Celebration Orlando: Tips & Tricks

Chris Wyman

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If you've ever attended a Star Wars Celebration before, this is the place to share your vast knowledge of what new fans can expect and to possibly help someone out.
 
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I know it's early but I'm curious to what other people think:

If you could only bring five things with you into the Convention Center, what would they be? (other than money/wallet, phone, badge)
 
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I know it's early but I'm curious to what other people think:

If you could only bring five things with you into the Convention Center, what would they be? (other than money/wallet, phone, badge)
Bottled water
Tote bag/backpack
Poster tubes are helpful if you plan on getting any kind of prints/photos
A lightsaber
Comfortable shoes
 
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Sliver/Gray Sharpie for signatures as not all guests will have that color. The Walgreens closest to CVII Anaheim was sold out quick.

I agree a poster tube comes in handy and is a must, along with a backpack and water.
 
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If you buy collectibles.. is there a on-site shipping service?
Yes, there is a FedEx store inside the OCCC. If you can pack it yourself though by getting some supplies from vendors on the last day, you'll save a lot of money.
 
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I know it's early but I'm curious to what other people think:

If you could only bring five things with you into the Convention Center, what would they be? (other than money/wallet, phone, badge)
definitely wear comfortable shoes and clothing. it can get hot in the convention area with all the guests.
phone charger always comes in handy
silver and black sharpies
if you can shrink you wallet down its for the best. limit yourself to maybe 1-2 credit cards and cash. the rest you can leave in the hotel safe

if you are going to be wearing a costume to the convention try to incorporate all of your personal items into the costume by a belt or pouch system. (I did Luke Skywalker from Shadows of the Empire so my belt held my phone, wallet, and charger)

also plan out your day so you can maximize your time and enjoy the show. use the Celebration app or guide. it really works and helps to keep you on schedule.
 
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Yeah making sure you have a good schedule is key for panels as well, especially the main stage! You'll want to get in line early to ensure you're there!
 
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Hello

I've joined the forum today to try and gather some information ahead of Celebration - by complete chance my family and I are coming to Florida for a Disney holiday, I've managed to duck out of going to either Aquatica or Seaworld so I can come to my first ever Celebration ( actually my first ever convention with more than 10 people and a dog )

I have a whole host of questions that seasoned visitors will know for certain and wondered if you guys could help a newbie

As some background before my questions - my sole focus is autographs, in particular the bigger stars that don't come to my northern area of England very often

- I can only come for 1 day, either Thursday or Saturday. Apart from Saturday costing an extra $10 and possibly more people in each queue, which day would you recommend ?

- For getting autographs do I need to buy a ticket in advance or on the day or do I just go and stand in a queue all day ( I'm British queing comes naturally )

- Is it feasible to think I can get Hamill, Fisher, Daniels, McDiarmid and Mayhew all in that one day ?

I am so excited about the possibility of getting to Celebration and meeting some of the bigger stars, just busy saving now to try and get the 5 that I want + maybe having some left over to meet Ray Park or Jeremy Bulloch

Thanks for any advice

Mal Skelton
 
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- I can only come for 1 day, either Thursday or Saturday. Apart from Saturday costing an extra $10 and possibly more people in each queue, which day would you recommend ?

- For getting autographs do I need to buy a ticket in advance or on the day or do I just go and stand in a queue all day ( I'm British queing comes naturally )

- Is it feasible to think I can get Hamill, Fisher, Daniels, McDiarmid and Mayhew all in that one day ?
1) Thursday for sure. Less crowded and the Episode 8 trailer, if we're getting one, should be revealed then.
2) If they offer the tickets in advance, buy them for sure. Day of ticket lines are usually very bad.
3) It's unlikely that all of them will be attending, and even if they are, that they'll be available on the same day. Take a look at the Celebration Europe schedule as an example: https://futureofstarwars.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/autograph-and-photo-op-prices-for-star-wars-celebration-europe/
 
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Thursday is less crowded and therefore easier to get autographs. Though you should consider, that if the actors are otherwise committed, then it is more likely, that it will be Thursday/Friday, that they can't come, rather than for it to be during the weekend.

Like TK-421 says, if tickets for autographs is offered in advance, then go for them for sure. And sooner rather than later, as admittance to the actor may depend upon how soon you bought the ticket.

