For Star Wars fans, there's little more exciting on the calendar than Star Wars Celebration. This one-of-a-kind single fandom convention is your chance to mingle with fans of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. And since it doesn't happen every year and moves around the globe when it does happen, catching it can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some. So, if you're lucky enough to be able to attend Celebration Orlando in 2017, here is a handy survival guide to make the most of your weekend.
Stay Within Walking Distance. Conventions are exhausting. Between the lines, the shopping, the mingling, and the cosplay, you're likely to need a break more often than you expect. You'll also want to avoid having to carry your purchases around all day and may want to ditch your costume if it gets uncomfortable. For this reason, be sure you snag a hotel that's easily accessible from the convention center. Convention hotels are convenient, but they may be pricey or sold out. Check around the convention center area for nearby places to stay -- including hotels like The Baker House 1650, small inns, bed and breakfasts, condos, and rental units -- that can be reached within about 15 minutes of walking or public transportation.
Make a Plan. There will be multiple events going on at the same time all weekend long. So, you'll need to formulate a strategy for deciding where to go and when to get there. Download the convention's convenient app and start familiarizing yourself with the layout and the programming guide as early as possible. Whittle down your priorities -- Q&A panels, autographs, photo ops, special merchandise releases, and costuming events -- and don't be overly ambitious about getting into too many events and don't underestimate the length of some lines. The result of having no plan or trying to do too much will only be stress, so keep your eyes on the prize.
Bring a Toolkit. It's vital to your health and well-being that you come to Celebration prepared. That means bringing high protein (and highly portable) snacks, a bottle of water, a phone charger, extra phone or camera batteries, and some extra money for emergencies (like spending your last dollar on BB-8 merchandise!). If you're going in costume, try to find ways to pack the essentials into your costume (such as in belt pouches or tucked under a robe). While you don't want to be a pack mule all day, having a few necessities handy will help you endure lines and avoid wasting time trying to find food, power, or beverages.
By following these few tips, you can make sure that your weekend at Celebration Orlando is an adventure that's truly out of this world.