Another year of Anime Expo came and went. This year was something different. Well, every year it’s different. I’ve been going since 2008 and it’s only getting bigger and crazy crowded. Ever since having the kids, my husband and I only go 1 day instead of all 4 days. We tried doing the usual 4 days but it’s just so draining; we couldn’t hang. This year though, my husband wanted to go 2 days instead of 1. In this case, it’s cheaper buying a 4 day badge instead of two 1 day badges. Since the kids are only 2 and 4 years old, they’re free but they still need a badge for entry but this year was different.
Registration was so close yet so far away😩
We bought our badges past the home delivery deadline so we had to make line to pick up our badges before going inside the convention. There was a big sign that said registration and passed that were lines that said ‘badge pick-up’. We asked 3 different staff members where the line started for ‘badge pick-up’, because there were lines everywhere and we didn’t want to waste time on the wrong line. After being in line for 1 1/2 hours, turns out that we were in line for registration, not for badge pick up. We had to go make line yet again somewhere else and after 30 minutes, we got our badges. We asked the staff member regarding our kid badges and he said we had to make line for registration to receive them. No way we were going to do that so we took a risk and just headed to yet another line to get inside the convention center.
1 hour later in line and we were not even close to going inside. It was 1pm and the sun finally came out after a cloudy morning. There was no shade where we were standing. Luckily, I’m guessing a higher-up AX staff member, saw that we had kids and directed us inside a parking lot and entered the convention thru the back. If it wasn’t for her, I think we would have been waiting another hour or 2. Oh! And they didn’t even check if the kids had badges.
Finally inside, we checked out the Exhibit Hall and then later the Entertainment Hall and Artist Alley. It was crowded but we still managed to enjoy ourselves.
We bought some stuff but that’s it. Nothing crazy like previous years. Everything was packed and with a stroller, it hard to navigate thru. I personally wouldn’t take one but Link is still young and gets tired of walking and still takes naps, plus! He’s heavy. I can’t carry him all day. The stroller also helps carrying snacks and Zelda uses it as well. This was only day 1 and I was so tired already. We didn’t bother checking out any panels since I don’t think Link would settle down unless he’s napping.
The second day, it was only me and my husband. We wanted to check out the dance inside Lounge 21 since last year was fun. After seeing the line to get inside (which was long), we decided to check out the beer festival for a bit, which was located outside. I liked how they decorated and they did have mixed drinks besides beer. I was hoping the line would die down to get inside the Lounge (it never did😑) As long as I can remember of going to Anime Expo, it’s always hot around this time. This year though, it was the coldest 4th of July weekend I can recall. So the beer festival was nice but I was freezing. Not even drinking was making me warm. Eventually we left and decided to hit up a bar walking distance from the convention. Day 2 done!
Day 3, we went dressed up as Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Daisy! We got there around 4pm but we didn’t have to make line to get inside which was good. We went again to the Entertainment Hall, Exhibit Hall, and Artist Alley but we only stuck around for a bit. It was super crowded with people. The Artist Alley was the worst. I was hardly moving since I had the stroller. I wanted to check out everything but it was so bad in there. I was paying more attention on not hitting someone with the stroller. Around 8pm, we decided to check out a video room for about an hour before the kids started getting a little rowdy. We called it a day but it was fun. Zelda loved wearing her costume and so did Link.
We were planning on going the last day but in the end, we think 3 days was enough. I was beyond tired. I’m surprised we went for 3 days . I’m honestly happy with just 1 day now but it was very nice of my husband to buy 4 day badges.
So like every year, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly. Everything can’t be perfect but we try to make the most of it.
Such amazing costumes =^.^=
The good: Anime heaven! You’re surround by people that love the same thing as you do. After going for 11 years, it has expanded from just being about anime. Now you see pop culture stuff, Disney, video game, super hero and other random stuff. It’s wonderful seeing the costumes and how creative people get.
The bad: Lines!!!! No one likes them but they’re there to keep order(in some way). It’s getting crowded as the years go. I remember when it was at the Anaheim Convention Center, then at Long Beach and now where it’s been for quite some time, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Badges would never sell out before and now for the past 2 or 3 years, 4 day badges sell out. At least now they offer to mail your badge if you buy it ahead of time, which I plan to do next time and avoid making line for 2 hours.
The ugly: Don’t rely on just one staff members info. Unfortunately, they’re not all on the same page and it’s understandable but frustrating. Most of these people are volunteering and only know the basics. I’ve been going for 11 years and you think I would know the ropes around the place but nope! They change it up every year. Badge pick up/registration was a mess. The previous location, which was next to the convention, I think they were improving there and they decided this year to move it across the convention which was bad. I honestly think people would cut in. There wasn’t a proper exit. We had to pass thru a couple of lines just to get out of there.
Overall, we try to make the best of it and look on the bright side. It’s still a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to next year, Anime Expo 2020! For now, I’m going to relax for a bit because this weekend was insane.