Celebrity encounters are one of the more sought after experiences of going to Comic-Con. There is a world of a difference between someone saying “Oh Hey! I was like 39 feet from Emma Stone at the Spider-Man panel!” and someone saying “Oh Hey! I rode the elevator up to my room with Emma Stone!”
(EDITOR NOTE: Emma Stone doesn’t ride elevators. She floats up like the angel she is.)
But these chance encounters are as unpredictable as where Sam Beckett leaps to next. In fact, most of the celebs that you WANT to see go out of their way to disguise themselves if they even bother to walk the floor at all.
But if this is your only goal for the entire trip then you must DO. YOUR. RESEARCH.
I must warn you that there is a very fine line separates stalker from spy (but you are still a stalker, don’t get it twisted). Also be cool. Asking politely for a photo is acceptable and expected by these people, but lingering might make them nervous which could bring down the wrath of security over your head.
Celebrities invited out by the studios stay at the fancy hotels. Odds are that they are in San Diego for a panel promoting whatever and then obliged to make an appearance at one of the famous parties which is also promoting whatever, so a hotel room is more than likely also included if they don’t ride back to LA.
Despite what shennanigans you’ve had with not being able to get a downtown room through Travel Planner know that the hotels only give a portion of their availability for those bookings, so if you really try you can get a room at The Hard Rock, The Hilton, or The Omni (all of which are known for housing stars during the con) for a jacked up price.
Hotels have security ready to boot any non guests who are loitering in the lobby looking for celebs, especially at The Omni where the elevators in the lobby leading up to the Wired Cafe just happen to have a moderate sized seating section next to it. Having a room in that building means they will probably leave you alone or might just ask that you move on if they suspect you of hanging out only to get photos for people.
Outside of the hotel is a different story though. Since you are not on the property technically the hotel staff can’t tell you anything but this does not extend to the private security watching after whoever, plus the celebs could possibly just be rushed in and out of the door right past you so please don’t take it personally.
You can always ask to upgrade your room when you check-in. It is a little more money but the experience could be amazing. You could end up in a suite next to ______ or have a room that happens to overlook the rooftop parties.
From experience I can tell you that in 2012 I stayed at the Hard Rock and we asked if we could upgrade to a better room. It was an extra $30 a night but my girlfriend wanted a room on the Woodstock Lawn so she would have a patio to relax on and also be able to just walk out to the pool when she wanted to. Little did we know that the Woodstock Lawn is the very same space that they have parties and the red carpet at.
Just look at my photos of the room’s patio below to see what we mean. We had almost every major star that we wanted to meet walk past us on their way to the red carpet and many were nice enough to stop and speak to us and pose for photos. They did have security to make sure that we didn’t get stupid and harass anybody or run over since there was literally no barrier preventing us from walking onto the grass.
Every hotel that is right by the convention center has rooms reserved for industry people and celebs but they’ll still offer a little something for the regular joes but only if you look around and do meticulous research on your surroundings. I”0’m not saying that you need to go all Dexter but with some work you can find that one little perk that could either one-up your experience or put you on a watch list as a possible serial killer, it is up to you how you move forward with that information.