main
side
curve

SWC17 Wristbands and attending big panels at Star Wars Celebration Orlando (a mini guide)

Discussion in 'FanForce: Star Wars Celebrations' started by TK--421, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2002
    So, you're pumped up and are excited to attend the biggest Star Wars celebration event in the country. But how do you get to see those big panels? What are the procedures?

    First of all, don't panic! Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about basic procedures. If you want to attend any of the panels at the Celebration Stage or the Galaxy Stage (aka, the big ones), you need a wristband to attend.

    "Well, how do I get a wristband?"

    Starting at 6AM and until they run out, there will be individually labeled "chutes" (or queues, or snaking lines depending on your vernacular) in Halls D/E which are on the 2nd floor of the convention center. Each chute will represent a panel, so on Thursday you'll see a line for the "Star Wars 40th Anniversary Panel", a line for the Dave Filoni panel, a line for the Billy Dee Williams Panel, etc. Here is the map from the Celebration Europe Queue Hall from last year as an example.

    You'll see the panel queues on the left, which is where you get your wristbands. On the right are the exhibit hall chutes, which is to get into the show that day. But we'll get to those later.

    Get in a panel queue line, and hope they don't run out before you get to the front and get your wristband. There will also big a nice big digital LED display showing current status of each panel. Here's are examples of the wristband status signage from Celebration Europe with various status indicators:

    [​IMG]
    Wristbands all available

    [​IMG]
    Wristbands running low for a panel/main stage out

    [​IMG]
    Wristbands run out for a panel

    That way you know if you're already too late for something or if it's worth getting into line for a panel.

    "I have a medical sticker, how do I get a wristband?"

    The panel queues are considered ADA compliant, so there are no separate wristband queues for medical people. However, if you have a companion, they can wait in line with your badge (As long as it has a valid medical sticker on it) and they can get two wristbands.

    "How many wristbands are there?"

    Here are the capacities for each stage:

    Galaxy Stage - 3389 (Officially 3789, but I'm assuming around 400 will be reserved for celebrities/VIPs)

    Celebration Stage - 2643

    Behind the Scenes Stage - 1621 (This wristbands for the big 3 panels only)

    For the three big panels (SW40, TLJ, Rebels S4), the Galaxy Stage will be where the presentation is actually taking place. They are also being streamed to the Celebration Stage and the Behind the Scenes Stage for overflow.

    This gives an approximate total of 7653. So the closer you are to the front of the chute, the more likely you'll be able to get into the Galaxy Stage for that presentation.

    "I really want to make sure I get into X presentation, how do I do that?"

    If you really want to guarantee entry to a certain panel, they are letting people sleep in the building overnight both Wednesday 4/12 and Thursday 4/13. The hall will be open from 8PM letting people come in and get in line until midnight. The doors will then be locked until 5am the next day.

    In my opinion, if you stay overnight, I'm fairly willing to bet you'll get a Galaxy Stage wristband. Star Wars fans are crazy, but it's hard to imagine 3400 sleeping overnight in the OCCC. If you arrive at 5AM and get in line, I'm also fairly certain you'll at least get an overflow room, with a decent chance for the early arrivals to get Galaxy Stage.

    For Saturday and Sunday, there are no sleepovers so it's arrive by 5AM, and get in the chutes you want. Reedpop has posted a warning that if they see people trying to line up before 5am they will disperse them.

    "I got a wristband, now what?"

    You are limited to two wristbands per day (one per panel unless you have two medical badges), so I'd recommend getting into another chute now and get that second wristband. Read over the Galaxy/Celebration schedules now and plan in advance which second panel interests you the most.

    After you've gotten your second wristband you have two choices. You are now guaranteed a seat at the panel of your wristband, but you haven't entered the show yet. You could go to your hotel and take a nap, shower up and eat breakfast, come back at 10am when the doors open. Or, you can now move to the show entrance queue. Inside the hall, separate from the panel chutes will be the line to get into the show itself. The sooner you get into that line, the larger amount of choice you will have for a seat for that panel when you are let in.

    "What does a wristband look like?"

    Here is a picture of various wristbrands from Celebration Europe if you're curious:
    [​IMG]


    You'll note it the colors are all unique to prevent confusion, and they specifically tell you what stage and when so you know where to go.

    "What do I do for other panels that start later in the show?"

    If you have a wristband for a panel that starts after 12:30PM, you can line up as soon as the panel before it has started. The queue for entry into the Galaxy and Celebration Stages is on the 4th floor, next to the Galaxy stage itself. So if you have a wristband for the "Making of Rogue One" panel, which is 1:30PM on Friday, you could get in line as early as 11:01AM while "The Last Jedi" panel is going on if you want to ensure the best seat possible when they open the doors.
     
  2. 80ninjas

    80ninjas Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2014
    This guide should be super helpful for those who have never experienced a wrist band system at a major con before.

    Do you think they'll do a single line for the big panels (where, once they run out of Galaxy stage bands they just start handing out overflow) or three lines (one for primary Galaxy stage, one for celebration overflow and one for BTS overflow)?
     
  3. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Thank you for the compliment. I kept seeing the wristband questions and figured this would be a nice to way to put everything in one post.

    At Celebration Europe it was a single line (you can see that represented up top in the Celebration Europe signage, you'll only see one line indicator for the Rogue One panel). They just give out wristbands starting with the biggest hall then working their way down. For Orlando, I imagine it will be Galaxy, then Celebration, then Behind the Scenes.
     
