O.C, CA Official Comic - Con 2003 Planning Thread - UPDATE 5/1/03

Discussion in 'Pacific Regional Discussion' started by SRB_Jedi_Knight, Nov 11, 2002.

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  1. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    Yes, tickets are on sale now. They don't have the order form online yet, but I can bring my update to the next meeting. We can make copies of the form for whoever needs them. The only thing that hasn't started yet is hotel registration. I'm anxiously awaiting that as the good, close hotels sell out quickly.

    Have we decided if we're going to split a room or not? I know Shawn is driving back and forth. I would personally like to get a room as it's nice to have a place to go to to just sit and relax during/after the convention each day. For the past few years, myself and some other friends have gotten a room and just kept a cooler with water and sandwiches in it. Gives you more money to spend at the con :) I currently have two rooms in two different hotels (same group of friends, just different likes) available to myself if we don't end up with a room.

    Also, I will likely be heading down there sometime Wednesday afternoon for preview night, so if anyone wants to carpool, I can drive.
  2. zhi-don_aquintas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 4
    hi barry;

    i might want to carpool with you. im supposed to be manning the table so i guess i need to be there to help set up. youve been there before so what hotel do you recommend? i agree that resv need to be made early.
  3. Princess_Skywalker_ Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 4
    As of right now, I plan on staying at my brother's the whole time it's there. I will be going early as well and staying till the end. I probably can carpool with those wanting to either leave the day I do or those needing a ride back, etc.
  4. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    I recommend either the Hyatt or the Embassy Suites. The Hyatt is only the second hotel away from the convention center, on the same side of the street. It's right past the Marriott so it's really convenient. They don't have a continental breakfast though. Parking at the Hyatt is normally $15 per day, but I think they give you the con rate, $5 per day, if you tell them you're there for the con. They did that for me one year anyway. Note that I told the parking gate person, not anyone at the front desk.

    The Embassy Suites has a very good breakfast which includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes or waffles (I think). That's all included in the cost of the room. They're also only about a half a block further from the convention than the Hyatt. Embassy only has Valet parking (I think) and it fills up really quick.

    I think Hyatt costs a little more (it's closer), but I like it more personally. While the breakfast at Embassy is very nice, I can get by on water and granola bars for most of the day. There is also a Ralphs in the area that the shuttles go by. We can buy all kinds of food there and make stuff in the rooms. The Ralphs is right down the street from Horton Plaza. You may have heard of it since it's the big mall in downtown San Diego :)

    For either hotel, if you're getting there Wednesday, there will probably be some street parking available. Last year I just parked on the street and left my truck in the same spot all weekend. With a couple of people, you can easily unload a vehicle at the hotel and then find a spot to park.

    As soon as I find out more info on hotels, I'll post the info here.
  5. BobaFett-MP Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2001
    star 4
    I wouldn't mind chipping in for a room either. Sounds good, and Barry, if you car can fit one more I'd like to tag along.
  6. darth_avery Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 3
    there is an order form in the booklet....i don't know if you get it in the mail but a lot of comic stores have them available and they are xeroxable
  7. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    My truck can fit 5 including the driver, comfortably. We can put our costumes in the bed along with any other luggage we'll be bringing.
  8. zhi-don_aquintas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 4
    hi barry;

    i would like to go with as well. the hyatt sounds best as its closest. while i dont eat granola bars[hurts my teeth, like eating spacesuit insulation], PBJ's are good enough for me. dont have much luggage just one bag and my jedi garb which includes boots. let me know as time gets closer.
  9. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    The only reason I mention granola bars is because you can shove a box of them (between 12 and 24) into a backpack with a bottle of water and not have to leave the convention for lunch. Granted it's not a very healthy thing to do, but for 1 or 2 days, it works :) I don't know how a PBJ sandwich would survive in a backpack, but I'm sure you could store it in a cooler in the room. Heck, we could even pick up real food (lunchmeat, mayo, mustard, etc.) and store that in a cooler.
  10. zhi-don_aquintas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 4
    yeah! cooler sounds the way to go. cold drinks too! save a lot of money on vending machines. i have one we could use, or we could get the cheap styrofoam disposable ones. how much room to you have in your beast?
  11. BobaFett-MP Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2001
    star 4
    Barry, do you have any estimates of the cost for a hotel room?
  12. Princess_Skywalker_ Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 4
    Any other tips Barry? I haven't gone before and any help would be great. I plan on bringing the water & granola bars (have done this at theme parks, etc.). What about parking? Is there a parking structure or just a lot, etc. I know you mentioned it's hard to find a spot...is that street parking or does the lot fill up (if they have one)?

