Home Conventions SDCC '12 UPDATED: San Diego Comic-Con's Hoteloween: some got a rock, some got a...

UPDATED: San Diego Comic-Con's Hoteloween: some got a rock, some got a comfy bed


Okay, hotel room reservation notification for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con started rolling out last night…and it was a mixed bag. Although The Beat got a room at our second choice, lots of people didn’t get a room at all. And based on an informal Twitter survey, it all seems to have been pretty random. People who got in between 9:03 and 9:09 seemed to run the gamut from first choice to no choice.

Was this really just a lottery? SOMEWHERE, we SEEM to remember reading that time stamps within 3 minutes of each other would be treated as a tie and processed in random order….but now we can’t find that language anywhere on the CCI site, so maybe we just imagined it? At any rate this kind of process would explain what happened.

Of much note, even the far out hotel rooms will be connected to the con by a new 24-hour shuttle service. That’s a huge investment by the con committee and should take at least some of the sting out of having to to stay near Sea World.

So what to do if you have no room?

• Hang tight. A two-night deposit must be made by Tuesday to secure the rooms already doled out. In some cases that’s a $500-$600 outlay so expect a bunch of rooms to become available on Tuesday. Although we haven’t seen the letter that went out with requests that weren’t able to be filled, it was suggested that there will be a secondary Hoteloween for these rooms.

• Rooms will keep opening up until May 5, when deposits become NON-RETURNABLE. So keep checking.

• If you are really determined to go, there are still some rooms available in outlying areas on services like Travelocity and Hotels.com. They are not cheap—some are going for around $400 a night. You can still book a room at the Hotel Del Coronado for around $300 a night. No shuttle but you can take a water taxi at some times during the day!

There were more rooms than ever available as part of the hotel block this year—that was part of the deal that saw the Con staying in San Diego. However, they went just as fast as ever.

In case you’re wondering how they handle things when celebrity x gets booked for a panel at the last minute: exhibitors already got to book their rooms, so we’d imagine that WB or whoever just books a giant block of rooms at that point. Because Gerard Butler staying at the Days Inn Moonlight Beach Legoland probably wouldn’t work out so good.

UPDATE: As confirmed in the comments the link to actually confirm your room with Travel Planners that went out in the emails….isn’t working. You can update by phone, however.

ALSO, the New Hoteloween: The Heretic will be April 10, 9AM PT.

  1. Travel Planners may have a Hoteloween of their own this morning. The reservation confirmation link they sent out with the emails is bad. When I called in and paid for my hotel a few minutes ago the woman I talked to said they’d already had “a number of calls” about the bad link.

  2. Sooo, FYI to all those who were disappointed in the hotel choice they ended up with or for those who got totally shut out.

    I spoke to a Travel Planners agent by phone this morning trying to see if there was any possible way to upgrade, thinking there were always those groups of folk who double book then cancel rooms they won’t actually need or want.

    The agent confirmed that no matter how many rooms open up this week, they were going to hold them all and open a new round, a second chance for attendees on April 10th at 9 am.

    Although the agent wasn’t quite sure how that would be handled, it sounded like it would be by phone. I assume new info will be announced officially before end of the week.

    For the record, I canceled the hotel I was “awarded” in Mission Valley.

  3. I thought I remembered the CCI website saying that requests submitted within 3 seconds of each other, not 3 minutes, would be treated as being at the same time. Which seems to make more sense considering the thousands of people all logging in at once.
    For the record, I got the Omni, my #1 choice, after submitting at 9:02. Although the email link to confirm my reservation didn’t work, so I had to call Travel Planners this morning and submit my cc info over the phone.

  4. Spoke with a couple people at TP this morning. Things will re-open on the 10th. No matter what’s cancelled in the next few days, they won’t be available again until the 10th. Here’s what my rejection letter said:
    Dear Comic-Con Guest,
    Thank you for submitting your housing request with Travel Planners.
    Unfortunately, at the time your request was processed, there was no more inventory that met your selected criteria.
    General Comic-Con 2012 Housing will re-open on April 10, 9AM PT. If you would like to check up-to-date official Comic-Con hotel availability, rates and information, please visit http://www.comic-con.org ‘s housing page at that time.
    Kindest Regards,

  5. 24 hour convention shuttle?

