Wizard World has always been a con that I have been envious of. It has the stars, the panels, and just the right coolness factor. I have been wanting to attend this con for years so finally being able to attend this year had me smiling so big I thought my face was going to break.
Most of the people I knew that had gone to previous Wizard World Cons had just beamed at how awesome it was. It wasn’t just the celebrities but it was the atmosphere of the entire convention. I could not wait for the day to get here soon enough.
When I arrived on Friday the atmosphere was HOT. Sacramento was like an oven and we were the food being cooked. The convention center was pleasantly air conditioned and the vibe was also really cool so they went hand and hand. The staff that greeted you right away was very nice and knew what they were doing so the service was fast. I knew right away this was going to be a good convention. There was so much to look forward too.
This is a huge selling point for this con. They know how to book the celebrities man. Kate Beckinsale, Val Kilmer, Micheal Rooker, Jon Header, Eliza Taylor and the Buffy quartet of James Marsters, Emma Caufield, Charisma Carpenter and Nicholas Brendan. That’s only a few of the celebrities that I came in contact with this weekend.
If you look at all the other cons Wizard World has throughout the states you’ll notice how impressive their lineup gets. If you want to go to a con just for the celebrity access this is the con. Not only do you get to get up and close with your favorite TV or movie actor but you get to actually talk to them. Most are so nice that you get to go up to their booth and just start a conversation with them. Micheal Rooker and Nicholas Brendan break out all the hugs in the world for fans. I was only able to catch a small glimpse of Kate Beckinsale but it was completely worth it. She is gorgeous!
As a Buffy fanatic I got to live out a lifelong dream of mine by meeting Emma Caulfield, Charisma Carpenter, James Marsters and Nicholas Brendan also known as Anya, Cordelia, Spike, and Xander! All were fantastic and amazing people. They gave me a life long memory that I will cherish for the rest of my days.
This is where the convention soared with their celebrities. The panels were so good. Since the exhibit floor wasn’t the biggest it was easy to get bored so you really needed other things to keep you entertained and a place to sit down after the constant walking. The highlight panels had to be Kate Beckinsale which I sadly missed due to hosting my own panel but I heard it was really good.
Micheal Rooker VS. the audience was really fun. He has such a way of just capturing your attention and making you laugh at everything he says. His laugh is contagious and he truly is the life of the party. My favorite part of the panel is when a baby began to make a fuss, he ran over and asked the child what’s the matter. It was adorable and hilarious all in one.
The Buffy Slays 20 panel was something I could check off my bucket list. It was so great to see them all up there together laughing and joking. They had some great stories to tell from their set days. Just sitting there watching their chemistry come alive again was magnificent.
The panels are all intimate and great. If you feel brave enough you can get up and ask a question to your favorite actor. This is harder to do at bigger cons so that’s another reason why this con is so special.
The Sacramento Convention Center is not a big convention center. It’s just the right size for a convention like this. Panel rooms are upstairs and the exhibit floor is downstairs. The Ballroom is on the total opposite side of the center which can be a pain to walk to a from if you want to go to panels in the 200’s rooms. But if you have ever been to San Diego Comic Con you’ll find this walk not troubling at all.
Panel rooms were very well kept and were actually kind of awesome. The Ballroom is just awesome. If you sit in the center or near center the panel is very enjoyable. But if you sit more off to the sides is harder to see the stage. Other panel rooms are very close together so you don’t have to worry about missing certain panels if they are back to back.
The Exhibit floor is pretty neat. It’s small so you don’t have to worry about missing anything. But most people will spend their time in the celebrity area trying to get a glance at their favorite. Be advised that the ticket booth for autographs and photo ops clog up quickly so plan accordingly. It would be way better if you bought your stuff online so you’re good to go when you get there and don’t have to wait in line.
There is a Starbucks in the venue but be cautious it gets really busy throughout the day. It’s best to get there early enough to get yourself the caffeine you need to get through the day.
All the staff was amazing. Even the staff on the social media page. They responded quickly and were just incredibly nice. You could ask the most basic question and they answered with ease.
The volunteers were a whole different ball game. It was a hit and miss with some of these folk. Some were so helpful and nice and others had attitude and didn’t care. When I was in line getting an autograph this poor little girl had a selfie ticket she bought at the booth but apparently, they were printing out as “autograph” and the volunteer wasn’t made aware until it was too late. She made the poor girl cry and get in the back of the line. That was probably the worst thing to happen all weekend.
I had purchased a VIP badge in order to get my autographs and photo ops done more efficiently. If you have a VIP badge you are allowed the front of the line access to autographs and photo ops. Most of the volunteers did not even care. No one said anything. Only one god send lady dressed in all black made sure that stuff got done properly. She would check to see if you were a VIP and get you to the front. I loved her. The other volunteers and booth workers were oblivious.
My advice is if you are VIP even though you don’t want to you are going to have to be that jerk that flashes your status to get in the front. I’m not that kind of person so I think I’ll just save my money next time.
In review, if you are looking for a con with amazing celebrities THIS IS THE CON FOR YOU. The exhibitors and other panels are just the cherries on top. They have just amazing activities such as the DC and Marvel cosplay meet ups or karaoke night with Nicholas Brendan! They even have Sci-Fi speed dating to find that special nerdy someone! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My favorite moment from the entire con was watching two little humans a boy and a girl (couldn’t have been more that seven years old) wait in line for Eliza Taylor. They were jumping up and down and literally just vibrating with excitement. When they got up to her table Eliza’s face just lit up. Watching them take a picture with her was just the cutest thing I will ever see. This is what these cons are all about. Fandom and connecting with your fandom. The energy of comic cons are very unique but certain cons end up being more special than others. This con is certainly very special.
I want to say a BIG thank you to Wizard World for all the fun and allowing us to host a panel. I can not wait to come back next year and I hope all of you will join me!
Make sure to check out the Wizard World site and see if they are holding a convention in a city near you!