I would say, that it is highly unlikely, that you can see those five in one day. They were all there for the previous two US Celebrations, though at CVI in 2012 Ian wasn't signing Thursday, and Carrie only attended Saturday and Sunday.
And on the day, nothing bad said about Carrie, she is great fun to meet, but she is also most likely to be late - like half an hour and at one time I think even two hours late, so I recommend not getting in line for her first.
And if at all possible, get virtual queue tickets for all you want to meet at the earliest possible time. If virtual queue tickets is being used, and you don't get all of them before getting in line for the first actor, then you can pretty much forget the rest.
Peter Mayhew will likely have the shortest queue, so at the end of the day, when you can see, that there is no time for one of the other four, then there may still be time for Peter (no guarantees though).

Whether your number in the queue depends upon how soon you bought the autograph ticket (if offered) or a virtual queue ticket picked up on site (if offered) depends upon the organiser.
And if autograph tickets are offered in advance, then please note, that they are likely not refundable, so unless you know someone else there, that you can sell leftovers to, then I recommend considering very hard whether it is best to buy all and maybe loose out because you don't have more time, or only buy some and then loose out because you had the time, but no autograph ticket with low number or no time for standing in line both for getting an autograph ticket AND for getting the autograph.

And not to worry. British or other, if you are there solely for autographs, then you will be standing in queues all day. Especially with the ones you wish to meet.
 
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for people who are familiar with the convention center, do they have lockers there available for general use?

I saw they were listed as a perk for people with VIP tickets, but what about everyone else?
 
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for people who are familiar with the convention center, do they have lockers there available for general use?

I saw they were listed as a perk for people with VIP tickets, but what about everyone else?
I don't believe there are lockers. I do remember they had a luggage holding place on Sunday for those who were leaving for the airport directly after the convention.
 
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Does anyone know if they will be serving beer inside in Orlando? I know they had it in Anaheim, but I've never attended a Celebration in Florida.
 
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The 5 S's.....

1) Shoes (comfortable)
2) Sharpies (for autographs)
3) Snacks! (pack some, bottled water too...)
4) Spending Money.. you'll need it there!
5) Star Wars SMILE.... It's why you're there. Enjoy it! Plan your day(s) out!

And YES, they've served beer in the past. The ICEBAR Orlando (from CV in Orlando) was upstairs that had a Hoth theme in the OCCC. FWIR carts on the convention center floor had beer....

MTFBWY.
 
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I like having Lunch Pre-packed with no refrigeration needed foods before I leave the hotel room. It means I can control when I get lunch instead of when I get Hungry losing an hour of time in a convention Center line. I prefer things such as Canned Tuna Salad and Chicken Salad along with bread, Fruit, Chips or other non-perishable snacks.
 
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The 5 S's.....

1) Shoes (comfortable)
2) Sharpies (for autographs)
3) Snacks! (pack some, bottled water too...)
4) Spending Money.. you'll need it there!
5) Star Wars SMILE.... It's why you're there. Enjoy it! Plan your day(s) out!

And YES, they've served beer in the past. The ICEBAR Orlando (from CV in Orlando) was upstairs that had a Hoth theme in the OCCC. FWIR carts on the convention center floor had beer....

MTFBWY.
I like having Lunch Pre-packed with no refrigeration needed foods before I leave the hotel room. It means I can control when I get lunch instead of when I get Hungry losing an hour of time in a convention Center line. I prefer things such as Canned Tuna Salad and Chicken Salad along with bread, Fruit, Chips or other non-perishable snacks.

Snacks/food is a huge investment in your weekend. Instead of a warm personal pan pizza + mt dew for $13, you can avoid those lines and probably pack something better for around $5. Over 4 days, the time and money will add up.

Another few things to add to the lists:
- Small packable poncho
- A garbage bag -- to put your prints/posters/collectibles/backback/etc in when it eventually decides to pour rain while you are attempting to get into your transportation of choice. Such a light and small item that is often overlooked

1b - clean pair of socks -- for some reason, a mid-day refresh of socks does a lot for me at longer conventions.
 
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Any tips on staying in line overnight? I've done plenty of in line waiting during the day for hours but I'm planning on staying overnight for the Ep 8 panel. How do they do bathroom breaks without losing your spot in line? And what should/can you bring to make the stay overnight decent?
 