    Also I am thinking about the Grand Slam one since Carrie will be there :D
    Is it worth it to go just for an autograph, or are they hard to get? I've heard horror stories about waiting in line forever and still not getting the autograph. What have your experiences been?

    Also I have heard from quite a few people that they missed out on things at certain conventions because they didn't know certain people would be there or that they were having presentations on certain tv shows, movies, etc. Isn't there a schedule of events? Does it usually list everything?
  13. SRB_Jedi_Knight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 4
    I can answer the question on Carrie Fisher for you. Yes get the autograph at grandslam. She rarely does signings for the Star Wars fan base. It's now mostly book signings as she is an author. Her signings for Star Wars are very rare if at all.

    On the other things. Yes the have a program for Comic-con that lists who will be there, when and also what panels and discussions are going on.
  14. Princess_Skywalker_ Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks Shawn. I am definately going to go then. For signings do they generally allow only one item or can you get away with more? Now that I have my action figure (thanks to my awesome secret santa Tracy), I would like that box and a card autographed....

    As for the schedule, the reason I ask is because I believe that a few different people told me they missed some stuff at last years Comic-Con. I guess there was a small Harry Potter thing??? And there was something for LOTR and Buffy as well?? I just want to make sure I know ahead of time so I can hit them all. :)
  15. SRB_Jedi_Knight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 4
    It depends on what the limit of items to be signed is. I would imagine they would limit it to maybe 2 items for her. Since the line will be enormous I'm sure. You just never know. I plan on getting a figure signed and a poster. Hopefully I will have the unleashed Liea figure by then and get that signed.
  16. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    Wow, let me take things one at a time.

    Hotel costs estimates: Last year I think it was about $150 per night at the Hyatt. With 3 or 4 people in a room it'll obviously bring the cost down. The cost does go up every year, but not by more than 20 or 30 dollars. When I find out more about that, I'll post here.

    Parking: There is street parking that fills up quickly, but it's free :) There is also convention parking that is usually quite light on Thursday, but fills up fast Friday thru Sunday. The convention lot is quite large now, but it does fill up which leaves only the other lots around the center to park in. The cost to park at the convention center is $5 per day. The cost at other lots could be as high as $10 per day. A few years ago when they were doing the lot rennovations, that's what they were charging. Yes, they were gouging, but there's nothing you can do about it. All lots, with the exception of hotels, have no in and out privileges.

    Comic-Con schedule: Yes, they do publish the programming. However, unannounced guests show up all the time. Arnold Schwarzenniger showed up to show the T3 trailer (which I missed because I went to see Joss talk about Buffy :mad:) and then left right afterward, taking the tape with him. Elijah Wood also showed up, complimenting Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd. Again, it's not really something you can plan for, it just involves being in the right place at the right time. Elijah showed up during the LOTR presentation, Arnold showed up just before something else (I can't remember what because I didn't care). I believe they ended up having the Sala Baker (Sauron), Lawrence Makoare (Lurtz), and the 3 Hobbits during the LOTR presentation as well as Richard Taylor the head of SFX for LOTR.

    Regarding autographs: Yes, there will most likely be a limit of two items. I imagine her line will be quite large. One of the nice things about Celebration 2 was that you could do their autograph pull service. They'd have the celebrity sign a photo that you want and then you could pick it up later. You couldn't get them personalized and you had to pay a dollar or two extra, but at least you didn't have to stand in a 4 hour long line and miss other things.
  17. Princess_Skywalker_ Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 4
    Ok I finally checked out the Grand Slam info site....I was sooooo psyched to see it was a Star Wars AND Buffy event!!!
    Then I saw the prices for autographs and pictures....

