Unofficial 2014 Blizzcon survival guide

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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
Once again, I give my FAQ/ Survival guide for the 2014 Blizzcon - any questions, feel free to ask me here or send me a Tweet: @Joe_Maiz.

NOTE: Any post with the *** YEAR *** indicates what is was that year and possible discounts; not saying it will happen this year, but simply there was something to note the year indicated.

LAST UPDATE: 8 OCT 14
Official Website: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en

DATE: 7-8 November 2014
LOCATION: Anaheim Convention Center
TICKETS - SOLD OUT
Eventbrite - http://www.blizzcon2014.eventbrite.com/
VIRTUAL TICKETS: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/virtual-ticket/
$39.95 each

EDIT HISTORY:
22 April - initial post
28 April - clean up; added Ticket info, contest info.
1 May - Shuttles & Tips on tickets
12 May- Tickets
2 June - Tickets & Q&A
8 Sept - virtual Ticket and updates
25 Sept - Added Discount section; Goodie bag info & updates
8 OCT - updated links, schedule & map sections
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WHEN TO DO THINGS/BOOK:
a- Room/hotel: NOW - you can always cancel a reservation, even if you don't win the ticket lottery. Go book a room now, lock in something, and change it later as you need. Nethaera & Phenteo have a Hotel finder on the main page - I like Kayak.com - you choose.
b- Flights: NOW - If you need a flight, go get started on pricing it out. THIS is the time to get your ticket (early Sept -Oct)
c- Cars: 2-4 weeks before your event. I have had awesome success on Hotwire as there are always cars around for $20/day.
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GETTING TO THE CONVENTION CENTER:

AIRPORTS: I would pick SNA 1st, then LGB/ONT then LAX - If you have to use LAX, then you do. Let me compare LAX to SNA.
LAX:
* is over an hour of driving one way thru tough traffic.
* Car rental sites of off airport property, means you take a bus to get a car.
* Bonus: those that dont rent a car can get a shuttle (see below) to the hotels by the con, its just gonna take some time to get there.
SNA:
* is in the same area as Anaheim Convention Center and about 30 minutes on a bad day.
* Car rental on airport garage - get your bags, walk to garage and into car.
Bottom line: Fly to SNA.

AIRPORT SHUTTLES: There are several shuttle options if you don't want to rent a car; I would highly consider this over a rental (a) no daily fees for a car you are just taking to/from airport & (b) its alot cheaper to take a shuttle. * Epic Bonus: those that don't rent a car can get a shuttle (see below) to the hotels by the con. $10-15 one way.
Some suggestions:
* SuperShuttle - http://www.supershuttle.com/Locations/SNAAirportShuttleOrangeCounty.aspx
* Uber - OC - https://www.uber.com/cities/orange-county
* Greys Line: http://www.graylineanaheim.com/docs/DRE%20Brochure.pdf
** Disney Passholders: If you are staying at a resort, look for a shuttle service under a travel package.
* Karmel - http://www.karmel.com/

DRIVING: The convention center is on Harbor and Katella- those taking a rental car from SNA: leaving the airport - turn left , take to I-405 north, then merge to I-55 north; take to I-5 north, get off at Chapman, Katella or Harbor. The best parking in the Toy Story Lot - up the block from the Convention Center: $15 a day. http://www.anaheimconventioncenter.com/App_Theme/Images/Articles/33/ACC_parking_map_2012_4.pdf

TRAINS: There are two flavors to pick from; the regional MetroLink and Amtrak. Both put you at the same address: 2150 E Katella Ave.

AMTRAK: The local station in Anaheim [ANA] - The station is 4 blocks away and right off of Katella (behind the baseball stadium). A cab is probably the fastest way to a hotel, but some hotels offer a shuttle from the train to the hotel and back. Call the desk or check the website for the hotel.

METROLINK: Anaheim Station; It is on the Orange County Line. You can take from LA Union Station down (45 minutes) OR from Oceanside up (1 hr). For those that dont know, its SoCals above ground train that isnt the Amtrak.

CABS: The yellow Taxi number for anyone that needs it: 8004MY-TAXI
BUS: There is the Anaheim Resort Transport System; its a local shuttle bus that goes around the area and will save you a car rental. You can essentially go anywhere in the local area by hopping on the shuttle bus. They start in the early morning (7am?) and go off of Disneys schedule, which is midnight (?) in November. The MAP page has the list of locations.
Check out the routes, but if you want to goto the Amtrak station, the Block in orange, Disneyland, Midevil times, Knotts Berry Farm, etc - this shuttle will save you walking time and cab fare.
http://www.rideart.org/route-map/

