Comic-Con International finally announced the opening of this year’s convention block in San Diego hotels: March 19.

This time last year, they’d already gone on sale and sold out.

As recently as three (or maybe four) years ago, they’d have sent a postcard by January. They used to include a full list of hotels in the winter newsletter with distance and prices. I could swear I remember them going on sale in January.

Of course, five years ago you could still book the Little Italy Super 8 only less than a month in advance. Now the discounted rooms are in such demand that they sell out in a matter of hours.

Like last year, they are only selling tickets in advance, so if you plan on attending, you should order them online.

See Also: Convention Photos & Write-Ups

15 thoughts on “Comic-Con Hotel Block Opens March 19, 2009

  1. Hi, I was wondering how booking the hotel through travel planner works? Are you making full payment, put down a deposit, or just make the reservation? This will be the 1st Comic-Con for my friends and I and we’re really hoping to get a place to stay in the Con block, although I have a backup reservation just in case.

  2. Unless they change it this year, there’s no deposit. You do have to give them a credit card number, but they won’t charge it right away.

    I remember someone saying that they do charge a deposit somewhere around June, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the separate charge, so maybe they just do a pre-authorization hold on it. In the 4 years I’ve reserved hotel rooms through the con, I’ve always just had a single bill from the hotel at the end of the stay.

    Keep in mind that demand is very high, and supply very limited, and the last few years it’s sold out within hours, so you should start trying to get through as close to 9am Pacific as you can.

    Also, the last few years their phone system and web server haven’t been up to the task of handling all the calls and web traffic, so be ready to spend an hour or two hitting redial on your phone and waiting for the slowest website you’ve ever seen (and hitting reload when it fails).

    I’m not sure I’ve ever managed to get through by phone during the initial rush, only web, but it’s worth trying both — especially since if you do manage to get the phones to pick up, you’ve got a solid connection, whereas with the web, you’re technically making a new connection with each step, so there are plenty of chances for it to break down. Once I even got as far as entering my credit card info, and then it stalled and I had to start all over again.

    It’s an incredibly frustrating process, but the discounts are good and it really does make a difference to stay near the convention center.

  3. Spotted! I’ve gone through and crossed off everything more expensive than my backup or outside the downtown area, and there are enough possibilities that I’m going to jump into the fray tomorrow.

  4. As an individual who works for Travel Planners, I’d like to assure you that we are doing everything we can in order help everyone out. This is a stressful time for everyone, so try to be patient and respectful on the phone, as we’ll be doing the same.

  5. Thank you, Jeanette — I appreciate hearing from you!

    And that’s good advice to everyone calling in, as well: remember that the people taking your calls are stressed out too!

  6. I got through within 30 seconds of the site going live and started a reservation for the Marriott adjacent to the convention center…and the page died right before the confirmation screen! Talk about frustrating. Now I’m back “in line” and have been for the past 20 minutes.

  7. Its a joke. I and another person got in the fake “line” at the same time and they have been able to score two reservations via two windows and I haven’t even been close.
    Travelplanners has f*cked us again.
    Move it to Vegas already!

  8. I agree the whole virtual “line” was a joke. I connected the second the link was open this morning, and sat watching the “don’t refresh or you will lose your place in line!” page for over an hour. Later I connected to my work network via VPN and then hit the comic con hotels site from another IP – and BAM I’m in. My original attempt NEVER granted me access to the reservation site.. it’s still ticking away! OBVIOUSLY they are not letting people connect in the order in which they originally attempted to.. LAME.

  9. this was just as irritating as every other year. I too connected right at 9 and never got in. an hour later I got through on the phone, had my name, address and hotel choices taken down, and so far still haven’t heard. Finally on a different IP I got into the site and pretty much everything I consider acceptable is booked. What a joke.

  10. I’m sorry to hear some of you had trouble. I got on the site 10 mins after it opened (Which was 3am Aussie time!) and endured the continual reloading for 50mins, too scared to click away. But my order did eventually go through and I even got my preferred hotel choice. So the system was working…for some.

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