Star Wars Celebration VI for Newbies

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Image: Copyright Lucas Films
Image: Copyright Lucas Films

Orlando, Florida is this year’s host for the biggest Star Wars party in the galaxy, Star Wars Celebration. From August 23rd through the 26th, the Rebellion and the Empire will be taking over and showcasing the best they have to offer. From costumes to celebrities to collectables (oh my!), this is a must-see event for every Star Wars fan in the universe. The Florida Garrison has been gearing up for this event for over a year now and we are ready and raring to go. If you are coming to the convention or just thinking about it, here are a few tips to get you ready.

Pre-Convention Checklist
How much are the tickets and how can I purchase them?
You can purchase tickets online, through a retailer or at the convention. If you pre-order your tickets, an adult single day ticket for Thursday, Friday and Sunday is $55 and Saturday is $60. A child ticket is $27 per day. If you plan on being at the con for all four days, look at getting a four day pass. Adults are $135 and Children are $57. Pre-ordered tickets can be picked up at Will Call at the convention center.

To purchase tickets when you get to the convention, just follow the signs or ask a volunteer where you can purchase tickets. Be aware that all ticket prices go up at the door.

What hotels are closest to the convention center? 
The convention center sits on International Drive and there are a ton of resorts to pick from. Check out Star Wars Celebration’s website for all the information you need to find and book a hotel close to the convention.

Traveling to the Convention
What is the best way to bring my costume to the Celebration VI?
For starters, if you are flying into Orlando and you can afford to ship your costume to your hotel ahead of time, DO IT! I’ve heard this is the easiest and most hassle free way to get your costume to the hotel. Just make sure you let the hotel know you are expecting boxes (and ask if they charge to hold it till you arrive). Regardless if you’re flying or shipping your costume, one member suggests you pack it like you are going to drop it off a cliff (you never know what it will experience behind the scenes). Try to avoid taping it up, just in case a TSA employee has to unwrap it.

Some other packing tips include:

  • Keep in mind that Bubble wrap is great stuff, but it also sticks to some paints.
  • To save space, try wrapping your gear in your clothes.
  • Place pictures of your costume inside your container. If a TSA worker has to open it up, this will help them know what they’re looking at.
  • Place a note with your costume stating Star Wars Convention Costume.
  • Make sure you check up on the latest TSA guidelines for locking up your gear.

Also, don’t forget to pack your common sense before you leave home!

Due to recent events, is it okay to bring a prop replica blaster with me?
Most 501st Legion members agree that this is ok. Make sure you pack it in your checked-bags and mark it as a Prop Replica for a Star Wars Convention.  It’s also a good idea to let the airline counter know that there are replica firearms in the bags when you check them in (and grab one of those Fragile stickers for your stuff while you’re at it).

Is my helmet OK to carry on the plane or should I check it?
Several people have told me that they carry this particular piece on (just make sure you remove the batteries). Also, be ready to explain what the electronics in your helmet are for.

As always, please check with your local airport or particular airline if you are unsure of something. No sense in losing your head over it. 

At the Convention
Whoo Hoo! You made it to Orlando! Now it’s time to have some fun.

What kinds of things should I consider if I’m walking to the convention from my hotel?
First of all, hydrate! Second, pace yourself. Third, if your walk is more than one mile, take advantage of the I-Drive Trolley system. If you will be attending all four days, make sure you get a four day pass to save some money.

For those of you planning to have an adult beverage, make sure you drink plenty of water to make up for it. No one wants to see a Star Wars character on the ground, passed out from having to much “fun.”

How early should I arrive to avoid the lines getting into the convention?
If you don’t care about the limited edition collectibles, sleep in and arrive around 45-minutes after the con has opened.The general census agrees that Thursday is the busiest day to get in.

Some of the best advice I can give you is to prioritize your day. Go through the list of activities, panels and other things going on and plan your attack. If you have a smartphone, download the Celebration VI app to help you stay updated on what is happening around the convention.

Can I pre-order any of the merchandise online prior to the event?
Yes. You can pre-order some of the artwork. As far as anything else though, I haven’t heard about pre-orders being accepted.

I want to see a few of the panels. How long should I expect to wait in line?
This all depends on the panel you want to see. If a panel is running more than one day, chances are your wait won’t be that long. If the panel is only running on a certain day, you can expect to be in line for an hour or more just to get a seat (this is also true of any panel that hands out freebies). It’s also a good idea to try to avoid wearing headphones while waiting, since sometimes they make announcements prior to the doors opening and you don’t want to miss them.

Ian McDiarmid, the Emperor/Senator Palpatine, is making his Celebration debut and has a panel scheduled for Thursday night. This is one of those you will want to be really early for if you want a seat.

A few of the other DON’T MISS events are the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and anything with big names in it like Lucas or Rick McCullum. This year there will also be a Clone Wars Season Five red carpet event. I will be on the Red Carpet at the premiere, so if you see me, say hi!

Will there be anything there for my children to do? 
Star Wars is family friendly, so of course! The convention has plenty of activities for families to enjoy together.

The con is over … now what? One member suggests you find a party! “Moshi Moshi Productions usually puts on one, and I saw they are again this year and they are almost always a good time. Get there early as they get packed fast though. Of course, if you are a 501st member the Bash will be the place to be.”

Above all, make sure you take time to look around and enjoy the sights. The 501st and Rebel Legion will be there in full force and you will be amazed at some of the costumes they will bring with them. The Droid builders club will also be in attendance and their area is always a must see.

Last, but not least, if you are celebrating your birthday at Celebration VI, make sure you stop by the Celebration Store for your special birthday button and coupon for $20 off a $50 purchase.

PLEASE remember to use your common sense and be safe. Drink plenty of water (regardless if you are in costume or not) and have fun!

Do you have any tips for attending Star Wars Celebration VI? Let us know in the comments!

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