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THINGS TO BRING INTO BLIZZCON:
    1) EMAIL & I.D. - Bring your printed email bar code for your tickets & ID: Nothing will ruin your trip faster than when you cannot pick up your tickets. [link coming soon] *** In order to receive a badge, the name on the bar-code e-mail *must* match the name on your photo ID.
    2) A SMALL BACKPACK: put all your stuff in your bag as you travel the floor and show. Put your goodies in there so you don’t have to carry it around all day, plus the loot you get at the con. From the FAQ:
    “Any bags being brought into BlizzCon should be smaller than 20 inches x 10 inches (roughly the size of two sheets of paper side by side). Anyone with a bag larger than this may be refused entry.”
    3) WATER BOTTLE: Bring water or juice bottle (empty); top off on something to drink that isn’t soda. No glass.
    4) SOMETHING TO DO: Bring an ipad, tablet, gameboy, updated phone aps, DS, Vita – something. Waiting in the 2hr line for the doors to open/ticket pickup sucks if you have nothing to do. Look for a local network and connect up to play some hearthstone locally to boot!
    5) SNACKS: a few candy bars, trail mix; something that won’t melt badly in a bag or smell bad after being in a bag for a few hrs will help that hunger and get you to your lunch/dinner.
    6) GOOD SHOES: Don’t be the guy walking around in combat boots (unless you are a marine for the costume contest). Get some sneakers and be ready to walk and stand - ALOT
    7) BUSINESS CARDS: I suggest to make some 'Battle.net business card' with your name, your guild name, in-game name, battle.net name, email, etc.. and hand them out when there when meeting new people.
    8) CAMERA: Bring a camera with a flash and extra batteries/charger. Its dark inside the con.
    9) LANYARDS: Bring a lanyard for your badge - get a basic one just incase your badge rips off the one you get.
    10) EXTRA CELL BATTERY: Go out and buy an extra Cell battery and charge it up; when your phone dies at 2pm, swap batteries and thank me later. Signal strength is so-so inside and depends on the traffic of the local tower; weak signals mean batteries drain faster and besides, don’t count on an open outlet as there are none inside. Cant buy a battery or got an iPhone? Get a portable charger - some are solar, but look on amazon.com for iphone portable charger. Your welcome...

*** Lagz Rule for Conventions: 6-2-1 - 6 hrs of sleep, 2 meals a day, 1 shower a day. Do this and your convention experience will be epic. Don't fall into the 3-1-0 status; the after parties will suck if you do.

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DISCOUNT AND COUPONS:NEW!!!
Now in 2014 there is a website that has ALL of your discount & coupon needs:
http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/16043923/anaheim-special-offers-for-blizzcon-2014-attendees-9-23-2014
http://microsite.anaheimoc.org/anaheimorange-county-welcomes-blizzcon-2014
Supported by the local stores, Blizzard and Anaheim, you can now get all sorts of discounts on the site. Check it out.
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HOTELS & FOOD:
PLACES TO STAY: The usual sites are good to check out: hotels.com, kayak.com, or your favorite chain hotel is fine. Try to not go too far and remember that parking at some hotels is pay-per-day. I prefer the hotels that have the free internet and breakfast - its up to you.
** Here are a few options for hotels in close proximity to the Anaheim Convention Center that are offering BlizzCon attendees discounted rates, along with descriptions provided by the hotels. [ http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/13874227/blizzcon%C2%AE-2014-hotels-4-22-2014 ]

PLACES TO EAT:
The main intersection of the area is Katella and Harbor Blvd. Most of the places are on Harbor both up and down. If you don't want convention center food, you must quest for it.... There is a more complete list thanks to Phenteo that I included on an update post below.
TRUCKS/COACHES: I LOVE the food coaches & taco truck – 4-6 are usually setting up shop on the line ride outside the main doors at 10am and is busy all day. Expect lines all the time.
HILTON: Has a food court – includes a lot of options like Pizza, subs, hamburgers, etc, but a lot of lines and full tables.
KATELLA: A few to pick from; There is a Cocos, Dennys and Tiffy's Family Restaurant; all on on the left side of Katella next to the Anabella Hotel. Also by the 7-11 there is a Quiznos
HARBOR: Heading south (turn right from the convention doors) on Harbor finds you: Denny’s, Bakers square, Carl’s Jr Taco Bell. If you want to go farther, 2 blocks down on Chapman is an Outback, Red Robin and Cocos. Heading North (towards Disney) is another Dennys, Subway, CA pizza kitchen, Mimi’s cafe and Tony Romos.
DOWNTOWN DISNEY: has a lot of good restaurants and places to check out too- House of Blues, ESPN Zone, and a bunch more. Walk up Harbor and walk into the Disney lot- head towards the pay booths and vear towards your left- downtown Disney.
SHOPS @ ANAHEIM GARDENWALK: Lots of sit down type places to eat, but lots to choose from include Cheesecake factory, Johnny rockets, Bubba gump shrimp and a movie theater for Thursday night if you want. Walk across Katella and turn right. http://www.anaheimgardenwalk.com/
THE BLOCK AT ORANGE: Also a great place to check out –lots of places to eat. Take Harbor south and turn left on Chapman, the BLOCK is off of Manchester - about 15 minutes driving. Lots of restaurants and a nice movie theater as well.

There are two places I would HIGHLY recommend to check out but are not right 'next door':
1) In N Out, simple because it’s the best burger in the state. The closest one is on Brookhurst and Orange; to get there, head west - down Katella (crossing in front of the convention center - on your left). Turn right onto Brookhurst. Go up a few blocks and look for the sign. http://www.in-n-out.com/location_details.asp?id=24&refer=search&
2) Medieval times: It’s the best medieval stuff you can get around - head up I5 to the 91, then head west to Beach Blvd. If you want to go, plan ahead and reserve your seats. Its indoor jousting, sword fights and other stunts for the knight in all of us; be sure to ask for a fork when you dinner arrives.
http://www.medievaltimes.com/findcastles/buenapark/
Edited by Lagzalot on 10/9/2014 11:59 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
SUPPLIES:
FOOD AND DRINKS: Target is going to be your best bet for food, drinks, trail mix, chips, etc before the big weekend. From the convention center, turn right on Harbor and head south [about 1 block] to Chapman and Harbor- Target on your left. Pick up your 12-packs of soda, trail mix, etc..
MONEY: ATMs are somewhat here and there, but they are around. The closest one is across the street at the hotel lobby and the 7-11 (Harbour and Katella).
STARBUCKS: Yes, the big hotels have em- get your coffee fix before getting in the morning lines.

