SDCC 2018: Hotelpolcaypse Quick Guide for Hotel Sales on April 4!
The link to the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con Hotel Sale was sent out via email on Friday, March 30 to all badge holders. Unlike the badge-buying links, these are not links unique to each person but the email is the only place to find it — so it does dissuade some people from participating. Be sure to read through that email thoroughly in preparation and then come back and get the highlights here.
Like last year, onPeak is utilizing a randomized Waiting Room, which supposedly takes the speed out of the equation, and depends on when you are first given access to the form. Per CCI, “Forms will be processed based on the time at which a user was granted access to the form — NOT the time at which the form was submitted.”
Also like last year, confirmations of hotel placements will be sent out in two groups. The first will be sent on April 9 and the second on April 16. Those who cannot be placed will be notified no later than April 23 if the request cannot be accommodated. You will have 72 hours from the date and time the email is sent to confirm your reservation with a deposit. If you do not confirm within 72 hours, your reservation will be canceled.
Check out how these policies affected Hotelpocalypse 2017 with our recap right here.
This year, hotel hopefuls will be able to pick a new option when submitting your form. If none of your hotel choices are available when you’re sorted: “Book me at a hotel that is closest to the Convention Center, regardless of rate and shuttle availability.”
Previously, the options were only to book at the lowest rate, any hotel on the shuttle route, or disregard my request completely. This new option opens up the (slim) possibility for you to get a random downtown hotel that wasn’t in your initial six picks, which is ideal when compared to last year’s choices.
Wednesday, April 4 at 9:00 AM PT
Set alarms, write yourself a note, make sure you know that Wednesday, April 4 at 9:00 AM PT the Hotel Sales begin. Hopefuls can click on the link provided by CCI in the email and enter the Waiting Room as early as 8:00 AM PT.
It does not matter when you enter the Waiting Room, as the time you enter the waiting room has no impact on your position in line. At 9:00 AM PDT, all users in the waiting room will be granted access to the form in a random order. If you enter the Waiting Room after 9:00 AM PDT, you will be placed at the end of the line.
However, it is important to get there on time and get in line because once the maximum number of requests have been received the form will shut down and attendees will no longer be able to submit a request.
Make Your Hotel List Before Wednesday!
There is the option to list 6 Downtown Hotel choices and 6 Non-Downtown Hotel choices for a total of 12 in two separate sections. If you get instant access to the form (and you’re brave), you can submit it with as few as 1 Hotel Choice. Our suggestion is that you only put down hotels you’re willing to stay at, as we’re not sure how rooms will be allocated to those who submit 12 choices or a mix of choices between Downtown and Non-Downtown hotels.
And don’t wait until the last second to come up with your top choices! Check out the chart provided by CCI to help make your decisions while considering what is most important to you (Distance from the convention center? Price? Free breakfast?). Have that list on hand, along with your roommates, and payment information ready to go before you enter the Waiting Room on Wednesday. Remember that you’ll need to pay a deposit equal to two (2) night’s room rate plus tax must be provided in order to confirm your reservation.
Being downtown at the Bayfront is fantastic for us at Nerdophiles (and is our preferred hotel choice), because of the ease with which we can get to press events held in the hotel, but a few years ago, as a regular attendee, I stayed at the Hampton Inn along the trolley line. It was so easy to take 5 minutes to ride right into the heart of the Gaslamp and the Hampton Inn offered breakfasts (as well as breakfasts to go that often became lunches and saved us so much money!).
We can’t stress enough that you should take a moment to consider price, distance, and amenities when making your hotel list!
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you’ve got your top hotel choices nailed down, make sure that you’re working on a browser that will work during the sale by using this link provided by CCI.
After you make sure your computer is ready to go, familiarize yourself with the sample form that was also provided by CCI. By knowing what to expect when you’re granted access to the official Comic-Con 2018 Reservation Form, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes or be thrown off when the time comes to enter your information.
And a pro-tip: there’s a link in the top left corner, just above the “Smoking, Pet Friendly, Breakfast Included” column of the Hotel Information, that reads “Skip to form” and will save you precious seconds of scrolling past it to get to where you must enter your information.
Be aware of Refund and Payment Dates
For reservations confirmed on Monday, April 9 the required deposit must be provided by Thursday, April 12 at 11:59 PM PDT.
For reservations confirmed on Monday, April 16 the required deposit must be provided by Thursday, April 19 at 11:59 PM PDT.
Deposits are fully refundable if your reservation is canceled on or before Thursday, May 10.
Reservations canceled between the dates of Friday, May 11, 2018, through Thursday, May 31 will incur a one (1) night’s room rate plus tax cancellation fee deducted from the deposit provided.
Reservations canceled on or after Friday, June 1 will result in a fully non-refundable deposit.
Team Up During the Buying Process
Much like the randomized Waiting Room of Returning and Open Registration, the more roommates that can sign in and attempt to secure a room, the better your chances become of getting your top choice. However, it is best to also be cautious about submitting too many forms with the same information.
The Unofficial San Diego Comic-Con Blog confirmed with onPeak conditions that caused “duplicate” forms to be tossed in 2016: “We confirmed with onPeak that last year, duplicate submissions were based on three factors: phone number, e-mail address, or a unique identifier associated with the user’s queue/waiting room session (likely the QueueID at the bottom of the waiting room). So if you have multiple roommates working together to try to secure a room, make sure you’re using unique information.”
- The Hotels Page – The most important information directly from the source!
- The Hotel List – Compare and contrast to pick your top picks with this PDF from CCI.
- The Practice Form – So you can keep your cool the day of.
- The Early Bird Hotel Sales – If you want to avoid the chaos of Hotelpocalypse altogether.
The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog
- A Visual Guide to the SDCC 2018 Hotel Sale – A closer look and breakdown of the Practice Form for visual learners.
- San Diego Comic-Con Hotel Size Guide – Helpful in making hotel choices and for getting a realistic picture as to how easy it is to stay where.
- 2018 Readers Hotel Poll – An unofficial look at which hotels are most in-demand to help you make your list with your best chances.
- CCI & onPeak Interview about the 2016 Hotel Sales – Interesting insight into the Hotel Sale from 2016 right from the source.
Friends of CCI
- This forum usually has a roommate finder thread and room exchange thread, but be sure to join today to start making friends and contributing to a great community! Con karma is real.
- General Housing Discussions – For all of your burning questions, there’s a forum for that.
- Hotel Review for SDCC – Trying to pick your hotel? Check out this thread with plenty of hotel reviews compiled by members.
- Nerdophiles’ Love Letter to the Hilton Bayfront – Seriously, this is our #1 every year.
- Two short Nerdophiles’ Reviews Here – A downtown and non-downtown suggestion!
- WhenNerdsAttack – Plenty of first-hand reviews found here.
- Crazy4ComicCon – A breakdown of the important aspects of picking out a hotel.
- The Geekiary – Consider the pros and cons of nontraditional housing like condos and hostels.