Star Wars Celebration Anaheim - April 16-19, 2015

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It was a great weekend and I had tons of fun! The panels, that I made it into, were great and I wish I could have made it into more. Unfortunately, as most people have noted, the lines were way too long and Reed was horribly unprepared to control the crowds. I wanted the get a TFA shirt and the building blocks at the store, but there was no way I was waiting in that line! On the survey, I gave a few recommendations in how to fix it. Going back to the 24 hour store would be nice. If people have to wait that long to buy something, at least let them do it without wasting time that could be spent at a panel or autograph booth. I also suggested having the official store send their own vendors out to the queue line before the show each morning. That way, you can get your purchasing done before the show even starts! Also, they could put multiple store locations inside the building to help split up the crowds.

Here is what I was able to do in 4 days, with wait times.

Thursday - Got in line at 11:30 pm. JJ panel(10.5 hours), Untold Clone Wars(90 minutes), Episode I & II in 3D(60 minutes)
Friday - Got in line at 8 am. Clone Wars Bad Batch screening(90 minutes), Episode III in 3D(120 minutes)
Saturday - Got in line at 6:30 am. Battlefront experience(45 minutes), Rebels Season 2 preview panel(no wait), Rebels Season 2 Premiere(4.5 hours)
Sunday - Got in line at 7 am. TFA exhibit(90 minutes), Rebels cast autographs(150 minutes), Closing Ceremony(30 minutes)
 
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I love the idea of a "duty free" type of shopping scenario. Purchase beforehand, either on-line, or literally in line as you queue for the show. Pay via CC online and then pick up at some pre-arranged point in time. Ridiculous to spend that much time waiting to hand someone your money.
 
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I love the idea of a "duty free" type of shopping scenario. Purchase beforehand, either on-line, or literally in line as you queue for the show. Pay via CC online and then pick up at some pre-arranged point in time. Ridiculous to spend that much time waiting to hand someone your money.
I don't understand why only Masters and Knights can buy online and pickup there. Things would go SO much smoother if they opened this to everyone and this way they'd also have a better idea of how much product they need to carry in the actual store. Come by anytime during the 4 day period and pick up your stuff. I wish I would've thought of this when I filled out the survey.
 
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I don't understand why only Masters and Knights can buy online and pickup there. Things would go SO much smoother if they opened this to everyone and this way they'd also have a better idea of how much product they need to carry in the actual store. Come by anytime during the 4 day period and pick up your stuff. I wish I would've thought of this when I filled out the survey.
Actually, no one can buy online. Jedi Masters have a pick-up form and have their "personal shopper" pick up their items and have it delivered, but Jedi Knights still have to pickup their own items at the store.

I think being able to pre-order is a fantastic idea, though the logistics would be a nightmare with 30,000 people and 20 to 30 volunteers at the store.
 
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I put this down in my comments that there needs to be more paid and trained employees for this type of event. No amount of a Volunteers with a crash course in training is going to make the store work well.

The biggest weakness to any of the big Conventions I go to is the overdependence on Volunteers.
 
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I put this down in my comments that there needs to be more paid and trained employees for this type of event. No amount of a Volunteers with a crash course in training is going to make the store work well.

The biggest weakness to any of the big Conventions I go to is the overdependence on Volunteers.
AMEN!! Don't get me wrong, volunteers are AWESOME and we can't thank them enough for dedication and efforts. However, for a show this size, you need to have PAID workers who are trained and have a vested interest in making sure that the show runs smoothly. With the profit Reed and Lucasfilm made over those 4 days, there is no way they can tell us they couldn't afford to have more paid staff.
 
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I arrived home this A.M. and must say I had a great time. There were several issues I will comment on in my response to the SW Celebration email. This was my 7th Celebration and I rate it at the 3rd best for ME . The #2 was CV in Orlando in 2010, and #1 was CIV in 2007 in LA. The only comment I will make here is I believe the ATTENDANCE was much higher than any other Celebration. We shall see if and when they release the #'s. It was nice to take my son out of school for 2 weeks and do Disneyland, CA. Adventure, Downtown Disney, Hollywood, and Universal Studio's. I can't wait for Celebration 8, anyone have any idea's or RUMORS where and when it will be????
 