PHONE APPS:
Here is a good list of apps for your phone to have AT the show/on the road; I will not link websites nor prefer iOS vs Android - just ones that are good to have: If you have one you want to share, post here or send me a note.
    * BLIZZCON APP: Last con they had an APP - gave the layout, times, schedule, etc. I see no reason why they would not do it again: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/11451561/blizzcon%C2%AE-2013-mobile-app-now-live-stay-connected-and-experience-the-second-screen-10-31-2013
    * AIRLINE APP: Once you get your ticket, get the app for the airline - you can now scan your boarding pass via a smartphone and go ticketless. PLUS: Get updates on gate changes and notices on delays, etc.
    * GATEGURU: Shows you where stuff is at in the airport you are traveling thru. Landing in Chicago for a layover and hungery?? Check the gate and search for places to eat before you land.. done :D
    * FLIGHTAWARE: You can track flights - make sure your connector isnt late or moved gates before you need to do the airport marathon.
    * SEATGURU: Get a better seat on the plane. Dont know where that seat with the in-arm table is?? Seatguru does...
    * WIFI FINDER: helps you find WIFI hotspots and which are free, part of a subscription, etc
    * WAZE: this is a cool Live GPS Navigation app that takes in live reports from other WAZERs; see a cop? accident on the 405? Make a post and everyone knows. Very cool app.
    * ZAGAT TO GO: gives ratings on restaurants, etc.
    * YELP: Has restaurant reviews, etc. Good for finding numbers and menus


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WHAT TO PACK/BRING TO ANAHEIM
* Bathroom stuff: Toothbrush, deodorant, soap...did I mention deoderant?
* Sweater or light jacket for indoor AC & evening temps/lite rain
* Room for your goodie bag for the trip home, plus the loot you buy there - consider packing an empty gym bag just in case.
* Sneakers for walking; slippers/crocs for room/hotel.
* Pack jeans and shorts - The normal Anaheim weather in November: 74F/ 24°C to 60 F/ 15°C; light chances of rain – check weather.com for Anaheim, CA
THE DAY BEFORE BLIZZCON: Some things to do after you check into your hotel:
1- PICK UP GOODIE BAG & TICKETS: (details below) Get your tickets and goodie bag before the show starts: You will have everything you need when you get in the morning line to go in armed and ready to go. Make your shopping list that night as to which items you want from the store. (see store below)
** HALL E is where the ticket line is at: Face the main doors, look left and down the stairs is the line.Bring the printed Bar-code for each badge you purchase and a Valid ID/ Credit card. Get ready to stand for a bit in line here.
2- GET SUPPLIES: See above, but pack your backpack/ satchel bag with Camera, snacks and a water bottle, extra batteries and a few pens.
3- PACK YOUR BAG: water, snacks, camera, batteries, and a sweater;
4- TRADE CELL NUMBERS: If you are meeting up with guildees, trade your cell numbers before going in; Don’t have a cell? Get a pre-paid one for $20 for the weekend.
5- GO OUT: It’s a nice southern cal evening in Anaheim - go to downtown Disney, gardenwalk.. You might be surprised who you might run into...

CHOC Charity Event:
The last few cons there was a CHOC Charity event; the tickets went on sale after the main ticket sale; they are $750 for the ticket. I had a blast in 2010; I missed out on the sale in 2011. They did sell out just as fast, so stand by. You got:
* Dinner, drinks and the meet-&-greet Thursday night. I learned I had a lot in common with Mike M (we are both EEs), talked with the awesome CMs and lost my voice (I have no idea how..)
* Ticket to the main show
* Goodie bag ON SITE, which means you leave the dinner with everything you get.
* No line ride for general admission- go straight to the line ride for the dinner; they check you in there and verify your email/bar code.
* Knowing that your $$$ went to a great cause - helping CHOC rocks.

TICKET PICKUP INFO - 2014:
http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/tickets/badge-information
Badge Pickup:
To pick up your badges, please bring the printed bar code that will be emailed to you prior to the show, along with valid photo ID that matches the name on the confirmation email, to the Anaheim Convention Center at the location and times listed below:
General Attendee Pickup, Hall E, Anaheim Convention Center
Thursday, November 6 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, November 7 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, November 8 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Please note: Once a bar code is scanned and the associated badge is printed, the bar code becomes invalid. We will *not* be able to reprint lost badges.
After you purchase tickets, you will have until June 6 at 8 p.m. Pacific Time to edit the following information for each attendee through your Eventbrite account:
First and last name of attendee (to be printed on the badge)
Email address of attendee

If you do not know who you are purchasing tickets for, please enter your own full name and email address for all of the tickets. In this case, the ticket purchaser must bring *all* of the printed bar code emails, along with matching photo ID, to BlizzCon® to pick up badges and distribute them to his or her guests. (Note that while all of the badges will show the ticket purchaser’s name, photo ID will only be checked at the time of badge pick-up.)

Minors Attending BlizzCon Without Their Own Photo ID: Bring your bar code email directly to the Solutions Desk (located in Hall E) at BlizzCon, along with the original credit card used to purchase the ticket and the purchaser’s original photo ID (digital copies will be accepted; front and back of credit card required). You will be required to answer a series of security questions, and may be required to call the ticket purchaser if he or she is not already on-site with you.
Adult Attending With a Minor: If you wish to avoid having to make a special trip to the Solutions Desk, as an alternative to the above you can enter your own name in place of the minor’s attendee information. This will allow you to pick up the badge with your own photo ID, after which you can give the badge to the minor accompanying you.