    I don’t know how far out those shuttles will travel, but has CCI considered utilizing the mostly empty residence halls at nearby universities?

    USD is directly east of Mission Bay, 12 minutes from the Convention Center, and within walking distance of the Old Town trolley.

    UCSD is 15 minutes from the Convention Center.

    Point Loma Nazarene University is west of the airport, 25 minutes from the Convention Center (and on the coast!)

  6. I called Comic Con Int’l, and they told me that they were aware of some inconveniences and plan to simplify things: next year you will have your choice of walking over hot coals or giving up your first born to get a park bench to sleep on for $250 per night, minimum 4 nights. Hobo newspaper-blanket not included.

  7. The one year I actually *wanted* a hotel out in Mission Valley, I got put near the airport. Which would be great if I were flying in and not driving, and didn’t have plans to visit the zoo on the day off.

    Partly it’s my own fault for not double-checking the form before submitting it (I was trying to pick another hotel in the same chain near the top of my list). But I feel I should also call out their web designer for building a drop-down in category order, but not actually providing any separators, making it a pain to scan down the list looking for a particular hotel. I probably spent half again as much time as I would have filling out the form because I couldn’t just scan down the list looking for, say, “Hilton,” or scan to “Mission Valley” or “Downtown” and then look for the name. If it had been entirely alphabetical, or if they’d put in category separators (I wish more developers knew about the optgroup tag), it would have been a lot easier to select the hotels I *intended*.

  8. What really irks me and makes no sense is they have no selection for special needs upfront. I need an accessible room, but I have to submit the hotel requests and then wait for confirmation before I can submit the accessible room request. Once I got confirmation of receipt of my request, I sent in an email stating my need, and was reminded that I needed to wait until I got the actual confirmed room booking. BTW, that didn’t happen for me, none of the 20 hotels on my list came back. If they had a selection upfront for accessible rooms, that narrows down the pool of hotels and rooms we are looking for, and for whom actually qualifies for those rooms. Why not pull us out of the general requests from the very beginning? Wouldn’t that make it easier for them rather than putting us into a hotel that is unsuitable and then having to move us?

    At least last year, I was given a completely unsuitable hotel (in Old Town, not on shuttle route and they could not tell me if the Trolley could accommodate a wheelchair), and then I was able to go on to the waitlist for a hotel on the shuttle route. But this year, no availability in anything, for myself, for my friend, for her son, for another friend of mine. None of us got a room after submitting a list of 20. And I know we were all in with our emails within the first 15 minutes or so.

  9. I was pretty quick with my selection but I didn’t get any of my choices. I’m stuck out on that Island 6 miles away on the other side of the airport. But at least I have shuttle service.

    And yeah, I found the link didn’t work either from my home computer (I have Windows 7 64 bit) but worked fine from my work. The link brings you to the Contact Page and you have to navigate from there and figure it out with the help of the instructions. Travel planners really could have designed that part way better.

  10. The link is working now. Maybe they fixed it on their end.

    Anyway, I had to dig around a bit to find where to enter my credit card info. The link doesn’t say “credit card” or “deposit” or anything like what you might expect. It says “guarantee.” I suppose it makes sense to business travelers.

  11. I started at noon on the dot. It was 12:05 when I submitted my final request.

    I had 17 hotel choices, all within a 1.1 mile radius of the con. I was booking for four people in the room with two double beds.

    When I received my reservation, I had been put in a hotel 3 miles away, more expensive than any of the hotels on my preference list.

    So, I have no clue how this hotel thing worked.

  12. @James — interesting observation. I wonder how much ‘total occupancy’ factors into the decision. 4 people in one room at a single rate vs. 1 person in that same room represents a very different workload for the hotel staff. I submitted at 4 minutes after the hour for 16 hotels within a 9 block radius and got my second choice. But the occupancy on my room is 1 person, not 4.

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