Celebration Europe: Tips & Tricks

Chris Wyman

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There have been a total of 10 Star Wars Celebrations to date. Have you attended all of them? Use this thread to post your own tips and tricks for navigating and getting the most out of the event for fans that may just be stepping into the world of a Celebration.
 

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I've never been to Celebration Europe (this summer will be my first time attending), but I'm a Celebration U.S. vet attending all four days of every domestic Celebration since Denver in 1999. Here are a few things gleaned my my seventeen years and seven Celebrations and counting:

Waiting in line is part of Celebration and it can be some of the fun too. Know that you'll spend a good deal of time in line and come with the mindset that that's okay (or else you'll wind up angry at volunteers who are just doing the best they can).

Being first in line in the morning for the doors to open doesn't get you much except for lost sleep. I've been first in line and I've shown up after the doors have opened. The main difference was I got to sleep in (having said that though I'll probably still wake up early and get in line because as I said, it can be part of the fun).

Save show floor purchases for the last day- most of the venders don't want to ship unsold stuff home and so Sunday is the day for deals. Plus Sunday is usually less packed with events and most people will crowd the floor on day one. By the end it's a lot easier to move around.

No exclusive is worth wasting half a day in line for. The events and presentations are a once in a lifetime opportunities and show merchandise can be purchased online later. Even if you have to pay scalper prices on eBay it's a better deal than your time.

No video is worth wasting half a day in line for either. Premier screenings, trailers, etc will be on TV or online eventually and they'll still be fun to watch then. If there's a new trailer they'll play the heck out of it at every panel- don't worry, you'll see it.

The stars are not worth half a day in line either. At least in my opinion (the behind the scenes guys have better stories). Waiting for their panels takes up a lot of time, and autographs even more time. It's fine if that's what you want to see, but it will take up most of your day.

Any panel with Dave Filoni's name on it is gold. He loves Star Wars, he is great with fans, and he brings out the best in any panel he's a part of. Pablo Hidalgo is great too.

Pack snacks. Convention Center food is rarely good, usually overpriced, and the lines are long. Packing some snacks lets you eat when you have time and there's always time for dinner when you're not late for the next panel.

Use the App to map out your day in advance. Have a plan and a backup plan. Panels fill up, but there's always something interesting going on if your's fills up.

Props, R2 Builders, and lots of other attractions are ongoing, so fit them in when you don't have other things going on. Or better yet plan them for when something big you're not attending is in session.

Attending the screenings of the movies at the end of the day will have you in a folding chair for about four hours straight. Watching the movies with a crowd that loves them is fun, but watching them in bed in your hotel room as you collapse from a long day at the show is a viable option too.

Hasbro will disappoint you. Don't go in expecting anything from them. Their panels get worse and worse every time, their booth gets smaller every time, they speak in corporate doublespeak, and they don't care about Celebration as a venue to interface with fans or release news. They stink.
 
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They screen the movies?
At most of the American Celebrations they screen a different movie every night, sometimes two different movies a night. And they can go late til 1-2 in the morning. At celebration Germany in Essen they screened Return of the Jedi in a park and it was pretty neat, except there wasn't any seats and I wasn't prepared for the amount of people that still smoke in Europe haha.
 
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What to expect?

Since Celebration went Europe-side this time around, I bought two tickets as soon as they became available, because I had heard about it, but decided it was time to experience it myself. Of course I've been reading about it online, but I have a hard time finding out what I am to expect exactly, so I was hoping some more experienced visitors could share their experiences. I'd hate to miss out on things, or come with the wrong expectations. I have tickets for all three days, is there enough to do for all three days? What are the things you shouldn't miss? I am with my brother who just tagged along for fun, and I don't want to put him through too much hardcore waiting lines and such.
I collect vintage star wars myself, is there usually a large supply available? How many dealers in general, modern and vintage? What are prices like at celebration? Will it be extremely crowded, or is the venue large enough for everybody? Questions, questions, I really don't know where to start, so maybe people can just describe the way they like to spend their days at celebration and share some tricks and tips. It would really help me get properly prepared.
 
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I have tickets for all three days, is there enough to do for all three days?

Definitely. In fact, there's usually more to do than there is time to do it. You'll want to decide what your priorities are: autographs, panels, time on the show floor, etc. Click through the webpage or the app to get a sense of what's there.

What are the things you shouldn't miss? I am with my brother who just tagged along for fun, and I don't want to put him through too much hardcore waiting lines and such.

