10 ways to prepare for the SDCC hotel reservations

Here are some last minute tips to help prepare you for the hotel registration starting tomorrow at 9 am. Statistically there will be less people online compared to last month’s mad ticket rush but there will still be a ton of people. Here is the math. Comic Con sells about 90k+ tickets. The other 30k makes up the venders, volunteers, celebs, staff, vip, etc. Some of these people have comped rooms and some do not, but I won’t try to guess how many. So of the 90k left, a percentage are not staying in hotels because they are just coming for the day or commuting in. So if I were to arbitrarily guess, I would say 60k are staying in hotels overnight. In my most recent hotel poll, about 15% are booking separate from the SDCC hotel system. So we will round down to 50K. So my best guess is that there will be somewhere between 40-60k trying to get hotel reservations in the morning. Comic Con has 30+ hotels set aside for this purpose. Even if each hotel has enough capacity for 1k people each, that is a lot of rooms available. With all that said- Even though, I am Asian, my math ain’t so good. But you get the picture. There is a closer ratio of attendee/hotel than the ticketing madness from earlier. I will do more research to find hard numbers to report for the future.

So in preparation for tomorrows hotel rush, here are a few keys to remember:

  1. Take your time: If you can afford it, block off the entire morning (or day). Take a vacation day, call in sick, fake a death of a relative, or declare as a Comic Con zealot, that this is a religious holiday!
  2. Enter the Matrix: The link to register is here. Be connected to a hard line. You would hate to miss your reservation because of wifi trouble. Don’t try this on your iPhone of iPad, it will just frustrate you. Make sure your laptop is fully charged or better yet, be plugged in.
  3. Choose wisely: Make sure you read my “keys to picking the right hotel for you” post. Make sure to pick up to 20 hotels. Hopefully you won’t need your 20th pick but you don’t want to scramble for choices in the moment. So make a list, check it twice, then print it out and have it ready.
  4. Threes a company: If you have multiple people in your party, you can increase your chances of getting a room by attempting to register with multiple computers. However, for consideration of others, please do not process multiple reservations just ‘to be safe’. We want as many people to get rooms on the first try.
  5. Twilight Zone: Don’t get caught in the wrong zone. registration begins 9 am PST. So if you live in the east, you will be logging in at 12 or 1. Every year I hear the same thing ‘I was in the wrong time zone!!!’ Do the math.
  6. Patience Grasshoppa: As we saw in the ticket craziness, the inventory can fluctuate based on how much traffic is on at once and if the system crashes. It’s likely that at 9:01 it says ‘your desired hotel is not available’ when in reality it is. A lot of people gave up getting tickets because they thought it was sold out. The Hotel Planner is probably a different system but stay patient and diligent no matter what it says. Don’t give up.
  7. Credit check: Make sure your credit card is ready to go with enough credit available. Have a second card ready just in case your card gets blocked because of a processing glitch. I know, it sounds extreme but a little extra preparation can save your whole trip. I would also use a credit card and not a debit card. Incorrect charges are easier to dispute with your CC. Once confirmed, the system will charge you at least one night’s charge on your card immediately.
  8. The numbers don’t lie: You are suppose to receive a ‘recap e-mail’ within 48 hours and a confirmation e-mail by March 15th. If you are still unsure, check to see if your card has been charged the single night. If not, then your reservation may be in jeopardy. If it has, then your confirmation should arrive soon.
  9. Foiled again! If you don’t get a hotel, more rooms will open up as they are returned. You still may have a chance but it would still be wise to book a primary room as close as you can get.
  10. Twitter is your friend: One thing I learned from the ticketing crisis is that Twitter can be a great tool or it can cause more problems. A lot of false information went out prematurely about tickets being sold out. Also, please be considerate by not filling the Twitter feeds #SDCC or #ComicCon with just a lot of snarky comments. It makes it hard to find the valuable information for others. Don’t depend on @Comic_Con to provide more information than the bare minimum. They typically are NOT actively answering questions in real time.

After this step, a majority of the stress will be over. We will all able to take a huge collective sigh of relief and begin planning for the trip itself. Its been an emotional journey but it will all be worth it when July rolls around. If you have other suggestions that can help, please leave comments for everyone to benefit. Good luck all and see you online.

8 thoughts on “10 ways to prepare for the SDCC hotel reservations

  1. Already taking the day off work tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

    I kind of disagree about choosing all 20 hotels though. Takes up more time. I think having 10-12 solid choices, and being able to input them faster, is better than taking the time to find your 20 on a list.

    • True. Well whatever the number is, you just have to have plenty ready just in case. Taking the day off is a good call. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I don’t think you have to have a credit card ready. If I remember, last year you filled out the hotel form and they emailed you back with which hotel you got. THEN you had 5 days to input your credit card info. It was a FAR better system than the previous year when you had a room on hold and the credit card didn’t go through because the site crashed.

  3. The way I read all the instructions, no credit card info will be required or taken until you recive the 2nd email confirming you have a res…then you have 5 business days to log into your res and add the credit card info.

  4. Well I just got my reservation and I got the last hotel I asked for. I had my reservation in right when it opened and had asked for 16 different rooms and it would appear they picked my last choice which in my case was a mistake because it is one of the only ones without a shuttle. I would not have picked this if I had noticed it did not have a shuttle. It seems like they just picked the last choice first knowing it would be open. After the fiasco with getting a ticket and now this I cannot imagine why I would ever consider doing this again. The people that organize this are just so inept. I hate this whole thing at this point and can’t imagine that being there will make me any happier, knowing I now have to drive to comicon each day because the hotel I got does not have a shuttle and is 5 miles away.

    • Man, that is terrible! I wonder how that could happen.? What other variables were there? I had a good experience with Travel Planner but I ended up talking on the phone to ensure completion. Maybe you should call in and see if there is anything that can be done? So sorry for all the mess and for the bad experience so far. I hope SDCC makes up for it. Thx for commenting.

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