Blizzard Entertainment is hosting Blizzcon this weekend in Anaheim, California. Fans from all over the world will make their annual pilgrimage to the convention center for the exceptional experience of celebrating Blizzard's games. I have previously attended all of the Blizzcon’s except for the first one. Blizzard knows how to put on a great show for the fans and provides a great swag bag for attendees.
So here are few tips what to expect on your trip.
On the day before your trip, it’s best to pick up your badges and swag bag on Thursday night 30 minutes before it closes or early Friday morning. You should be able to walk in without a hassle of a long line. Make sure to bring your paperwork and ID. Make sure you receive your pet key card. My first year, the volunteer forgot to give me mine and I had no idea. The problem was fixed by the lovely Blizzard Staff after the convention.
Bring/Wear your best footwear. (Lots of standing/walking)
Save empty water bottles from the $3.50 water. (Cheaper to refill at the fountains)
Do practice good hygiene. Carry a change of shirts/deodorant if need be.
Do bring a camera and backpack. Inspection is quick and painless.
The First Day
If your looking to be one of the first in line to get in the convention you will need to be in line at 5am or sooner. You should still be in a good place if you arrive around 8am. I stopped caring about lines because they are unavoidable. I just went to the main hall and waited for the keynote. The swag will still be there. Best times to purchase items was during the big events, Keynotes, Dance Contests, Concerts, and at the end of the show if stock is left.
Once your inside, you’ll either go grab a good seat for the keynote, run around booths looking for free swag, or get your place in line for game testing. Seats will fill up quickly in the main hall for the keynote. If you don’t care where you sit and don’t mind watching it on a monitor. Arrive a 20-30 minutes before it starts. If you arrive 10 minutes or less before the start, you will be standing somewhere in the center watching it on the screen. You might miss the awesome experience of seeing the new trailers on the huge screens. This year will be special.
I always avoided getting in the lines to play games because standing for 1 to 2 hours didn’t really feel like a good reason to wait to play a game for 10-20 minutes. Some of the game lines were shorter depending on the game and release dates. Last year, Diablo 3 hands-on line was super long, whereas Starcraft 2 mods were shorter but still manageable.
This year you could expect the following on PCs for play: (Rumor)
A sample of the next wow expansion or patch 4.3 dungeon raids
Diablo 3 Beta
SC2 Heart of Swarm Campaign play Teaser
If you’re hungry for food and drink, the Marriott has a Pizza Hut if it isn’t too crowded and it’s cheaper then the convention center. There is a Denny's a few blocks away on Katella which is more likely a mile in Anaheim city blocks. I stopped worrying about the extra dollar or 2 when convenience was a bigger priority. The food inside the center isn’t that bad. The menu has a Blizzard theme which is cool.
On Day 2, I waited til after the doors opened to even show up. My feet were so sore and I already had my plan set for the entire day. I would move to the panels and complete the daily quest if it was possible. Those lines moved fairly quick on either day. Last year was the first year I completed the daily quest. I received a puzzle and a patch as my reward.
Enjoy the rest of your day by meeting new people. Be sure to say hi to everyone who you sit next to. Visit your realm meet-ups. Don t forgot to take pictures and sign your name on the white board before you leave. This years concert is the Foo Fighters. One of my favorite bands on the planet. I suggest you find your seat a good hour before hand if you want a chance at a good view. The areas close to the stage will be impossible to get to.
If this is the first time attending Blizzcon, your in for the time of your life. If this isn’t your first, you already know everything in this article. I will be at home watching the virtual ticket over the internet, being sad that I am not there, while still happy I saved $1,000 in travel expenses.
One last thing, Sunday is when all the attendees take over Disneyland. You have the opportunity to purchase discount tickets through the Blizzcon site to go there. Please check it out and enjoy yourself.
I forgot to mention. BRING HAND SANITIZER!! Dont Bring Home or Share the Blizzcon Pox!
P.S. There is a Wow Insider party, I attended at the Anabella Hotel next to the convention center. Its worth checking out if you like standing around a pool with loud music, prizes, and free TCG packs.
For more tips and meetups. Check the Blizzcon Forums. A lot of parties and meetings are planned.
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