April 5 San Diego Comic-Con General Hotel Sale Moves to Random Waiting Room System

2010 C0mic-Con hotel downtown wrap skyline hard rock omni gaslampThat sounds you hear might just be thousands of general attendees, suddenly very anxious now that Comic-Con International has finally given us some more information about the dreaded hotel sale. Just as we announced on January 20, the San Diego Comic-Con General Hotel Sale will take place on April 5 at 9AM PT.

However, the biggest news coming out today is that the sale is undergoing a re-vamp. The system will utilize a random waiting room for onPeak (who merged with Travel Planners), similar to EPIC Registration Waiting Room’s process.

Attendees will be e-mailed a link to onPeak’s system at least 48 hours prior to the sale (and you’ll also be able to access the URL on CCI’s site), and then be able to enter the room between 6AM-9AM PT on Tuesday, April 5, at which point they will be randomly sorted and then let through to fill out the form for their hotel preferences. You’ll also be able to call at 1-877-55-COMIC.

Once you get through, you’ll see the form – which we expect to be similar to last year’s form – where you’ll rank your six hotel choices, in order of preference. Requests will then be processed based on the order they are received – so there’s still some element of speed to the process, in addition to the randomization. According to the official FAQ, this was done, “to ensure fairness in the request and placement process”.

onPeak will let you know no later than April 8 which hotel you’ve been placed at, and you’ll have 72 hours to confirm your reservation with a 2-night deposit. Deposits are refundable for cancellations before April 30, 2016.

Also new this year, hotel rates include an $8.00 per night reimbursement to Comic-Con to help defray shuttle and convention costs (this charge is subject to change).

The General Hotel Sale is the biggest hotel sale for San Diego Comic-Con, because it’s when the hotels closest to the action (the Gaslamp District downtown, as well as several hotels by the airport and in Mission Valley that are on the shuttle list) become available to attendees at a special, discounted con rate (ranging from $178/night for one person at the Days Hotel – Hotel Circle by Seaworld, up to $384/night for the Andaz San Diego). You can view the entire list of all 50+ hotels, including prices, by clicking here.

Last year’s sale was basically an unmitigated disaster and likely the reason for these changes — with some attendees’ forms not loading correctly, some having the page take nine minutes to load at all, some receiving roommates who they had never heard of, some receiving multiple reservations, and a whole slew of other issues. We can only hope that this year’s sale runs smoother.

If you’re still considering booking an Early Bird hotel room, you have until the morning of April 5 to do so. You can check out our comparison of the two hotel sales here.

You can find more information on Comic-Con International’s site.

Will you be trying to get a hotel on April 5? Let us know in the comments

About Kerry Dixon

Kerry Dixon is Editor-in-Chief of The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog and the site’s resident panel guru.

  • Claire

    Question! Would this go back to the days of old, where you can have like 15 browsers open at once and just wait for the 1st one to let you in? Or is it 1 browser per IP address? I can’t see anything about that in the PDF.

  • jm5150

    what a CLUSTER F!!!!!!.. People have to work on tuesday, I dont have 4 hours to be sitting in a god damn lottery. i know for a fact ill be 48,521st in line. At least with the old way i controlled my own fate. now i leave it up to a damn dumb lottery. Never won a lottery in my life. luck vs skill???? ill take skill 1,000,000 out of 1,000,000 times. who cares what happened last year, its still better than getting screwed by fate. Yes last year saw server issues but in the end a small percentage got hosed. if you were slow you were slow… do better. if you were fast, congrats. thats how it should be. San Diego lottery con officially blows. Hello D23

  • Joe

    Do we know if non badge people can join in on the waiting room? I didn’t get tickets, but i will be in the area during that time and want to visit the stuff outside comic con. I have a member id , but no badge.

  • semigeekgirl

    It doesn’t say. It’s hard to imagine they would limit it by IP address, though, as that would severely penalize roommates, college students in dorms, and people using the library/Starbucks/etc for their internet access. They do not limit badge sales by IP address (presumably for this reason). They also, unlike the badge sale, don’t seem to be tying it to Member IDs, so as far as I can tell anyone/everyone can participate.

