For potential attendees of San Diego Comic-Con, the two main priorities are securing a badge and landing somewhere to stay during the event: one has long been sorted and, next week, the second piece of the puzzle will fall into place – the SDCC Hotel Sale, opening reservations from Tuesday 5th April, 5pm GMT (that’s 9pm PT / 12pm Midday ET).
Officiated by onPeak (formerly Travel Planners), the Hotel Sale has always been fraught with technical issues and frustrations – for 2016, however, the company are hoping that things will be a little bit smoother (for them, at least) by introducing something that has worked for Comic-Con International in recent years for the Open Online Badge Registrations: a Waiting Room / Randomisation process.
While in the past, it was always ‘fastest on the fingers’ that won out and a mercenary approach to tackling the Hotel Sale helped those trying to secure those prized Downtown hotel rooms, now attendees will be randomly selected to submit room request forms – once all the forms (and therefore, technically, all the hotel room allocations) have been filled, the Sale closes.
Commentators have greeted this news with a mixture of realism…
Just like the badge sales, the hotel sale was basically a random lottery anyways with the volume and traffic. Just making it official.#SDCC
— Tony B Kim (@Crazy4ComicCon) March 30, 2016
Really want to stay downtown for SDCC but not oppose to hotel circle again.
— Bryan Nava (@Renovatio430) March 31, 2016
— Nerds Doing Stuff (@NerdsDoingStuff) March 30, 2016
…and downright doom-and-gloom.
— Comic Con Guide (@SDCCGuide) March 30, 2016
As always, we include our UK conversion chart to give us international travellers an idea of the room rates (take a deep breath, now…), along with the full briefing from Comic-Con International. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, because there’s a lot to get through…
Comic-Con 2016 Hotel Reservations Open Tuesday, April 5!
Comic-Con International 2016 Hotel Reservations will open for form submissions on Tuesday, April 5 at about 9:00 AM Pacific time (12:00 PM Eastern time). We’d like to offer you some tips and advice to get ready for that day.
First of all, click here to go our Hotels page and download the latest Hotel List and view info that you need to know to reserve a room. This list contains all of the hotels currently in the Comic-Con 2016 room block and their prices, plus other useful information, such as shuttle stops and the time it takes in minutes to get to the Convention Center. Additional info includes smoking or non-smoking rooms, pet-friendly hotels, and hotels offering breakfast.
AEISD: as always, we’ve included the full Hotel List here with GBP price conversion, with rate provided by xe.com (12:30pm 31st March 2016). This prices are not official conversion costs and are provided as a guide to give UK attendees an idea of the room rates.)
How it works: Badge holders will receive an email at least 48 hours before April 5 that will contain a link to the onPeak hotel reservation website. The form submissions begin Tuesday, April 5 at about 9:00 AM Pacific time (12:00 PM Eastern time). HANG ON TO THAT EMAIL. You will need it to access the site. The URL of the Hotel Reservations site will also be available on April 5 on our website’s Hotels page. You will have to cut and paste the URL on the home page and place it into your browser window to access the onPeak hotel reservations website. (After April 8, when the hotel reservations website reopens after the initial sale, you can visit www.comic-con.org/cci/hotels to access the onPeak site to make changes or cancellations to your reservation.)
NEW FOR THIS YEAR: The onPeak website will be utilizing a waiting room and a randomization process. The link in the email you will be sent will get you into the waiting room, which opens at 6:00 AM Pacific time on April 5. All users will be given access to the hotel reservations form from the waiting room in RANDOM ORDER and requests will be processed based upon this order. Duplicate submissions will not increase your chances of getting your first choice hotels, if duplicate submissions are received, only the most recent submission will be processed by onPeak.
Once you get to the onPeak website, you will be asked to list SIX hotel choices in order of preference. Everyone making a hotel reservation will be asked to do this, and it must be six choices. Study the Hotel List PDF to pick your choices in advance so you’re ready on Tuesday.
Be realistic in your choices. There are 57 hotels in the Comic-Con room block, with 29 of them located downtown. Yes, everyone wants to stay downtown, but the hotels located outside of the downtown area are just as comfortable and are serviced (with the exception of 3 of them) by the Comic-Con Shuttle, which runs continuously from Thursday, July 9 at 5:00 AM through Sunday, July 10 at 7:00 PM. (Shuttle frequency varies through the day.) If you want to be close to the Convention Center to take advantage of Comic-Con’s nighttime programs and events, you can still hop the shuttle back to your hotel away from the crowds and noise of downtown. And after dealing with crowds and noise all day, doesn’t that quiet getaway sound inviting? You can even book a room NOW during our Early Bird Sale, which features a separate room block in Mission Valley and near the airport and runs until April 5. Click here to visit the Early Bird Sale page. (Please note the Early Bird Sale requires a full down payment, plus is non-refundable. Only reserve these rooms if you already have a Comic-Con International 2016 badge!)
Remember: There are well over 130,000 attendees at Comic-Con and many of them want hotel rooms. There are only so many hotel rooms downtown and in the greater San Diego area. Odds are you’re NOT going to get what you want right off the bat. Hotel reservations opening on Tuesday are for Attendees and Professionals. Exhibitors who set up the great booths in Comic-Con’s Exhibit Hall where everyone loves to shop have a separate room block.
Additional hotel rooms may become available as we get closer to Comic-Con. People do cancel rooms and those rooms are reassigned to members on the wait list. Check back to see if your other choices become available. Dates to note are the ones when the refund policy changes: April 30 (when full refunds go away); between May 1 and June 1, if you cancel you will be charged a cancellation fee equal to one room night + tax. Beginning June 2, 2016, all deposits are nonrefundable.
Please keep in mind that the onPeak hotel reservations website is not optimized for smart phone use. We recommend you use a computer during the hotel sale.
Many people will try to access both the Comic-Con website and the onPeak website on Tuesday. We anticipate times when both websites may be very slow to respond. We ask you for your patience and to keep trying if at first you don’t succeed. Keep in mind the hotels outside of the downtown area and choose your six choices wisely. Remember that additional hotel rooms may become available later, after cancellation dates.