The week I attended Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, I was being trolled on TikTok over what I had thought was an innocuous seven-second video on someone’s fantastically glamorous face mask. I was also adding Star Wars-themed face masks to our collection to prepare. The saddest thing I saw was someone leaving a line that he had already waited in for hours because he was without a face mask and I wish I had a spare disposable one to lend him.
So face masks may be required at the convention you attend. Don’t leave home without one. Pack two extras in your glove compartment. I may start carrying extra to help out others. Here are some of my suggestions for Star Wars Celebrations and any convention at the Anaheim Convention Center:
- Reedpop, the company that runs the show, uses a cotton flat drawstring cord for the bracelet/wristband to show you’ve passed your COVID-19 check for the full weekend. It slides easily under gloves and takes the moisture of a shower easily. It also doesn’t snag on your silk, satin or gauze costuming. It’s a total win from my perspective.
- Masks were required, but readily available at the hotel where the initial health checks were given. Someone in the standby line for “The Mandalorian Experience” was told he couldn’t go in without a mask. He left, but I think if he had asked for someone to save his place, he could have procured a disposable mask from the hotel which is adjacent to the Convention Center.
- To get into the Anaheim Convention Center, we had to go through metal detectors each day. Separately bag things like eyeglasses and their cases, portable brick chargers and even umbrellas. These are the things that will set off the metal detectors.
- Reedpop uses Growtix event management software. The software allows you to enter a lottery for first panel seats in the main stage (Celebration Stage) which is great, but it didn’t always work. Entering by the Sunday deadline, we got two of our three choices, but our Friday win only came back with one seat. We had queried online about this and were told it would be handled in the line. At the convention center line, I was told that one seat allowed a plus one, but that was challenged farther down in the line. Because we got there early, and we spoke patiently and politely with the staff, we were able to both get in. Later, we spoke with other people who also had a fail, but didn’t try. Don’t give up; get up early and speak with the staff. On Saturday morning, not all the seats were filled. I recommend printing out QR codes because there was an unfortunate evening when my cellphone broke. Also, I printed it large enough for the group number and the QR code to be read quickly.
- Reedpop’s staff were exceptionally helpful. I asked about where to line up and even the best way to get inside and get into the next line and the person handling the morning lineup (indoors) was very knowledgeable. The line for the main stage was in a different spot which I learned the day before we headed to that line for the Celebration Stage.
- Bring a blanket and/or a (neck) pillow because you’ll likely be sitting in a line for many different things. The floor is hard and it can be cold. You can also use the blanket as an exercise mat.
- Bring water and food. You’ll want to eat in line and hopefully, you have a friend there. There were food trucks outside, but the lines were long at main meal times! We did borrow something to return to a food truck, but Sunday that food truck wasn’t there. Our apologies.
- Talk to the people you’re in line with. They may have tips for you. That’s how I found a new hope for “The Mandalorian Experience.”
- If you’re bringing your lightsaber, be mindful where it is pointed (one almost took out my husband’s eye) and bring extra batteries. While the exhibition floor people brought some, by Saturday morning, those triple A batteries were a scarce commodity.
- Have a sense of humor like the people who showed up as “Find Waldo” variants or Star Trek characters. Except for Thursday, when I went as Purple Ray (because it never rains in Southern California), we attended as Han Dynasty Solo and Princess Lei Aloha. Here’s our weekend in face masks.