STAR WARS CELEBRATION is one month away! April 16-19, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. If you’ve never been to one before, or need a refresher, Skywalking Through Neverland has some convention tips for you! Richard and I have been to every Star Wars Celebration since Celebration IV in 2007, and several other conventions in between. So sit back, relax, and follow this guide as you plan your convention experience.
Plan out your schedule! Have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C for each day. It’s guaranteed – you won’t get into every panel you want. However, that’s when you might meet new people who become friends for life. Or discover a panel you never knew you wanted to go to! At D23 Expo in 2011 I couldn’t get in to the main stage to see the Live Action Movie panel. So I went to a tiny panel on the show floor all about concept art. There I met a Disney artist, Victoria Ying, concept designer and artist on my favorite Disney movie, Tangled.
I happened to be dressed as Rapunzel. It was an instant connection. As I write this blog I can look up at the 2 gorgeous Tangled lithographs signed by Victoria and a couple of her artist friends at Walt Disney Animation.
Before the convention you can look at the schedule, mark your favorites, set a To-Do List, and even make friends with others before you arrive! Especially helpful if you have to go solo this year. You can download it here in the Apple App Store or get it in Google Play.
During the convention make sure to check the App and your notifications because you might learn of things going on you forgot about. Follow @SW_Celebration on Twitter for tips, or advice on when a line caps out, or a new event is starting.
You will be so busy trying to catch everything you want, you will not have time to stand in line to buy food. Or you may get caught waiting in a long line for a panel and suddenly become hungry and grumpy. No one wants to be around that! Water and protein snacks like nuts and Clif Bars will get you through the day.
This will be for carrying freebees you never knew you needed. Or you can go the super-sporty route and grab this Convention Hoodie from HerUniverse and Nerdist!
Bring these especially if you are meeting people or plan to separate from your group. Richard and I almost lost each other at San Diego Comic Con one year. If he hadn’t been in the right place at the right time when he saw me walk into Hall H, we’d probably still be running around that cadaverous convention center calling out to each other. His cell phone battery had died.
The more people you know, the more you will want to hang out with them. You may find yourself going to the convention all day, and partying each and every night of the Convention. Take a moment between the Convention and the evening’s party to freshen up. Either go back to your hotel room, or a bathroom and change your shirt, retouch your makeup (ladies), grab some coffee and maybe take a 15 minute power nap. This will help you make it through looking refreshed and renewed for the evening. If you’re cosplaying, have that outfit laid out in advance so you don’t have to think about the various pieces.
Everyone is different. Some people see something and MUST HAVE NOW, so they plunk down their money (me) right then and there. However, sometimes a little anticipation before you buy is good. If you see an item you like, write it down or take a picture, and then NOTE what aisle and booth it resides. Trust me, after several aisles, you WILL forget where you saw it last. While perusing the dealer room, you may find that same item 3 booths down for $20 cheaper. That is why it’s good to wait just a bit before jumping into a sale.
If you are on the fence about an item. Wait until the final day of the Convention, even the last hour. Vendors do NOT want to transport all their items back to where they came from, and are more willing to sell their goods for less just to avoid this.
Whether it’s a cosplay character, an irreverent T-shirt, your favorite character’s lightsaber, or your podcast logo tee, you’ll see that like-minded people are drawn to your outfit of choice. For example, Sith would be drawn to this:
This was how we met Margaret Kerry, Tinker Bell Animator’s Model. She saw Richard wearing our “Skywalking Through Neverland” logo tee and asked about it. When we told her we were a podcast, she wrote down her personal cell phone number and gave it to us. Connection made, Fairy Podmother granted!
We hope these convention tips help you get ready for STAR WARS CELEBRATION. Now take a listen to this podcast episode for a more detailed Survival Guide in audio form.
Richard and I are so excited to meet you! If you’d like to meet us, there is one place we are guaranteed to be – on the Podcast Stage on Friday, April 17th from 3:00-4:00 PM. This is not just a Live Podcast, it’s an Interactive Fandom Adventure full of fun, games and prizes donated with a LOT of help from your Adventures By Daddy himself, Dave Parfitt. We hope to see you there!