Every year, for the past 4 or so years, Wizard World has come to Sacramento. The first couple of years were great and so much so that Nerdy Boy Scott and myself had considered buying stocks in the company. Last year, 2016, when we went we felt that the event seemed smaller. There were less booths, less people, and less big names. We still, however, had a great time. We saw some great panels and began getting things for our first cosplays. Despite last year seeming smaller we were still excited and had a great time. Wizard World is a small scale version of Comic Con that allows locals in cities all across the country to experience the culture. This year felt different. This year was different.
The first bit of Wizard World Sacramento this year that was different was that there seemed to be less cosplayers. There were still cosplayers and some fantastic ones at that but they just seemed to be fewer. That may also be a result of the next major difference which is that there were far less people attending than usual. The first couple of years I went I was astounded by the number of people there. It seemed wall to wall that there were swarms of people everywhere.
It was amazing this year to see how much empty space there was at the con. I didn't take any pictures of it this year but it seemed so small compared to years before. We were there both Friday and Saturday and while Fridays are always quite small Saturday didn't seem to offer much more. There just didn't seem to be the same excitement and the ambiance was poor. There just were not very many people there.
Not only was attendance seemingly lacking, but booths were as well. Perhaps it felt like this because there was so much open space because of the lack of attendees but there were also just huge spaces that were left vacant unlike in previous years. Much like with attendance, we felt like there nothing new from Friday to Saturday. We had seen all there was to see. Saturday only offered one real thing: Panels.
The panels made this event for us. We only attended two of the panels but there were fantastic. We attended the Charmed panel featuring Holly Marie Combs (Piper) and Brian Krause (Leo). It was funny,entertaining, and enjoyable. There were some problems with the sound system but overall it was great. We later attended the Buffy Panel with James Marsters (Spike), Nicholas Brendan (Xander), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia), and Emma Caulfield (Anya). This was a fantastic panel for Buffy fans and I enjoyed it thoroughly (especially the stories about Joss). I loved hearing these actors from my childhood talk about their experiences on the show. Without these panels I feel the weekend would have been a waste of time. There were other great actors and actresses present including Kate Beckinsale, the woman who played Uhura in the original Star Trek series, Val Kilmer, Kevin Sorbro, and many more. However, most of these actors are cult favorites and we didn't have the big names as we've had in previous years. There was no Norman Reedus, Chris Hemsworth, William Shatner. I prefer many of this years celebrities but they were never going to draw the huge crowds. Perhaps that is why this year felt smaller. This Wizard World just did not seem like it was worth the money.
If anyone reading this attended this years Wizard World in Sacramento share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. We look forward to Stockton Con later this year and Sac Anime. We hope to see you all there. #StayNerdy