Attendee Name Changes After June 6: If a guest is no longer able to attend the show and you would like to bring a different guest, you and/or the replacement guest will need to bring *all* of the following items to the Name Change Desk for assistance:
The original attendee’s bar code email
The credit card used to make the purchase (or a physical or digital copy of the front and back of the credit card)
The purchaser’s photo ID (or a physical or digital copy of the photo ID)

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must present a legible copy of the front and back of the purchaser's credit card and ID to make any changes to the badges.
Need further assistance? Visit the Solutions Desk located in Hall E for further assistance on ticket- or badge-related issues at the show.
This info was found here http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/tickets/badge-information
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INSIDE BLIZZCON
Last year's con was excellent as they all have been - Lots to do and partake in.
SCHEDULE: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/schedule/friday
FLOOR MAP: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/schedule/floor-map

WHAT TO EXPECT INSIDE:
* Game zones: Go play some Starcraft 2, Diablo3 or WOW - the lines were going fast and you got about 15 min of game play. Something to note: Some of the games had a give-a-way in the game itself. I know Diablo3 had a drop that if you got it in your inventory when time was up, you went home with a cool poster signed by the Devs. Check out the panels in the lines.
* Tournament: Go see the showdown on the large screens for Starcraft 2 & WoW PVP- these will be done thru the day and are lots of fun to watch a few matches. GSL finals, WOW Invitational, SC2 global invitational and the Live raid. (see below)
* Store: [ http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/11178357/blizzcon%C2%AE-merchandise-sale-coming-oct-11-get-a-sneak-peek-now-10-9-2013 ] Get in line..wait...order loot. There will be a form with your goodie bag- fill it out and have your cash ready when you get to the front. The store folks will take your order only using this form, so fill it out and bring your pen :)
This year’s BlizzCon online sale will begin October 11 at 10 a.m. PT and will be exclusive to BlizzCon attendees* and Virtual Ticket buyers until the end of the show on November 9. Supplies will be limited, so if you’re not going to the show in person or haven’t yet purchased a Virtual Ticket, you might want to order now to get your chance at some cool BlizzCon merchandise.
To access the sale on these dates, log in to the Blizzard Store with the Battle.net® account associated with your BlizzCon ticket or Virtual Ticket (physical ticket buyers can view this info in their Order History).
* Art: They offered all of the art for auction - start saving, because some of those pieces were going for good coin; talking in the 100s’ to 1000s.
* Sponsors/ Booths: The booths were located central area and were constantly busy. Try and make one trip thru here during your adventure. [ link in post #4]
* Dev Panels: The real reason we are all going. Last year, two room were used for panels - The big room had the large screens all over, so if you cannot get to the front, no problem. Panels ran every 90 minutes, so plan your panels the night before as to which ones you want to attend. PLEASE - write your questions down before getting into the QnA lines once the panel is done -makes that moment you are on Satellite TV go a bit better.
* LIVE RAID: Each year 2 guilds go head to head on the latest content in WOW and see who is king. Love it when the Devs drop in Hogger and wipe the raid with him :D Don’t miss the action.
* Arcade: Go play The Lost Viking, etc in the retro arcade :D
** Evening events: Make sure you get a good seat for the evening events; the costume contest is a one-of-a-kind event you will NOT want to miss; The 2nd night events are also excellent (Concert, comedy,etc). Get your cameras ready and enjoy.
* There will be a quest or two for you to complete too - check your goodie bags for the items. Last year was a book mark and each part of the quest gave another cool bookmark.
* Meet the CS Reps
Between Hall C & D at the doors is the CS Rep booth - Meet up with the likes of Bashiok Lylirra Nethaera & everyone else to say hi, trade pins and hang out.

CONTESTS:
My advice: A great effort goes a long way & DONT BE LATE - plan ahead and go in early. Saw lots of Cosplayers/costumes walking in at 5pm after the doors were closed.
2014 contest due dates are below, but closed now.

Official link: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/13924284/blizzcon%C2%AE-2014-contests-prepare-yourself-for-greatness-4-25-2014

BlizzCon® 2014 Costume Contest
The Costume Contest makes a triumphant return. Every year we see more and more spectacular costume creations, and we’re sure that this year will be no exception. It’s important to keep safety in mind as you’re planning your creation—that means you must be able to easily and safely see out of and maneuver in your costume without assistance. As with prior years, there will be online sign up for the contest in the coming weeks, followed by registration and attendance confirmation on Friday morning at BlizzCon, so please be prepared to purchase a BlizzCon ticket, secure your place in the contest during the online sign-up, and have your costume finished well in advance. Spread the word!
Remember: Make sure your costume allows you to see clearly and move easily. No real weapons, dangerous materials, or large motorized costumes will be allowed.

BlizzCon® 2014 Talent Contest
The Talent Contest will also be returning to the stage at BlizzCon 2014! Last year’s inaugural competition featured the performances of some truly talented musicians. This year, we’re looking forward to seeing performances of all sorts—so even if you can’t carry a tune, your other talents might carry you to the stage.
If you’ve got serious performance chops—dramatic, comedic, musical, or otherwise—you could have a chance to showcase your Blizzard-themed talent live on stage at BlizzCon in front of a massive audience . . . and win great prizes (including a trip to BlizzCon and lodging) to boot. We’ll be accepting YouTube videos of your talent performance in the near future, so start rehearsing!
Whatever you choose to show us, please make sure your video is 2 minutes or less in length, choose a good (higher is better) resolution, and keep it simple. We want to see you just as you would be performing live. Since your audition video could be shown on stage at the show, please make sure that there are no non-Blizzard brand logos present in your shoot.