Lines are the nature of the beast with a lot of con stuff, especially the highly popular events like opening and closing ceremonies, main actor presentations, etc. I'm a big fan of the panels in the collector track area, which usually have much more manageable lines and are pretty interesting.

I collect vintage star wars myself, is there usually a large supply available? How many dealers in general, modern and vintage? What are prices like at celebration?

There's usually a fair amount of vintage there, no idea on numbers, expect the prices to be on the high end on the dealer floor.

Will it be extremely crowded, or is the venue large enough for everybody?

Saturday will likely be the most crowded day - I haven't been to this venue before, though, so I don't know how bad it will be.

Questions, questions, I really don't know where to start, so maybe people can just describe the way they like to spend their days at celebration and share some tricks and tips.

I'd pack some snacks and a water bottle. Bring along some homemade buttons or other swag to trade - it's fun, leaves you with some nice souvenirs, and is a good conversation started when you're stuck in lines. Don't stand in line to buy exclusives - you can always buy them on eBay later. Even if it costs you more money, you won't have wasted your time in line.

I'm sure others will chime in as well with more tips. Have fun - hope to see you there!
 
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I have a 3-Day ticket to Star Wars Celebration Europe.

I am trying to plan my weekend and I have a few questions regarding registration, picking up my tickets and acquiring wrist bands for the various panels.

What is registration? Is it for the public or just vendors/people exhibiting?


What time on Friday can I collect my tickets or are they available for collection from the Excel in advance?


How do I queue for wristbands for the various panels? Do you queue on the day of the panel or are they available in advance?



Finally do you know the fee for an autograph from Mark Hamill?

 
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I have a 3-Day ticket to Star Wars Celebration Europe.

I am trying to plan my weekend and I have a few questions regarding registration, picking up my tickets and acquiring wrist bands for the various panels.

What is registration? Is it for the public or just vendors/people exhibiting?


What time on Friday can I collect my tickets or are they available for collection from the Excel in advance?


How do I queue for wristbands for the various panels? Do you queue on the day of the panel or are they available in advance?



Finally do you know the fee for an autograph from Mark Hamill?

Registration basically means you go to the registration desk to pick-up your ticket, this is through entrance S5 on level 1.
Pick-up times are:

Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - Sunday 4pm, so it's open 24 hours a day from Thursday morning

I don't know how to get the wristbands, i'm assuming they will only be for the big panels/talks on the ce;ebration stage
We don't know the autograph fees yet, only the photoshoots...many assume the prices will be the same, but we'll just have to wait and see

Enjoy!!
 
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Thank you! That was really helpful.
There seems to be nothing official on the webpage about collecting tickets prior to the event or what to do on the day in terms of gaining access to panels etc.
I work close to the Excel so I will pick up my tickets a day or so beforehand.

Registration basically means you go to the registration desk to pick-up your ticket, this is through entrance S5 on level 1.
Pick-up times are:

Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - Sunday 4pm, so it's open 24 hours a day from Thursday morning

I don't know how to get the wristbands, i'm assuming they will only be for the big panels/talks on the ce;ebration stage
We don't know the autograph fees yet, only the photoshoots...many assume the prices will be the same, but we'll just have to wait and see

Enjoy!!
 
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Thank you! That was really helpful.
There seems to be nothing official on the webpage about collecting tickets prior to the event or what to do on the day in terms of gaining access to panels etc.
I work close to the Excel so I will pick up my tickets a day or so beforehand.
The pick-up times are shown on the site:

http://www.starwarscelebration.com/en/Events/Continuous-Schedule/#

I think i've read something about wristbands being handed out in the morning queue for certain events, but i can't remember where i read it..
 
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This was posted on the Jedi Council Forums about getting wristbands:

"FYI: This is how panels on the Celebration Stage will work (as of right now):

Step 1: In the morning, the queue hall will open to badged individuals. There will be chutes ("queues") for getting wristbands for each Celebration Stage panel. At some time early in the morning (6 am+), wristbands will start to be given out to people waiting in the chutes. Each person will get one wristband affixed to them (so no "i want one for my buddy" stuff, except for medical badge companions). Chute 1 wristbands will correspond to the 1st panel of the day at the Celebration stage. Chute 2 wristbands will correspond to the 2nd panel on the Celebration stage. After you get one wristband, you can get a second wristband for a different panel that day - but no more than two panel wristbands.