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Earlier in the thread, it was mentioned that future Celebrations will switch between Orlando and Anaheim; this was apparently what a Reed employee said at the con. I'd be up for that!
 
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Earlier in the thread, it was mentioned that future Celebrations will switch between Orlando and Anaheim; this was apparently what a Reed employee said at the con. I'd be up for that!
If you're referring to what I posted, the Reed employee in question only said that future US Celebrations would be in either Orlando or Anaheim. He did not indicate that they would switch off from year to year. If they are doing them every other year, it may well be that there will be two in Anaheim before they go back to Orlando. Not sure if they had to sign a multi-year contract with the ACC or not. Given Disney's muscle, they might be able to dictate their own terms.
 
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No offense intended towards all the kindly volunteers, but the whole reason the Celebration Store check out line lasted hours was because they had no cashiering experience.
 
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I couldnt even get a program book from the celebration store waited for hours and didnt even get it , if anyone has one they want to sell please pm me thank you.
 
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A vendor at the show told me it was going to be in Orlando. He said 2018, but I suspect 2017 is more likely.

I arrived home this A.M. and must say I had a great time. There were several issues I will comment on in my response to the SW Celebration email. This was my 7th Celebration and I rate it at the 3rd best for ME . The #2 was CV in Orlando in 2010, and #1 was CIV in 2007 in LA. The only comment I will make here is I believe the ATTENDANCE was much higher than any other Celebration. We shall see if and when they release the #'s. It was nice to take my son out of school for 2 weeks and do Disneyland, CA. Adventure, Downtown Disney, Hollywood, and Universal Studio's. I can't wait for Celebration 8, anyone have any idea's or RUMORS where and when it will be????
 
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I would bet on Celebration 8 being in Orlando in April 2017. Or maybe in early May, like the week before Star Wars Weekends, so they can have people stay for 2 weekends
 
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So yeah, I'd like to take the time ans share ole DB's thoughts on C7, but still not home!

I'm sitting, at 3 am mind you, in a shady Sleep Inn outside Houston airport. United Airlines ****ed my entire traveling party over this evening. Not happy, at all. Just wanna be home!!!!!
 
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No offense intended towards all the kindly volunteers, but the whole reason the Celebration Store check out line lasted hours was because they had no cashiering experience.
I'm not sure if it was that, or the fact that it was awfully organized with how they handled the lines the first day or so.
 
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No offense intended towards all the kindly volunteers, but the whole reason the Celebration Store check out line lasted hours was because they had no cashiering experience.
This is SO TRUE!!! It took me forever to check out because the people had no idea what I had. Not that I had a lot. I ended up having to point out on the sheet what each item was. "This is a Bossk hoodie, this is a aurebesh dog tag, this is a chewbacca sock toy..." Imagine that over and over. They need a computer program with pictures at check out, or everything needs a bar code, or do like Funco and have people with tablets that can total you out in line. How about a cash line. Maybe a ten items or less line. How about satellite store booths set up around the showroom floor that only have "essential items" like a lanyard, program etc. so you don't have to do the crazy store for basic items.

The ultimate solution is to let people order ahead of time and pick it up at the show. This would be a giant task to undertake but it could 100% be done. This would also allow for the right amount of merchandise to be made. It would have told them that they needed to make 100k Force Awakens shirts instead of 5k. I'd let people be able to pick up items on Wednesday before the show even opens, or let people schedule a time to pick it up and have the times limited like OfficialPix does with signing times. The past 3 Celebrations the store has gone smoothly. I think it has to be the crowd this year because the store was a giant mess. I have never seen the store so empty of product on a Sunday.
 
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Why on EARTH would they throw untrained/inexperienced people behind the registers at a thing like this? It's beyond me, and even though I wasn't even there, it's frustrating to read about. Absolutely nuts.
 
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Preordering would be amazing. I think I said it earlier somewhere, they trained them on the system 30 min prior to the preview night. The lady who ran me up said her first time thru the entire process was her first sale
 
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We preordered the Build-a-Bear Chewbacca and Ewok while at celebration. I can't find the release date anywhere. Does anyone know?
 
