I did what I’m going to call the north eastern trifecta.
Pinfest in Allentown, PA on Friday May 3 and Saturday May 4.
The White Rose Gameroom show in York, PA on Friday Oct. 11 and Saturday Oct 12, then finished it off with the Pinball Expo. in Wheeling, IL on Saturday Oct. 19.
I will start by saying the main reason I attend a pinball show is to play pinball. Yes I enjoy seeing old friends and picking up parts and pieces, but I want to play games most of all. I’m 52 and I enjoy playing all types of machines from wood rails to the latest DMD’s.
My first comparison is - games to play.
Pinfest - 200 free play pins plus vendors with another 30+ games to play
York – 100 free play pins plus vendors another 15 games 10 not on free play (one of the best things is wood rail alley if you haven’t played a wood rail play one. Try and beat that machine, their a bigger challenge then you may think)
Expo – 70 free play pins plus 30 vendors games but half of the games not on free play.
My second comparison is – vendors
All the shows have great vendors. Most of the main vendors are at all three shows. The difference that I saw was that the Expo has custom machine vendors.
My third comparison is - flea market
Pinfest – both indoor and outside with 20-25 vendors
York – outside with 10 vendors
Expo – no flea market
My fourth comparison is – food and drink
We all have to eat and drink.
Pinfest – has a lunch counter in the venue, but the best place is the farmers market, this place is packed with different places to pick up anything you could want.
York – has the lunch counter in the venue, basic hot dogs, hamburgers, and soup
Expo – Twin Peaks a sports bar on the same complex
My fifth comparison is – Value/hours
Pinfest - $17/day Fri. 12-9 & Sat. 9-8
York - $15/day Fri. 10-8 & Sat. 9-6
Expo - $25/day Thur. 6-12, Fri. 6-12, Sat. 9-6 & Sun. till 4, I did find that the hours on the web page didn’t match the actual times, as the vendor area closed at 5PM on Sat. when it’s posted that it closed at 6 PM
Like I said I go to pinball shows to play pinball. So here’s my rating.
#1 Pinfest most games for a good value.
#2 York good mix of machines and the best price.
#3 Expo most expensive but it does have extended hours just not the variety of machines as the others shows.
Side note if your in Chicago and have a chance to visit the Emporium Arcade and Bar do it. It’s a great place to play both pins and arcade games. They have a great line up of pins all in great shape, clean and play fast. Plus a great line up of old school arcades that bring back tons of memories. Check it out.
Hope this was helpful. I know this is my opinion, others may vary.