BlizzCon® 2014 Art Contest
* Rules: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/community/contests/blizzcon14-fanart/rules.html
* Dates: Contest Period. The Contest shall commence on 12:01 PM PDT June 5, 2014, and shall continue in duration until 11:59 PM PDT July 7, 2014 (the "Deadline"). All entries must be received by the Deadline to be eligible to win a prize
The Art Contest will offer talented artists the chance to show off their work at BlizzCon once again. As you prepare to craft your masterpiece, please keep in mind that you’ll need to submit high-quality jpegs no larger than 5MB. Also, the entire content of your work needs to be your own original creation, so no PhotoShop manipulations of existing work will be accepted

BlizzCon® 2014 Movie Contest
Rules: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/community/contests/blizzcon14-movie/rules.htm
Date: July 7th is the deadline.
We look forward to screening the work of aspiring auteurs in animation, machinima, live-action filmmaking, and more! Start those storyboards now, but keep in mind that the length of your film should be 3 minutes or less and the size of your file no larger than 100MB. If you’re shooting a live-action piece, please make sure that there are no non-Blizzard brand logos in your video.
Complete rules and more information on all of the upcoming contests will be available soon.
Signups begin in the near future, so start preparing in advance!

Got BlizzCon contest-related questions? Email BlizzConContest@Blizzard.com.

GIFTS/Goodie Bag: 2014
http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/15977182/blizzcon%C2%AE-2014-in-game-goodies-sneak-peek-9-23-2014
Includes:
Diablo III – Warlords of Draenor Weapon Transmog
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard 2014 Card Back
StarCraft II – Portraits & Decal
World of Warcraft – Grommloc Pet
Heroes of the Storm – Nexus Mount and Portrait

SHIPPING:
Q: Hey Lagz, I just won a cool large poster from playing Diablo 3 and have no room in my bag whatsoever! how do I get this home?
A: FEDEX: - There is a FEDEX shipping store inside the Hilton by the bathrooms behind the checkin counter. Buy a box/tube/container at the shipping store or staples to ship home anything you don't want to damage or cannot take back home, insure it and see it in a few days after you get back.
FedEx Office Print & Ship Center (Hilton Lobby area)
700 W Convention Way
Anaheim, CA 92802

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THINGS NOT BLIZZCON TO DO ON SUNDAY:
If you are heading back on Monday, make the most of you trip and do something else fun.
Check out the promotions page for updates and info on HOW TO get the deals:
http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/travel-information/promotions

SPORTS: NHL-
Nov. 5 - NYI @ ANA
Nov. 6 - NYI @ LA
Nov. 7 - PHX @ ANA
Nov. 8 - VAN @ LA
Nov. 9 - VAN @ ANA
Nov. 12 - LA @ ANA
Check the teams websites for ticket info.

PARKS:
DISNEYLAND: Is right across the street; be ready to drop $80 at the door and another $50+ inside for food, drinks and stuff. If you’ve never been – go check it out; it’s a true once-in-a-lifetime place and not just for kids - Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones ride and lots more. Plan for an all day outing into the evening and watch the fireworks at night over the castle. http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/home/home?name=HomePage
KNOTTS BERRY FARM: Probably a trip to cab with friends, but lots of fun too. Lots of good rollercoasters, shows and slightly cheaper than Disney ($30-$40). It’s about a 20 minute ride from Disney without traffic. Take the 5 north to the 91, then head west into Buena park. Get off at Beach Blvd. www.knotts.com
MAGIC MOUNTAIN: For those that are renting a car and feel like a 1-2 hr ride, head up harbor and take the 5 freeway north and drive for a few hours. Suggested times to leave are after 9am on a weekday. Look for the signs after you leave LA county. This place is the mecca for rollercoasters in the Southern Cal region. Over 15 rollercoasters and lots of good ones:
check out the website- http://www.sixflags.com/magicMountain/index.aspx
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS: Go check out the famous studios and take the bus tour, see some shows and the mummy roller coaster. Lots to do and see for the all movie fans. Fall time, the evenings turn the park into Universal Studios Halloween Horror nights = movie creeps everywhere! http://
www.universalstudioshollywood.com/

CITYPASS: For those that are going to make a small vacation around the convention, check out CityPass - the pass is an admission card that gives you access to the top 4 theme parks, at a discount and includes the Disneyland Resort. There is a San Diego Addon for those that want to go there as well. www.citypass.com/southern-california

Everything else:
LA:
1 hour north is the big city. Consider renting a car and head to Hollywood for the sites. The Kodak Theater and Chinese theater, Hollywood wax museum, walk of stars and a lot more. Take I5 north to the 101, and get off at Santa Monica Blvd. Head west to Vine and turn right. Expect to pay for parking, but it’s an experience to not forget. All can be done in a day. http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/calahollywood/ss/Things-To-Do-In-Hollywood.htm
SAN DIEGO:
Lots to do down in San Diego - must have a rental car to get to these, but can be worth it if you are taking the family and have some extra time. Consider going there on Wednesday or Sunday if you get in early/leave late.
SEA WORLD: Go see the famous Shamu and sit in the front row - head down the 405 to San Diego; take the 5/805 split south and look for the signs on your right. Bring suntan lotion and have fun with the sea animals. http://www.seaworld.com/
LEGO LAND: More for kids, but Legoland is a fun time for the youngsters of all ages and who doesn’t like legos... Head down I-405 to Carlsbad and have some fun: http://www.legoland.com/
Edited by Lagzalot on 10/9/2014 11:56 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
THOSE COMING FROM OVERSEAS:
This section is for our international guests. Feel free to post your information about anything relevant in travel and plans:

The US State department has a nice info site to check out:
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/
And
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/international_travel_tips.xml

Some common things would be:
* Id and passport
* Major credit card
* Medicines and related medical information; consider a USB drive with a secure folder with all of your
information in there (encrypted of course); can be shot records, history,etc.
* Told a non-traveling family member of your plans, hotel, etc.
* US money: if you can, exchange your money in your own country. The airports have a tenancy to NOT offer comparative rates like your own personal bank can. Use them as a last resort or at least do some checking on a daily basis for a week prior so you have an understanding on what the exchange rate should be.

