Disneyland to Geek Out?

When I mentioned last year’s Disney fan convention, D23, I said it was like Disney’s answer to Comic-Con. I realized that some of you might not know what Comic-Con is.

Comic-Con started in the 70s as a relatively small convention specifically for fans of comic books (hence the title). As the years went by other media appealing to the comic crowd, like science fiction and fantasy television and movies, were added.

comic con

Forty years later, with geek properties firmly ensconced in the mainstream thanks to the popularity of fantasy and comic book movies like “Lord of the Rings” and “X-Men,” Comic-Con has turned into a giant convention celebrating the genre in all its forms.

Now that convention might come to Disney. Comic-Con’s contract with the San Diego Convention Center runs out in 2012. So that means Comic-Con could potentially move to another venue.

Given that in recent years the San Diego Convention Center hasn’t really been able to handle to the overwhelming crowds at the Con, many fans and experts alike think that perhaps Comic-Con should find its home elsewhere. One of the suggestions being floated? Disneyland.

Well, that’s a bit of a fib. Apparently Anaheim, with its larger convention center (which hosted the D23 convention last year) is one of the front-runners to host Comic-Con in the future. But that begs the question: if the Con’s officials are looking at Anaheim, why not look at Disneyland?

Amusement parks are built to handle crushing crowds. And no one does an amusement park better than Disney.

Just think about it: a huge part of the Comic-Con experience is waiting. No matter how huge the room used to host a panel, inevitably there aren’t enough seats for many events. So those who really want to get into a panel have to wait in line, usually for hours.

What better way to wait than on a Disneyland ride? I’m sure some kind of system can be rigged to allow certain rides to function as part of a line for a panel. It can even be themed: waiting for the panel on a new sci-fi space flick? The queue starts at Space Mountain.

Despite its crazy, hectic crowds and interminable lines, I can’t imagine many ways to make Comic-Con more awesome. But holding it at Disneyland would be a way. It would be like two dream vacations in one.

OK, so maybe I am being unreasonable. Even though Disneyland is built for managing crowds, I’m not sure it could handle the overwhelming volume of people that would descend on the park for Comic-Con. All the Con’s attendees plus the summer vacation crowd? That’s just too much for any one location.

And an amusement park probably isn’t a great place for holding the Con’s panels, which really need to be held indoors. Several are scheduled at one time, and each needs their own individual audio/visual setup.

Even Disney chose to host its convention at the Anaheim Convention Center rather than at its own park. Still, a girl can dream.

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*(This image by Alan Light is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.)

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