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We preordered the Build-a-Bear Chewbacca and Ewok while at celebration. I can't find the release date anywhere. Does anyone know?
ReedPop don't care simple as that!! otherwise these problems would be fixed by now , every time they send out the survey we tell them the same things and the IGNORE us!!! get people who work in a store to man the tills its not brain storming!! KEEP THE VENDORS OUT of the Wednesday exclusive event! I paid for that privilege what did they do!!! Get rid of the Volunteers or TRAIN THEM!! its not their fault if no one instructs them whats going on ! get a barrier line situation going not some crappy white lines on the floor! and after all that YES I do have my ticket for Celebration London!
Oh one last thing,one little hint to help you make cash,when you decide to have an exclusive like a Force Awakens t-shirt make THOUSANDS!!!
 
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I've been to every U.S. Celebration other than 6 and I would easily say that this was the least fun I have had at one. It was just so overcrowded. The lines were a major issue - not entirely due to the massive number of people, but primarily due to the extremely poor line management by Reed. One morning, I went straight to the store to try and get in as I had the line capped in front of me three separate times earlier in the weekend (in my opinion, a line should *never* be capped in front of people who are already in line and have been for some time, but that is a separate rant) - the corner housing the store was home to the store line, the line for the playable Battlefront booth, and a line for an upcoming panel. There were *thousands* of people in that corner and none of them were certain which line they were in or where they should be going...

I echo other people's problems with the cashiers. No offense to them per se - they should have been better trained. But even on the third day, I had to explain what each item was and they still were unable to figure out how to ring one thing up. (Why were items not given a scannable bar code again?)

The panels I was able to get in to were mostly good (with the exception of a stinker up in the collector's stage), but rarely were they worth standing multiple hours in line for.

Mostly, I am frustrated with how things were managed this time. All of the other small nitpicks are pretty typical con things and I've dealt with them at past Celebrations. It just seemed like there were not enough (or any at many points) trained staff members actually working to keep things organized and running smoothly.
 
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Finally got through my pictures from Celebration. Here's a link to the Flickr album with all of them.

Here's a couple


- old & new cast together
- this DeAgostini Build Your Own Falcon was really impressive in person


- this painting by Robert Burden has so much detail

- I thought these might've been Ares & his wife for a second
- this was a great moment
- you couldn't take photos of the big stars when you were at the table, but you could from the line





- R2-D2 Builders meet up
- SMS Mixer
- SMS Mixer
 
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LOVED CVII, but hated the crowds. Also, I hated the fact that they sold alcohol. While in armor, had several drunk people (this was around 3/4pm) wanting to take pictures. They almost damaged my armor.

Overall though, I had a great time. Lots could have been done better. I'll post my thoughts on that later.

Anyway, here is my cosplay vid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17IQEwF8Ssk
 
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I'm not a prude or anything but I thought selling alcohol was ridiculous. Other than maybe being frustrated by lines - who needs to drink during a convention? Want a beer with lunch? Leave and go get one. They didn't need bars throughout the convention center. I assume that was the convention center itself and hopefully not something Reed wanted bc it as unnecessary.
 
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I'm not a prude or anything but I thought selling alcohol was ridiculous. Other than maybe being frustrated by lines - who needs to drink during a convention? Want a beer with lunch? Leave and go get one. They didn't need bars throughout the convention center. I assume that was the convention center itself and hopefully not something Reed wanted bc it as unnecessary.
at Wondercon two weeks before, there were no bars. I'm sure Reed got some type of kickback for allowing the bars to be set up.
 
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Alcohol sales didn't bother me one bit and I had one beer on Friday. That being said, how could anyone get drunk at 9-10 dollars a drink? Also, my main deterrent to drinking was the fact that I was waiting in line most of the time and didn't want to get out of line to pee and lose my place.
 
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I had a very similar experience... I had VIP Knight badge and went to the store Wednesday night... Was in and online to check out in 20 mins... took me 30 mins online to get to the register then just over an hour walking the poor untrained volunteer through what each item was... they had to break the order in 2 because I ordered the Badge set... was very frustrating... I really did feel bad for the woman trying to help me. No one knew how to do things and no one knew how to help each other out to speed up the process...