Step 2: Get in the Show Floor Queue in the Queue Hall. This is the line for people to wait in until they are admitted into the show floor. At 10 am, the show floor will open, and you can proceed.

Step 3: At some point in time, get in line at the Celebration Stage Queue. The Celebration Stage Queue is located on the Ground Floor (which is below Level 1 where the Registration Hall is located), across from the Celebration Stage. There will be separate chutes there for the different panels that day."

Floor plan is available here:
http://www.starwarscelebration.com/.../docs/SWC-Floor-Plan.pdf?v=636015113142977811

This is for the celebration stage panels/talks only, so i'm assuming for all others panels you just get in line
 
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Registration basically means you go to the registration desk to pick-up your ticket, this is through entrance S5 on level 1.
Pick-up times are:

Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - Sunday 4pm, so it's open 24 hours a day from Thursday morning

I don't know how to get the wristbands, i'm assuming they will only be for the big panels/talks on the ce;ebration stage
We don't know the autograph fees yet, only the photoshoots...many assume the prices will be the same, but we'll just have to wait and see

Enjoy!!
Yeah thanks for post this.
So it opens at 10am but what time is the recommended arrival time before that to pick up tickets and such?
We're traveling down that morning and I'm stating to wish we were stopping over the night before now.
 
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Yeah thanks for post this.
So it opens at 10am but what time is the recommended arrival time before that to pick up tickets and such?
We're traveling down that morning and I'm stating to wish we were stopping over the night before now.
I know I'm wondering about the same thing. If wristbands are getting handed out at 6am then what time will people likely be arriving? 4am?! I don't know whether to give up on the idea of watching one of the main panels or just hope there's wristbands left at a more reasonable hour like 7/8am.
Hotels in the nearby area are £400+ for the 3 days over Celebration :-/
 
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Yeah thanks for post this.
So it opens at 10am but what time is the recommended arrival time before that to pick up tickets and such?
We're traveling down that morning and I'm stating to wish we were stopping over the night before now.
I'm travelling up on the same day too... 7:30 train from Brighton, and hopefully 1hr 45mins later get to Excel.. Then... stand in the queue. I'm just praying that Excel have many lines open for the ticket collection/registration so people can get in quickly and make the most of the day(s) there. Not fussed myself on the panels & celebs.. just want to walk around and check out the stalls.
 
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At Celebration Anaheim they started live-streaming (or close to it) most of the main events panels. This was extraordinary for many many reasons and I hope they continue doing this. I remember waiting in line for one panel and watching another while I waited. Brilliant!
 
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Since Celebration went Europe-side this time around, I bought two tickets as soon as they became available, because I had heard about it, but decided it was time to experience it myself. Of course I've been reading about it online, but I have a hard time finding out what I am to expect exactly, so I was hoping some more experienced visitors could share their experiences. I'd hate to miss out on things, or come with the wrong expectations. I have tickets for all three days, is there enough to do for all three days? What are the things you shouldn't miss? I am with my brother who just tagged along for fun, and I don't want to put him through too much hardcore waiting lines and such.
I collect vintage star wars myself, is there usually a large supply available? How many dealers in general, modern and vintage? What are prices like at celebration? Will it be extremely crowded, or is the venue large enough for everybody? Questions, questions, I really don't know where to start, so maybe people can just describe the way they like to spend their days at celebration and share some tricks and tips. It would really help me get properly prepared.
I went to CE 1 in London in 2007, but only one day. The other days I spent sight seeing in London and hanging out with my buddy, who likes Star Wars, but not enough to spend three days walking at a SW con. One day of CE though, is way too short.

So, in 2013 I went to CE 2 in Essen and was accompanied by Thrawnlover, who flew in from Chicago. He's a Celebration veteran and this was his first European Celebration. It was great, really great. I remember us immediately racing towards the Hasbro booth for that Boba Fett/Han in Carbonite exclusive, which proved completely unnecessary. TL rightfully remarked the European people were apparently much more relaxed. I don't recall being bored for one second. I love taking photographs, I had a tattoo done on Sunday (took 3 hours :D), attended a lot of panels, did some bounty hunting for art cards.... Yeah there's plenty to do during Celebration.

You could also spend a part of the Saturday at Celebration and then head out to London for some sight seeing, catch a movie, have a few drinks....

As for pricing on vintage items.... Not sure, haven't really paid attention to that.
 
