Saturday, February 16, 2013

Comic-Con 2013: Badge Registration Insanity

Between the Season 3 finale of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" and Comic-Con badge sales, it's been a wild morning!

Saturdays are always my day to sleep in after a long week.  However, despite going to bed at 1:30am this morning I was wide awake at 7:00am.  Fortunately, I had My Little Pony to keep me occupied for half an hour before getting my equipment ready for 9am badge sales.

At 8:15am, I grabbed all the working electronic devices in my house and headed into the study room, where the internet signal is strongest.  I brought with me two laptops, an iPhone, and an android phone.  I also grabbed my camera in case I needed to take screen shots of my phones.

At 8:30am, I woke up my boyfriend so he could help me get badges.  A friend from across the country called her husband to make sure he could help me using his three computers and fast internet connection.

By 8:55am, I was set to go.  I had multiple browsers open on each computer with the Comic-Con landing page and the link copied in case I had to use the paste function later.  I also had twitter and facebook open in case of any updates.  On top of that, I had an online clock open so I could start clicking as soon as the clock turned 9!  For good measure, I plugged my modem's ethernet cable into my fastest laptop.

At exactly 9am, I started clicking/pressing enter on all my devices.  Nothing happened.  Most of my pages went into loading mode, while others went to an error screen.

At 9:05am, I got into a landing page which told me that the waiting room was full and that badges were likely sold out.  Checking twitter and seeing that most people were encountering similar issues, I continued to frantically reload my pages.

At 9:15am, I managed to get into the waiting room as #37729 with my fastest laptop using the Firefox browser.  My friend also go into the wait room as a number in the 29000s.  My other laptop running Chrome also got in as #46465.

Comic-Con Registration Waiting Room
Registration Waiting Room on Firefox browser at 9:15am

In the next 30-35 minutes, my number in the Firefox browser gradually decreased.  Meanwhile, my friend remained stuck on the same number while my Chrome browser continued to read #46465.  I took a screenshot and attempted to contact Comic-Con's customer service number, only to get multiple busy signals.

Around 9:50, I finally managed to get into the badge purchase area with my Firebox browser.  By then, 4-day and 4-day plus preview night badges were sold out.  However, there were still one-day badges left for all four days!  I managed to secure Thursday-Sunday one-day passes for myself and two friends.  Once out of the waiting room, the entire process went smoothly and quickly.

I checked out my last person a few minutes before 10am.  Minutes later, Saturday badges were completely sold out.  Roughly 30 minutes after that, all Comic-Con badges were sold out!

I consider myself extremely lucky that I managed to survive the buggy computer system and end up with badges for all four days.  After I finished paying for my last badge, my friend informed me that he was still stuck on the same number.  Looking at the computer next to me, my position still reads #46465.

Comic-Con Registration Waiting Room
Registration Waiting Room on Chrome browser at 11:45am

While I still would have gone to San Diego without a Comic-Con Badge, I'm super excited that I now have passes for all four days!  I definitely attribute this to beginners luck because based on social media, a lot of people were not as lucky.  At this rate, I may not get badges for next year (or a Fanime hotel room, given how similarly crazy reservations were this year), so I plan on trying to make the most of this experience!

I hope that everyone vying for a badge got at least something!  After this eventful morning I think it's time to go back to bed!

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