WonderCon: Panda Parking causes pandemonium

WonderCon made its debut and perhaps maiden foray into the downtown Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Convention Center (next year it will again return to Anaheim) and pre-paid parking was available for all three days, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. through Parking Panda. The rates aren’t cheap and the implementation far from smooth.

First, the pre-paid parking is available in the West Hall garage. The rates are $30 per day, that’s an additional $10. Or you could have paid for the three-day pass which were no longer available on Friday morning because pre-paid parking was no longer available as Saturday pre-paid parking was sold out. The pass comes with no in-/out privileges.

While this may seem like an easy proposition it isn’t for two reasons. When you get an email from Panda Parking and print it out, the email will NOT include the QR Code or Box Code. You will get your transaction code, but at the entrance, that code will be useless. They will ask you for a print out of the QR Code or the QR Code on your smartphone. We were asked to get out of line and park or go somewhere and get a print out. We declined and tried to get the email through my smartphone.

If you have a smartphone, you might think you have no worries, however, when we got the code up on a smartphone, the QR Code reader could not read it. The attendant asked us to make adjustments to the smartphone, but the QR Code reader for Joann’s Fabrics can read from my Smartphone. Finally, the supervisor used his pass card to wave us in. Does that make it worth an extra $10? We still have to drive around looking for a parking space.

You can use Parking Panda tomorrow. Passes are still available. The attendant confessed that someone before us had the same problem. One of the vendors mentioned it took about 30 minutes to get into parking and be processed even though there were only two cars ahead of him. We predict parking pandemonium on Saturday. Had a problem with Parking Panda? Let us know at Jana.Monji@gmail.com.

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