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WonderCon Anaheim Presents the 2019 Masquerade

WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

From the 2018 WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade: The Frozen Lake, worn by Haley Dunn, Bryn Hazlett-Lawson, Natalie Lawson, and Ken Hazlett. Made by same plus Amanda Dunn. Photo: R. Manahan © 2018 SDCC

Click here for the WonderCon Anaheim 2018 Photo Gallery, featuring all the contestants and trophy and prize winners!

Costuming is an art that plays a role in nearly all the popular arts, and for attendees the option of coming in costume to WonderCon Anaheim is part of the fun for themselves and others. But if you have something very special to share—a re-created costume or one that’s an original design—then reserve a contestant spot in our Saturday night big event. You can present your impressive costume creation to an audience of 3,000 on the giant Anaheim Convention Center Arena stage. In addition to the applause you’ll receive and smiles you’ll create, you may win a WonderCon trophy and complimentary badge for next year, or a generous prize sponsored by a participating company or organization.

The WonderCon Masquerade celebrates its 16th year with the imagination and talents of our attendees in an evening of fun, surprises, laughter, and great costumes. Why is this this on-stage event called the “Masquerade” instead of simply a contest, exhibition or fashion show? Simply put, “to masquerade” means to portray someone other than yourself, and our contestants bring to the stage as much imagination as they do skilled workmanship by portraying characters and creating inventive presentations with drama, humor, a storyline, and sometimes a mock battle.

Not a dance or party as the name might imply, each entry takes the stage for a minute or two, and our giant high-definition video screen and multiple cameras display great close-up views to everyone in the audience. Most of the presentations use specially selected music and lighting, and some include elaborate choreography. Most will be impressive re-creations from the genres of comic books, movies, television, anime, fantasy, stage shows, video games, and history; others will be completely original designs from the imaginations of our attendees. Some will be solo entries, others will be groups with a shared theme. If you've crafted something you think our audience would truly enjoy, we encourage you to sign up to share your work, and show it’s not just the pros that can create entertaining costumes. All genres are welcome, but costumes must NOT have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained, and be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing items.

WonderCon Anaheim 2019 Badges are on sale now! Click here to buy them!


WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

Winner of the Best Re-Creation Award,: The Queen of Hearts, Worn and made by Christina Jesenski. Photo: R. Manahan © 2018 SDCC


The WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade will be held at 8:30 PM, Saturday, March 30, in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. The event is free to participate in, or to be in the audience; only a WonderCon Anaheim attendee badge valid for Saturday is needed. Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00 PM, and the event will run 2 1/2 hours. Reserved seating is available for special guests and selected press arranged in advance, please send requests to Audience tickets are not used for this event since our large venue has plenty of seating. And of course, while costumes are not required for audience members, dressing as someone other than yourself always adds to the fun!

Click here to download complete contestant information, rules, and an advance Entry Form.

A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costumers should submit an entry form early as we usually fill up before the convention. Photos of the costume or costumes you are entering will also be required for confirmation of eligibility. Entries are now being accepted, and the Deadline for advance entry is March 15, 2019 (two weeks before the convention). After that date contestants can sign up at the convention Friday at the Masquerade Desk IF any slots are still available. Once we fill up there will be a Waiting List to fill openings from cancellations. You should keep your costume out of sight prior to the show so it will be a surprise for the audience and judges, and so you and it will be fresh and safe from possible damage in the large convention center crowds. For safety reasons contestants must be at least 10 years of age to be on stage.

WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade

Winner of the Judges' Choice Award: The Fifth Element, worn and made by Ali Williams, Steve Davie, Chris Vick, Rashon Williams, LeRoyal Tutt, and Utahime Cosplay. Photo: R. Manahan © 2018 SDCC


No flash photography is allowed of the event, although non-flash photography and video recording is welcome. There will be a flash-allowed posing area with backdrop in a nearby room where the contestants will go after their stage presentations, but photographer spaces are limited. Those wishing access to the Masquerade Photo Area should reserve a spot in advance by writing to the email address below. Credentialed press members wishing front section Arena seating should also write to the Coordinator in advance.

Remember that the Saturday badges are the first to sell out, and you’ll need one to participate in, or just attend, the Masquerade, so purchasing your badge early is wise! Our volunteer staff has been running convention Masquerades for 25 years, and we’ll do our best to provide you with a fun experience. For any questions, feel free to write to us at

Trophies and Awards:

WonderCon 2019 trophies will be awarded by our panel of judges, assembled from professionals in the costuming fields, to the most outstanding entries in categories of Best in Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Most Humorous, Most Beautiful, Best Presentation, and Best Young Fan.

Winners in these trophy categories will also receive complimentary badges for all 3 days of WonderCon Anaheim 2020, as an added thank you for all your hard work, talent, and dedication! If a group entry wins in one of our categories, up to 4 free badges will be bestowed to that group.

In addition to the trophies given by the WonderCon judges, there will be organizations and companies presenting their own generous cash, collectibles, and other prizes to winners their representatives select. Be sure to check this page periodically for updates to the prizes list, which includes:

Frank & Son Collectible Show of the City of Industry, California, “The first and last stop for ALL your collectible needs,” will once again present a generous $500 cash prize to the costume entry they deem to be the audience favorite.

Costumer's Guild West (CGW) will present a one-year membership to CGW, as well as a full scholarship and two night's hotel stay (valued at $500) to their weekend conference, Costume College®, held the last weekend each July at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA, to the entry their representatives select as showing the most promise. Costume College provides educational lectures and workshops in every aspect of costuming.