    Does that mean you have to not only pay admission, stand in line for hours, and pay $55 to have Carrie sign something? DARN.

    And I know there was a price listed for digital pictures they can take for you...Does that mean you can't take pics yourself??

    Just wondering...
  18. zhi-don_aquintas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 4
    thanks for the info barry;

    since i work for the largest hotel in LA, i should be able to get some kind of discount depending on what the hotels are offering at convention rate if any.

    as i know all the sales and reservation people here, as soon as i know where we want to stay, i will start checking on what discounts i can get. i will probably need to know how many rooms for how many people.
  19. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    Does that mean you have to not only pay admission, stand in line for hours, and pay $55 to have Carrie sign something?

    $55 :eek: :eek: Yes, you will probably have to pay for both.

    And I know there was a price listed for digital pictures they can take for you...Does that mean you can't take pics yourself??

    More than likely, it means you can't bring your digital camera to have one of the staff or even a friend take the picture for you. That's how a lot of people were getting around the fees a few years ago. Bring your own camera, take your own pic, no fee. Looks like they're starting to charge for it now no matter what.

    Unfortunately it'll be hard for you to get a photo of any of those celebrities without paying for them, as they rarely make convention appearances. Like I said before, no one (except Lorne and Tara) from the cast of Buffy has showed up at Comic-Con since a few years ago. If you want a low cost photo with Peter Mayhew or any of those guys, I suggest waiting for Comic-Con as they are almost always there and very willing to take a picture with you.

    Also remember one of the reasons they do this now. People get autographs and then hawk them off ebay for ridiculous amounts. Creation (and the actors) are figuring that if you're gonna make money off it, so are they.

    Heh, no wonder the 501st calls it the Grand Scam :p
  20. SRB_Jedi_Knight Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 4
    OK. This is the next update.

    I have no new info from the con itself, but time is coming closer. As briefly discussed at the last meeting we need to start thinking about accomodations while we are there. I know there are some posts above about this, but please post below if you are planning on staying in SD for the duration and getting a room. Those that are staying need to work on getting a room now when they are available. If we wait to long we will not be able to find one close by. Also post below the hotels in the area. We need to make a decision soon which hotel we will be using and have someone take charge of that area to get the room booked.
  21. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    Ok, I can get the room. I just found out recently that Comic-Con is still working on getting a good deal for hotels. I can try to make a reservation at the Hyatt. I believe Don and Britt said they'd be coming down with me Wednesday, but I'd like them to confirm that. As soon as I know for sure, I'll book a room. I can always cancel it if Comic-Con comes up with something cheaper.

    For now, I'll check out the rates and post them here.

    EDIT: Ok, I checked the Hyatt and it says not available. This could mean two things. 1) They're booked solid for that weekend. Not likely. 2) Comic-Con has gotten a block of rooms from them and has not updated their website yet.

    I also checked Embassy Suites (it's only 1 extra block or so away from Comic-Con and shuttles run to all the hotels) and a room there is $197 per night. With 4 of us in there (if we can get a 4th), it would be just over $200 per night (taxes and all that).

    I'm going to call the Comic-Con hotline again tomorrow to see if I can find out if they have any new information on hotels. In the meantime, I can book at Embassy Suites if everyone is ok with that.

    Let me know what you guys think and we'll go from there.
  22. zhi-don_aquintas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 4
    barry; as you know i work for the largest hotel in socal. let me know where the con itself will be and i can check other hotels for discount rates. this should be a lot less than standard or convention rates.

  23. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    It's at the San Diego convention center in Downtown San Diego. 111 Harbor Drive is the exact address I believe.
  24. BobaFett-MP Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2001
    star 4
  25. LordJedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2001
    star 4
    Good news! Hotel information will be posted at the comic-con website in about 2 hours. I'll check that to see what the rates are and post here then.

    I'm also going to give my sister a call and see if she can get us a good deal as well.
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