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I went to CE 1 in London in 2007, but only one day. The other days I spent sight seeing in London and hanging out with my buddy, who likes Star Wars, but not enough to spend three days walking at a SW con. One day of CE though, is way too short.

So, in 2013 I went to CE 2 in Essen and was accompanied by Thrawnlover, who flew in from Chicago. He's a Celebration veteran and this was his first European Celebration. It was great, really great. I remember us immediately racing towards the Hasbro booth for that Boba Fett/Han in Carbonite exclusive, which proved completely unnecessary. TL rightfully remarked the European people were apparently much more relaxed. I don't recall being bored for one second. I love taking photographs, I had a tattoo done on Sunday (took 3 hours :D), attended a lot of panels, did some bounty hunting for art cards.... Yeah there's plenty to do during Celebration.

You could also spend a part of the Saturday at Celebration and then head out to London for some sight seeing, catch a movie, have a few drinks....

As for pricing on vintage items.... Not sure, haven't really paid attention to that.
Where's that like button.... :weeabooface:
 
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Stupid question from an American; is the VAT tax added to the cost of merchandise already or is it added at the register, also is it really 20%? I'm trying to prepare myself for the idea that £100 is going to ring up as £120. Thanks for the info.
 
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Stupid question from an American; is the VAT tax added to the cost of merchandise already or is it added at the register, also is it really 20%? I'm trying to prepare myself for the idea that £100 is going to ring up as £120. Thanks for the info.
I have the same question too...
 
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Everything we've purchased the stated price has included the VAT. Like a souvenir item priced at £5 was that much at the register - no additional taxes/charges.
 
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Anyone have any idea how air-conditioned the Excel Centre is? I'm pretty bad with overheating, especially when I am in costume! I'd like to know if I should even bring the stuff I was hoping to cosplay as with me :/ Not worth it potentially getting battered on the trains in to then not wear it...
 
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On the first day at CE2 I quickly learned the prices of the food and drinks at the convention center were quite steep. So, the next day I er.... confiscated some buns from the hotel breakfast and bought drinks at a grocery store nearby. Much cheaper and this way I save money for what's much more important: to buy SW goodies :D
 
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By the way, there will a substantial reward for anyone who finds any Pokemon Go players at Celebration. You are free to use any methods necessary but I want them alive, no disintegrations ;)
 
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hi all, I have checked with the London excel customer services and its free wi fi at the location you have to connect through your profile facebook to activate!
 
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This is my first Celebration, what's the queuing for the main stage panels going to be like?

I know you can start queuing from 8pm tonight, but they don't start putting wristbands on until 6am.

If we turn up at 7/8am, have we got much chance of getting a wristband?

And how packed will the non-wristband stages be?

Is it busier on some days, quieter on others?

Also, are there any panels that are notoriously bad?

Edit: another thing, all the non-wristband stages seem to have queues too, so it doesn't seem like it'll be that easy to watch the streams of the big panels...
 
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By far the coolest stand I went to was run by Nick maley. Amazing inspiring guy had a full on yoda animatronic and was such a great guy to talk to, so many stories from so many movies!

if your going Sunday you should go see him the guy is a legend!
 
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For those who attended, how did the wristband thing work out? I'm afraid they're going to do this at next year's Celebration and I'm not sure I like the sound of lining up early in the morning to get a wristband for each major panel.
 
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For those who attended, how did the wristband thing work out? I'm afraid they're going to do this at next year's Celebration and I'm not sure I like the sound of lining up early in the morning to get a wristband for each major panel.
Well the whole 'queuing begins at 8pm the day before the panel' thing was as expected a huge waste of time and i'm glad I didn't do it. Even for the biggest panels like Rogue One and Mark Hamill, wristbands didn't really sell out until 7-8am, and being earlier in the queue didn't give you any advantage or better seating at all. The writstband system does work, but needs a bit of tweaking to make supply/demand a bit more obvious so you don't get people showing up at 4am out of fear of missing out.
 
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They should adopt some kind of lottery or something. You enter online and they pick X number at random and then communicate to the winners. Then you take your confirmation email to a pick up spot and get your entry bracelet. That would give folks that are traveling a fair shot.

So you didn't need to camp out the night before but anyone arriving Friday morning after 7-8AM were out of luck.

I dont attend tend the big panels so it doesn't really matter to me. But there should be a quick and easy way of handling things to avoid any real lines while also being fair to each and every attendee.
 
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