    So, yeah, you can probably have 15 browsers open. This is going to be a mess. 🙁

  • Jm5150

    PLUS, how is it fair that Joe Shmoe, who takes 22 minutes to fill out the form can potentially be placed first in line and get whatever they want even with a terrible time, and i, who can fill it out in under 30 second, could get placed 80,000th and not get squat?…..that’s the most unfair thing I’ve ever heard.

  • Jm5150

    Maybe, i might go buy 1000 computers on Monday and return them Wednesday

  • They’re posting the link publicly on their site – so don’t believe that’s changed. Anyone can try. However, in many years of covering this con, we don’t believe that non-attendees securing hotel block rooms is a widespread issue.

  • MediaSavant

    It’s much more widespread than you acknowledge. I already see Nerd HQ attendees making their plans to get downtown hotels through the system. Even if it’s ten people taking a downtown hotel room from actual badgeholders, that’s TEN PEOPLE TOO MANY.

  • MediaSavant

    Well, my computer just wouldn’t connect last year until three minutes had passed. So, it didn’t matter how fast I can fill out a form. I’ll take random over that.

  • If you have a link, we’d love to see it.

  • What about all the volunteers that don’t have badges? They need love as well (me)

  • slimpunk

    This is a serious question that needs to be answered. Without a unique ID for the waiting room, people will be able to game the system.

    Kerry, please get to the bottom of this!

  • MediaSavant

    It’s random tweets by people I follow who are big NerdHQ/Zac Levi fans. Some are volunteers at NerdHQ. Nerd HQ uses as many as 60 volunteers. Where do you think they get their hotel rooms? You have no idea how many people come to San Diego just for Nerd HQ these days. People who don’t score badges are being told to come to San Diego anyway because there are so many offsites to enjoy. Where do you think they are getting their hotels?

  • We’ve already asked, actually, but CCI’s offices are closed until Monday, so not sure if we’ll hear back…

  • If you’ve got links, you’re welcome to e-mail them to sdcomiccon.blog@gmail.com

  • Claire

    Thanks for asking! It would be nice to know before Tuesday 🙂

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  • Brenda

    Two things: One, does anyone have a link to the practice form?
    Second, if Person A submits a hotel request form and says they are going to room with Person B and then Person B also submits their own form and says they will room with Person A, do one of the the forms get deleted?

  • Candice M

    I want to know this question, because I am going with my mom and I was wondering if we both could put in a request? Last year, I only did one.

  • Candice M

    I hate that I missed Nerd HQ panels and parties last year. I want to go to one.

  • Kerry

    No, they don’t get deleted (put a different e-mail) – but they will call you after to say that the names match, and you need to cancel one of them. At least that’s been our experience.

  • Kerry

    We answered above.

  • Investigatin Detective

    Sorry but I just don’t understand how they could make SDCC any more difficult to go to these days. Badges are a lottery. If you manage to get a badge and decide to drive parking is a lottery. You’d think that maybe tying member IDs to hotel reservations would at least limit the pool of people going for hotels so CCI’s solution is to (you guessed it) randomize this process as well. So at this point even if you get a badge you’re not guaranteed to be able to go since your luck may not extend to the hotel sale.

    You thought last year was an unmitigated disaster? Just wait until 9:01 PT on Tuesday.

  • Investigatin Detective

    This. it doesn’t have to be thousands. If a few hundred extra people are even trying it throws the whole thing off. Since it’s randomized now it should be tied to the member ID.

    Travel Planners. New name. Same stupid company.

  • MediaSavant

    People rarely put their intentions all in one tweet. I honestly don’t know why you need proof of it being “widespread”. Even if only ten badgeholders lose rooms to non-badgeholders, it’s just wrong. Plus, we all know that people will enlist friends and relatives to increase their chances in the lottery. At least the badge sale requires a unique log-in that only you can use.

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  • Charlotte Davis Zavadil

    Hoping to get a hotel room, but it’s Sunday night and still no email with the link. Not a promising start. Pretty sure this year’s theme is 100 ways to jack up your Comic-Con.

  • Annabella G

    Yes a lot of us didn’t get the email. I really don’t see this ending well.

  • Beverly Carter

    We still haven’t received a link to the hotel sale and we’re less than 24 hours away.

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