Want to celebrate all things Blizzard Entertainment? Get a ticket to BlizzCon. It's the best convention I've ever been to and is totally worth the money. My husband and I have been to BlizzCon twice so far (2013 and 2016). Keep reading below for 5 things to know before you go.
1) Want to get in right away? Get in line early.
The first time we went to BlizzCon we were still on east coast time, so we got in line 3.5 hours before the doors opened. Apparently everyone else did the same thing. Expect to be standing around waiting for a few hours if you want to be the first few thousand in the doors. We did end up getting close seats for the opening ceremony that year. In the images above, the first photo was the crowd waiting in front of us 3.5 hours early and the second photo is the crowd that gathered behind us.
At our second BlizzCon, we decided to take our time and go out to breakfast. We casually walked in about 45 minutes after the doors opened and barely had to wait in a line. We found seats in another hall that was playing the opening ceremony on the screen so we were fine with that.
From what we saw on the 2017 Virtual Ticket, it looked like the opening ceremony bounced around with speakers located in different halls to try and give everyone a chance at seeing something live. That could be the new trend. We'll see with 2018.
2) Dress for the convention center
It may be nice and warm outside, but for me it is always freezing inside the Anaheim Convention Center. I'd much rather be in colder air than heat surrounded by people who are smelly and sweaty, so I appreciate the use of the air conditioning. But this also means I'm not wearing a cute Warcraft dress or tank top. My husband and I always wear pants and a t-shirt along with a sweatshirt or jacket. If you get cold easily, it's best to bring yourself a jacket. (Side note: I really luck out when it comes to bathroom lines at this con. There's never a wait for the women's restroom!)
3) You can't do it all
There is SO MUCH going on in just two days I don't know how Blizzard can handle it all. But that also means you physically cannot attend everything at the convention. Here's where the Virtual Ticket comes into play! Anyone who purchases a physical ticket to the convention also gets access to the Virtual Ticket. A large majority of the panels and competitions are live streamed and recorded. When you get back home, you can check out anything you may have missed while at the show.
Blizzard usually puts out a mobile app each year with an easy to read schedule of the day's activities. Check out the app as you go along to help plan your day. Don't fret if you miss something. You can check it out on the Virtual Ticket up to two weeks after the convention.
4) How badly do you want to play that game demo?
One of the great things about attending BlizzCon is having the chance to check some new games and content out before the rest of the world. Depending on the game, you may get to play after a short wait or you could be in for a longer queue time.
In 2013, BlizzCon attendees had the chance to be the first to play a Heroes of the Storm demo. The line looked to be 3 hours long so we didn't wait for it. (Luckily, I ended up being part of the alpha test just 2 months later so it worked out well.)
In 2016, we played a Hearthstone demo for the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion, which was a lot of fun. We also played the Diablo III 20th anniversary event demo as well as the new necromancer class demo and then had the chance to talk to the game's developers. It was really neat being able to chat with the people whose games we have been playing for years.
5) Plan your trip well! A.K.A. go home after BlizzCon.
You're going to spend two full days surrounded by video games which means you will be HYPED UP. The first time we went to BlizzCon we stayed an extra day to go to Disneyland, which was great. But the second time we went, it was part one of our honeymoon. We still had another 5-ish days of driving around California being away from our computers. We felt so deprived of video games like Overwatch, Diablo and World of Warcraft that we were watching replays of the Overwatch World Cup on our iPad in hotel rooms and considered trying to find a gaming cafe.
So if you go to BlizzCon and it's part of a big trip (we're from the east coast so it's not just a 2 hour drive for us), try and place the con near the end of your trip.
I think those are the biggest things I wish I knew before going to my first BlizzCon. It's an amazing convention with tens of thousands of people just like you who love Blizzard video games. Since we live on the east coast, it tends to be a bit of a pricier trip for my husband and I, but we're hoping to go back again soon. Until then we'll enjoy another BlizzCon with the Virtual Ticket we've purchased.