How To: SDCC 2013 Ticket Registration!

Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

San Diego Comic Con ticket registrations are coming up! The official date is Saturday February 16th, 2013 at 9am Pacific time. I have made a few posts about this subject, but this is a stressful time so I’ll give you guys my advice/input on the matter of scoring tickets to SDCC 2013! Also, I can give you an awesome trick that helped me out last year, so stick around.

Preparation

So, let’s talk about prep. I know I talk about the Con like it’s some monstrosity. I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating and that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but this ticket buying part is literally the headache and heartbreak that everyone gears up for.

So first thing is first, register for a Member Id. It’s what let’s you buy the tickets and last year they closed up registration as the date for buying tickets got closer, so the best thing you can do is get the account RIGHT NOW. The date that the member id registrations will close will be February 12th, so get on it! Fill out all your information and make an id that is easy to remember. I suggest doing first name initial and last name because you’ll need your last name to log in anyways and if your friend is buying tickets, then it’s that much easier to remember. If you are buying with someone else’s credit card, make sure you have an email and a billing address for registration.

Cost is the next beast to conquer. The cost for an adult four day ticket with the preview night ticket is $175 and without preview night is $150. Now I’ve had people ask me if the preview night is worth it, and personally I don’t think so. The reasoning for my response is because I don’t think it’s worth the additional $25. It’s content that I will eventually see anyways, either online or when it is released, and that could mean another hotel night which is a hefty price to pay. Now, if you are going to be there either way on Wednesday, and you don’t mind spending the extra money, it’s a good day to get into the groove of the con. There are not as many people and you can get your badges earlier to beat the rush on Thursday. I screencapped the prices below for the admission, but you can find all of the information on the badge registration page. Now the price for four day tickets and single days are the same, and personally I’d say if you are going to SDCC and you can, get the four day one. But this is only if you intend to attend all four days. I sucks when people get tickets for four day and only attend a Thursday afternoon. The tickets can’t be duplicated, resold, or given away, so that is money and space wasted.

Note, that they have special regulations regarding what "junior" tickets are. So read up on that!

Note, that they have special regulations regarding what “junior” tickets are. So read up on that!

Another thing to tag onto cost is just a general thing for our less-than-frugal readers. I always think I have all the time in the world to save up money for the Con until I realize suddenly it’s July and I have barely enough money in my account. So start saving! It’s never fun to decide whether you want a collectible or food for the night.

Finally, read through the official website. I’m really glad that they remodeled it because it used to be confusing as hell and I had no idea where to go, but they are pretty well organized this year and everything is laid out. So read up!

Registration Day

As I’ve mentioned several times before, being connected to things like twitter and facebook will help you out a lot. Some helpful twitter accounts are @comic_con@SDCCnerdsattack, and @SD_Comic_Con, also check out the #SDCC tag for information on registration day. The best facebook to check is Comi-Con International and to look in the “Recent Posts by Others on Comic-Con International” which will have all the people’s wall posts that aren’t from the administrator of the page. If you run into problems, check these sources, but also remember to never stop refreshing the registration page. Sometimes things are just slow and everything is lagging. Keep up with these on your phone instead of lagging your computer down by checking it in your browser.

The best way to be ready is to wake up before it starts. Like I stated in my article about early hotel sales, get up early. I woke up late one year to my friends calling me on my cell phone numerous times and cursing my name for not helping them. Get your game face on, because time is of the essence. If you do not live in pacific time zone, check to see when is the relative time for you. Here’s the basic run down of what’s going to happen so you have a good idea of what is going on. 48 hours before that Saturday morning, you’ll have the link to the registration sent to your email. Sometimes the link is defunct, like it was last year, and it’ll redirect you incorrectly, so type in the url just to be safe. Copy and paste it and reopen the page in a new window. On the day of, you’ll notice like 20 mins before 9am that the site is starting to lag, even if nothing is on the page. These first few seconds are crucial, because when the page loads for you, that’s when you’ll get your ticket number.

If only it was this easy. Well actually if it was actually in person like this, someone would probably get trampled.

If only it was this easy. Well actually if it was actually in person like this, someone would probably get trampled.

The ticket number is a lot like when you go to those offices that make you pull a ticket from those red dispensers that look like Laughing Cow cheese wheels. You get a number when you enter the room and it counts down. Sometimes, first time buyers are shocked by how many people are on at a time and when they finally get a ticket number, it’s something like 10972. Don’t be alarmed, and stick by it. I’ve known people we were 15,000th place in line and got tickets. You might not get 4-day passes or the ones you want, and when the time comes and you are called up and something you want is gone, you better have a contingency plan. Make sure to check twitter in this case, as people will announce when certain ticket groups are sold out.

If you are buying tickets with other people, have their member ids, last name, first name all ready on the side, you’ll need it. If you are going as a group, have multiple people online trying to get in line. The more people playing on your team the better. Last year, for hotel sales, I worked with two other girls, and my cousin ended up getting like 110th in line because her boyfriend had set up a batch file (more on that later) that had gotten her in. Where as my ticket number was something in the 10,000s and my friend got something like 4,000. The more people you have, the better. Once they get in, stay in line just in case until they confirm the tickets are bought. The waiting and lag on the site can be the worst. If you are coordinating with friends it’s probably best to have a messenger up or something so you can talk to each other and see who is where. As far as browsers go, it seems to have made a difference for me. In the past, Safari has been the fastest, in my opinion. Chrome is the slowest, Firefox is ok, but I think maybe the lack of plug-ins and extras speeds up Safari.

Even Reid probably had to worry about getting his tickets.

Even Reid probably had to worry about getting his tickets.

The Trick

So I mentioned that my cousin’s boyfriend got us in a really good spot while attempting to get tickets, and he taught me a trick that I’m going to share with you. Note: This only works for Windows, sadly. It can be transfered over to Mac with Automator, but it has around a 10 second delay which can put you in a bad spot. If anyone finds a way to work it on Mac during this run on the 16th, they should comment down below on how they did it. Anyways, here is what you can do.
Open Notepad, type this in:
@echo off
:run
IF %time% GTR 9:00:00.00 (START firefox.exe http://reg13b.cloudapp.net/doorstep.html
wait 10
EXIT)
echo %time%
IF %time% LEQ 9:00:00.00 ( goto :run)
Save as All Files, enter name .bat
Now just double click that file and watch it countdown. It should open in command prompt and start counting down. The time, in italics, should be set to whenever 9 PST is for you. When the countdown reaches the time, then it will open the webpage. Obviously the “firefox” can change to “chrome.exe” or anything else.
There is no guarantee this will be faster, since there are obviously a bunch of other factors, but it’s a strong security net to have running on the side.
YAY! You've gotten your ticket (hopefully)! At the very least, you've been through the trenches and you've read my grossly long post!

YAY! You’ve gotten your ticket (hopefully)! At the very least, you’ve been through the trenches and you’ve read my grossly long post!

Closing Words

Hopefully, you got something useful from this article and it helps you when the day comes. The best thing to remember is that shit happens, and things get fucked up. A lot of the time, things just get bogged down, but don’t get discouraged! A few years ago, there were so many errors and retrials that everyone was on edge, but they have vastly improved their system since then and hopefully their server capacity can now handle the massive amounts of traffic that go through. Just get together with your friends, and be ready on that morning. You can feel free to shoot questions to my personal twitter @bamfpire the morning of, with questions. I will also be helping my friends get tickets, so I will keep it updated and tag all of my updates with #SDCC. Good luck, fellow nerds, and may the odds be ever in your favor!