. I did notice the Just Grillin offered a vegetarian burger and the Submarina offered a veggie sandwich, although I didn't try them. At La Brea I had the Rosemary Vegetable grilled panini and at Rainforest I ate the Rainforest Natural Burger. At the convention center I was able to find a portabello mushroom wrap for a meal.
As per usual I recommend packing snacks and food. This particular con didn't seem to bag check.

We were able to get discount Disney passes at the Hilton since we were con attendees. The single day passes weren't much cheaper but I did like the "Twilight" discount.
There is a UPS store in the Hilton and a FEDEx store in the Marriott. I love the Target on S. Harbor. Downtown Disney is a nice way to experience some Disney-ness for "free." Parking is free for the first 3 hours and then if you go to a sit down restaurant or the AMC downtown you get a validation for another 2 hours. Otherwise it's $6 an hour.
The best place I was able to find "free" Wifi was the McDonald's on S. Harbor right across from Disneyland.

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