The closest I can come as an adult to recreating the joy of looking through the Sears catalog a couple months before Christmas is when the Comic-Con schedules get posted. Before the reality of lines out the door and down the hall intersect with my reality, I imagine it's still 2003 and I can just walk into any panel at any moment and not have to take up residence with meal and laundry service in Hall H to see the Previews for a Marvel film a mere four minutes before it's posted on YouTube. Here's the first day of my breakdown of the panels I would waltz into at the drop of a hat.
1. ANYTHING GOES WITH JOHN BARROWMAN (11am, Indigo Ballroom) - How far the mighty have fallen in the programming schedule. A before-noon spot on Thursday is less desirable than a 2pm spot on Sunday. This panel used to anchor the most desired Saturday afternoon spot and fill this Ballroom. I still love the man and I think his off-the-cuff style brings energy that few panels can generate.
2. CBLDF: STATE OF CENSORSHIP 2017 (12pm, Room 11) - These important panels don't draw big crowds. They are relegated to small rooms down past the bathrooms that few people even know exist. I always feel that half the people in the room got "assigned" to cover it for a website. I choose to go. If you care about the big picture of the books we read that later become the movies we watch and TV shows we consume, then this shit is important. I keep up with my reading on censorship during the year but I'm always surprised by the back story on an item or two.
3. 1987: GREATEST GEEK YEAR EVER (3pm, Room 5AB) - Are we already at 1987? This series started back with 1982, five years ago. You would be hard pressed to argue with 1982 being the best Geek year of the '80s. I could make a point for 1983 but that aside, 1987 is good but I might have some counterpoints. If Predator and Lost Boys are your main claims to Geekdom, then you have a ways to go. You have to at least answer for giving us Jaws: The Revenge and Masters of the Universe. Your most underrated of that year are probably Someone To Watch Over Me and The Monster Squad.
4. 50 YEARS OF PEANUTS IN JAPAN (3pm, Room 20ABC) That's a big room for this specialized panel. My conflict is deep here. I'd probably end up at 1987 but the attraction here is strong. I have attended merchandise panels for Peanuts before and the great thing about Japan is how they love the more minor characters of the strip. They love all of Snoopy's siblings and the products they produce would break my bank account if I had greater access to them.
5. BRIT BOX'S CLASSIC DOCTOR WHO PANEL WITH LOST EPISODE PREVIEW (5pm, Indigo Ballroom) - Sometimes you don't care about the product as much as you just go to a panel to see someone you haven't seen before. This is the case here. Peter Davison and Colin Baker make appearances to talk about a new box-set release including a recreated story from the Second Doctor. I feel like I need to see both of these Doctors before it's too late.
That's a pretty complete day right there and it doesn't even include random time on the Con floor and the in-between panels.