Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022 is almost here. But even if you’re a Celebration or convention veteran, knowing what to bring with you is always important. Anaheim will be my eleventh Star Wars Celebration, and even I sometimes forget to pack something for when I travel to the biggest gathering of galactic fans. (One time I forgot pajamas.) But we here at StarWars.com don’t want that to happen to you. So here’s a list of essentials you’ll want to consider bringing.
You are likely going to be carrying a bunch of stuff with you, and probably acquiring even more goodies as you enjoy the show, so let’s talk about bags and backpacks. Most folks like to use backpacks to haul their gear as it keeps your hands free. Just be careful — turning often has the potential for whacking into other fans, especially in tight quarters like crowds, lines, and when edging along in a crowded seating area. I prefer an over-the-shoulder messenger bag. It fits lower down at hip level and is hands-free, yet I can access it without having to take it off. It might not fit as much, but it won’t be slamming into anyone as I turn, and I can easily keep my eyes on it. Having some shopping bags on hand is always a good idea for carrying any extra items you might’ve bought or acquired. Consider using the convention bag check so you don’t have to lug your purchases around all day.
If you plan to pick up a lot of loot at Celebration, make sure you have enough space to bring it back home. Add that needed capacity by having an extra bag stashed in your luggage. Maybe a duffel or tote bag folded up in your suitcase or even a carry-on-sized suitcase that nests inside your larger roller. If you’re flying, make sure your luggage and its contents are TSA approved. If you have something that might draw their interest, like costume pieces or replica weapons, attach a label identifying it as such.
There will be lots of walking and lots of lines, so wear comfy shoes. Some shoes are great for walking around in, but standing in one place — like a line — is the real test of comfort.
Be prepared for a variety of temperatures throughout the day. The exhibition floor and panel rooms are often overly air conditioned at opening time, while later in the day they can get warm from the collective body heat, so dress in layers. I prefer a light fleece jacket — not only does it have good-sized pockets and easily come on and off, it doesn’t get too hot when you’re out in the sun and keeps you comfortable in a chilly room or outside in the evening. But ultimately, remember that layers are your friend.
Autographs and Posters
Part of the fun of Celebration is meeting your favorite Star Wars stars and getting an autograph or a photo with them. Keep your autographed pictures and personalized photos safe with some kind of rigid protector. A top-loading acrylic protector is one of your best options, and if you don’t bring one, there’s usually a place at the convention that sells them. Clear plastic sheet protectors are decent, and can fit into a folder for more rigid protection. If collecting posters is your thing (and Celebrations often have cool poster giveaways after big panels), a poster tube is a must. Cardboard mailing tubes work great, or even go for a cool clear plastic tube. Be like Rey with her staff and have a strap that fits around near both ends to wear the tube on your back.
For autographs, always carry a permanent marker. You never know when an autograph opportunity will appear, so keep it handy by clipping your marker onto your badge lanyard. If you’re really into autographs or signings, bring one in black and one in silver or gold.
Bringing your phone is a no-brainer. Keeping it charged is the issue. For all your electronics, bring a portable back-up battery or charger with you to stay charged. In addition, make sure you have all the cords and charge your gadgets and batteries up every night!
Health and Safety
Make sure you bring your masks and proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or negative test. Check the safety guidelines at StarWarsCelebration.com for more info. And bring a little hand sanitizer and keep it handy — it’s like your own personal bacta.
Keep your energy up and stay hydrated. Bring your own water bottle and use the water refill stations located all over the convention center. As for snacks, I’d suggest the kinds that won’t get crushed in your bag or make your fingers greasy.
Here’s a few extra things to consider:
- Besides markers for autographs, having a regular pen is useful in general
- Zip-top baggies come in surprisingly handy, especially when you get swag
- While cash has gone out of style during the pandemic, having a little on you is better than having to track down an ATM
Being properly prepared will make your Celebration experience smoother and more fun!
Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022 will be held May 26-29, 2022, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
James Floyd is a writer, photographer, and organizer of puzzle adventures. He’s a bit tall for a Jawa. You can follow him on Twitter at @jamesjawa.
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