Traveller's cheques, while traceable, are not as easily exchanged as you might think. The hotels and Disneyland know what to do with them, but if you go in to LA proper, for example, and expect to do shopping with them, a lot of merchants do not take them anymore.

Credit card: if you do use your credit card, phone your credit card company before you go. This is really important. Both Mastercard and Visa will freeze & lock your card if they notice that you're suddenly spending across the border, especially if you fly. Reason being: If you (for example) live in Calgary and all your purchases have always been in Calgary, then suddenly you start spending like a banshee in LA, they will automatically assume your credit card has been stolen and will freeze it until you prove otherwise.
###########################################

Internet and Direct TV info:
Internet Stream:
Ordering the ticket: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/virtual-ticket/
FAQ:http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/15663730/attend-blizzcon%C2%AE-from-anywhere-with-the-virtual-ticket-9-4-2014

What is the BlizzCon® 2014 Virtual Ticket?
The BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket offers comprehensive live HD coverage of Blizzard Entertainment’s two-day gaming celebration, taking place November 7 and 8, via a multichannel Internet stream.
When you purchase the Virtual Ticket, you’ll be able to switch freely between multiple high-definition (720p) channels dedicated to different areas of BlizzCon, allowing viewers expanded access to the content they're most interested in. The Virtual Ticket grants you complete access to the Main and Panel Stage channels, featuring the following BlizzCon content:

Developer Panels: Get the latest news and firsthand developer insight into the creation of your favorite Blizzard games.
Exclusive Interviews: Dig deeper into the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes in exclusive interviews with Blizzard executives and developers.
Costume and Talent Contests: Get a great view of the creativity on display in the legendary BlizzCon Costume contest and epic Talent Contest.
Closing Ceremony: Be there for the closing festivities on Saturday night, celebrating two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action.

Limited high-definition coverage of the opening ceremony and BlizzCon eSports tournaments will be available online for free, featuring the Global Finals of the 2014 StarCraft® II World Championship Series, World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship, Hearthstone™ World Championship, and more. Keep an eye on www.blizzcon.com for more information.

If I order the BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket, will I receive the commemorative BlizzCon 2014 in-game goodies?
Yes, Virtual Ticket holders will also receive the commemorative BlizzCon 2014 World of Warcraft, Diablo® III, StarCraft II, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm™ in-game goodies (details to be announced at a later date). The goodies will be linked to the Battle.net account used to purchase or redeem the Virtual Ticket, and will be available in-game after the show begins. Stay tuned for more information.

Please note that in-game goodies associated with the Virtual Ticket can only be claimed on realms/servers in the following regions: the Americas (including those serving players in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia), Europe, Russia, Taiwan, and Korea.

##################################################
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I hope this was informative for everyone and that you have a fun time, and I will see you all there!
You can contact me on this post or send me a tweet: @joe_maiz
-Leonaidus / Strikur / Lagzalot (name change on new server)


##################################################
##################################################
LINKS AND REFERENCES:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/
EVENTS: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/
TICKETS: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/tickets/ticket-overview
GOODIE BAG: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/tickets/goody-bag
** 2013** SCHEDULE: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/schedule/friday-schedule
CONTESTS/ACTIVITIES: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/activities/contests
** 2013** PANEL INFO: http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/events/index.xml
INTERNET STREAM: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/virtual-ticket/
** 2013 ** STORE: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/store/

If you have not yet received an email with your ticket barcodes, you can now view and print your BlizzCon ticket by:
1. Ticket purchaser logs in to their account at http://www.blizzard.com/store
2. Then visit https://www.battle.net/account/management/orders.html
3. Select the order entry containing the BlizzCon tickets purchased
4. Click on View/Edit Attendee Details button
5. Below each ticket a PRINT TICKET button is now available
This will bring you to a printable ticket page which includes that ticket's barcode. It's important to bring this barcode with you as it will expedite your badge pickup once you're at the event.
For those that have already received emails with barcodes this page has the same information as the email, and isn't necessary to view or reprint them if you already have.

