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Blizzcon Guide part 1 - getting tickets and booking your trip

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Tickets go on sale for Blizzcon next week, so I decided this would be a good time to start writing a comprehensive guide about all things Blizzcon. I wanted to start with the methods I used to get through the queue 4 times (2 computers on both days) and get tickets for all of my friends, but since Blizzard is using a new ticket service this year, I feel I'm all out of tricks, and just as clueless as anyone. So instead I will start with my recommendations for hotels, flights, rental cars. and then I'll make some recommendations of things to do in Anaheim if you're going to extend your stay by a few days. finally I'll get into what everyone is so excited about . . . Blizzcon. There are a few things you'll learn at your first Blizzcon that makes everything far easier to plan for your second+ Blizzcon. I'll share some of my experiences, and what I've learned from them.


Also, this guide is open for input from all the other Blizzcon veterans here on the forums. Together we'll make sure every has the awesomest experience they've ever had at Blizzcon this year.



Getting Tickets: Blizzard is really throwing a curveball at us this year by using a new ticketing service, so the old tips and tricks won't work anymore. Elvine (@Elvinelol on twitter) is suggesting players play around with the ticketing system at Eventbrite. He's been tweeting pretty heavily about prepping for ticket sales. He suggests playing around with the site to familiarize yourself. The default ticket quantity will be set to 1 (max 4), the ticket availability will be updated live with a page refresh.  


Where to Fly to: John Wayne (SNA) and Los Angelas International (LAX) are both relatively close to Anaheim. John Wayne is the closest and most convenient, and from a few lucky places it is actually cheaper to fly to. I flew into LAX last year because I saved about $40 per ticket. The one thing I would warn about LAX is that rush hour in LA is terrible, if you're flying there to save money make sure you're arriving mid afternoon, or later in the evening. I'd rather pay $100 more to fly into John Wayne than try to leave LAX at 5pm.


Rental Cars: Ok, that's a trick title. If you're just going to be in Anaheim just for Blizzcon you don't need a rental car. there is so much awesome stuff within walking distance of the convention center (including disney land), and parking is a major hassle. By all means if you're taking an extended vacation then rent a car, but even if you have a rental car you won't be using it Thursday-Sat. For travel from the airport to your hotel and vice-versa I recommend using Super shuttle


It cost me and my girlfriend $15 each one way from LAX (easily 1/3 of what a taxi would have cost. It's a very convenient service and is affordable.



Where to Stay: Anywhere near the convention center is a good choice, but here are a couple recommendations based on where I stayed, and what I heard from places other people stayed at.


The Hilton:



The Hilton is Blizzcon Party central. it's in the same plaza as the convention center, it's huge, and there will be 2000+ Blizzcon goers flooding the halls of the Hilton all weekend long. If you hang out at the Hilton bar Friday and Sat. night there's a good chance you'll run into Blizzard Developers, E-sports stars, Zagam, and other internet celebrities. (and C-list internet celebrities like that Storm guy)



- The center of activity after hours during the convention weekend.

- as close to the convention center as you can get

- nice restaurant and bar, a Starbucks, and I think a few shops if I remember right

- Huge crowds of Blizzard diehards



- One of the most expensive hotels in the area (I've heard around $250 per night)

- long lines at the elevators (I literally spent 5 minutes waiting for an elevator to meet up with Zagam on Thursday night)


Other Thoughts:

- Even if you don't stay at the Hilton, you can still hang out at the Hilton bar and meet people.


The Desert Palms:



This is where I stayed last year, and probably where I'll stay this year again. The Desert Palms is reasonably priced. The rooms were about $150 a night last year and they have a nice, free, breakfast buffet every morning. It's across the street from the convention center and takes less than 2 minutes to walk there. It will be flooded with Blizzcon attendees the weekend of the convention, but isn't nearly as crazy as the Hilton if you're the type the likes quiet, and doesn't like 5 minute waits at the elevator.



- $150 +/- per night

- Free breakfast buffet (Possibly with Storm!)

- Quieter than the Hilton

- The pool was never too crowded

- Bar was also usually fairly quiet, and the bartender was really cool and gave us a lot of good recommendations for food, and places to see while we were there.

- You can still walk over and party at the Hilton bar



- The only con I can think of is that you won't be at the center of all the action 24/7, but that could be a con, or it could be a pro.


The Marriot:



The Marriot is located in the same plaza as the Hilton and convention center. This is where Blizzard gets rooms for all there E-sports atheletes, press people, and other VIP's, so maybe you can run into some Blizzard Celeb's here, although I've heard they still hang out at the Hilton even though they stay at the Marriot.



- Rooms start at $109 per night

- Maybe have a chance to hang out at the pool with Chris Metzen?



- Nothing in particular that I can think of, other than my standard non-Hilton response if you want to be at the center of all the action 24/7.


Other Hotel Locations will be included on a map which I will make soon


To be continued . . . 

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