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Comic-Con: I got to visit Westworld and I'm still reeling

Crack open the doors and come with us on our walk through the very popular, very cool experience based on HBO's "Westworld" at San Diego Comic-Con.

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Caitlin Petrakovitz
Caitlin Petrakovitz studies the Marvel Cinematic Universe like it's a course in school, with an emphasis on the Infinity Saga years. As an audience expert, she rarely writes but when she does it's most certainly about Star Trek, Marvel, DC, Westworld, San Diego Comic-Con and great streaming properties. Or soccer, that's a thing she loves, too.
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Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Caitlin Petrakovitz
Gael Cooper
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Welcome, visitor

"In Westworld, there are no safe words." Beware that what you experience here may alter your description of reality forever. 

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2 of 24 Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

Life without limits

"Westworld: The Experience" allows Comic-Con attendees the chance to pretend they're actually taking a trip to the futuristic theme park depicted in the hit HBO show.

If you're at Comic-Con and want to schedule your own appointment, head to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel early each morning.

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3 of 24 Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

Welcome to Westworld

Welcome to Delos' Westworld, where all your dreams are made real; a futuristic theme park full of realistic robot hosts. What could go wrong? Uhhh...

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Doesn't look like anything to me

From what we've seen that can happen to Delos employees, we'll leave this door closed, thank you.

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Dream a little dream

We're sure the hosts won't let anything go wrong with the park. 

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Costume change

Suit up (you don't really get to do this at the show, sadly) and head into the adult playground of Westworld. 

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Weapons galore

Which gun, holster or weapon speaks to you?

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Decisions, decisions

You're encouraged to ogle and make a choice before your personality assessment. 

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9 of 24 Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

Hello all

The clothing of old friends graces the waiting room. Never realized Maeve's skirt was so short.

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10 of 24 Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

Department directory

Headed for wardrobe? The salon? The armory? 

We know Delos is likely huge, and all are vital parts of a Westworld experience. But here, we're bound straight for intake and Guest Services. Your Westworld vacation is about to begin.

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Howdy, pardner

Entering a different world. Our host guided us toward our personality assessment and a new experience.

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Heads will roll

Does that look a little like Dolores?

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Heady experience

Westworld has many possible looks for its hosts. Don't worry -- at the end of this hallway, all of your hopes and dreams are about to become reality.

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14 of 24 Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

*CLANG*

Behind the SW door (Samurai World?) were intense sounds of sword fighting, grunts and strikes. It was passed off as research and development, but I would be willing to risk loss of limb to see in there. 

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15 of 24 Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

How can we help?

The guest services personnel helped me find what I was seeking from the park, and whether I was a white hat hero or a black hat extraordinaire. 

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White hat

My biggest fear has been confirmed: Deep down I'm a white hat. (That's not actually me, but you get the idea.)

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Don't shoot

Again, not me, but love the hat. (When you go through the experience, you get to keep the genuine cowboy hat!)

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What's this?

A poorly lit corridor leads us to our first adventure.

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Mariposa Saloon

Sadly, Maeve was not working.

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20 of 24 Caitlin Petrakovitz/CNET

Cocktail hour?

After the sorting hat, my compadres and I met up in the Saloon for some period-appropriate drinks and some good conversation. 

Black hats and white hats mingled without any altercations (surprisingly). 

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Thank you, sir

Sherry punch, a Blue Blazer, and milk punch: The saloon treated us very well. You can see a clip of the Westworld saloon action here on Twitter.

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Haunting sounds

A blood-spattered piano played in the background as we ignored the feeling that danger was headed our way and lived without limits. 

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Would you like an experience?

A friendly Madame hung around the group as we worked our way through some delicious drinks. 

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Adios, partner

My experience in Westworld was once-in-a-lifetime, but I'm already saving up for another go. 

See all our San Diego Comic-Con 2017 coverage here.

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