|Length of Event||July 1-4, 2016|
Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
|Cost|| The prices for next year’s con are already up and are as follows:|
Unlike most cons where the headlining events such as the masquerade, dance, and concert are free, Anime Expo requires attendees to purchase separate tickets either when they pre-order their badges or at a separate counter on site at the con. Tickets are extremely limited for each event so it is suggested that attendees purchase them as soon as possible. Prices for extra events range anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on what the event is. This year, Anime Matsuri which had headliners such as FLOW and T.M.Revolution made an appearance at Anime Expo. The convention is always bringing something new to the table every year.
|Hotels|| One of the most annoying problems about Anime Expo seems to be the distance between the hotels and the convention center. While the convention does provide shuttles to help attendees travel back and forth, the lines are always quite long. The nearest hotels within a ten-minute walk to the convention center consist of the J.W. Marriot, Hotel Figueroa, and the Luxe City Center Hotel which are all upscale accommodations while the rest are a good twenty-minute walk down the street. To take advantage of the situation, there are always Lyft promoters loitering about the con giving promotional codes for those that are in a rush to travel. While the situation isn’t the best, there are ways to manage.|
Parking is another concern for those wishing to attend. Prices sky rocket once the convention begins making the average price per day somewhere around $50. Be sure to budget for this in advance or the trip home will be very interesting without a car.
One of the other downsides is the lack of reasonably priced food nearby. While the convention has attempted to combat this issue by allowing food trucks nearby, the trucks are only really open for breakfast and lunch, making dinner still a bit pricy. There ARE a lot of restaurants around the convention center, but they are mid to high range in price, so be sure to budget for this as well or bring food with you.
What To Do/Expect
While exclusive merch, as well as new announcements certainly, attract many, there is so much more to this convention than most. Anime Expo has one of the largest Artist Alleys in the country, attracting artists from around the country and globe. Some people even spend the entire convention shopping for art! Many of these artists even take commissions allowing fangirls and guys wildest dreams to come true.
Shopping is one of the most popular activities at the convention, but what about those who have limited budgets? Well, there are a variety of activities for those who wish to be a little more interactive. Throughout the weekend there are video game tournaments, TCG tournaments, cosplay photoshoots, and anime karaoke competitions. There are even good old fashion panels with amazing guests from Japan who love to meet the fans as well as sign autographs. The convention even has its own cosplay photoshoot area where stages are set for cosplayers to pose and create realistic photographs.
What to Bring
In addition, bring a small backpack and fill it with food and water. It’s a large show floor and it can be difficult to navigate to the nearest area for food and water, plus it can save some money in the long run. Food at conventions is notorious for being marked up to unreasonable prices and this con is no different. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated!
For the hotel room, bring extra pillows, blankets, and towels. Since many of the rooms have guests sleeping on the floor, the hotel runs out of these extras really fast, so save the stress by bringing your own. It is also wise to bring surge protector strip in order to expand the number of available outlets in the room so there doesn’t have to be a fight over charging space.
Overall, be sure to preorder badges well in advance and to secure any lodgings early as well. This con is fun and attracts many fans every year so timing is key to preparation. It is recommended that everyone must go at least once in their life to AX and Otakon. Don’t miss out on the spectacular dealer's hall, artist alley, and wonderful guests!