This is SO TRUE!!! It took me forever to check out because the people had no idea what I had. Not that I had a lot. I ended up having to point out on the sheet what each item was. "This is a Bossk hoodie, this is a aurebesh dog tag, this is a chewbacca sock toy..." Imagine that over and over. They need a computer program with pictures at check out, or everything needs a bar code, or do like Funco and have people with tablets that can total you out in line. How about a cash line. Maybe a ten items or less line. How about satellite store booths set up around the showroom floor that only have "essential items" like a lanyard, program etc. so you don't have to do the crazy store for basic items.

The ultimate solution is to let people order ahead of time and pick it up at the show. This would be a giant task to undertake but it could 100% be done. This would also allow for the right amount of merchandise to be made. It would have told them that they needed to make 100k Force Awakens shirts instead of 5k. I'd let people be able to pick up items on Wednesday before the show even opens, or let people schedule a time to pick it up and have the times limited like OfficialPix does with signing times. The past 3 Celebrations the store has gone smoothly. I think it has to be the crowd this year because the store was a giant mess. I have never seen the store so empty of product on a Sunday.
 
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Alcohol sales didn't bother me one bit and I had one beer on Friday. That being said, how could anyone get drunk at 9-10 dollars a drink? Also, my main deterrent to drinking was the fact that I was waiting in line most of the time and didn't want to get out of line to pee and lose my place.
People were dropping 1000 for artwork 1000 for autographs and 1000 for exclusives...at 9-10 a beer that's the cheapest item in the wole show. I found it in horrible taste to see alcohol there.
 
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Alcohol sales didn't bother me one bit and I had one beer on Friday. That being said, how could anyone get drunk at 9-10 dollars a drink? Also, my main deterrent to drinking was the fact that I was waiting in line most of the time and didn't want to get out of line to pee and lose my place.

I look at it as, with all the stuff you had to put up with (long lines at the Celebration Store, long lines to get in, the massive crowds, clueless volunteers) you need a drink just to deal with it all. They sell beer at a State Fair or a music festival, I don't see how this is any different.
 
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People were dropping 1000 for artwork 1000 for autographs and 1000 for exclusives...at 9-10 a beer that's the cheapest item in the wole show. I found it in horrible taste to see alcohol there.
I see your point, but as someone who spends a lot of money at these things, I don't think the average person at the show dropped 3k on the floor and then went on a binge. Plus I had to wait in line 10 min to get my beer (common theme) so you would have to be double fisting to get drunk! I'm willing to bet if someone was drunk, they came drunk otherwise it would be a lot of work. I guess I just don't see what's so distasteful about an adult getting a beer while they walk around the show. I think the poorly executed store and the never ending lines were more distasteful, not to mention this isn't the first celebration to serve alcohol at. In Orlando they had the Hoth Bar, a star wars themed bar. Just my 2 cents
 
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People were dropping 1000 for artwork 1000 for autographs and 1000 for exclusives...at 9-10 a beer that's the cheapest item in the wole show. I found it in horrible taste to see alcohol there.[/QUOT
Horrible taste??? what does that even mean??? i saw no tipsy people all weekend and Im an adult I should and can manage my life!
 
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I did find it very odd for there to be alcohol but overall I was surprised that i didn't seen a ton of drunks. Saw a few but not that bad. My biggest concern was the amount of alcohol being served and the overall lack of security. They got lucky in that it turned out fine.
 
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I did find it very odd for there to be alcohol but overall I was surprised that i didn't seen a ton of drunks. Saw a few but not that bad. My biggest concern was the amount of alcohol being served and the overall lack of security. They got lucky in that it turned out fine.
you could walk 5 mins to a hotel bar!!! lol the biggest problem was not the couple of alcohol vendors but the lack of trained staff from ReedPop!! why do you equate alcohol being served and needing security!!!!!??? there was maybe 3/4 pop up bars for 60000 people!! get a grip!
 
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you could walk 5 mins to a hotel bar!!! lol the biggest problem was not the couple of alcohol vendors but the lack of trained staff from ReedPop!! why do you equate alcohol being served and needing security!!!!!??? there was maybe 3/4 pop up bars for 60000 people!! get a grip!
You are entitled to an opinion just like everyone else. There were more then 3-4 pop up bars and the possibility of people getting rowdy with alcohol increases. You already had a poorly organized and run convention, then add alcohol that can be bad.
 
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