SDCC Sundays: Hotel Sales, the Last Huge Hurdle for SDCC 2017
Remember when we encouraged everyone to start saving money for San Diego Comic Con way back in January? Hopefully everyone took that to heart, as Comic Con International has slotted the last piece of the SDCC puzzle – hotels! – mere weeks after the Open Registration badge sales.
As usual, the Hotel Sales will occur midweek, on Wednesday April 26 at 9:00 AM PT. By now, attendees and hotel hopefuls should have received an email from CCI containing the link to the Hotel Sale and all pertinent information regarding this year’s sale. Be sure to read over that thoroughly in preparation and then come back and get the highlights here.
Like last year, onPeak is utilizing a randomized waiting room, which 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 new this year, confirmations of hotel placements will be sent out in two groups. The first will be sent on May 1, 2017 and the second on May 8. Those who cannot be placed will be notified no later than May 15 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 cancelled.
Without further delay, let’s look at the options for Hotelpocalypse this year!
General Hotel Sale
Wednesday April 26 at 9:00 AM PT
It’s been stated once, but it bears repeating: Wednesday, April 26 at 9:00 AM PT is when the Hotel Sales madness begins. By clicking on the link provided by CCI in the email, eager purchasers will be able to enter the waiting room as early as 8:00 AM PT (which is two hours later than the 6:00 AM PT allowance last year).
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 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 callers will no longer be able to submit a request.
Make Your Hotel List
New this year, there is the option to list 6 Downtown Hotel choices and 6 Non-Downtown Hotel choices for a total of 12. Also new this year, you can submit the form with as few as 1 Hotel Choice and you can mix up your options between Downtown and Non-Downtown hotels between 1 – 12 choices in total. 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 outside events set up 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 2017 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 May 1 the required deposit must be provided by Friday, May 5 at 12:00 AM PDT.
For reservations confirmed on May 8 the required deposit must be provided by Friday, May 12 at 12:00 AM PDT.
Deposits are fully refundable if your reservation is cancelled on or before May 15, 2017.
Reservations cancelled between the dates of May 16, 2017 through June 6, 2017 will incur a one (1) nights’ room rate plus tax cancellation fee deducted from the deposit provided.
Reservations cancelled on or after June 7, 2017 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 the conditions that caused “duplicate” forms to be tossed last year: “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.”
Early Bird Hotel Sales
Overwhelmed by the randomization of the General Hotel Sale and the possibilities for error (of which there were plenty last year)? The Early Bird Hotel Sales are still open until May 1, which means you can guarantee a hotel without all of the hassle – with a catch, of course.
However, there are some stipulations for this process: no downtown hotels are included in the Early Bird sales and these hotels are non-refundable. There are also more, hotel-specific details that range from the specific number of nights you must book to which nights you must book.
If a downtown hotel is not an absolute necessity and you are guaranteed to be headed to SDCC 2017, these hotel offerings are a great option. These are cheaper options that are still easily accessible thanks to the CCI Shuttle Service that runs Preview Night from 3PM-10PM, with 24 hour service beginning on Thursday at 7AM and running through Sunday at 7PM.
These hotel options also sometimes offer parking as well as free breakfasts and complimentary wi-fi, though you’ll have to compare and contrasts all of the benefits listed on your own. Years ago, we did a great breakdown of the pros and cons of participating in the Early Bird hotel sales and those points are still relevant today.
Comic Con International
- 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 2017 Hotel Sale – A closer look and breakdown of the Practice Form for visual learners.
- CCI & onPeak Interview about the 2016 Hotel Sales – Interesting insight into the Hotel Sale last year right from the source.
- 2017 Readers Hotel Poll – An unofficial look at which hotels are most in-demand to help you make your list with your best chances.
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.