############################################
Misc links:
Official Blizzcon hotel links: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/travel-information/directions
Official Event Restrictions page: http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/about-blizzcon/event-restrictions
Parking: http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/travel/parking.xml
Parking 2: www.anaheimconventioncenter.com/article.aspx?id=33
** 2013 ** AREA DISCOUNTS & PROMOTIONS:
http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/travel-information/promotions

CityPass: www.citypass.com/southern-california

TRAVEL LINKS:
Anaheim Resort Transport/ Shuttle Bus: http://www.rideart.org/
MAP: Google map of area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?
hl=en&ei=MtECSqL3NpCgtgPqq7DgAQ&q=anaheim+convention+center&ie=UTF8&hq=anaheim+conven
tion+center&hnear=&ll=33.801938,-117.920251&spn=0.023536,0.054932&t=h&z=15
Metrolink: www.metrolinktrains.com
Supershuttle: www.supershuttle.com
Karmel Shuttle: http://karmel.hudsonltd.net/res?USERIDENTRY=BLIZZCON13&LOGON=GO
Amtrak: www.amtrak.com

OTHER SITES:
Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlizzCon
Facebook:
Blizzcon: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/BlizzCon/104049626299044?ref=ts
Blizzard Entertainment: http://www.facebook.com/Blizzard?v=wall&ref=ts
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/warcraft, http://twitter.com/starcraft, and http://twitter.com/diablo
Lagz's Travel Favorites:
Travel: www.kayak.com - all your travel needs
Seatguru: http://www.seatguru.com/ - find that magic seat on the airplane
Yahoo travel: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-474085-anaheim_vacations-
i;_ylt=AhTH9GEJqCn.mFkB_pfS4dL8xmoA
Edited by Lagzalot on 9/8/2014 11:25 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
Restaurants and locations/ Prices: [ http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/forum/topic/12504572084 ][ Thanks Phenteo]
1- HOW TO BUY TICKETS:
2014: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/blizzcon-november-7-8-2014-tickets-10559318205

Tips: [ http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/14003199/blizzcon%C2%AE-2014-ticket-buying-tips-5-5-2014 ]
a- create an account BEFORE the ticket date - you will need to verify it via email.
b- log in
c- Wait; F5 5 minutes till the time.
d- win the ticket lottery. Make sure you select the number of tickets BEFORE you move to the next screen.

2- WIFI:
Yes, there is 'free' wifi inthe convention center, but think about it- 50000 people all looking for wifi to update facebook... "Beginning January 2012, the 1.6 million-square-foot, LEED-certified Anaheim Convention Center will offer free Wi-Fi to all visitors. The program will feature standard 128K-upload and 256K-download capacity throughout the facility."

3- CHILDREN: Children under 5 not allowed
Several reasons:
a- The themes might be too much for kids to understand - demons, aliens and the like could cause some stress in the little guys.
b- The bathroom line ride can get long and changing little ones would be a concern. Finding a table to take care of business would be hard; asking my son to hold it while we wait I know would cause an accident if the lines get bad.
c- Its dark inside - seems silly for non parents, but the 1 second you turn your head, you can easily loose even your adult friends, let alone kids. Hate to think of loosing my son inside that large convention center.
d- full price- I do not think there is a kids ticket to the convention; thus you will be paying full price at the door. If that is no concern then cool, but some parents might think there are two prices. Just wanted to warn you now. Check the FAQ and I will update here as I find out information. Also, Tweet @blizzcon , @blizzardcs , or any of the CMs as we get closer to ticket time.
If you need to bring a child, I fully understand the reasons; I would consider some other options as they fit your needs while they are not at the Con, or if a 5+ yr old is there.
    1- Take breaks: the hotels in the area are a close walk in the California sun- get out and take a slow walk to the room; nap time and break, then walk back.
    2- Take turns: Swap out with a raid partner and do half days or you take day 1, ill take day 2, etc.. One person stays with the child, the other goes into the convention.
    3- Book family friendly hotels: MOST of the hotels in the Disneyland area know you have kids - if there is a specific need you are looking for, like an elevator for 2nd and 3rd floors, etc ask before you book.
    4- GOTO DISNEYLAND: its RIGHT THERE! Plan in an extra day for the kids and go have fun; there are two flavor of tickets. the one park and the 'hopper'; the hopper ticket allows you to switch between the classic Disneyland and the new CA adventure park the same day, but the basic ticket lets you into only One of those parks. Myself, I like Disneyland over CA adventure, but you are traveling from overseas, why not plan for a day or two of Disney while you are at it.
    If you dont want to spend the $80/person to get in, even the downtown Disney is a nice walk; shopping and some food make a nice afternoon in the sun.


4- WHEN TO DO THINGS/BOOK:
a- Room/hotel: NOW - you can always cancel a reservation, even if you don't win the ticket lottery. Go book a room now, lock in something, and change it later as you need. Nethaera has a Hotel finder on the main page - I like Kayak.com - you choose.
b- Flights: If needed, the best time to book flights is usually around 3-6 months before your travel dates. Check Kayak, fly.com, etc.. as you see fit.
c- Cars: 2-4 weeks before your event. I have had awesome success on Hotwire as there are always cars around for $20/day.
Edited by Lagzalot on 5/13/2014 6:06 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
TICKET PURCHASE TIPS:
The idea is to get into the ticket que as fast as you can; 2014 brings a new fold into things: The new purchase site. Blizzards store site was the old goto - so this will be new for everyone. I have some feelings it will be a worse experience, but thats just me.
Here are some things you can do to try and maximize your ticket experience:

SITE: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/blizzcon-november-7-8-2014-tickets-10559318205

The Important Stuff
During the checkout process, ticket purchasers will need to provide the full names and valid email addresses for each attendee (up to 4). You won’t be able to leave these blank, but you’ll have until June 6 to make changes, so don’t worry too much if you’re not sure who’s coming yet.
If you’re not yet sure who your guests will be, it’s best to enter your own name and email address for all of your tickets during the checkout process.