  4. 80ninjas

    80ninjas Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2014
    That makes sense. Thanks again!
     
  5. jerejerebinks

    jerejerebinks Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 24, 2017
    This is super helpful! Thank you for putting this together!
     
  6. star_wars_is_good

    star_wars_is_good Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Reedpop should just delete what they have on their site and replace it with a link to this thread.
     
  7. Alison Organa

    Alison Organa Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    May 4, 2016
    nevermind
     
  8. star_wars_is_good

    star_wars_is_good Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    A queue/line.
     
  9. BigFilipino

    BigFilipino Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2017
    This is so helpful. Especially for a first time Celebration attendee like myself so thank you.

    Question: if I am travelling with my family and it's impractical for my young kids to sleep in line with me (they can stay with their mom in the hotel) is it regarded as bad form to let my family join me in the queue the morning of once the doors do open? I just want them to experience the panels with me but not suffer the pain of obtaining a wristband to do so.
     
  10. star_wars_is_good

    star_wars_is_good Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    That could be tricky. The doors don't open in the morning until 5 with wristbands given out at 6. That gives an hour to get through security and find you in a snaking line. I'd be up front with the people around you in line and see if they are cool with it.
     
    BigFilipino likes this.
  11. 80ninjas

    80ninjas Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Depending on how they handle the overnight crowd, your family might have to wait in the regular wristband line without you. To prevent people from doing what you're proposing (which is, when it comes down to it, line cutting), they may give wristbands to the overnight crowd before 5/6am. If they do that then your family will need to go to the regular wristband line to try and get one.
     
    BigFilipino likes this.
  12. BigFilipino

    BigFilipino Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Thanks for the advice. Maybe I'll see if one of my older kids wants to camp out with their me on alternate nights. At least then I know I'll be able to take one of them into a panel.

    Related to this, how tight a space are we talking about if you were to sleep in line? Is it carpeted at least? Thanks
     
  13. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2002
    They did not hand any wristbands to the overnight crowd before 6AM at Celebration Europe, so I'd be surprised if they do it for Orlando.
     
  14. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Here's a pic of a wristband queue from Celebration Europe. As you can see, during the overnight process you'll have some breathing room.

    [​IMG]

    When they're getting closer to handing out wristbands they'll ask everyone to pack up and compress the line, probably around 5:30AM. Whether it's carpeted or not is up to Reed Pop. They'd have to pay extra to lay out carpet on the hall floor, so I'm going to say I doubt it.
     
  15. MotivateR5D4

    MotivateR5D4 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2015
    BigFilipino: Yea, I would be upfront about it with the people around you in line. Say it's for your kids, and I think people will be much more receptive to it. As opposed to saying you have some friends coming, or even some other adult family members coming, because in that case people might not be so willing. But like star_wars_is_good said, if they happen to hand out wristbands before your family gets there, they might be out of luck. Or if they haven't handed out wristbands, the staff may not even allow people to meet someone who is already in line, they may just send them to the back. You should definitely ask staff members about this before getting in line so you can relay to your family what will most likely happen.
     
    BigFilipino likes this.
  16. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    That might be a real good way of starting a fight. I know if I'd been sleeping on the floor all night and someone walked in and cut the line ahead of me I'd be on to security. (Not to mention pretty mad).
     
  17. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2002
    That's my primary concern. If I got there at 8pm to be #10 in line, then at 5AM #9 in front of me lets in 10 people that slept overnight in their comfy hotel rooms making me now #20, I'd be pissed.
     
  18. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I'm sure we aren't the only two..
     
  19. Padme501st

    Padme501st Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Isn't there a separate system for the two main panels? like once you get a wristband you get into another line to wait for them to escort you in for them?
     
  20. star_wars_is_good

    star_wars_is_good Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    You're not. Although I'd be a little more lenient with little kids if I was in line. However, once the line gets to be around 3,300 people, every cutter kicks someone who was there before them out of the main room. Those are the people who would really be mad.
     
    Hypatia likes this.
  21. jerejerebinks

    jerejerebinks Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Is the attendance at the Euro Celebrations pretty comparable to the state side ones? I mean obviously adjusting for this being a release-year for main saga film. That picture doesn't look too bad at all. I plan on just sitting in my chair though during camp out. The uncomfortablness of sleeping sitting-up vs. sleeping lying on the floor is slightly more appealing.
     
  22. star_wars_is_good

    star_wars_is_good Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    I think once you get your wristband(s), you then get in the main line to get into the con.
     
  23. star_wars_is_good

    star_wars_is_good Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    The Europe ones are smaller than the US ones. A better comparison is Anaheim.
     
  24. TK--421

    TK--421 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2002
    It isn't quite clear yet from Reed's website. After you've picked up your two wristbands for the day, all we've gotten is this so far:
    Those in the Celebration Experience Exhibit Hall queue will be led into the Exhibit Hall in order of their chutes, and start enjoying all Star Wars Celebration Orlando has to offer!
    Those with wristbands for the 11am show on the Celebration Stage will be led directly to the Celebration Stage to find their seats.
    Those with wristbands for the 11am show on the Galaxy Stage ill be led directly to the Galaxy Stage to find their seats.​
    I'm waiting for a map of the queue hall to be released (similar to the one released for Europe) to confirm for sure to see if there will be separate queues for 11am panels vs Exhibit Hall entry. There were no separate lines for Europe for Celebration Stage people.
     
  25. jerejerebinks

    jerejerebinks Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 24, 2017

    And wait another 5 hours? Jesus.
     
    Dorme likes this.