Don't panic, but the SDCC hotel sale is only 40+ hours away

9 APRIL 2019

How fun! Today, after months of CCI ghosting us, they dropped a last-minute Hotel Day announcement less than 48 hours in advance. Yes, you will enter the Comic-Con hotel room fighting arena this Thursday, 11 April, at 9 am PST - and too bad if you're already otherwise obligated.

Which most people I know are; my phone has been on fire for the last three hours with friends bemoaning MRIs, work schedules, pediatrician appointments, micromanaging bosses, air travel that can't be changed. As someone who was supposed to fly to New Orleans this Thursday before my trip got cancelled, I'm still shivering from my brush with Comic-Con homelessness. This just isn't enough notice.

I'm convinced there's some backstory about the move to Thursday and the sudden announcement, but we'll never know if and what it is. All we know is that we're about to be thrown in the most brutal sale of San Diego Comic-Con - so let's get down to it.

How It Works
Same as before. If you don't have a "before," you'll click the link in your email after 8 a.m. PST, enter a waiting room, and then move into the sale proper. Yes, it's a lot like the badge sale. Some people will get in right away, others won't get in till later. Here's what you need to know:
  • Rooms are assigned based on the time you enter the form, not when you complete it - so don't rush. Stay calm (relatively speaking) and enter your information correctly.
  • Even if you get in late, you should still complete and enter your form. You want to be eligible for the waitlist.
  • People have allegedly had their submissions deleted as duplicates because of identical last names and addresses - so use alternate information if you have to. You can change the name and other reservation information later. 
  • Practice your submission on the sample form. It's not a complex process but you'll feel more confident - again, relatively speaking.
Notifications, Payments and Confirmations
The actual sale isn't the worst part. It's the waiting for weeks after. Here's how it will go:
  • The first batch of notifications - the best hotels - will go out Tuesday, 16 April. You have until end of Friday, 19 April to pay a two night deposit.
  • The next batch will go out Tuesday, 23 April. You'll have until end of Friday, 26 April, to pay your deposit.
  • If you didn't get a room, you'll find out Monday, 29 April. Officially, that is. Obviously the emptiness of your inbox will say it long before then.
  • The waitlist will presumably open up sometime after that, but they don't say when.

I haven't much practical advice to give - it's a game of chance and one that isn't in our favor. Here's what you can do now:
  • Make sure your credit cards have room for the deposit.
  • Talk to your roommates about the hotels you're targeting and who's covering for who.
  • Be pragmatic about what hotels you're going to get. First-timers - you may feel blessed by the Geek Gods because you scored a badge, but the hotel sale is a whole new level of challenge. It really is tough.
  • Make up a plausible excuse to miss work. Don't do the stomach flu. Say a roof rat died in your attic near an air vent and you're waiting for an exterminator, or a rock cracked your windshield and you're waiting for Safelight. It's easier to do the sale from home than your phone or a work computer, trust me.

I'll live blog the sale, but it should be over with quickly. Good luck. I'm as nervous as you are, if that's any consolation. (I know it isn't.)

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