1-2 days before or earlier:
Create a user name/PW for the site this week

1 hr Before the ticket sale:
* Use a computer with high speed access for purchases only
* Use a tablet/phone for communications only
Keep your PC free of email, facebook IM, twitter, etc - this will only slow you down; Use a phone or tablet for communications to the rest of the world
* Turn off your anti Virus, maleware program, etc once you are ready - give it a 1-2 hr break since all you are doing is going to the site and buying tickets.
* refresh every 3-8 minutes - make sure you are still logged into the site. (F5 is refresh)
* Make sure your credit card is ready to go

15 minutes till:
* goto the bathroom; get a drink - do that now
* Kick off anyone else using the network you are on; ask family members to take a break to get the tickets.. if they want to go too, they will do this. You honestly need to make the max of your bandwidth.

5 Minutes till:
* Refresh and get your mouse hand ready

1 minute till:
* refresh every time it is done.. and if you hear news online via phone/tablet - do it again
Good hunting! I do hope the site works as good as or better than the blizzard store site did last year.

You are active:
* SELECT THE QUANITY
You will not have a chance to change the quantity after you’ve entered the checkout process, and if you try to go back, you’ll risk losing your place.
* Select Order Now
* Fill in the info

Other Handy Info
After clicking Order Now, you may find yourself in a “waiting room” before you enter the checkout process. Ticket buyers will be sent from the waiting room to checkout in the order they arrived, and there’s no need to refresh your browser. Keep in mind that being in the waiting room doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed tickets.
Once you’ve entered the checkout process, you’ll have 8 minutes to complete your order—a countdown will be displayed on-screen so you know how much time you have remaining. After 8 minutes, the tickets will be released for others to buy, drawing from those in the waiting room first.
Keep your browser window open until your ticket purchase is confirmed!
Keep in mind that tickets are only being sold online through Eventbrite. Customer support won't be able to place orders for you.

IF YOU GET DISCONNECTED: You will need to try & reenter the queue or wait for the next ticket sale.

Aftermath:
A couple of months before the show, the ticket purchaser will receive up to 4 emails (one for each ticket purchased), each containing a unique bar code and the name of one of your attendees. Attendees must print out and present this bar-code email along with matching photo ID at BlizzCon to receive their badge granting admission to the show.
Remember that a ticket sales begin, make sure to select the correct quantity of tickets you want before you click Order Now.
Check out the BlizzCon Ticket Info page for more details. Remember, tickets go on sale May 7 at 7 p.m. PT and May 10 at 10 p.m. at the link below. Good luck!
Edited by Lagzalot on 5/5/2014 12:15 PM PDT
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MVP
Posts: 7,031
yay for another year, :).
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90 Night Elf Druid
12300
Posts: 109
Hooray! Thanks Lagz :) I hope everyone reads this at least 6 times and understands the utter, unbelievable value your guide provides. It saved our butts last year SO many times over.
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Posts: 4
man that was quick - good stuff as always :)
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90 Gnome Mage
17345
Posts: 1,150
It's 4 max. not 5 for tickets. ;)
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
Thanks for the Sticky!!
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
10760
Posts: 33
if you book a room. do they charge the cc then?
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90 Gnome Mage
17345
Posts: 1,150
04/22/2014 10:10 PMPosted by Sepphy
if you book a room. do they charge the cc then?

Depends on where you book through. Most places won't charge your CC till you get there, but some sites will if you're getting a special deal to lock you in. But most if not all will give free cancellation up to a particular date before you check in.
Edited by Elvine on 4/23/2014 4:43 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
Some places charge for one night when you book; some others have great deals but you pre-pay the room for the entire thing and cannot cancel it.

Just check the details - I would book a room that I can cancel if I do not get tickets; that way Im covered.

If you DO get tickets, you can look for another room and cancel the 1st booking if you prefer.
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
fixed - thanks Elvine: Thats a good thing for the masses; this way more groups can get in..
Reply Quote
90 Night Elf Druid
12300
Posts: 109
04/23/2014 04:43 AMPosted by Elvine
04/22/2014 10:10 PMPosted by Sepphy
if you book a room. do they charge the cc then?

Depends on where you book through. Most places won't charge your CC till you get there, but some sites will if you're getting a special deal to lock you in. But most if not all will give free cancellation up to a particular date before you check in.


If you book through the Anaheim Housing Bureau they do charge a $35 fee if you cancel after 9/24 5PM PST. Which is nothing compared to a full nights' deposit, but worth putting on your calendar even if you booked a hotel that doesn't charge until checkout.

On my reservation:
Any room cancelled after 5pm (Pacific Time) on September 24th will incur a $35 cancellation fee. Thereafter, any cancellations made within 72 hours of stated arrival date will forfeit one night's room and tax.
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90 Pandaren Hunter
16510
Posts: 28
This will be my third time going and this guide is the best out there! I really like the work you put into this guide to help people not deal with problems that might come up. Two thumbs up! ^_^
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90 Human Rogue
18185
Posts: 204
FYI, for traveling to/from the airport, I've personally always used SuperShuttle (http://www.supershuttle.com/) and been pretty happy with them. At least last year it was actually cheaper than Karmel Shuttle's Blizzcon discount rate by a couple bucks.
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Community Manager
Posts: 410
04/25/2014 07:00 AMPosted by Melynda
FYI, for traveling to/from the airport, I've personally always used SuperShuttle (http://www.supershuttle.com/) and been pretty happy with them. At least last year it was actually cheaper than Karmel Shuttle's Blizzcon discount rate by a couple bucks.


I'm not promoting nor endorsing, but Uber - Orange County is an option. I've used this service myself in Orange County and France. The drivers are usually very friendly (because you get to rate them) sometimes they have waters and mints for you too!
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8375
Posts: 140
updated with info on Ticket tips - Shuttle info, etc - Thanks everyone :D
Edited by Lagzalot on 5/5/2014 10:45 AM PDT
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