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A fold-able chair will make a huge difference, assuming you can handle carrying it around. Sitting on that rock hard floor will hurt after awhile.

https://www.amazon.com/TravelChair-Slacker-Chair-Folding-Tripod/dp/B01BBX9NJS

Or here's a smaller one if you can handle sitting lower to the ground:
https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-2000003154-Event-Stool/dp/B00363WYWU/

As far as holding your spot, make friends with those in front and behind you, which is usually never a problem, and they'll hold your spot. :)

If this is like C7, the hall they had bathrooms and vendors, so you should be able to buy food and use restrooms without much issue. I'd recommend having your own snacks like granola bars, fruit bites, etc to stave off the hunger in a healthier manner, and save some major cash since the vendor food won't be cheap.

Also, I'd highly recommend a portable water bottle too:
https://www.amazon.com/Brita-Filtered-Sports-Squeeze-Turquoise/dp/B004GN8RDY/

Fill up in your hotel before you head over.
 
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Thanks! I had been considering a chair so I appreciate the suggestions. Definitely need something that works but isn't too heavy to carry.

I'll be with a friend so I was thinking we could take turns heading to the bathroom but I was concerned about being let in and out of the hall by staff. On top of necessities, it would be nice to be able to brush teeth and refresh with a new coat of deo etc in the morning and I would rather do that in a bathroom. I would hope they would be pretty lenient and understanding but you never know. I do already have a portable water bottle but thanks for the reminder, it will definitely be needed that night. I didn't always carry it in Anaheim but I also didn't stay overnight in one hall. I'll pass along your snack recommendations to my friend as well.

What portable chargers do you guys recommend? I will always have my wired charger with me for the times I see an outlet but that's not always an option. I looked some up but I definitely want the best option for a good price.
 
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Thanks! I had been considering a chair so I appreciate the suggestions. Definitely need something that works but isn't too heavy to carry.

I'll be with a friend so I was thinking we could take turns heading to the bathroom but I was concerned about being let in and out of the hall by staff. On top of necessities, it would be nice to be able to brush teeth and refresh with a new coat of deo etc in the morning and I would rather do that in a bathroom. I would hope they would be pretty lenient and understanding but you never know. I do already have a portable water bottle but thanks for the reminder, it will definitely be needed that night. I didn't always carry it in Anaheim but I also didn't stay overnight in one hall. I'll pass along your snack recommendations to my friend as well.

What portable chargers do you guys recommend? I will always have my wired charger with me for the times I see an outlet but that's not always an option. I looked some up but I definitely want the best option for a good price.
I saw some people at Celebration Anaaheim with this. http://https://www.amazon.com/Rothco-Backpack-Stool-Combo-Pack/dp/B000KZFJE2 I bought myself one as soon as I got back. I always have a bag with me and this kills 2 birds with one stone.

As far as battery, I use an Anker 21000 Mah powercore. https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore-20100-Capacity-Technology/dp/B00X5RV14Y/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1484682314&sr=8-4&keywords=anker+portable+charger Its big but I can get a complete charge on both my phone and my tablet at least 3 times together. Plug it in every night and your never lose power. You also have 2 usb ports on it so you can share the power and make some friends in line. When it is completely dead it takes 2 days to charge though so make sure you boost it every night.
 
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Definitely camping out for that ep 8 panel....i have a compact sleeping bag...that allowed?... this is all so new to me....but so excited....less than 4 months!!!
 
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Thanks Groove! I like the backpack stool idea, I usually have a backpack and that could work. pretty affordable too. I like the charging station, I'll have my tablet to watch SW while we wait overnight before everyone starts trying to catch some zzz's so that would work great.
 
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As far as tips and tricks...

Thoughts on retractable vs. nonretractable lightsabers if I want to dress up? The ones that don't fold up look 100 times better but the retractable will be easier to carry around in a backpack. Anyone had experience with costume props/weapons carrying in the past??
 
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Also a small portfolio to hold pictures of celebs and signed pics. It could also hold small flat items safely.
 
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If you go to Michaels, sign up for their mailing list and you get a 40% off coupon every week and sometimes more on special occasions. Also, sign up for their membership club, I've been getting a 50% off coupon every week so far this month.
 
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